Managing Hardware and Software in Linux

Hardware in Linux is actually much easier to manage than hardware on Windows. Instead of downloading individual drivers for devices, most of the drivers are built-in to the OS itself. This means that most popular devices can simply be installed with no further steps involved before they are usable. Printers, networks, hard drives, and other common devices are included- fiddling with drivers is not usually needed on Linux.

However, powerful graphics cards and other specific hardware will need proprietary drivers from that company to function to full efficiency. Because although your graphics card works by default with Linux, the secret and often hidden technology within can only be fully utilized with that company’s software. On Ubuntu the process is straightforward- open the “additional drivers” application and let the OS search for you. After determining whether you have the devices, it will ask you which version of the driver to use. Follow any on-screen prompts to enable the 3rdparty drivers. For any devices that do not appear, do Internet research on the manufacturer’s website to determine whether they released a specific Linux driver that you can download.

Software is another aspect of Linux that excels over Windows. Much like an Apple computer, Ubuntu has an app store of sorts from which you can search through repositories of applications that are compatible with your device to download and install with just a few clicks. Just search for the “Ubuntu Software Center” from dash to open the application. From there you can browse individual categories such as “Games”, “Office”, or “System” for a list of programs, or you can search directly by name. After finding a program, click on it and then queue up the download by clicking “install”. After authenticating yourself the software will automatically download and install. From there, the application can be run by searching for it in the dash.

Another method of installing software is available through the terminal, but we will discuss that later. Ubuntu is not totally limited to software found in the app store, because programs downloaded from the Internet can also be installed. Once again, we will touch on that subject after discussing the terminal.

Overall, managing hardware and software in Ubuntu is effortless. Whether installing a new hardware device or downloading a popular program, Linux distributions make you’re computing experience trouble-free. That is not to say that Linux is wholly meant for beginners, because as we will learn Linux is definitely a great choice for power users and experienced admins.