Finding Supported Hardware

Having a searchable list/database of supported hardware is always a good thing and something we don’t currently have. This recent thread in the Advocacy forum suggests a layout similar to Haiku’s hardware page.

We can add a similar page to the PC-BSD website, but definitely need your help researching information to include. Beyond the FreeBSD Hardware list and the FreeBSD Laptop compatability list, are you aware of other lists of supported hardware? Are you aware of any OEMs that provide supported hardware?

Also, we’re looking for suggestions on where to put this info on the website so it is easy to find. Is there a current entry in the menu bar that makes sense to link to? Should another entry be added to the red menu bar or the white area above it? Should a button be added somewhere else on the main page? If so, any takers on designing such button?

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Written by dru. Posted in hardware

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Comments (9)

  • kmf
    September 7, 2010 at 6:03 am |

    I would suggest that we have a look at

    Maybe if we engage with Fedora Project they might give us some source code to web service ?

    • September 7, 2010 at 7:23 am |

      nycbug.orgInteresting project and you get an idea of the software involved at

      Some points from this effort that I see interesting to include in our own:

      – integration with BSDstats (I can talk to Marc about this)

      – integration with NYCBUG’s dmesgd (;SQLIMIT=20) — I can talk to George about this

      – icons users can append to an entry to indicate whether or not it worked for them (though the ability to add comments containing details would be more useful)

  • Manuel Trujillo
    September 7, 2010 at 6:21 am |

    What about to use the Smolt (I think this is the correct name) database? Seems like it is a Fedora project (, but maybe you could make your own implementation, or make any type of collaboration with them.
    Have a nice day ­čśë

  • September 7, 2010 at 6:21 am |

    I think putting this information on the Support page makes sense. Perhaps under the link to the Users Handbook? So the page reads:

    PC-BSD Users Handbook
    Knowledge Base & FAQs
    Hardware compatibility list
    Browse the support forums
    Mailing lists
    PC-BSD German Community

  • Yurkis
    September 7, 2010 at 6:44 am |

    Also would be good to develop hardware check application for liveCD which uses those database (seems like in OpenSolaris).

  • Przemys┼éaw Pawe┼éczyk
    September 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm |


    There are three ways to gather information to “searchable list/database of supported hardware”:

    1. Request the information from users (random input),
    2. Squeeze them out from users throu “do you agree to hardware polling” (similar to Debian’s initiative) (sort of regular input),
    3. Perform data mining in existing databases (text flat and advanced) (most detailed).

    Which one is more expensive in terms of time, money, and programing? Are they worth the efforts? What about “syndrome of lack of interest” after some time of inception?

    thnewguy ( – one of forum readers – suggested a hardware database which focused on OEM solutions as opposed to bare hardware solutions.

    I would go a little further.

    Most motherboard manufacturers offer their products based on chipset “families”. All cheap MoBos are all-in-one types and are based mostly on a few chips – processor, two chips of “north+south bridge”, audio and video chips, and network chip.

    All-in-One motherboards are most popular and most appealing to buyers with thin pockets. So, that’s where potential PC-BSD users can be found.

    The same chipset families are used by different vendors. It would suffice to check only chipset family if it is compatible with PC-BSD software – mainly through video driver – to have good portion of knowledge about PC-BSD hardware compatibility.

    For example – my All-in-One AsRock MoBo comprises of AMD Athlon/Phenom processors’ socket, AMD 785G and AMD SB710 chipset (north and south bridges accordingly), embedded AMD Radeon HD 4200 graphics GPU, embedded ACL 622 Audio Codec, and embedded RTL8111DL gigabit LAN integrated circuit.

    The same MoBos, or rather – with the same chipset family – are offered by other manufactures – Asus, Gigabyte, etc.

    That said, I would not go for the most costly solution (third point). It would be a waste of time, money and human resources.


  • Przemys┼éaw Pawe┼éczyk
    September 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |

    I forget to add that former version of PC-BSD didn’t work on my MoBo – Xorg didn’t provide PC-BSD with proper Radeon driver. PC-BSD 8.1 works excellent.

    I would underline the fact to broader audience – you do not have NVidia GPUs to run PC-BSD!

    As for now the NVidia GPU is recommended for those who need 3D graphics. All other users can run PC-BSD on cheap AMD GPUs embedded in motherboards without problems. (It needs to be checked for new AMD chipsets.)


    • Przemys┼éaw Pawe┼éczyk
      September 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm |

      You do not have to have Nvidia GPUs to run PC-BSD – of course!
      I beg your pardon.

  • Przemys┼éaw Pawe┼éczyk
    September 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm |

    Follow-up on PC-BSD Forums::General::Advocacy:

    P.S. I think all the comments, remarks or suggestions should be kept in Advocacy Department – e.g. in one place.

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