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Old 06-14-2004, 09:27 PM   #1
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Question Installed vs. Compiled Drivers, Which To Use?

Hello all, I am a new to the Linux world and have a question. I am a programmer, but some of the Linux concepts are new to me, so hopefully this question does not sound too stupid.

I am wondering about Linux drivers. That is, the drivers that are installed with it by default, versus the source code/drivers from a manufacturer's website.

For example, I have Fedora Core 2 Kernel 2.6.6 installed, and it has drivers to handle the onboard Highpoint RAID (HPT370) controller chip. However, the drive seems a bit slow, and I am thinking that it might run much better if I download the Linux source from Highpoint's website and compile the driver (which unfortunately won't compile because some of the header files are missing in kernel 2.6.6, but that's a post for another forum).

A parallel example in Windows would be to install Windows with an nVidia graphic card. Yes, Windows comes with an nVidia driver, but it is garbage. If you are serious about playing games, you will want to go to nVidia's website and install their driver.

Is the same true with Linux generally, or do they already locate the best/fastest drivers out there and include them with the install, so I should not worry about it?
Old 06-14-2004, 09:41 PM   #2
bruno buys
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Is the same true with Linux generally, or do they already locate the best/fastest drivers out there and include them with the install, so I should not worry about it?

Well, depends on the distro. To my knowledge, the drivers are the best/fastest possible, I mean, they have to be free software also, to be included on a distro. The nvidia drivers are not free software, so they can't be included.

Concerning drivers compilation, you have to have the kernel sources and headers installed on your system. But I can't tell you much beyond that. I didn't try it much.


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