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how good is hardware detection in debian? In RH9, I could simply unplug my HD and move it to another computer and it would detect and install everything perfectly. I dont expect this from Debian, but it would be nice!
The new debian installer does exceptional hardware detection. And I believe kudzu is being ported to Debian for runtime hardware detection. As is, I think you can install the discover package and get some assistance from that in the hardware detection arena.
Anaconda from Red Hat is either being, or has been, ported to Debian by Progeny, a company that supports both Red Hat and Debian GNU/Linux software. The Debian discover project, contributed by Progeny and others, also has pretty good hardware detection. Finally, the Knoppix project, a Live CD to hard disk Debian implementation, has some of the finest hardware detection around. Between these three efforts, you have an excellent chance to get support for the kind of hardware that you're using.
I'm using a Knoppix 3.2 install on a laptop, which has been basically cool after being a RedHat user for a few years. The only prob I have is when I change PCMCIA cards - I only have one working slot (hey, the notebook was free). I just changed out the modem card for a 3C5974 LAN card that formerly worked fine in the same machine. No beeps, nothing. Even tho the right module is loading on startup, it's not associating with the card. Kudzu seems to want to delete all my config files, network card or no, and my primitive attempts at restarting the networking & PCMCIA services have yielded no joy. So:
* What tools are available in Debian to pick up new/modified hardware?
* What can I try to get the beast to see the LAN card again?
I'm running a 2.4.22 kernel I compiled - are there any compilation-specific options that need to be enabled, or will a later kernel work better?
I solved my problem, after I cooled down a bit ...
I recompiled my kernel again, adding ISA & EISA PNP support, but probably more specifically support for PCMCIA I82092 & I 82365 bridges, as well as IDE multimode, this after getting "status=0x51" errors when trying to mount a CD.