PPPoE and Atheros/Realtek firmware during Debian Jessie installation

Most GUI Linux installation methods don't include the option to set up PPPoE and use Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection as the default option to connect to the Internet. As with earlier versions of Debian, you can add a boot option while running installation media to set up a PPPoE connection.

Note: This article uses information from the official Debian documentation pages for PPPoE and network installation

To set up PPPoE during Debian installation:

1. Boot your system using a Debian LiveUSB, DVD or CD.
2. Press TAB to add boot options.
3. Input installgui modules=ppp-udeb and then press Enter.


The installation process will begin and after setting up time, date, Root and user information, you will be prompted to provide your ISP name, ISP username and password.


Even if the setup process informs you that you are missing firmware for your Ethernet card and you don't have the necessary firmware on a flash drive or CD, you can continue and still complete the Debian installation process.


If the PPPoE connection fails, you will be asked to connect to a Wi-Fi network instead. You can later install the .deb firmware package for your Ethernet card or Wi-Fi card.
Atheros/Realtek Firmware package for Jessie

If you get a message at boot or during installation regarding missing Atheros or Realtek firmware on your machine, you might want to download the necessary firmware from the non-free repository even if both your Ethernet connection and Wi-Fi card works.

Note: The Atheros firmware also affects Bluetooth functionality.
As an example, Debian detected that the Atheros Wi-Fi card firmware and the Realtek network card firmware were missing for the Toshiba NB520 during installation and prints a text message on boot. However, Debian was still able to connect to a Wi-Fi network and via PPPoE without issues with a download speed that was even more reliable than on an openSUSE 13.2 installation on the same hardware. Still, it is still recommended to use Synaptic, Aptitude or apt-get from the Terminal to download and install the firmware from the non-free repositories.

To manually install the .deb firmware package for Atheros and Realtek network cards:

1. Download the .deb packages from https://packages.debian.org/jessie/firmware-atheros and https://packages.debian.org/jessie/firmware-realtek by clicking all at the bottom of the page and clicking a mirror from the list of locations.

2. Run the package using the dkpg --install or use GDebi to install the firmware to your system.


Installing the firmware-atheros_0.43_all.deb package from the Terminal.


Installing the firmware-realtek_0.43_all package using GDebi.


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