Due to the use of obsolete kernels, about 13% of new users experience hardware compatibility problems

Without a doubt one of the big problems in the Linux - new user relationship is the issue of compatibility hardware and even as more support is added with each new version of Linux (every two months), the problem continues to be a factor in why many users end up moving away from Linux.

And it is that strictly speaking of the kernel, that is, the part that manages the resources of the computer and serves as a communication bridge between the different components and is the invisible part of the operating system, the most recent version is not included in most of Linux distributions.

In addition, many of them are based on the inclusion of LTS versions or are focused on low-resource teams, so including the most recent version of Linux is not a viable option.

The reason for touching on this topic is that Linux-Hardware.org has recently released information based on the collected telemetry data for a year, that using 'outdated' or 'older versions' kernels creates compatibility problems with the hardware for 13% of new to new users.

A pretty clear example of the situation is that of the majority of Ubuntu users in which during the past year they were offered version 5.4 of the kernel. This is more than a year and a half behind the current version 5.13 in terms of hardware support.

While on the other hand the distributions that are Rolling-Release (continuous release) offer not only newer kernels, but the entire system package is constantly updated, but the only and big problem they suffer is their low popularity compared to other distributions.

Linus himself admits that this is why the operating system is struggling to establish itself in the desktop computer industry.

And even we could justify that said number given by Linux-Hardware.org is not exact or that the figures presented do not represent all Linux users, since to a large extent the results presented are based on Linux-Hardware's own compilations. org taken by all those who used the «hwinfo» tool.

That is, not every Linux user has the tool installed and the results are based on a small group of users, but even so the figures presented are quite disappointing.

Since for example in the area of ​​BT devices (bluetooth) the figures shown would tell us that in this area Linux covers over 95% (the highest of all areas), but of the other areas the figures shown are simply catastrophic.

About the topic already many users have expressed their experiences about compatibility issues with Linux and even though many users have agreed that the use of versions prior to the most recent of Linux has caused problems with some hardware component, what if it draws attention (at least personally) is that there are users who exclaim otherwise.

That is to say, when using the most recent version, they have problems with some hardware component, which should not happen, unless your equipment has components from more than 20 years ago, the situation would be reasonable.

I have the opposite problem with my laptop. Kernels newer than 5.0 cause the system to hang after a minute or two running on battery power. I'm assuming some kind of power management issue, but since no logs are being produced, it's basically impossible to fix. I am fully aware that 5.0 is no longer "supported", but "support" means nothing if the system is not actually working.

Finally, I must mention that this situation will be the bread and butter as long as the manufacturers of the hardware components are not the ones who provide the support for Linux and this is a rather difficult case that can happen.

If you want to know more about it, I invite you to see or join the discussion created within reddit forums or you can check the information he released Linux-Hardware.org.


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  1.   Miguel Rodriguez said

    I think that a universal database for drivers removed from the linux kernel should be made, which can be installed once the incompatibility or lack of recognition of some component is recognized, then the corresponding one is searched among the universal driver repositories for linux.