Differences between the individual operating systems

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CrocoDuck
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Re: Differences between the individual operating systems

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:43 pm

sysrqer wrote:the objective reality is that you can buy a piece of hardware that won't work in linux, simple as that.


And you can too buy pieces of hardware that work on Win, but not Mac. Or Mac, but not Win and Linux. If you buy hardware, then it is your duty to check support for your OS beforehand. So, this is entirely the user's fault. Except for one thing: migration. This might prevent one to migrate from one OS to the other on their existing hardware. From one OS to the other, not From Win/Mac to Linux specifically.

While documenting myself on FreeBSD, which I am setting up to try on a virtual machine, I stumbled across this, and I think I pretty much agree with it:

Hardware

"BSD doesn't support common hardware."

Does Linux support hardware that BSD doesn't? Probably. Does it matter? Only if you have that hardware.

...

But it is simple. You don't care what hardware the OS supports, as long as it supports what you have. Read the hardware support lists and/or just try booting it up. You might be surprised.

When in doubt, check the lists. Hardware support lists are available per-release, such as the lists for 5.2-RELEASE and for 4.9-RELEASE of FreeBSD.


Source: http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/09

However, thinking about numbers, I think Linux might actually win in terms of hardware support. The fact is that many device drivers are included in the Linux kernel, so they are part of the OS, while Mac/Win don't: you install the drivers directly from the third parties. Win and Mac pretty much support very little stuff on their own. So, actually Linux might actually have the broadest built-in support really.

I think it is a bit of tricky one, this hardware thing, because if Win/Mac end up supporting something it is not their achievement: another company is writing drivers for them. While in Linux world device drivers normally make it to the kernel, as modules, so when Linux support something it is actually the Kernel, and hence the OS, achievement.
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AlexTheBassist
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Re: Differences between the individual operating systems

Postby AlexTheBassist » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:19 pm

sysrqer wrote:I never suggested that anything in linux prevents hardware working, but the fact is, as you have just explained, some companies don't provide a driver for it and therefore some hardware will work in Windows and not Linux.

Then you statement should've been “Hardware manufacturers ignore the fact that some customers want their products to be used in a Linux based environment”, but not “Linux fails at hardware support”. The latter is very misleading.
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Re: Differences between the individual operating systems

Postby AlexTheBassist » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:34 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:However, thinking about numbers, I think Linux might actually win in terms of hardware support. The fact is that many device drivers are included in the Linux kernel, so they are part of the OS, while Mac/Win don't: you install the drivers directly from the third parties. Win and Mac pretty much support very little stuff on their own. So, actually Linux might actually have the broadest built-in support really.

I think it is a bit of tricky one, this hardware thing, because if Win/Mac end up supporting something it is not their achievement: another company is writing drivers for them. While in Linux world device drivers normally make it to the kernel, as modules, so when Linux support something it is actually the Kernel, and hence the OS, achievement.

True. I remember a dude who switched from Windows XP to 7 shortly after its release, and found out that his printer isn't supported in new OS, and will not be because it's considered by the manufacturer as “outdated”. He then booted up an Ubuntu live stick, just because some guy (not me) on the social networks said he might give it a try, and bam! The printer worked out of the box. But I slightly disagree on “kernel/OS achievement thing”, as Linux is a product of community collaboration. It's a community's achievement to have (usually) free contributions from such skilled programmers who can reverse engineer such complex systems as today's PC peripherals. If there was no such community around, Linux would be still far from what we have today, despite any of its superiority in means of architectural decisions. Look at BeOS, which is now rewritten from scratch as Haiku OS. A good example of how a good OS should be written, but it can't make it big because there's not enough man power involved.
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Re: Differences between the individual operating systems

Postby sysrqer » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:58 pm

AlexTheBassist wrote:
sysrqer wrote:I never suggested that anything in linux prevents hardware working, but the fact is, as you have just explained, some companies don't provide a driver for it and therefore some hardware will work in Windows and not Linux.

Then you statement should've been “Hardware manufacturers ignore the fact that some customers want their products to be used in a Linux based environment”, but not “Linux fails at hardware support”. The latter is very misleading.



Jesus, ok dude whatever. If I have a piece of hardware that doesn't work in linux then I have to either not use the hardware or use another OS. Arguing over semantics and blame is a little petty. If I can use my piece of hardware with windows and mac but not linux, as is the case with some audio equipment, then linux has less hardware support than the others from my perspective. Whether that is caused by manufacturers, Linus refusing to include a patch in the kernel, or some magic incompatibility, is beside the point.

