debian and wireless firmware files

Sorry if this has been asked over and over and if I’m missing something painfully obvious but I’m pretty new to Debian and currently pulling my hair out over this

So I’m trying to install 9.7 on my laptop and everytime I boot into my USB stick I get [this]( error. I’ve tried the regular install image, the netinst image, the live KDE image and the unofficial firmware netinst image and they all got that same error during install.

I can complete the install and hook up to ethernet if I need to download files for the machine on the machine if needed.

I’ve tried to look for the files online and I was only able to retrieve 3168-22. I’ve had a kubuntu installation before that I copied all of the wifi firmware files over to prepare for something like this but of course it doesn’t have the needed files.

I’m rocking an HP 255 G6 with an Intel Dual-band Wireless AC 3168.

Preferably I’d like to use my live KDE CD for the sake of time but like I said I’m able to hook up to ethernet so netinst is still an option


Thanks in advance and like I said I’m new Debian and problem fixing and used to having *buntu hold my hand through things like these – I’m willing to learn!

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  • I normally install over Ethernet if possible. Then I can add the non-free and contrib repositories to get the rest of the S/W I need. Once I get everything working, I can disconnect Ethernet and live off WiFi.

    I’m doing that at this moment. I installed Debian Stretch on an XPS-13 (9370) and have not been able to get WiFi working with Stretch. Same with my BT mouse. With Ethernet connected I installed a desktop, laptop packages.

    Hopefully all will go well. At present some ZFS packages are not installing. (At least it reboots and I can log in. 😉 )

  • Just skip it for now (viz. select ‘No’ and continue).

    It’s missing firmware for just the wifi card, which isn’t essential if you can start off with that ethernet cable. Once you clear a successful base install, you can then add the non-free repos, and get the firmware from there.

    I’ll help search for those files in a bit, but looking at their names, I’d expect all of them to be in the same package..! But that one package should work, yeah.

    *EDIT:* I got the same results in my `apt-file` search; 21, 22 and 29 are available in `firmware-iwlwifi`, and no other packages provide the rest.

    I’d say don’t worry about it; get your install going, see if wifi works – if it doesn’t, it’ll probably work after installing the package.

    Or, you can go the RMS route, and decide not to use the card – relying instead on ethernet, or buying a USB wifi device that has free firmware.

  • > I’ve tried to look for the files online and I was only able to retrieve 3168-22.

    It will be enough. But the stretch `firmware-iwlwifi` package contains it so it should have worked.

    I guess you should read the terminal with the kernel logs.

  • I am not an expert, and maybe you have already tried it, but I’ll just say anyway:

    Go through the install, and enable non-free repositories from sources.list

    Navigate to /etc/apt/sources.list and add non-free and contrib after main in every line. [Like so](

    And then try installing `firmware-iwlwifi`.

    `sudo apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi`

    Intel’s official website says that AC 3168 is supported in that said firmware package.

    Hope it helps.

  • Your card is probably too new for the default stretch firmware package. There is a firmware-iwlwifi package in stretch-backports that might work. Try enabling the stretch backports repository and then try:

    $ sudo apt install -t stretch-backports iwlwifi

    link to instructions for enabling stretch-backports:

    You will need to enable the non-free segment of the backports by appending “contrib non-free” after “main” in the backports stanza.


    deb stretch-backports main contrib non-free

    link to info page of the package you will be installing: