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100% hardware coverage - is it a realistic goal?




Hi there.

Apologies in advance if this issue is already addressed somewhere in the Debian universe.

Last night it occurred to me that my specific model of laptop, the Samsung RF711-so7uk, has some hardware features that could use some close attention.

Rather than plead to users, developers, Debian etc. to "do the job 100%" I thought a more modest enquiry would be appropriate.

How much of the hardware in your machine is directly supported by Debian? As a percentage like "supported/present" I don't know. If there was a package that displayed it then I could try connecting devices to see how that changed and pick the best one.

A crude metric for sure, but better than a compass.

What then about the "21st century" features: OpenGL, WebGL 1.0/2.0, Wayland...?

The Debian version of google-chrome (Chromium) from Jessie supports WebGL 1.0 whereas the direct-from-google version (google-chrome Version 56.0.2924.87 (64-bit)) doesn't support the installed hardware.

The installed hardware being (from lspci)
- VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
 - 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108M [GeForce GT 540M] (rev ff)
- Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
(from lsusb)
148f:7601 Ralink Technology, Corp.

I started using the Ralink/Mediatek usb wifi adapter after the Broadcom one had problems.
And it took a download from Fedora for the firmware to work:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1264631

I realise that as a community-driven project, gauging how much of your users hardware is supported is a niche topic.

Could Debian have an install option to be allowed to query the installed hardware so it can build a database of hardware configurations Debian is installed on, like popcon?

Then you would have metrics: how many machines, how many types of each machine, how many instances of each device type, ...

You could then tag a bug report with your configuration hash(es) and have a better chance that someone else using the same hardware would be able to help.

Possibilities abound!

Regards,
Philip Ashmore