Linux on the Label!

Anyone that uses Linux regularly is familiar with the "Google to see if it works under Linux" procedure before buying any hardware. I was thrilled when I saw the ad for a USB Atari 2600 joystick clone that had a label on the box claiming its Linux compatibility.

How cool!


Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

"I saw the ad for a USB

Spuffler's picture

"I saw the ad for a USB Atari 2600 joystick clone that had a label on the box claiming its Linux compatibility."

You're kidding, right? shows that the 2600 was almost gone by the time Linus Torvalds started writing his earliest kernel code. I can't see how such a 'label' would be there because Atari put it on their joystick boxes.

and USB

goblin's picture

... and USB1.0 is from 1996, so it's pretty clear that it's not the Atari original joystick, but a clone with USB.

... Like the text says....

... The text... you know, the piece you quoted...

... Without reading it, or noticing the USB + clone parts...

The key word is "clone"

Ennoil's picture

This joystick is not FOR an Atari 2600. It is meant to LOOK like one for use with games that a joystick is helpful.

Using 'Linux friendly' as perchasing power

Anonymous's picture

I will have to say that this is one of my main bugbears. A while back I needed to get a presenter (clicker to use with a presentation), and none of them had any information to say they were compatible. I even ended up taking my laptop in to stores with me and asking there and then if I could try the product out to see if it would work.

Presenters, like mice should work fine out of the box. But I was not going to spend my money, only to find that I had one that didn't, and then be told that I was at fault for buying something that was not advertised as compatible with my OS.

One major store was so unhelpful, I have decided to boycott it from now on. One was really helpful (Maplin) happy to take products out of the box and let me have a play, even though the products were not marked as compatible with Linux.

I may not spend money on software, but I do buy consumables and hardware, so those stores that think I'm too much of a minority to be bothered with, had better sit up and take notice. is really handy because you get user's reviews of how well the hardware works under linux, as well as a list of compatible devices.

Old hat

sims's picture

I've seen these kind of markings for many many years.

Anonymous's picture have started to list Linux compatibility for hardware under the Technical Specs.

Which I thought was pretty sweet, seein as they are often responsible for my paycheque's vanishing trick..


Anonymous's picture

I just (November/20/2008) searched ONE site ( for the word "Linux".

Lots of Linux computers (300+ PCs and 100+ notebooks), many mouses/mice... and other things... it even has offers of jobs requiring Linux.

In my personal experience it's hard, though, finding explicit reference to Linux. I once had to look for a car radio after others wrote it was ogg-compatible.

I also had to return a Windows-only webcam and have it replaced by another which worked with Linux.

Regarding USB devices it's all easier: in principle, just plugging it in a Linux PC would be enough to know if it works -- and a few stores have Linux PCs/notebooks in their showrooms. Alas, most store sellers freak out if you want to open a box/encasing and plug the item in their computers (instinctive fear of the unknown -- i.e., everything computing related).


Canon i-SENSYS LBP3010 don't work on GNU/Linux

Aleksandar's picture

I bought Canon i-SENSYS LBP3010 laser beam printer because on official Canon site they noticed Linux as supported OS:

But, after buying, unpacking and connectiog, I realized that right now there is no support for Linux.

So, I need to wait until Canon release updated driver for Linux OS or to connect printer on kid's Windows box (damn!).

Now it' (will?) work

Aleksandar's picture

Canon released CAPT driver 1.80 that support i-SENSYS LBP-3010. Get it here.

I bought a webcam that came

bart9h's picture

I bought a webcam that came with a "Linux compatible" logo too! :)

What webcam was that? And

cafeina's picture

What webcam was that? And where did You get it? I didn'find any yet.

Always excited to see "Works with Linux"

goblin's picture

I'm always excited to see indications on the package that a gadget works with Linux. And I see that more and more often, especially with USB devices such as memory sticks. Heck, sometimes I even buy gadgets only because the package says it works with Linux - not because I need them.

Supplier acknowledges Linux -> I acknowledge supplier

That's the best way to build commercial support for our favorite OS.

a tiny bit of real reporting and real thinking, please

Anonymous's picture

It's quite the fad now to claim open source creds, and sticking a Penguin logo on the box doesn't mean diddly. If a device is genuinely USB-compliant, and not messed up with some silly proprietary nonsense, then all operating systems that speak USB can communicate with the device. But that's all-- that doesn't include management or other useful software. Many hardware vendors, such as some printer manufacturers, boast of their Linux drivers. Samsung, to give one example, was famous for their shoddy, outdated, unstable binary-only drivers, and they were dumbed-down from the Windows drivers.

Posting photos of penguins doesn't tell us anything. Please LJ, give us some real information.

Yes, it actually means something

goblin's picture

In Denmark, where I live, it actually means something when you slap a "Works with Linux" on the package. If you say it works with Linux, and it doesn't, you're actually breaking a marketing law here. Things may be different in your favorite banana republic.

And futhermore, companies putting a Linux sticker on the package are actually saying "Please be our customer" to Linux users, meaning that Linux users are actually an interesting market segment. Marketing efforts targeted at Linux users have been stepped up with the "Works with Linux" stickers. Sure, many things work by default due to USB compliance and such, but as soon as every vendor has a Linux sticker on the box, what will vendors have to do in order to stand out from the rest? That's right, stepping up marketing efforts even more.

You seem to demand a Linux revolution from vendors. But it's still a Linux evolution that has to take place - and this is just one evolutionary step. So relax, and let the vendors get their feet wet first, some have already taken the the big plunge (dare I say "netbook"?), and more are destined to follow.

demanding the truth is a revolution?

Anonymous's picture

So you think it's OK for vendors to lie, except in your country. I think it's not too much to ask for them to be truthful. You can be gullible and waste your money if you like on meaningless stickers, i rather suspect the rest of us would prefer to not do that.

Marketing vs real support

goblin's picture

No, I don't think it's OK for vendors to lie.
That's actually why I'm happy to live in a country where there are laws against that.
And that's also why "Works with Linux" isn't a meaningless sticker around here, since it actually means what it says - no more, no less.

I'm just going to assume that you're trying to pick a fight...

official logo?

Anonymous's picture

Does the Linux Foundation actually HAVE an official linux logo? I did a quick search and couldn't find anything.

Is that really the logo

theillien's picture

Is that really the logo being used for Linux compatible devices? I think they could do better than that.

MS Cordless Mouse

waparmley's picture

Just bought a M$ cordless mouse to use with my Acer Aspire One running Linpus Linux. The mouse package said it worked with Windows, Mac and "Other".

System requirements for "Other": USB port.

Wow, they can't even bring themselves to say "Linux"!

On a positive note, my SanDisk Curzer drive was not only marked "Linux," but Tux was clearly shown on the package!

I was surprised but I've

Nait's picture

I was surprised but I've seen info that it works on Linux below printer in supermarket(in Poland). Unfortunately Linux logo wasn't anywhere on box.

Linux Label

James Strickland's picture

I agree, I think this is great, I recently purchased a USB Smartcard reader with a nice linux logo stamped on the side of the box. I hope to see more of this as time progresses!

-James Strickland
Misawa AB, Japan
*Currently in Qatar*

Did it work?

Anonymous's picture

Did it actually work under Linux? Did the pack contain drivers for Linux?

we don't get to know that bit

Anonymous's picture

Because that would require a small bit of effort and behaving like an actual journalist-person. Posting the photo was tiring, and anyway if it says "Linux" then it's perfectly safe to assume that it is well-supported, works without problems, and is feature-equal to Mac and Windows.

(Don't make me use sarcasm tags)