How to upgrade Devuan 3.1 to 4.0 Chimaera

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Recently, I’ve discovered Devuan, a Debian GNU/Linux fork free of systemd. Soon after I installed Devuan and wrote an article about, they released a new version. So this article is about how to upgrade Devuan 3.1 Beowulf to 4.0 Chimaera.


Our sources.list are pointing to the old-stable version Beowulf:

Default beowulf sources.list archive

This task is as simple as change to ‘chimaera’ on every place that says ‘beowulf’. I’m also not using the source packages, disabling this entries saves me a couple of download kb.

simplified sources.list file

For those who wants to copy&paste from here:

deb chimaera main
deb chimaera-updates main
deb chimaera-security main

Update available packages

As with any Debian-based linux distro, the second step is to run:

apt-get update
How to upgrade Devuan
apt-get updating the package lists

With apt-get update we re-synchronize the package index files from their sources.

Upgrading the packages and the distribution

The third step is run two more commands:

apt-get upgrade

apt-get dist-upgrade

From apt-get manpage:

  • apt-get upgrade: Used to install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system. New versions of currently installed packages that cannot be upgraded without changing the install status of another package will be left at their current version.
  • apt-get dist-upgrade: In addition to performing the function of upgrade, this option also intelligently handles changing dependencies with new versions of packages; apt-get has a “smart” conflict resolution system, and it will attempt to upgrade the most important packages at the expense of less important ones, if necessary.

Pay attention that before the upgrade, if there are some news, they woulb be shown, for example:

Before the actual upgrade starts

Also, after the install of packages, during the configure phase apt-get could ask you questions:

How to upgrade Devuan
Questions during the install of new (versions of) packages

In this case is asking me to restart some services without asking, this was a clean install, not in production yet so I’m ok. But you can leave this for the end and just reboot your system when you are ready to.

And you see that is that simple how to upgrade Devuan to the lastest release.

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Gonzalo Rivero
Gonzalo Rivero
I am Gonzalo, I live in Salta, a city located in the NW of Argentina. I play the guitar and a little harmonica. I also like to bike.


  1. Hello, thanks for the easy to read instructions. I’d also give a look to other files in /etc/apt/sources.list.d might need to be updated: debian 10 to 11, buster to bullseye. It happens if one installed debs from custom sources. A lot of debs work in devuan or other derivatives like mx linux, antix…


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