Local Linux site rates hardware compatibility

A local Linux enthusiast has set up a website for New Zealand Linux users to swap information about compatible and incompatible hardware.

A local Linux enthusiast has set up a website for New Zealand Linux users to swap information about compatible and incompatible hardware.

Auckland computer programmer Jonathon Horsman says he created the New Zealand Linux Hardware Project site so New Zealanders could get information about the hardware available in this country. PC hardware routinely ships with Windows support, but Linux support varies widely.

Similar sites exist overseas, but Horsman says they’re of limited use to New Zealanders.

“There’s no extensive use of such sites that I’m aware of,” he says. “Hardware is regional. I thought it was a good opportunity to write my own customised version.”

Products are rated out of 10, and visitors can leave comments, such as the version of the Linux kernel the hardware was tested with and any configuration settings that are needed.

The website is also aimed at vendors.

“Hopefully hardware vendors will recognise they’re doing poorly and remedy the situation,” Horsman says, although he does concede that Linux support is improving.

“I know it’s getting better. You couldn’t buy a PC without Windows on it at one stage.”

The website also has lists of the 10 best and worst manufacturers, and the 10 best and worst suppliers. When Computerworld visited, the sample sizes were too small to draw realistic conclusions.

Other features such as reviews are being considered, Horsman says.

Horsman has written the site in Java, using open-source tools such as Apache’s Struts framework and Tomcat servlet container, and the Postgres database.

Meanwhile, a website that allows system managers to share information about open source vulnerabilities went live earlier this month. Although the Open Source Vulnerability Database boasts the open source moniker in its title and has been built with open source tools, it includes vulnerabilities in proprietary software in its listings.

The site is intended to be “an unbiased, vendor neutral vulnerability database.” It can be found here.

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