Debian Install Drivers

Posted By admin On 12/01/22

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. But recent years have seen massive improvement in the way of hardware support. But with Debian, you will find that the standard release doesn’t include non-free software (including drivers). Before we get too far into this, know that there is a Debian non-free release that does, in fact, contain the firmware necessary to run most hardware. Newer versions of Debian (6+) do not include non-free drivers or firmware. Non-free drivers and firmware are produced by entities refusing or unable to cooperate with the free software community. With non-free drivers and firmware support is often unavailable or severely constrained.

Active3 months ago

I just installed Debian 9 on my laptop, however Wifi isn't working and I'm not sure if my graphic card is either. I'm sure that it's just a lack of drivers, but I've never actually had to update drivers on Linux before. So how do I do that?


3 Answers

In Debian, if you run into issues with wi-fi or graphics support, there are usually two things to check.

The first is the kernel, especially for graphics. You can usually get a newer kernel by looking at backports; currently, the Debian 9 kernel is 4.9.168, but 4.19.37 is available as a backport with better support for newer graphics adapters. This is particularly true for Intel GPUs. To install a kernel from backports, proceed as follows:

  1. Add the backports repository:

    (Yes, we’re adding contrib and non-free, they’ll come in handy later...)

  2. Install the backported kernel:

    This won’t replace your current kernel, so you can always boot that instead if things go wrong.

The second is firmware. Most GPUs, and many wi-fi adapters, need firmware, which might not be installed by default (because source code is generally not available, so it’s not made available as part of Debian, but instead in the non-free repositories). To install the available firmware, from backports too (might as well):

In both cases, reboot to pick up the new or improved hardware support...

Stephen KittStephen Kitt
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Open up a terminal and try

Here you can look at all your PCI devices. I notice in my output these two devices:

Take note of what the name of the device is, e.g. Radeon HD3870. See that I have appropriate drivers/modules listed (asterisks around them are mine) - what have you got?

Debian favour free software over guaranteed full function out of the box. If your wifi is not working, connect over ethernet and fix your problems first. Good luck!

Debian Install Drivers

Recently issued the same problem and after four days of research:

Reconfigure sources.list:

then add (contrib + non-free):

Configure Sudo

Login as root and install sudo

Now add your subuser to sudo users and use that user from now on.


Examine, other possible firmwares missing:

Debian Install Driver Nvidia

Identify the Packages:


Search for Graphic Adapters:





for Intel CPU, sudo apt install intel-microcode(for Intel i686 and Intel X86-64 processors)

for AMD64 sudo apt install amd64-microcode(necessary to install with graphics AMD only)



Debian Install Wireless Drivers


Install Nvidia Driver Debian 9

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