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Linux Operating System Howto

Linux HowTo section

4.3. Hardware

Topics covered in this section include:

Section 4.3.1 General
Section 4.3.2 Platforms
Section 4.3.3 Video Cards
Section 4.3.4 CPUs / Architectures
Section 4.3.5 CD-ROM / DVD-ROM Drives
Section 4.3.6 Optical Disks
Section 4.3.7 Keyboard and Console
Section 4.3.8 Digital Cameras
Section 4.3.9 Graphic Tablets
Section 4.3.10 Diskettes
Section 4.3.11 Hard Disks / Storage
Section 4.3.12 Jaz / ZIP Drives
Section 4.3.13 Mice
Section 4.3.14 Modems
Section 4.3.15 Printers / Scanners
Section 4.3.16 Routers
Section 4.3.17 SCSI
Section 4.3.18 Serial Ports
Section 4.3.19 MIDI / Sound Cards
Section 4.3.20 Tape Drives
Section 4.3.21 Touchscreens
Section 4.3.22 UPS
Section 4.3.23 Wireless
Section 4.3.24 Miscellaneous

4.3.1. General

  • Hardware-HOWTO, Linux Hardware Compatibility HOWTO

    Updated: Nov 2002. Lists most of the hardware supported by Linux and helps you locate any necessary drivers.

  • Unix-Hardware-Buyer-HOWTO, The Unix Hardware Buyer HOWTO

    Updated: Aug 2001. This is your one-stop resource for information about how to buy and configure Intel hardware for cheap, powerful Unix systems.

4.3.2. Platforms

  • 4mb-Laptops, 4mb Laptop HOWTO

    Updated: Apr 2000. Put a "grown-up" Linux on a small-spec (4mb RAM, <=200mb hard disk) laptop.

  • Acer-Laptop-HOWTO, Linux Installation on an Acer LapTop HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2001. Describes the installation of Linux on a Acer laptop and various issues related to this.

  • Cluster-HOWTO, Linux Cluster HOWTO

    Updated: Jun 2003. How to set up high-performance Linux computing clusters.

  • Compaq-T1500-HOWTO, CompaqT1500-Linux HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 2002. Lists the procedures and tools needed to boot the Compaq T1500, using a Netboot of both the native file system and a generic Linux installation.

  • Diskless-HOWTO, Diskless Nodes HOWTO for Linux

    Removed: November 2003. This HOWTO has been removed for review.

  • Diskless-root-NFS-HOWTO, Root over nfs clients & server HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 1999. How to setup a server and configure clients for diskless operation from a network.

  • Handspring-Visor, Handspring-Visor with Linux mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2003. Using the Visor with Linux and your USB port.

  • HP-HOWTO, HP HOWTO - Utilisation and Configuration Guide of HP Products under Linux

    Updated: Dec 2001. Describes the use of products available in the Hewlett-Packard (HP) catalog with Linux and some free software.

  • IBM7248-HOWTO, Installing GNU/Linux on the IBM RS/6000 43P model 7248 HOWTO

    Updated: Jun 2003. Describes the installation of GNU/Linux on the IBM RS/6000 43P model 7248 series.

  • JavaStation-HOWTO, Linux on the Sun JavaStation NC HOWTO

    Updated: Oct 2001. Describes how to enable the GNU/Linux OS on the Sun JavaStation NC.

  • Kiosk-HOWTO, Kiosk HOWTO

    Updated: Oct 1999. Provides a guide for setting up a WWW-based kiosk using Linux, X11R6, FVWM2, Netscape Navigator 4.X, and a customized trackball.

  • KDE-Kiosk-Mode, KDE-Kiosk-Mode HOWTO

    Archived - Last Update: Sep 2002. Describes how to invoke the kiosk mode of KDE.

    Further information can be found at:

  • Laptop-HOWTO, Linux Laptop HOWTO

    Updated: Feb 2003. Contains a concise survey of laptop-related (Linux content) documents, such as installation methods for laptops (via PCMCIA, without CD drive, etc.), laptop hardware features, and configurations for different (network) environments.

  • Mac-Terminal, The MacTerminal mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Nov 1997. How to configure the Mac for use as a Linux terminal.

  • NC-HOWTO, Linux Netstation HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2003. Describes how to hook up a IBM Netstation to your local network using a Linux box as server.

