No wifi access after booting into graphical installer

I’m trying to install NixOS booting from a usb. After booting it up I can’t get any network access. I can see the network card using lspci but using ip a it only shows loopback device.

[nixos@nixos:~]$ lspci | grep Network
02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Devices 2732 (rev 1a)

I’ve done a bit of googling and the closest I’ve found was this issue in GitHub mentioning about using the hardware.enableRedistributableFirmware option, but this would only seem to work if the OS is already installed and not during the installation stage. I’ve tried adding the option in /etc/nixos/configuration.nix and then doing a nixos-rebuild switch but this just gives me a network error and just sits there forever.

Is there a way I enable the firmware so I can get network connection? I’m installing on a laptop which has no ethernet ports.

I’m going to give you what I consider the pragmatic solution I decided on for problems like this several years ago: cell phone. You connect your cell phone to the Wi-Fi, connect your laptop to your cell phone via USB, then tether. It’s just the fastest and easiest solution, and everyone either has a cell phone or has access to quickly borrow a cell phone.

…And so my installing NixOS is postponed indefinitely.
I’ll try again in 6 months or so.

This sounds like a plan! But how do I actually do that? I have iPhone with connection sharing plugged into Laptop with nixos-minimal booted up, but its unclear what to do next

As with most mainstream Linux distributions when NixOS detects a new wired connection it should automatically connect. At least with the graphical installer. I can’t seem to recall if the minimal installer does this or not…