The non-free-firmware repository
PinePhone and PinePhonePro Owners (and others), please change your config
PinePhonePro users might get nagging messages about packages being held back right now…
TL;DR: Please add the
non-free-firmware section to the Debian repository line in
Introducing the non-free-firmware section
UPDATE: slightly reworded first paragraph.
Piggybacking on Debian is great, but it also means we need to track changes that occur in Debian.
The Debian project has decided to include non-free-firmware in their installer images for hardware enablement reasons
and a better out of the box user experience.
Therefore firmware file have been moved out of the
non-free section and into the new
non-free-firmware section in the debian repository.
Why does this matter to Mobian users? The Wifi firmware for the PinePhone and PinePhonePro has migrated to the upstream Debian repository and the firmware-realtek-rtl8723cs-bt (PinePhone) and firmware-brcm80211 (PinePhone Pro) packages are now in the new
non-free-firmware section. This means at least PinePhonePro users need to add that section now, but it does not hurt for other devices too and we recommend everyone to make this change.
So mobian users, head over to the file
/etc/apt/sources.list and edit the line starting with
deb http://deb.debian.org. It should end with (some of) the sections
main non-free. Just change
non-free-firmware, or add
non-free-firmware (delimited by a space) at the end of that line if you still want access to non-free software which are not only firmware packages.
apt update && apt upgrade and you should be on the latest firmware on the upstream Debian repository.
If you’ve lost network access on your PinePhone Pro, you can download the package manually using the above link (or
apt download firmware-brcm80211 on another Debian Bookworm machine), transfer the file to your phone over USB and install it manually with
dpkg -i firmware-brcm80211_20230210-2_all.deb.