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I have just installed debian 9 on my msi laptop. It is the only OS on the computer.

While it was installing I had no network access and it stated that it could not find the firmware iwlwifi-3168-26.ucode,iwlwifi-3168-25.ucode,iwlwifi-3168-24.ucode,iwlwifi-3168-23.ucode and iwlwifi-3168-22.ucode.

the install finished and I tried the obvious sudo apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi which gave me this:

Package firmware-iwlwifi is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package 'firmware-iwlwifi' has no installation candidate.

I then followed the advice of downloading the iwlwifi-3168-29.ucode file and manually putting it in /lib/firmware, then rebooting the machine with no change.

It's worth noting that while my wired connection works ok, in the network manager (Cinnamon desktop) there isn't even a Wi-Fi option. I tried manually entering the Wi-Fi network details but it refused to connect.

ifconfig output:

enp3s0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
    inet 10.25.14.118  netmask 255.255.0.0  broadcast 10.25.255.255
    inet6 fe80::329c:23ff:fe15:2004  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
    ether 30:9c:23:15:20:04  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
    RX packets 214505  bytes 276211608 (263.4 MiB)
    RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
    TX packets 23769  bytes 2129086 (2.0 MiB)
    TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0
    device interrupt 19  

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING>  mtu 65536
        inet 127.0.0.1  netmask 255.0.0.0
        inet6 ::1  prefixlen 128  scopeid 0x10<host>
        loop  txqueuelen 1  (Local Loopback)
        RX packets 168  bytes 13356 (13.0 KiB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 168  bytes 13356 (13.0 KiB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

I also tried building it from the git git clone https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/iwlwifi/backport-iwlwifi.git but it refused to build.

I have reinstalled the OS five times now.

3

Package firmware-iwlwifi is in the non-free section of Debian and not "enabled" by default.

Add "non-free" to your entries in /etc/apt/sources.list like described here (scroll down a bit).

Example sources.list from the above link:

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian stretch main contrib non-free
deb-src http://deb.debian.org/debian stretch main contrib non-free

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian-security/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://deb.debian.org/debian-security/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian stretch-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://deb.debian.org/debian stretch-updates main contrib non-free

Then run apt-get update and apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi as root.

  • 2
    The following sed command will enable contrib and non-free on all sources.list lines involving Stretch: sudo sed -i.bak 's/stretch[^ ]* main$/& contrib non-free/g' /etc/apt/sources.list (and save a backup copy). – Stephen Kitt Feb 25 at 15:51

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