Here's an old post I made on the subject,
In such cases, you're usually told not to use noname crap hardware made in Laos, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Singapore, North Korea, China etc. (as if there is any other kind, nowadays), be given a pointer to some high-end, TOTL piece of hardware and be directed to a newegg.com link or somesuch.
How about weird firmware pieces which take extensive googling?
Perversely, the noname Bangladeshi hardware (usually in the form of some crappy chipset) will be found in about 99% of market offering, except of course the "Golden" Wunderwaffe ultra-stable, ultra-compatible and ultra-supported hardware that apparently every linux fanboy seems to use.
OK, there IS better hardware out there, but if your NIC says "Realtek" on it, don't bother: it will be out of your league (and wallet).
If you come from Windows where everybody uses whatever crappy hardware with Bangladeshi driver, a big warm "fuck you" will be all the "support" you'll be getting from most lunix communities.
That's only half the job: with most distros you need to set up a temporary off-line repository, so unless you have the data AND the knowledge to set it up, you're screwed (assuming you don't have to download any additionl packages to set up the repository itself...). And don't say you can "just google for it" ;-)
Yeah. But there is "download something on computer A, put it on floppy/USB stick/external hard drive/whatever, plug said media in Internet-less computer B" -- it's something that might happen!
Until the -apparently too innovative- concept of a platform-standard, executable, pre-compiled, self-contained installer for applictions AND drivers becomes commonplace on linux, such scenarios will always happen (only major exception I'm aware of: proprietary ATI/AMD drivers, and we know how much the community "loves" proprietary, binary blobs...)
Last edited by Maes on Mar 3 2013 at 23:18