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E.g. I often encounter this kind of speech:

"On one of my computers, I have an old Broadcom wireless card. Every time I install a new distro, I have to go through some extra steps to get that Broadcom chip working. When I install Manjaro, it works out of the box."

And so, the "Manjaro" thing is better than "Ubuntu" thing, etc.

Since all Linuxes share roughly the same kernel, wouldn't it be possible to have a super-repo of drivers that are suitable for them all (or 99% of distros)? Is this licensing or something?

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    Yes, it has to do with some distros not including proprietary drivers by default.
    – user931000
    Feb 8, 2019 at 7:28
  • but what does it mean 'proprietary'? is this 'closed-source'? since all devices are proprietary, i.e. somebody has to set up a factory and produce them, and then sell to end users, so how could this process be entirely open and free Feb 8, 2019 at 7:35
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    Yes, it mean close-source, obviously. Some manufacturers release open-source drivers, other don't. Broadcom WiFi is usually closed.
    – user931000
    Feb 8, 2019 at 7:37
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    One of the fundamental concepts of Linux is everything being open source. Some distros take that more seriously than others regarding things added to Linux, like drivers. Distros targeting a user base of computer novices, Windows converts, etc. tend to bundle drivers regardless of whether they're open source because that audience has little interest in getting under the hood to make things work. Some, like Debian, that appeal to more tech-savy users, don't bundle non-open-source drivers but make them available on request (separate download). (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Feb 8, 2019 at 8:26
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    Also, some distros strive to be very lightweight and purposely bundle only a minimum of stuff potentially not needed. Drivers for every conceivable piece of hardware can add up.
    – fixer1234
    Feb 8, 2019 at 8:26

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