I was wondering if there is any Linux equivalent to Windows Device Manager, or the Windows DevCon utility (a command line utility with hardware management functionality).
Do drivers even work the same way in Linux?
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The functionality provided by Windows
The "plug and play" manager of Linux is usually
Under Linux, modules can also be "built-in" to the kernel, and they won't appear in any module list. They are immediately and always available the moment the kernel is loaded by the bootloader. Another option is to place modules in a directory within an "initial ramdisk" (
You usually would not have to worry about installing or obtaining a third-party driver unless it is not included in the "official" kernel from kernel.org - since kernel modules (including drivers) are part of the kernel, drivers for every supported device are also included, and usually provided with your distribution. So needing to install a "manufacturer-provided driver" under Linux isn't terribly common except possibly for video drivers and some wireless chipsets which still have a lot of legal encumbrances with regard to technical information needed by driver developers.
Most device drivers in linux are kernel extension. You can list them with "lsmod", remove them with "rmmod" or load them with "modprobe".
Drivers are not same with Windows and Linux. You can under some circumstances load Windows devices drivers into a Linux kernel however.
About Linux device drivers:
Drivers can be complied into the Linux kernel or as modules. If they are modules, they can be (un)loaded on demand.
You can find information about a machines devices with these commands:
My favorite is
for names and numers.
Have a look at the man pages for the following commands:
modprobe loads a kernel module. rmmod removes kernel modile. lsmod lists the currently loaded modules. modinfo shows info about a specific module.
There are GUI apps as well. KDE has one in it's control center called kinfocenter I think.
Hope that helps.
You can look in