  • NCD-HOWTO, Linux NCD mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2001. Describes how to hook up a NCD ThinSTAR to your local network using a Linux box as server.

  • NCD-X-Terminal, NCD X terminal mini HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 2000. How to connect an NCD X terminal to a UNIX host.

  • openMosix-HOWTO, The openMosix HOWTO

    Updated: May 2003. A brief description to openMosix, a software package that turns a network of GNU/Linux computers into a computer cluster.

  • PalmOS-HOWTO, Palm OS Desktop HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 2002. Explains how to use your Palm OS device with a Linux system.

  • Psion-HOWTO, Linux and Psion HOWTO

    Updated: Nov 2000. How to use Psion palmtops with Linux. Does not cover running Linux on a Psion palmtop.

  • SSI-UML-HOWTO, Creating SSI Clusters Using UML HOWTO

    Updated: May 2002. A description of how to create a Single System Image (SSI) cluster of virtual User-Mode Linux (UML) machines.

  • Text-Terminal-HOWTO, Text-Terminal HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2003. Explains what text terminals are, how they work, how to install and configure them, and provides some info on how to repair them.

  • Thinclient-HOWTO, Thin Client: New User Guide

    Updated: Nov 1999. How to turn inexpensive legacy computers into fast terminals.

  • VAIO+Linux, Linux on Sony VAIO mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Sep 1998. This document explains installation of Linux on Sony VAIO computers.


    Updated: Feb 2002. Shows the embedded system community how to run Linux on their VMEbus Pentium and other PCI local bus based VMEbus processor designs.

  • Wearable-HOWTO, Wearable HOWTO

    Updated: Nov 2000. Nomadism is one of the major trends of our society, now most of the people can work with a laptop computer, but few did the next step: to live, or if you prefer to wear one computer - that is a wearable.

4.3.3. Video Cards

Also see Applications: Section 4.5.5 Multimedia : Section Video.

  • 3Dfx-HOWTO, The Linux 3Dfx HOWTO

    Updated: Feb 1998. Describes 3Dfx graphics accelerator chip support for Linux.

  • Framebuffer-HOWTO, Framebuffer HOWTO

    Updated: Feb 2000. How to use the framebuffer devices in Linux with a variety of platforms. Also includes how to set up multi-headed displays.

  • i810-HOWTO, i810 with XFree86 4.x HOWTO

    Updated: May 2001. Describes getting XFree86 4.x running on Intel's i810 graphics chipset by using special features of the 2.4.0 kernel.

  • Nvidia-OpenGL-Configuration, Nvidia OpenGL Configuration mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2002. How to install the OpenGL drivers for Nvidia graphics cards on Linux. Also explains how to install XFree86, the OpenGL Utility library (part of Mesa), the OpenGL Utility Toolkit (glut), etc.

  • XFree86-R200, ATI R200 + XFree86 4.x mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Sep 2003. Describes the procedure of making XFree 4.x run on an ATI R200 (Radeon 8xxx series).

4.3.4. CPUs / Architectures

  • Alpha-HOWTO, Brief Introduction to Alpha Systems and Processors

    Updated: Jun 1997. A brief overview of existing Alpha CPUs, chipsets and systems.

  • CPU-Design-HOWTO, CPU Design HOW-TO

    Removed: November 2003. This HOWTO has been removed for review.

  • K7s5a-HOWTO, The Elite's K7s5a mainboard HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2004. Describes how to use Elite's K7s5a board with Linux.


    Updated: Aug 2002. Describes the MIPS port of the Linux operating system, common problems and their solutions, availability and more.


    Updated: Oct 2003. Describes Linux on SPARC-based workstations.

4.3.5. CD-ROM / DVD-ROM Drives

  • CD-Writing-HOWTO, CD-Writing HOWTO

    Updated: Jul 2000. Explains how to write CD-ROMs under Linux.


    Updated: Jul 2001. How to install, configure, and use CD-ROM drives under Linux.


    Updated: Oct 2000. An easy to follow explanation on how to get DVD movie play-back in Linux.

4.3.6. Optical Disks

  • Optical-Disk-HOWTO, Linux Optical Disk HOWTO

    Updated: May 2003. Describes the installation and configuration of optical disk drives for Linux.

