I got Debian 11 installed on my laptop as Standard System Utils. I've been having issues with the network card that I have when installing so I couldn't connect to my network in the installation but got the firmware for my network card after installation and it's running (hopefully) correctly when I check lspci which gives 01:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless-AC 9260 (rev29) as well as checking systemctl status networking which gives Loaded: loaded (lib/systemd/system/networking.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled) Active: active(exited) in the block of code.

Checking the /etc/network/interfaces only gives me the loopback network interface as well as in ip a.

I want to connect to my network but I can't figure it out. I've checked on guides and such but most of the commands for those packages I don't have. I tried installing NetworkManager from my usb but gave me an error saying that dpkg: error: unknown option -n after entering dpkg -install /mnt/network-manager_1.30.0-2_amd64.deb. Anyone know how I can connect to my network?

  • long options use TWO dashes, while short options use ONE. dpgk -i package OR dpkg --install package! With dpkg -install it assumes that both -i and -n, as well as -s -t -a -l (twice) are all selected as option flags, but most, like -n do not exist for dpkg. Thus the error message.
    – FelixJN
    Jan 12, 2022 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


TL;DR: Use dpkg -i (single dash) or dpkg --install (two dashes).

dpkg -install does nothing you want, because of a quirk in the difference between short and long options.

With a single dash, most unix commands will assume that every subsequent letter is a separate option, and a subsequent argument applies to the option denoted by the last letter.

So dpkg -install would be equivalent to dpkg -i -n -s -t -a -l -l, and (thankfully) more than half of those are not actual recognized flags so dpkg quit with an error message rather than blithely do what the separate flags might have suggested.


for the wifi hardware mentioned, you also need some extra packages:


from non-free section.

To find if you have non-free section enabled in /etc/apt/sources.*, and packages are available, try:

$ apt-cache policy firmware-iwlwifi
  Installed: 20210315-3
  Candidate: 20210315-3
  Version table:
 *** 20210315-3 500
        500 http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye/non-free amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

you may have to may be download those packages' deb files on USB drive and copy to your system. then run

$ sudo dpkg -i *.deb

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