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Revision 34 as of 2021-01-10 02:54:29
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$ sudo apt dist-upgrade $ sudo apt full-upgrade

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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.

Performing a release upgrade is not without risk. The upgrade may fail, leaving the system in a non-functioning state. USERS SHOULD BACKUP ALL DATA before attempting a release upgrade.

Upgrades are done with package management tools, root or sudo access, and generally involve the following steps.

  • Obtain a text shell.
    • On desktop machines, switch to console tty via Ctrl+Alt+F3 (the upgrade should be done on a text console, because your desktop environment could freeze during post-install/service restarts, leaving the system in a broken state.)
  • Run the following:

# in a text editor, replace the codename of your release with the next release (eg. buster with bullseye) in APT sources
$ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*

# clean and update package lists
$ sudo apt clean
$ sudo apt update

# perform regular/minor upgrades
$ sudo apt upgrade     
# perform major release upgrade, removing packages if necessary
$ sudo apt full-upgrade

# remove packages that are not required anymore
$ sudo apt autoremove

# reboot to make changes effective (optional)
$ /sbin/shutdown -r now

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