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Re: Why so many HW detection packages?

On Fri, 2002-04-26 at 15:15, Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:
> Debian seem to have lots of HW detection packages.  I've noticed the
> following (which one did I forget?):
>   pciutils

This is a very basic set of utilities for doing interesting things with
the PCI bus.  It's presence is required for some of the others to work.

>   libdetect0

This is Mandrake's old hardware detection system, which appears to be
orphaned upstream.

>   mdetect

This is a utility that detects what kind of mouse you have.  It's used
by the X server packages to autodetect your mouse.

>   discover-data, discover

This is Progeny's fork of Mandrake's detect system.  It is, I believe,
much more up-to-date, and is very useful.  It is also used by the X
server packages to autodetect video cards.

[Disclaimer: I work for Progeny; infer what bias you may.]

>   kudzu, kudzu-vesa

This is a port of Red Hat's hardware detection system.

>   hwdata

No idea.

>   hotplug-utils, hotplug

These utilities are used for hot-pluggable hardware, such as USB and
FireWire/i.Link/whatever.  They complement more "static" hardware
detection systems that configure permanently-attached hardware like PCI

>   read-edid

This utility reads Plug and Play information from monitors that support
the standard.  It's used by the X server packages to autoconfigure your
monitor.  It only works on i386, as I recall.

> Some of them will only detect and report hardware, some of them try to
> load kernel modules and/or change the configuration and some of them
> only have lists of HW available.  Can all of these packages safely be
> installed on the same machine?

I can vouch for the following combination, which I have installed on all
of my machines:

  pciutils, mdetect, discover[-data], hotplug[-utils], read-edid

> There also seem to be some overlap in the HW databases included:
>   **** libdetect0 ****
>   /usr/share/detect/pci.lst
>   /usr/share/detect/pcmcia.lst
>   /usr/share/detect/isa.lst
>   /usr/share/detect/usb.lst
>   **** discover-data ****
>   /usr/share/discover/pci.lst
>   /usr/share/discover/pcmcia.lst
>   /usr/share/discover/usb.lst

As mentioned before, discover is a fork of Mandrake detect, so this
overlap is not surprising.

> Perhaps these packages should be synchronized?

As mentioned before, detect appears to be orphaned upstream, so syncing
with discover appears to be out of the question.  I have no idea about
the others.

> Which package is the best package to install on a freshly installed
> Debian/Woody box?  I want to get all supported HW working out of the
> box?

I have had great success with the list of packages I listed above, along
with pcmcia-cs if you need PCMCIA support.

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