We need a new Hardware Database for Ubuntu which is more accessible and easier to use than the current one.


People around the globe that are using/concidering using Ubuntu are afraid that some of their hardware won't work for them. And some are frustrated to buy additional add-on cards to work around unsupportad onboard chips. All this could be avoided with a lookup in an ubuntu Hardware Database Website.

Some problematic hardware can be used with more or less work if helping information is available together with the hardware compatabillity data.

Use cases

Boris speaks only Russian so he find the current hardware database very hard to understand and the data he is able to find is lacking so therefore he decides that Ubuntu & Linux is a no go for him.

Abdullah are thinking of migrating his company's computers to Ubuntu to get stabillity and save money on the long run. He visits the new Hardware Database - which is presented to him in Arabic - and finds that all of his current hardware will work for him.

Klaus wants to build a PC for himself and one for his customer. When choosing the Mainboard, he need to know what onboard components are supported by which version of ubuntu, browsable by chipset name and mainboard name.

Hannah is still using Breezy Badger and insisting on not upgrading. She really wants to buy a the graphics card X that can help her 3D modelling but she is unsure if X will work with Breezy Badger so she checks the new Hardware Database and finds that it will work with some minor adjustments (covered in a guide) which she can read by clicking on a link.

John notices many reports of a bug in his program that he is unable to reproduce. He really wishes he could see what video cards were being used by those reporters.


  • Website for browsing of data integrated into
    • Integration of Forum, for example search results also list forum posts under the HW DB results
  • Integration of automatically detected hardware on installation
    • Possibly a front-end in Python
      • button to submit currently used hardware by the user to the HW DB, (s)he may select "works", "does not work"... and add not detected hardware

Data storage

Right now I'm my brain there are two types of data, hardware data and translations. Translations will be contained in XML-files to make it easy to use and for people to translate. Actual hardware data and all that comes with it will be stored in a MySQL database.


Linux-Tested Compatibility Testing



  • Would be nice if the database also includes suggestions (web links) on where to buy said supported hardware. So in a way, the database will also be our shopping stop Smile :) Currently, there is no database providing that kind of service (list of supported hardware that you can click on to buy) --towsonu2003

    • Sounds like a good idea. For Swedish users it will work without a problem because there is this big price comparison site ( that offers you to show information about a particular product and show the cheapest price, right on your site :). It also would give the site some money (every click(unique IP) gives 0.75 SEK ~ about 0,08€ or 0,11$). - TomasGustavsson

    • Pricegrabber for USA, maybe ebay for abroad- might work? But of course I mean direct links to the sellers product page:) --towsonu2003
      • If they have a dynamic system so you can show particular price information about that product alone it would work. I assume you mean that? - TomasGustavsson

* I think it is important that people understand what they are buying and why free software matters. Right now people don't really understand the importance of it and are getting harmed by companies tailored to the GNU/Linux crowd who don't really get it either. Even the maintainers of the kernel don't get it. It's a sad situation. We should be focusing on companies who sell what amount to faulty products or preventing them from partaking in any system. Even though I'm not suggesting Ubuntu abandon all non-free software in its distribution- it should frown and discourage it (extra clicks for instance). I'm not RMS and won't say it should be excluded completely-segregation suffices for now. It is your choice and I think we need to make sure people can make the right choices when buying new hardware.chris-errtech

  • Would be a good idea to indicate which hardware uses open source drivers. Propriety drivers are being included in newer version of Ubuntu (which I believe is necessary for general acceptance by computing public). But we should as much as possible encourage users to buy hardware with open source drivers and so encourage hardware manufactures to release open-source drivers. By making it clearly visible which hardware uses open source drivers (with some explanation of why open-source drivers are better) we make it easier for users to pick hardware using open-source drivers. -RmsMit

  • I would also suggest that a Ubuntu client (possibly the front-end mentioned above) be used to test the hardware support for the users machine, comparing the results with that of the HardwareDatabase and showing the user any suggestion / links the HardwareDatabase has on getting the hardware working. The hardware testing results and users comments (links to resources s/he used etc) could then be uploaded back to the HardwareDatabase. Note:- I think a Ubuntu hardware client like this should probably be a separate but closely related project (HardwareTestTool). -RmsMit

  • It would also be nice to have a tool for the common Operating Systems (windows , Mac etc . . .) that would collect the hardware infomation for the machine it is run on and fetch the information from the HardwareDatabase for the support offered by Ubuntu. This could be as simple as the tools printing out a report which is then pasted into a textbox on the HardwareDatabase which would then show you Ubuntu support for the specific hardware on your machine. (I believe Debian offers something like this) PS maybe this should also come under HarwareTestTool - RmsMit

  • where is the mentioned "currnet Hardware Databse" ?! No I did not find it by searching the ubuntu website. Please set a link on this page or mail klaus at thanks

BetterHardwareDatabase (last edited 2019-09-29 19:36:14 by linuxhw)