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Old 08-28-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
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Question How would I know what to modprobe, what to m-a a-i, etc for hardware?

In general Debian's hardware support is great, but occasionally I need to modprobe a driver or run 'm-a a-i ___' . This often seems to work but its just due to random stumble-upons over the net.

How do people know which hardware and the corresponding software to do this with?
Old 08-28-2008, 04:46 PM   #2
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modprobe -l|more = List all available kernel modules

lspci = Will display pci devices on you're system

lsusb = Will display usb devices

lsmod = Display loaded modules

I have used lspci and lsusb to find my hardware. Then I do the modprobe -l|more to try and match a module with a hardware device. The modprobe -l |more command will display drivers by type. Example below:

$ modprobe -l


Hope this helps a bit.

Last edited by wernerz; 08-28-2008 at 04:48 PM.
Old 09-19-2008, 02:13 PM   #3
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Ok but recently I got an older webcam; when I plug it in I get this:

$ dmesg
[19490.687420] usb 4-1.4: new full speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 6
[19490.782448] usb 4-1.4: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[19490.783932] usb 4-1.4: New USB device found, idVendor=05a9, idProduct=8519
[19490.783940] usb 4-1.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
[19490.783944] usb 4-1.4: Product: USB Camera
[19490.783947] usb 4-1.4: Manufacturer: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.

$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 413c:3010 Dell Computer Corp. Optical Wheel Mouse
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 006: ID 05a9:8519 OmniVision Technologies, Inc. OV519 WebCam
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0424:2504 Standard Microsystems Corp. USB 2.0 Hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

So I now know that this USB device is also known as '05a9:8519' -- but what driver would I search for to match this device?
Old 09-19-2008, 03:05 PM   #4
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:16 PM   #5
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Thanks; I was hoping for something within apt/aptitude or even within some sort of official Debian HCL website.

I was able to google the driver for this before the post, but my question is: how would I know that if, say, there were no results from my websearch? How would I know that if someone didn't spend the time making these websites?

Where would I point a newbie to find drivers for their hardware, without hoping they'll stumble across it on various weblinks that may be relevant but are "wrong" in their eyes because the branding is different on the casing?

How is this done without a websearch?
Old 09-25-2008, 02:53 PM   #6
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The web is your documentation for Linux, whenever you deal with various hardware you will end up doing some searching t find out which module to load or what driver to use. I prefer to search BEFORE I buy hardware to find a device that is well supported in Linux. That reduces the amount of custom modules that need installed or compiled.

The Internet is your documentation for Windows as well. The issues I ran into on my Production MS SQL Server and our MS Dynamics AX Accounting system today would not have been resolved in a timely fashion without Google, and the various other bits of documentation out there on the web. We spent around $250,000.00 on the accounting system and licensing and I still end up searching the Internet for answers. Kinda sick isn't it ?


drivers, hardware, ma, modprobe

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