November 19, 2018

How to Install a Device Driver on Linux

...most default Linux drivers are open source and integrated into the system, which makes installing any drivers that are not included quite complicated, even though most hardware devices can be automatically detected. 

To learn more about how Linux drivers work, I recommend reading An Introduction to Device Drivers in the book Linux Device Drivers.

Two approaches to finding drivers

1. User interfaces

If you are new to Linux and coming from the Windows or MacOS world, you'll be glad to know that Linux offers ways to see whether a driver is available through wizard-like programs. Ubuntu offers the Additional Drivers option. Other Linux distributions provide helper programs, like Package Manager for GNOME, that you can check for available drivers.

2. Command line

What if you can't find a driver through your nice user interface application? Or you only have access through the shell with no graphic interface whatsoever? Maybe you've even decided to expand your skills by using a console. You have two options:

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