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Re: Differences between the individual operating systems

Postby khz » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:33 pm

If a hardware manufacturer neither programs its own (closed) driver for Linux nor discloses the necessary documentation so that free developers can write it themselves, it is impossible to make the hardware executable for Linux.
The same is true for Win/macOS.

Furthermore, you can try to analyze the cause(s) in order to change it or at least explain the actual state based on logic. Faith, crystal ball, ... helps then less. This is no moody power/opinion making but pure logic.
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Re: Differences between the individual operating systems

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:36 pm

sysrqer wrote:Arguing over semantics and blame is a little petty.


I don't think so. We are not the only ones that read these forums. So, other people reading this, maybe newbies, should have a clear picture of what they can/cannot achieve with any OS we are discussing here, and why. I think that briefly clarifying/discussing this is well in order (as long as we don't drift too much), even just to prevent to spread, by accident, the myth that in "Linux/FreeBSD/Any_Opensource_OS" nothing works.

Then, of course, regardless of the reason why, any OS selection operates a restriction of the hardware you can use. Hence, selecting one OS passes through weighting up various things that are not due to the OS itself, and third party hardware support might very well be one of these. In this decade, I don't think audio support on Linux is really limited. Also because the surge in class compliant devices thanks to the iPad popularity though. This ought to be remembered as well.
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AlexTheBassist
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Re: Differences between the individual operating systems

Postby AlexTheBassist » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:42 pm

sysrqer wrote:Arguing over semantics and blame is a little petty.

But that's the point here: to reveal all the truth, not just your opinion. You are deliberately subjective on the topic. By the way, Windows has those issues too: for instance, it's impossible to use any of old E-MU USB interfaces in Windows 10, but they work out of the box on Linux, and probably still work on Macs. So, does Linux have more or less hardware support, eh?

The answer is as simple as a pie: check compatibility lists before buying anything, even if you aren't using FLOSS operating system. The device you want to use might work in older versions of OS of your choice, but got deprecated in newer ones, and vice versa. There are still people who use Windows XP or Vista and refuse to upgrade, they can't use lots of modern hardware due to the fact that there are no drivers available for their antique operating systems. Remember anything about Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake CPUs and Windows? Microsoft won't supply you with any security updates, including critical ones, if you use old Windows on a new processor, and you probably will be unable to utilize their embedded GPU, as those processors are claimed to be for Windows 10 only, thus no drivers for any other Windows versions will be available.
sysrqer wrote:If I can use my piece of hardware with windows and mac but not linux, as is the case with some audio equipment, then linux has less hardware support than the others from my perspective. Whether that is caused by manufacturers, Linus refusing to include a patch in the kernel, or some magic incompatibility, is beside the point.

And, like in my real life example above, if a vendor refuses to support one of its products on newer Windows versions, but it still remains supported in Linux via community maintained driver, how come it means Windows has more hardware support? The world doesn't revolve around Windows, OS X, Linux or whatever else, including your opinion, it has its own axis exactly for that purpose. And we here talk world, not your bedroom. Your experience with a certain device is highly likely irrelevant for other devices, especially if it's about audio. I tried to use a ton of different USB and even some Firewire interfaces, and the only one that didn't work out of the box (but still had a third party driver which I needed to compile) was AKAI EIE USB. Not a big loss for Linux audio, as it doesn't even offer 24 bit recording. Everything else, including abovementioned Creative E-MU 0202, various M-Audio stuff, Focusrite Scarlett series, Presonus Audiobox and iOne, Behringer (including famous x32 mixing console), IK Multimedia iRig, Steinberg UR, Roland Tri-Capture, and even Allen&Heath ZEDi8 mixing console I found in a public rehearsal studio as a sort of vocal chain, worked right after I plugged the thing into my USB port and set up JACK to use it. Of course, there are soundcards that are unsupported, but there's a whole lot that do have support, as well as there are cards that aren't supported by Windows and/or Mac OS anymore, but still work on Linux. I wonder if my old M-Audio Fast Track MKII, which is currently hooked up to my DAW PC, playing me some Cult of Luna, is supported by Windows 10. Well, in fact I don't really care, as it works on my setup just by plugging it into a USB port.
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