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Re: ISO download difficult

On Tue, Dec 05, 2017 at 08:04:47AM +0100, Jonas Meurer wrote:
Am 05.12.2017 um 05:34 schrieb Paul Wise:
On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 12:34 AM, Jonathan Dowland wrote:

Yes, I've never managed to get d-i to find firmware I've put on a USB
myself, and always resorted to this approach. I never got around to
reading the source to figure out where it expects to look (nor to
improve the docs etc.)

The docs say to dump firmware files or packages on a USB stick:


To prepare a USB stick (or other medium like a hard drive partition,
or floppy disk), the firmware files or packages must be placed in
either the root directory or a directory named /firmware of the file
system on the medium. The recommended file system to use is FAT as
that is most certain to be supported during the early stages of the

Last time I tried, neither of those worked. But I was too busy back then
to further investigate or report a bug and went with the full non-free iso.

Leaving aside whether the mechanism works at all, take a look at the rest of the documentation and ponder what a new user should make of it. (For example, if he follows the directions, is he getting "loose firmware files" or a "firmware package"? Will his system get updated? How does he figure out the difference? And what the heck is a kernel?) Anyway, try to read the following with your "new naive user" hat on:

debian-installer only prompts for firmware needed by kernel modules loaded during the installation. Not all drivers are included in debian-installer, in particular radeon is not, so this implies that the capabilities of some devices may be no different at the end of the installation from what they were at the beginning. Consequently, some of your hardware may not be being used to its full potential. If you suspect this is the case, or are just curious, it is not a bad idea to check the output of the dmesg command on the newly booted system and search for “firmware”. ... Any firmware loaded during the installation will be copied automatically to the installed system. In most cases this will ensure that the device that requires the firmware will also work correctly after the system is rebooted into the installed system. However, if the installed system runs a different kernel version from the installer there is a slight chance that the firmware cannot be loaded due to version skew.

If the firmware was loaded from a firmware package, debian-installer will also install this package for the installed system and will automatically add the non-free section of the package archive in APT's sources.list. This has the advantage that the firmware should be updated automatically if a new version becomes available.

If loading the firmware was skipped during the installation, the relevant device will probably not work with the installed system until the firmware (package) is installed manually.


If the firmware was loaded from loose firmware files, the firmware copied to the installed system will not be automatically updated unless the corresponding firmware package (if available) is installed after the installation is completed.