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USB supports plug and play, which means that the operating system takes care of allocating system resources.

While the Linux kernel contains a wide variety of device drivers, in some cases devices may not work right out of the box with Ubuntu and additional drivers need to be installed.

Wikipedia as has more detailed information about the USB standard, covering:

  • version history, including upcoming versions
  • device classes
  • connectors, plugs and cables
  • power distribution
  • signaling
  • releated and competing standards like Thunderbolt

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard [...] that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices. [...]

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