Debian 11 on the Framework Laptop

Hi All.

Just joined the Framework/Debian 11 group yesterday. XFCE if anyone cares.

I found this thread because the wifi card was crashing my whole usb system after 20 minutes or so of uptime. Just upgraded to 5.14 and at least Im stable now. At home, I run wired through a usb 3.1 hub. I think Ill pick up a AC card soon and downgrade back to the LTS kernel. I dont think Ill run into a AX hotspot for quite awhile.

I dont care about the fingerprint reader.

I havent been able to get any external monitors working yet. I have 2 different usb c to hdmi dongles and neither work. I think Im going to have to bite the bullet and move up to a displayport or usb c monitor(s).
Any ideas on that?


Hello. Framework has the hdmi add-on card you could use, instead of using a separate dongle. As for the wifi, the one I’m using is the QCNFA222, which is supported in Debian via atheros 9k driver. So far it’s been working well, but I haven’t been able to get bluetooth working.

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Is the expansion card known to work with linux?
Im in a little over my head on this one. My desktop ran debian for years with dual monitors, but that was through the graphics card that had dual out.

My research has lead me to believe that usb c to hdmi involves a converter chip in the dongle that requires a driver. Theres a company that sells dongles called displaylink that has linux drivers available, but I dont have that brand. I dont know. Im guessing a little. My dongles both work on my android tablet, which would suggest a driver exists somehwere. Displayport seems to be a much more native usb c spec. Its probably time to upgrade.

I tried the HDMI expansion card when I got it and it works just fine (Debian sid). Since HDMI is a standard, all of the conversions should be happening in the expansion card itself (and I don’t think there need to be any special drivers?). When I plugged in a monitor (a TV in my case, since that functions as a spare monitor to test this sort of stuff), everything ‘just worked’ (including HDMI audio routing).

According to this post:

The guy who wrote some kernel module code to get it to work, says some dongles just dont work. Ive tried all the stuff he mentions in that thread.

Ive actually got 3 dongles. Ones built into my hub. I really want dual 1080p monitors when Im home, so I have a dual hmdi out dongle. I dont to tie up 2 ports with single use cards. Finding that one unicorn dual hdmi dongle that works seems like too much of a scavenger hunt to me.

If I cant have dual monitors, Id rather upgrade from 1080p and just get a new setup that has something more modern that hdmi. I was just hoping a $20 dongle would work.

Also, don’t let it discharge completely, it won’t turn on again unless you follow a bunch of steps (15m minimum). See:

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I’d like to get Debian setup on my Framework DIY. Just thought I’d summarize what I think would be needed, maybe it would help others. Does below sound right?

  1. Install using either a usb flash drive w/full Debian install image written to it OR use a usb flash drive with netinst written AND a usb ethernet adapter.

  2. For fingerprint reader, if wish to use graphical interface, use Gnome. Looks like libfprint must be 1.92.0 or greater. Correct me if I’m wrong, looks like we’d have to install that from source. See the link at the end.

  3. For Intel AX210, follow instructions for neurology_equator posted.

Blog post for getting Debian running on Framwork, the fingerprint reader part seems to be of interest.

I did have a question as to which kernel might be the better choice, reads like there might be issues with 5.12 as well as 5.14 there seem to have been reported issues with both. But it looks like anything below 5.14 is end of life.

Also concerning secureboot, looks like since Debian 10, secureboot’s worked out of the box. Looks like we wouldn’t have to mess with that option in BIOS, should just work.

Before you do anything, install Windows 10 on it and make sure you upgrade its BIOS and hard disk firmware.

That’s a good point, I had already installed the drive into a Windows machine and updated the firmware. I figured I’d go through with the bios using the EFI shell process.

What version of libinput are you running?

This is very generic - what 5.14 specifically?

This is the one that solves all my problems: 5.14.21-051421-generic (WiFi 6, fingerprint reader, sleep…).

@Carlos_Fernandez_San Did you have to compile that version? I’m not finding it in any of the Debian repositories.

5.14.0-0.bpo.2-amd64 is the highest available on the backports repository at the moment.

Make sure you have the backports repository enabled and search for linux-image and the options will show up.

Ive been exclusively on debain as my desktop for maybe 5 years…Im familiar with all this stuff on paper, but I dont usually go fiddleing unless I have to. I’d like to get back on a LTS suported kernel asap so I dont have to think about it anymore…

@Carlos_Fernandez_San t I’m searching all the packages on and not seeing anything newer than the the 5.14.0-0.bpo.2-amd64 that Ryan Horst mentioned, which looks like 5.14.9

That one doesn’t work well. For me Wi-Fi worked, but sleep/wake up didn’t.

Try this one:

Ubuntu being based on debian - with a bit of luck it will just work for you.

Im hesitant to try that. Im reading up on either making the jump to bookworm (testing) or using apt pinning to upgrade just the kernel which is up to 5.15…which is were I think I would rather be…Sleep is buggy for me, Id like to fix that, but its not a deal breaker. I think I could really care less about the fingerprint reader. If it could enter my disk encryption password, Id be into it, but 90% of the time my laptop lid is closed and Im on a dock…so I would rather type a password than open up the lid to read my fingerprint…

Why? It either works or it doesn’t. It takes a few minutes to try, and grub lets you choose between installed kernels so it’s not like if it doesn’t work it takes a lot of effort to just remove it.

I’d agree. I can’t say I particularly like the idea of installing a kernel compiled by another distro. When does it stop being Debian and become Ubuntu? Who knows what options they’ve enabled. I’d most likely either grab the source for 5.14.21, pull the config from my current Debian kernel and compile it myself, or go with pinning and install the kernel from testing.

I’ve gone to Ubuntu (21.10) as Debian 11 (still) required a lot of tweaking for HiDPI support and with external monitors I couldn’t find an acceptable configuration. This needs constant tweaking for each new app and breaks with upgrades (custom .desktop files, gconf fiddling etc.).
Blurry apps (including Firefox, Thunderbird, Signal, Telegram which I use the most), long boot time (often required because of the battery issues-still doesn’t last >1d on suspend) were all dealbreakers for me. Having heavily outdated browser and email applications also means keeping those installed manually - not practical anymore for me on this system as a daily driver.

@Darrel_Hunt I suppose you do have the backports repository enabled in Debian ? Otherwise you won’t be able to install any “bpo” packages.

See Instructions

You can trivially find out all the patches and compilation options they used.

Anyway I pointed out to what works perfectly, if you prefer to compile your own version, or wait for Debian to make a new official backport, or just suffer the old one, fine by me…