I recently installed the firmware-linux-nonfree package on my Debian Squeeze installation and after a re-boot, the USB keyboard and mouse has stopped working. Even my old PS2 mouse would not work. I have chrooted into my Debian installation from Linux Mint 12 and after looking in the /var/cache/apt/archives folder, I have found the name of the offending package. Then I just uninstalled it in the hope that this was the cause of the problem. But the problem still persists.
The chroot process is explained very nicely on this Gentoo installation FAQ. http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Chroot_from_a_livecd.
[email protected]:/var/cache/apt/archives# ls | grep firm firmware-linux-nonfree_0.35_all.deb [email protected]:/var/cache/apt/archives# apt-get remove firmware-linux-nonfree Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required: libunique-1.0-0 libxine1-x libmozjs12d xulrunner-12.0 libxine1-bin libxine1-ffmpeg Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them. The following packages will be REMOVED: firmware-linux-nonfree 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 5 not upgraded. After this operation, 1,241 kB disk space will be freed. Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y Can not write log, openpty() failed (/dev/pts not mounted?) (Reading database ... 213186 files and directories currently installed.) Removing firmware-linux-nonfree ... [email protected]:/var/cache/apt/archives#
Apparently, the udev system is the cause of the problem. I am running apt-get update && apt-get upgrade in a chroot and I will see if I can fix the problem that way.
More information here: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=567756.