Improve Debian 10 Buster to 11 Bullseye

Debian 11, codenamed Bullseye, is the latest version that includes several significant improvements over Debian 10. The developers have yet to release a stable version; However, users can expect significant differences from its predecessor.

If you're planning on upgrading from Debian 10 Buster to 11 Bullseye without breaking a sweat, then it's time to jump on the bandwagon and do a simple upgrade.


  1. At the very least, create a full system backup of your important data and files. The upgrade process is pretty straightforward; However, it is important to take all necessary data precautions before upgrading.

  2. Remove all system packages that were not part of your current Debian version or external repositories.

  3. Some services may experience interruptions during the transition. Therefore, avoid having applications running during the process.

Update Debian 10 Buster to 11 Bullseye Linux

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to upgrade Debian from version 10 to version 11.

Step 1: update your system

As a first step, it is important to make sure that all of the preinstalled packages on your system are up to date. Run the following command to update your system package list and update the packages to the latest version.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Next, install the gcc-8-base Package by running the following command:

sudo apt install gcc-8-base

Check the currently installed Debian version by checking the output of the following command:

Cat / etc / os-release


Note the version information next to the VERSION_ID Label in the issue above. In this case Debian version 10 is running on the system.

Related: Reasons Why You Should Choose Debian Linux

Step 2: replace Debian 10 repositories with Debian 11 repositories

Edit the Sources.List -File to replace current repository addresses with bullseye-specific ones. You can open it Sources.List File with a text editor like nano:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

add the lb (#) Sign in front of all repository links to deactivate any existing entry for Debian 10.

Add the following lines to the end of the file.

deb bullseye main contrib non-free
deb bullseye-updates main post non-free
deb bullseye-security main
deb bullseye-backports main post non-free

Press Ctrl + Off to save the file and Ctrl + X Leave nano.

Step 3: Check the configuration of the source list

Refresh the system repository list once to verify the addition of the repositories.

sudo apt update

If the output does not show an error message, you have successfully upgraded Sources.List File.

Step 4: upgrade the system to Debian 11

The final step is to safely update the system's pre-installed packages to the latest version by running the following command:

sudo apt full upgrade

Text assistants will often appear on the screen during this process. Follow the steps mentioned in the Prompt Manager to continue with the process.

The system will ask your permission to download and install the required packages. Art Yes and press Enter.

Note: Make sure the system stays awake while the process is running.

Step 5: reboot the system

After the upgrade is complete, you can reboot your system to complete the process.

restart sudo

Related: Debian vs. Ubuntu: Best Linux Distributions for Laptops, Desktops, and Servers

Step 6: Confirm your brand new OS version

To check if your system's OS has been upgraded from Debian 10 Buster to Debian 11 Bullseye, run the following command and check the VERSION_ID Variable.

Cat / etc / os-release

Update Debian to prepare for the future

Millions of desktops and servers are currently running Debian around the world. The next stable release is Debian 11 Bullseye, which follows the existing iteration. Since Bullseye is still in the testing phase, some issues may arise after upgrading your system.

Rest assured, it won't be long before the stable version is released and things will get a lot smoother with your system upgrades. Until then, you can try installing and maintaining software packages on Debian-based Linux distributions to explore more features.

Getting started with dpkg on Debian-based Linux distributions

Learn how to install and manage software packages with dpkg on Debian-based Linux distributions

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About the author

Wini Bhalla
(11 articles published)

Wini is a Delhi based writer with 2 years of writing experience. While writing, she was associated with digital marketing agencies and technical firms. She has written content on programming languages, cloud technology, AWS, machine learning, and much more. In her free time, she enjoys painting, spending time with her family and traveling to the mountains whenever possible.

By Wini Bhalla

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