Debian 11, codenamed ‘bullseye’ was released on August 10th and is available for download. Debian 11 ships with a number of significant software improvements and enhancements including:
- Support a wide range of architectures including 64-bit ARM (arm64), ARMv7, 64-bit little-endian MIPS, IBM System Z, 64-bit& 32-bit systems, among others.
- A new ‘homeworld’ theme that was inspired by an art style born in Germany called the Bauhaus movement.
- The current Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS brings better hardware support and performance enhancement.
- Newer versions of Desktop environments: MATE 1.24, GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.20, LXDE 11, Xfce 4.16 and, LXQt 0.16.
- Major package updates: numerous software packages have newer versions in Debian Bullseye. For example, it comes with Apache 2.4.48, LibreOffice 7.0, Nginx 1.18, Python 3.9.1, among others.
- Support for the exFAT filesystem.
For further information, check the Debian 11 “bullseye” release notes
Step 1: Backup all your Debian 10 files
It’s always a good idea to ensure all your files have a backup before upgrading to a new OS release. This protects our files in the event that something goes wrong during the upgrade process.
Step 2: Update package lists & Upgrade packages
First, let’s confirm that our system is running on Debian 10. Run:
$ cat /etc/os-release
You can also run the command:
$ cat /etc/debian_version
Next, use the following commands to update and upgrade the software packages:
$ sudo apt update -y && sudo apt upgrade -y
Next, let’s run the dist-upgrade command below. This command upgrades system packages and also handles changing dependencies with new versions of packages installed.
$ sudo apt dist-upgrade
Step 3: Update Package Repository
In Debian systems, repositories are listed in the /etc/apt/sources.list file and /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory. We need to update the package repository from Debian buster to Debian bullseye repositories.
To accomplish this, we will need to replace the buster keyword in the /etc/apt/sources.list file with bullseye as shown below:
$ sudo sed -i 's/buster/bullseye/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
Then, find the following Debian security lines in the sources.list file:
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security bullseye/updates main deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security bullseye/updates main
Replace the above lines with:
deb https://deb.debian.org/debian-security bullseye-security main contrib deb-src https://deb.debian.org/debian-security bullseye-security main contrib
Save and close the file.
After that, the updated sources.list file will now look as shown below:
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye main deb-src http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye main deb https://deb.debian.org/debian-security bullseye-security main contrib deb-src https://deb.debian.org/debian-security bullseye-security main contrib deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye-updates main deb-src http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye-updates main deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye-backports main deb-src http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye-backports main
Next, update the system’s packages list by running:
$ sudo apt update
Step 4: Perform a minimal system upgrade
Performing a full system upgrade will remove a large number of packages that you may wish to retain in your system. Therefore, we take a two-stage approach to upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11. This two-stage approach consists of a minimal upgrade and a full upgrade.
During the minimal upgrade, the current packages will be upgraded without installing new ones or removing the existing ones. Execute the following command to perform a minimal upgrade:
$ sudo apt upgrade --without-new-pkgs
During this process, a screen will pop up asking you to restart system services or keep or erase config options. This interruption occurs when libraries such as libpam and libc are being upgraded. Click ‘Yes’ and press ENTER
Step 5) Perform full upgrade to Debian 11
Now that the minimal upgrade is complete, we perform a full system upgrade to upgrade our system to Debian 11. It installs the latest packages that come with Debian 11 and resolves dependency issues.
$ sudo apt full-upgrade
Several prompts will appear once again. In this example, we need to choose what we want to do with the Openssh-server file. I selected the option to keep the local version that is currently installed.
After the full-upgrade is complete, reboot the system as shown,
$ sudo reboot
Now let’s verify if we have upgraded to Debian Bullseye:
$ cat /etc/os-release $ cat /etc/debian_version
From the output, the system is now running Debian 11 Bullseye.
$ lsb_release -a
You have successfully upgraded to Debian 10(bullseye). You can now install your preferred applications and keep using Debian 11.