Thursday, December 1, 2011

Debian "squeeze" install needs firmware file

At the beginning of a new install of Debian 6.0 ("squeeze"), the installer says it needs a firmware file to continue. But you don't have it. What to do?

I am fortunate to have a Debian 6.0 machine already running. On this machine, I install the package "firmware-linux-nonfree", which is available in the squeeze non-free repository. This package contains a bunch of binary blobs, which are installed under "/lib/firmware".

So, if (as in my case) the installer wants the file "tigon/tg3_tso5.bin", just go to /lib/firmware/tigon to find the file. The installer will look for it on "removable media", which in my case means either a floppy disk or a USB flash drive. I tried a floppy disk, but it was too flakey and the installer couldn't find the file. So I put the file on a USB flash drive and the installer found it right away.

N.B. The removable media should be formatted using the FAT filesystem.

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