How Does the Debian Installer Search for Firmware on Demand?

Typically, after installing new firmware files, I need to reboot in order for the kernel to detect them and load them for my hardware to work properly. In the Debian installer, however, if you are missing firmware and you see this screenmissing firmware files here

you can paste the required files into /lib/firmware and the installer will somehow load them without rebooting. How does the Debian installer load firmware files without rebooting the system?

Asked By: rando

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The installer does this by removing and reloading kernel modules for which it has installed firmware. This causes the firmware to be requested again, and since it’s been installed, the affected module should then be able to initialise properly.

Answered By: Stephen Kitt