4.3.7. Keyboard and Console

  • Keyboard-and-Console-HOWTO, The Linux keyboard and console HOWTO

    Updated: Oct 2002. Contains some information about the Linux (v2.0) keyboard and console, and the use of non-ASCII characters.

  • BackspaceDelete, Linux Backspace/Delete mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2002. Solutions for having working Backspace and Delete keys on the console and on X.

  • Intkeyb, How to setup international keyboard in X Windows

    Updated: Nov 2002. This xmodmap and kimap solutions will work for you in setting up any international keyboard for (Debian, RedHat, Mandrake, Corel) Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and possibly every Unix that uses Xfree86 and KDE.

  • Remote-Serial-Console-HOWTO, Remote Serial Console HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 2003. Covers how to set up your hardware to use a serial console.

4.3.8. Digital Cameras

  • Kodak-Digitalcam-HOWTO, Kodak Digital Camera HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2001. Getting a Kodak digital camera working under GNU/Linux.

  • USB-Digital-Camera-HOWTO, USB Digital Camera HOWTO

    Updated: Jun 2002. Intended for the new Linux user who already has a camera with Universal Serial Bus (USB) mass storage capabilities or wants to buy one.

4.3.9. Graphic Tablets

  • Wacom-Tablet-HOWTO, Wacom Tablet HOWTO

    Updated: Aug 2001. Installation of (not only) Wacom graphic tablets under linux and/or xfree86.

  • Wacom-USB-mini-HOWTO, Wacom Graphire USB Mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Jun 2000. How to setup a Wacom Graphire USB tablet for use with Linux.

4.3.10. Diskettes

  • Automount, Automount mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2002. Describes the autofs automounter, how to configure it; points out some problems to avoid.

4.3.11. Hard Disks

  • Antares-RAID-sparcLinux-HOWTO, Antares-RAID-sparcLinux-HOWTO

    Updated: May 2002. Describes how to install, configure, and maintain a hardware RAID built around the 5070 SBUS host based RAID controller by Antares Microsystems.


    Updated: May 2002. Explains how to install Linux on an Intel Pentium compatible computer with an ATA RAID Controller (onboard chip or seperate card), single or multiple processors and at least two hard disks.

  • Clone-HOWTO, HOWTO Clone Disk Images on Linux Booted from a Network

    Updated: Sep 2002. Describes a setup that allows a machine to boot Linux from BOOTP/TFTP, using the Grub boot loader, and save and restore disk and partition images to and from a TFTP server.

  • CSPM-HOWTO, Complete System Performance Monitor HOWTO

    Updated: Jun 2003. Provides an overview of the Complete System Performance Monitor, including a description of the product and installation and configuration information.

  • Disk-Encryption-HOWTO, Disk Encryption HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2003. A method is described for encrypting a hard disk, either in whole or in part, with the encryption key stored on an external medium for increased security.

  • DPT-Hardware-RAID, Linux DPT Hardware RAID mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Feb 2002. How to set up hardware RAID under Linux.

  • Encrypted-Root-Filesystem-HOWTO, Encrypted Root Filesystem HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2003. Explains how to make your personal data secure by encrypting your Linux root filesystem using strong cryptography.

  • Hard-Disk-Upgrade, Hard Disk Upgrade Mini HOWTO

    Updated: Apr 2000. How to copy a Linux system from one hard disk to another.

  • Large-Disk-HOWTO, Large Disk HOWTO

    Updated: Aug 2001. All about disk geometry and the 1024 cylinder limit for disks.

  • Linux-Promise-RAID1-HOWTO, Linux Migration to Promise RAID Card HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 2003. Outlines the steps of how to migrate an existing (Red Hat) Linux install onto a Promise TX2 Card for the purposes of RAID-1 Mirroring.

  • Multi-Disk-HOWTO, HOWTO: Multi Disk System Tuning

    Updated: May 2002. How best to use multiple disks and partitions for a Linux system.

  • Ultra-DMA, The Linux Ultra-DMA Mini-Howto

    Updated: Dec 2001. How to use Ultra-DMA aka Ultra-ATA aka Ultra33 and Ultra66 hard drives and interfaces with Linux.

4.3.12. Jaz and ZIP Drives

  • Jaz-Drive-HOWTO, Jaz-drive HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2000. Covers the configuration and use of the 1Gb and 2Gb Iomega Jaz drives under Linux.

