28.1. Kernel adaptation

Linux systems live in a world that could potentially include any of tens of thousands of different pieces of computer hardware. The kernel must adapt to whatever hardware is present in the machine on which it’s running.

A kernel can learn about the system’s hardware in a variety of ways. The most basic is for you to explicitly inform the kernel about the hardware it should expect to find (or pretend not to find, as the case may be). In addition, the kernel prospects for some devices on its own, either at boot time or dynamically (once the system is running). The latter method is the most common for modern-day devices such as those that reside on the Universal Serial Bus (USB), including memory sticks, modems, ...

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