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Upgrading your operating system can seem daunting, but moving from Debian 10 (Buster) to Debian 11 (Bullseye) is a straightforward process if you follow these steps. Before proceeding, ensure you have a backup of your data, a stable internet connection, and root or sudo privileges for your user account.
- Superuser Privileges: You must perform the upgrade with superuser privileges. Log in as root or a user with sudo privileges.
- Data Backup: Back up your data before starting the upgrade. If you’re using a virtual machine, consider taking a complete system snapshot.
Update Current Packages #
- Check for Held Back Packages: Run
sudo apt-mark showholdto check for any packages that are held back, as they can cause issues during the upgrade. Unhold them if necessary.
- Update Installed Packages: Refresh your package index and upgrade all installed packages using the following commands:
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade
- Perform a Full Upgrade: Use
sudo apt full-upgradeto update your packages to the latest versions. This command may also remove unnecessary packages.
- Clean Up: After the full upgrade, remove any automatically installed dependencies that are no longer needed with
sudo apt autoremove.
Modify APT’s Source-List Files #
- Reconfigure APT Sources: Open
/etc/apt/sources.listand replace each occurrence of
bullseye. If you have other source files under
/etc/apt/sources.list.d, update those as well.
- Using sed Command: Alternatively, execute the following
sedcommands to update your sources list:
sudo sed -i 's/buster/bullseye/g' /etc/apt/sources.list sudo sed -i 's/buster/bullseye/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*.list sudo sed -i 's#/debian-security bullseye/updates# bullseye-security#g' /etc/apt/sources.list
- Set Terminal Output to English: This helps to avoid language-specific issues during the upgrade. Use
export LC_ALL=Cto set the language to English.
- Update Packages Index Again: Run
sudo apt updateto refresh the package index with the new sources.
Perform the System Upgrade #
- Upgrade Installed Packages: Begin the system upgrade with
sudo apt upgrade. This step upgrades packages without requiring additional packages to be installed or removed.
- Full System Upgrade: Execute
sudo apt full-upgradeto perform a complete system upgrade. This command resolves dependency changes and upgrades packages that were not updated in the previous step.
- Clean Up and Reboot: After completing the full upgrade, clean up unnecessary packages again with
sudo apt autoremove. Then, reboot your machine to activate the new kernel using
sudo systemctl reboot.
Confirm the Upgrade #
After rebooting, confirm that your system has been successfully upgraded to Debian 11 (Bullseye) by running
lsb_release -a. The output should indicate Debian GNU/Linux 11 (Bullseye) as the distribution.