Upgrade to Debian 11 from Debian 10

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Hello friends. Debian is one of the most used operating systems by sysadmins worldwide. This is because Debian is one of the best in stability and community support that making it ideal for all types of projects from the biggest to the smallest. Recently Debian 11 has seen the light of day, which makes many people wonder about the need to leap Debian 10. Well, that is exactly what we are going to explain to you because, in this post, you will learn how to upgrade to Debian 11 from Debian 10.

Debian is a stable and secure Linux-based operating system. Debian is an operating system suitable for a wide range of devices including laptops, desktops, and servers. One of the most powerful reasons why many sysadmins rely on this system is due to the stability and a large amount of software compatible with the system.

With stable software and long release cycles, Debian is one of many great Linux distributions that can run your server. This is due to a very conservative development cycle in the inclusion of packages that may be a bit old but with the certainty that they are quite reliable and stable, which is what we want in distribution on the server.

Debian 11: a great release that arrived this year

Recently Debian 11 has been released, a major release that comes with a lot of updated packages and of course some new ones. In broad strokes, support for Systemd is improved and Wayland is becoming more and more important.

In addition to this, CUPS has been improved to the point that this version is the most complete version for printer and scanner support. Debian guarantees that it is quite possible to be able to print with CUPS and scan with SANE without needing a driver (often non-free) for the specific hardware model you are using.

On the other hand, many server-related packages have been upgraded to major versions such as Apache, Nginx, MariaDB, Java, PostgreSQL, OpenSSH or Dovecot in all cases we find solid and tested stable versions.

So with these new releases, it is not surprising that many are considering switching from Debian 10 to Debian 11. For this change, it is advisable to do a fresh install, but if the server is in production it may cause errors or be uncomfortable. So, many prefer to upgrade to Debian 11 from Debian 10.

So, let’s go for it.

Upgrade to Debian 11 from Debian 10

Before you start, I recommend that you back up all the data you have on the server. Generally, the process is quite safe but it’s better to be prepared for any problems.

After the data is safe, then we have to access via SSH to the server. Also you can open a terminal in case we are doing the process on a local installation.

In the terminal as root or with the help of sudo make sure Debian 10 is up to date.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt dist-upgrade

After this, remove all unnecessary system dependencies. This will avoid possible conflicts between them.

sudo apt autoremove

The next step is to change the system repositories to the Debian 11 repositories.

So, edit the repository configuration file.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

And replace the contents of the file with these lines.

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye main contrib non-free
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye-updates main contrib non-free
deb https://deb.debian.org/debian-security bullseye-security main contrib

After you have edited the file, save the changes and close it.

Now refresh APT so that the repositories are added to the system.

sudo apt update

It is then recommended to do a minimal update. With this no new packages are installed as a step before the formal upgrade.

sudo apt upgrade --without-new-pkgs

In the process, it is quite likely that we will be asked if we want to restart the services automatically. You can answer yes to speed up the process.

Now yes, after the above command finishes running, you can run

sudo apt full-upgrade

With this command, it will update the entire system and perform the upgrade. You will also be asked whether to use the current configuration of services such as SSH or use a new one.

To finish, simply reboot the system.

sudo reboot

When you reboot the system, you should have your new Debian 11 up and running.


In this post, we have taken you to step by step through upgrading Debian 10 to Debian 11. Sov that you don’t have to completely reinstall the system.

Enjoy it.

Everything Linux, A.I, IT News, DataOps, Open Source and more delivered right to you.
"The best Linux newsletter on the web"
I am Angelo. A systems engineer passionate about Linux and all open-source software. Although here I'm just another member of the family.


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