Since I have been thoroughly disappointed with the stability of Arch Linux on my iMac recently, I decided to get my ass back over to Debian.

What caught me off guard when I finished the install and rebooted was an error that I had never seen before:

Radeon kernel modesetting for r600 or later requires firmware-amd-graphics

Everything had come to a standstill so I went ahead and tried to swap virtual terminals.

Swapping worked but the screen started to blink showing the original error / kernel panic and all of that. I wasn’t able to log in at all.

Next up I rebooted the system and booted into recovery mode.

After a minute of figuring out how to get my networking up and running again, I updated with apt-get update and then tried to install the aforementioned package, firmware-amd-graphics.


Package wasn’t available. As it turns out, on Debian, this package is a non-free package. Makes sense considering it’s for an AMD graphics card on an Apple machine.

To gain access to the package, I edited /etc/apt/sources.list and made sure that non-free was enabled for my primary repository. Make sure your entries look something like this:

deb testing main non-free contrib
deb-src testing main non-free contrib

Once that was good to go, I just ran:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firmware-amd-graphics

Once that was done installing, I rebooted and everything was working as expected!