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This page gives directions on how to upgrade your Debian distribution.

How to release upgrade your distribution

Upgrading from one stable release to the next (e.g. buster to bullseye) is done by following the release notes for your architecture. For most people with 32 bit systems that means the Release Notes for Intel x86. For most with 64 bit systems that means the Release Notes for AMD64.

Upgrades are done with the package management tool apt-get or apt, and generally involve the following steps.

  • Switch to tty via Ctrl+Alt+F3. Otherwise, your desktop environment can freeze up during post-install and service restart period, leaving the system in a broken state.
  • Execute the following

$ sudo apt clean
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt upgrade       # For regular/minor upgrades
$ sudo apt dist-upgrade  # For major release upgrades only
$ sudo apt autoremove
$ /sbin/shutdown -r now  # Reboot to make changes effective (optional)

Now check the output of  uname -a  and you should see info about the upgraded system.