Linked by Dedoimedo on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:17 UTC
Debian and its clones Writing about Debian is not a simple thing. You know it's the giant that has spawned pretty much every other distro out there. It's almost like a Roman Empire, almost a taboo. Furthermore, it's not a desktop distro per se. It's more sort of a template you use to build your platform. It's also a SOHO server distro, therefore it more fits into the business category, comparable to CentOS and similar.
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Serious answer: Debian supports these wireless chips only via its non-free repository. Since the install discs are linked to the main repository they do not include that support. Debian would be in violation of its foundational documents and principles if it moved the non-free firmware into the main repository. The Deian Developers, and most Debian users, wouldn't stand for it and so it isn't done. Remember that Debian is a democracy controlled by its developers.

Your wireless NIC will work just fine if you configure it post-install and many guides exist on how to do this. Even though it is controversial there are even "unofficial" versions of the install disc which link to non-free and thus support hardware requiring non-free firmware. These are unofficial in that they are not in the official "release" directory and are nominally not supported but are otherwise just like the regular Debain install discs and are, despite being unofficial, distributed by Debian from its servers.

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