  • ZIP-Drive, Zip Drive Mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 2002. Provides a quick reference quide on setting up and using the Iomega ZIP drive with Linux.

  • ZIP-Install, Installing Linux on ZIP disk using ppa ZIP Drive Mini-Howto

    Updated: Jan 1998. This document is only useful for those with the printer port version of a ZIP drive who wish to have either a portable or backup Linux system on a ZIP disk.

4.3.13. Mice

  • 3-Button-Mouse, The 3 Button Serial Mouse mini-HOWTO

    Updated: May 1998. How to get a 3 button serial mouse working properly under Linux.

4.3.14. Modems

  • ACP-Modem, Linux ACP Modem (Mwave) mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Jul 2002. Describes how to build, setup, and use the ACP (Mwave) Modem feature of the IBM Thinkpad[tm] 600E, 600, and 770x.

  • Cable-Modem, Cable Modem Providers HOWTO

    Updated: Jun 2001. Answers basic questions on how to connect your Linux box to cable modem or cable Internet provider.

  • Conexant+Rockwell-modem-HOWTO, Conexant/Rockwell modem HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 2002. A guide to using Conexant and Rockwell chipset based Software modems under Linux.

  • Linmodem-HOWTO, Linmodem-Mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Feb 2001. Describes Linmodem (winmodem hardware) support under Linux.

  • Linux-Modem-Sharing Modem sharing mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Aug 2001. Describes how to setup a Linux system in order to share a modem attached to this system with other systems over a TCP/IP network.

  • Modem-HOWTO, Modem HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2003. Help with selecting, connecting, configuring, trouble-shooting, and understanding modems for a PC.

  • Modem-Dialup-NT-HOWTO, Modem-Dialup-NT HOW-TO

    Removed: November 2003. This HOWTO has been removed for review.

  • Motorola-Surfboard-Modem, Motorola Surfboard 4100 + 4200 Series USB Cable Modem mini-HOWTO

    Updated: May 2003. Written to assist the Linux user in setting up the Motorola Surfboard 4000 series of cable modems.

  • PCTel-MicroModem-Config, PCTel HSP MicroModem Configuration mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2002. Make your PCTel HSP MicroModem work in Linux.

  • Winmodems-and-Linux-HOWTO, Winmodems-and-Linux HOWTO

    Updated: Apr 2001. Helps users get a Winmodem working under Linux.

4.3.15. Printers / Scanners

  • Debian-and-Windows-Shared-Printing, Debian and Windows Shared Printing mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2004. Demonstrates how to use command-line tools to configure your Debian system for printing. It explains how to send documents from Linux to Windows printers and how to share Linux printers with Windows PCs.

  • Printing-HOWTO, The Linux Printing HOWTO

    Updated: Jun 2003. A collection of information on how to generate, preview, print and fax anything under Linux (and other Unices in general).

  • Scanner-HOWTO, The Scanner HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2004. Documents the steps necessary for access and use of a photographic scanner device on a system running Linux.

4.3.16. Routers

  • Linksys-Blue-Box-Router-HOWTO, Linksys Blue Box Router HOWTO

    Updated: Jul 2003. Hints and tips for managing Linksys routers from a Linux system, including the firmware upgrade procedure.

4.3.17. SCSI

  • SCSI-2.4-HOWTO, The Linux 2.4 SCSI subsystem HOWTO

    Updated: May 2003. Describes the SCSI subsystem as the Linux kernel enters the 2.4 production series. An external view of the SCSI subsystem is the main theme. Material is included to help the system administration of the Linux SCSI subsystem.

  • SCSI-Generic-HOWTO, The Linux SCSI Generic (sg) HOWTO

    Updated: May 2002. Describes the SCSI Generic driver (sg) found in the Linux 2.4 production series of kernels. Focuses on the interface and characteristics of the driver that application writers may need to know.

  • SCSI-Programming-HOWTO, The Linux SCSI programming HOWTO

    Archived - Last Update: May 1996. Deals with programming the Linux generic SCSI interface.

    Check the SCSI-Generic-HOWTO for more current information.

4.3.18. Serial Ports

  • Serial-HOWTO, Serial HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2003. Describes serial port features other than those which should be covered by other HOWTOs. Lists information on multiport serial cards and contains detailed technical information about the serial port itself.

