How does one list devices in Linux that don't have their driver installed or loaded?

4 Answers 4


I think Linux usually finds one driver or the other to use the firmware.

Use lspci -v and lsusb to list devices and drivers associated with them. If any of the drivers fail to start the firmware you can check dmesg output for errors.

You can combine them like this to look for devices with no drivers:lspci -v | grep -B8 -v "Kernel modules: [a-z0-9]+". It basically searches for devices that do not have any drivers associated with them. If you connect a device on the USB bus (excuse the RAS syndrome), lsusb won't be of any help and dmesg is your only hope.

  • Yes, usually but I am learning Gentoo. I need specifically for when I don't have the driver. Aug 12, 2017 at 23:10

On my debian when booting you will see boot message "device name ... failed to loaded with err" or similar.

Or open terminal and used command

dmesg | grep "failed to load"
  • I known this question ask many year ago but when I google this question is first and I think maybe useful.

If you are planning to check the devices connected through USB port just use lsusb to list them.


If you want to browse all the devices in the system and start learning about architecture ignore all the bus-specific commands and simply fast-forward to:

udevadm info -e

Then take a dive into /sys directory to see topology tree and dependencies. Of course you won't find here (nor anywhere else) devices that are behind any bus which is not enabled or is not enumerable or queryable, motherboard sensors being the most common example (until the appropriate module is loaded).

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