How To Upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11 Bullseye

Debian is called the universal operating system and rightly so as it is an open-source complete free operating system popular and used mostly among advanced users because of Debian’s technical excellence and because of the deep commitment of Debian to the needs and expectations of the Linux community.

Debian is one of the leaders in Linux development and rightly so as for example it was the first Linux distribution that included package management for making installation easy and easy removal of software. Apart from that, it was also the first Linux distribution that offered upgrading without requiring reinstallation.

The first stable version of Debian was released in 1993 and since then it has come a long way. Debian 11 Bullseye was released recently after two years of development on August 14 2021 as an update to the previous version called Debian 10 Buster. Debian 11 Bullseye is supported for the next 5 years and offers over 11 thousand new packages and a total of 59,551 packages.

In this article, we will explore how to upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11 Bullseye question by providing you each and every step detail along with screenshots. So, Let’s get started.

Upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11

Upgrading Debian 10 to Debian 11 has become a certain necessity as Debian 11 offers updates to the previous packages as well as some new packages and driverless printing and scanning support and much more.

Step1: Update Package repository

The first step involves updating your package cache repository which is a recommended step and can be achieved by executing the below command in your Debian 10 terminal:

$ sudo apt update

If your packages are up to date then you don’t need to run the upgrade command, however, if the packages are not up to date then upgrade them by executing the below command:

$ sudo apt upgrade

Next, we will execute the dist-upgrade command in our Debian 10 system as not only does it upgrades packages but also handles the dependencies changes with new versions of packages installed.

debian command

Step2: remove unwanted packages

In this step we will remove all the unwanted packages in our Debian10 system by executing the below command:

$ sudo apt autoremove

Step3: Check current system

Let us now verify the current operating system using by executing the following command:

$ lsb_release -a

Step4: Update Debian10 Repostiory

In this step we will update Debian 10 repository with Debian 11 Repository for which first we have to open the Debian repositories file which is located at /etc/apt/sources.list:

$ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Once you execute the above command, sources.list file will open in nano editor and you will see something like shown in the below screenshot:

Remove or comment the content of the opened  file and paste the following:

deb bullseye main contrib non-free
deb bullseye-updates main contrib non-free
deb bullseye-security main
deb bullseye-backports main contrib non-free

If you don’t want to copy-paste then you can also just replace the Debian 10 name Buster with Debian 11 name Bullseye and that will do the trick. Save the file by pressing CTRL+S and then exit the file by pressing CTRL+X.

Step5: Upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11

Once we are done with modifying the sources.file, we will update our package repository so that our system knows about the new repositories for which execute the below command in your Debian 10 terminal:

$ sudo apt update

This is the last technical step where we will perform a full upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11 and all the new or latest packages that come with Debian 11 will be installed and dependency issues will also be handled in this step which will be achieved with the below command:

$ sudo apt full-upgrade -y

The execution of this command will take some time so be patient.

The -y option is used so that any question that is asked during upgrading, will automatically be answered with a y which means a yes. However the below prompt will still appear and you have to Enter the yes option as it will restart services during the package upgrades:

Once the upgrade is completed you will see something like shown below:

Step6: Reboot

Now that Debian 10 is upgraded to Debian 11 let us restart our system with the following command:

$ reboot

When the system is rebooted, you will see a different theme:

Step7: Verify Upgraded Version

Another way of verifying that the upgrade was successful is by executing the below command in the Debian terminal:

$ lsb_release -a

You will see 11 and Bullseye in the output when you execute the above command:

Congratulations! You have successfully upgraded to Debian 11 Bullseye.


Debian is a free, open-source operating system and the latest version that was released is the Bullseye Debian 11. Debian 11 has updated and new packages, driverless printing and scanning support, and some major software improvements. The improvements include Linux kernel 5.10, Gnome 3.38, a new eye-catching theme, support for the exFAT filesystem, and much more. It is these significant enhancements that make us want to upgrade the current Debian operating system to Debian 11 Bullseye.

In this article, we provided you with all the necessary tools and commands on how to upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11 Bullseye. We hope that by following this article you have upgraded from Debian 10 to Debian 11 without any hassle.