Einar's blog
19 feb. 2023

Non-free firmware in Debian 12 Bookworm

I have spent a bit of time trying to find the firmware-iwlwifi package with the Intel Wifi driver for Debian 12 Bookworm (the next Debian release, currently in testing). I tried all the usual things like enabling the contrib and non-free repos, but could not get it installed. I looked at the Debian Wiki and it gave me a link to packages.debian.org that led me to the package, but only in older versions of Debian. When I tried to go to the same package in Bookworm, I found nothing. I thought maybe the files had moved to another package and tried apt-file, but with no success. After a lot of searching on the internet, I finally found out that non-free firmware files have been removed from non-free and a new repo called non-free-firmware is where they now live. After adding that repo, I could install the firmware-iwlwifi package. This information should be added to the Debian Wiki in the articles about firmware-iwlwifi and firmware, but I was unable to make a user profile on the wiki to add this information myself which is why I wrote this blog post.

Edit March 9th, 2023: From the Alpha 2 release of the installers, this non-free-firmware repository is added by default to your install, so my previous explanation here of how to enable that repo for new users is no longer needed. If you have hardware that does not need non-free software drivers, then there is no harm in removing this repo from the etc/apt/sources.list file and just use the main repo for a fully free software experience.

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