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Hardware and firmware compatibility out of the box ¶ 

Note: In most systems, you will need to manually install firmware. Debian is a pure distro and does not *officially* come with non-free drivers. There are non-free builds that are built on top of the official versions that are hosted on Debian servers, but there are unofficial builds. Unless the driver is open source and is part of the Linux kernel, the device will not work out of the box. If you want to make this process easier, use the non-free ISO's.

There are two ways to deal with hardware that requires non-free firmware:

  • Media modification (This may change the checksum, even if you write the verified image to your USB stick first and then copy the files you need for your hardware)
  • Non-free media (Note: These images are unofficial)

Media Modification ¶ 


Option 1: Write to USB and add the files after the fact (May damage checksum)

If you want to create a system specific image, this method ensures you have media that will work for your specific hardware. The downside to this is if something happens to that hardware, the media will need to be changed or replaced. To do this:

  • Write the ISO to a USB drive.
  • Download the firmware files you need.
  • Locate the firmware folder. Drag and drop them to the USB stick.
  • Make the stick unique to this particular computer.

The upside to this method is you can change it if you replace the hardware, so there will be no need to change the whole media if you change hardware. The downside is the ISO is still a virgin ISO and the changes do not carry from that image.

Option 2: Alter the ISO (WILL change checksum)

To do this:

  • Download a non-live ISO. This does not work on Live ISO's.
  • Download and install 7zip. Install this on your system.
  • Open the ISO in 7zip and locate the firmware folder. Drag and drop the files into 7zip.
  • Burn or write the ISO to a USB drive. Install it and mark that ISO as unique to a system. Download new images and make unique images per system. Example: Debian 8.6.0 AMD64 HP IQ506

Drivers that require Terminal configuration: The only solution I have right now is to do this manually. If you can write scripts that run while the installer is running, you can write a script to do this after the base system and UI installs.

Debian website

Downloads (Non-live)

Downloads (Live)

Unofficial non-free builds

System Requirements ¶ 

  • Processor (Minumum): 1GHz Pentium 4
  • RAM (Recommended): 512MB
  • RAM (Minimum): 256MB
  • Hard drive: 10GB
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