  • Boca, Installing Boca Card Mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2001. Describes the basics of a Boca 16-port serial card (Boca 2016) with Linux.

  • Serial-Laplink-HOWTO, Serial Laplink HOWTO

    Updated: Jul 2001. Details how to setup a “laplink” connection between two computers.

  • Remote-Serial-Console-HOWTO, Remote Serial Console HOWTO

    Updated: Mar 2003. Covers how to set up your hardware to use a serial console.

4.3.19. Sound Cards

Also see Applications: Section 4.5.5 Multimedia : Section Sound.


    Updated: May 2002. Describes the hardware, software and procedures needed to play and sequence using MIDI under Linux.

  • Soundblaster-AWE, Sound Blaster AWE 32/64 HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 1998. How to install and configure a Sound Blaster 32 (SB AWE 32, SB AWE 64) card from Creative Labs in a Linux System using the AWE Sound Driver Extension written by Takashi Iwai. It also covers some special tools and players for the SB AWE series.

4.3.20. Tape Drives

  • Ftape-HOWTO, Ftape HOWTO

    Updated: Aug 1998. Discusses essential do's and dont's for the ftape floppy tape driver under Linux. Focuses on the newest version (ftape-4.02 at the time of this writing).

4.3.21. Touchscreens

4.3.22. UPS


    Updated: Oct 2003. Teaches you things you need to know to select a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) intelligently and make it work with your open-source operating system.

4.3.23. Wireless

  • Wireless-HOWTO, Wireless HOWTO for Linux Systems

    Updated: Jul 2002. Document explains how to setup Wireless in Linux, compatibility problems, something about geographic requirements and more.

  • Infrared-HOWTO, Linux Infrared HOWTO

    Updated: Jun 2003. Introduction to Linux and infrared devices and how to use the software provided by the Linux/IrDA project.

  • Wireless-Link-sys-WPC11, Link-sys WPC11 Mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Jul 2003. How to set up a Wireless Link-Sys WPC11 card using a Link-SYS Wireless Access Point/DSL/Switch on a Debian system.

  • Wireless-Sync-HOWTO, Wireless Sync HOWTO

    Updated: Dec 2001. Explains how to perform a wireless, network sync between a Handspring Visor and jpilot or jpilot-sync.

4.3.24. Miscellaneous

  • ACPI-HOWTO, ACPI: Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

    Updated: Jul 2003. Outlines how to patch a kernel for ACPI support; which allows control of power management from within the operating system.

  • Athlon-Powersaving-HOWTO, Athlon Powersaving HOWTO

    Updated: Oct 2003. How to enable the power-saving functionality of the Athlon/Duron/AthlonXP processor on some motherboards/chipsets.

  • Clock, The Clock Mini-HOWTO

    Updated: Nov 2000. How to set and keep your computer's clock on time.

  • IO-Perf-HOWTO, I/O Performance HOWTO

    Updated: May 2002. Covers information on available patches for the 2.4 kernel that will improve the I/O performance of your Linux operating system.

  • MP3-Box-HOWTO, MP3 Player Box HOWTO

    Updated: Apr 2001. Describes how to build, configure, install, and use a custom MP3 player box. It lists the necessary hardware and answers a number of frequently asked questions.


    Updated: Jun 2001. Information on what works with Linux and PCI-boards and what does not.


    Updated: Feb 2002. How to install and use PCMCIA Card Services for Linux.

  • Plug-and-Play-HOWTO, The Linux Plug-and-Play HOWTO

    Updated: Aug 2003. How to get your Linux system to support Plug-and-Play.

  • Smart-Card-HOWTO, Smart Card HOWTO

    Updated: Sep 2001. Information on smart card technology and its applications in Linux environment.

  • VCR-HOWTO, VCR-HOWTO - Using your GNU/Linux computer as a VCR

    Updated: Jul 2001. A guide to setting up your GNU/Linux workstation as a digital VCR using the video4linux driver and a supported tuner card.

  • Webcam-HOWTO, The Webcam HOWTO

    Updated: Jan 2004. Assists the reader in the steps necessary to configure and use a webcam within the Linux operating system.

  • Xterminals, Connecting X Terminals to Linux Mini-HOWTO

    Updated: May 2003. How to connect X Terminals with a Linux host using nfs, xfs, xdm and xdmcp.

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