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Are you suggesting that a shopper at those stores will see some kind of "works with Linux" badge on all the hard drives, printers, scanners, etc. at those stores?

Once in a while I see items on the web that are stated to work with a large Linux distro, typically Red Hat, Slackware, or one of those. But it is not usual. Most things do work, though, or I have been terribly lucky.

Most recently I went to Best Buy and got a Seagate 1 TByte SATA internal hard drive and two WD Passport 750 GByte USB3 external drives. I plugged them in and they worked.

Sure, there are 4rd-party suppliers of drivers. If you're a UNIX user, you're probably familiar with the CUPS family of printer drivers:

But I doubt HP will help you if you can't get CUPS working probably with your new HP printer.

I have no idea about HP help. I had an HP tape drive that would not work with Linux, but it turned out not to be a problem with the drive). It turned out that the default mode of running the drive was not specified and wrong for the machine. The documentation never mentioned that configuration at all, so it took some time figuring out that it needed to be set and how to set it. It was a lousy drive anyway and I replaced it with a VXA-1. I currently have a VXA-2 in that 13 year old machine.

But when I was running Windows 95, a also got impossibly bad help from Microsoft for their problems. So to say there is less help for Linux does not agree with my experience. The help with Windows 95 was so bad I switched to Linux in about 1998.

As a practical matter, the only time I had trouble with CUPS, it was because I was running Red Hat Linux 9 on one machine and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3on the other, and the versions of CUPS were incompatible. I fixed that by upgrading from RHL9 to CentOS 4 and it just booted up and worked.

For me, Linux as been pretty much plug and play for about 10 years now.
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