Help! What hardware should I buy!

I regularly get asked what hardware people should buy when making a Linux compatible system. Now these are some tips on what hardware you should buy. The topmost piece of hardware is what you ideally want. Please note, that I have selected the hardware to be as Linux compatible as possible, this means, it should work out of the box, without any effort. This does mean it’s not necessarily the fastest hardware available, this is especially true for the graphics card section.

Gigabit Ethernet network cards:

  • Intel Pro/1000
  • Broadcom Tigon 3 (usually only found onboard)
  • Marvell Yukon (D-Link DGE-530T, most more expensive cards)
  • Realtek 8169 (most cheaper cards)

Fast Ethernet networks cards:

  • Intel Pro/100
  • Sundance Alta (D-Link DFE-550TX)
  • VIA Rhine (usually only found onboard)
  • Realtek 8139 (most cheaper cards)

Graphics cards:

  • Intel onboard integrated graphics
  • ATi Radeon 9250

Motherboard chipset:

  • Intel chipsets for Intel processors
  • VIA chipsets for AMD processors
  • nVidia chipsets for AMD processors

Wireless Networking:

  • Intel Pro/Wireless
  • Atheros MadWiFi


  • HP Deskjets
  • Epson printers
  • Any PostScript capable printer (usually more expensive Laserjets)

Avoid at all times:

  • SiS chips for just about anything
  • ALi/ULi chips for just about anything
  • Broadcom Wireless
  • Lexmark printers
  • Canon printers
  • All-in-one printer/scanner monstrosities

Having listed these, I want to make a few sidenotes. For one, I’m not an Intel fanboy. But at the moment the fact is that Intel is one of the most open source friendly hardware companies in existence. The same goes for HP, HP is the only company which produces good quality Linux printer drivers for almost all it’s printers. This list probably isn’t complete, but it’s a start. And next, I wrote this list under the influence of alcohol, so don’t sue me if it doesn’t work for you.

Posted by on July 14, 2007 in Uncategorized