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How to change Debian Stable to Debian Testing?

Hello friends. Happy holidays. I hope you enjoyed yourselves no matter what the circumstances. In this post, I show you something very simple and that is to change Debian Stable for Debian Testing. This will allow you to have newer packages but a little less stability but enough for a desktop user-

Debian is a very robust system because it is based on testing the packages many times. These tests are carried out by teams and people prepared for this purpose. The problem is that recent versions are sacrificed for stability. If you are using Debian for a home or production server this is ideal, but for a desktop user, it is worth it?

Well, there is a middle ground between having the stability of Debian Stable and having more recent packages and that is moving to the Debian testing branch. Or rather change Debian Stable to Debian Testing.

The good thing about Debian Testing is that there is often more up-to-date software that often has new features that older software does not have, which is a positive point that many Debian users are looking for. In addition to this, we will not have to reinstall the system from time to time because it works in a similar way to the Rolling Release model.

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So, the process is very simple and we’re going for it.

Changing Debian Stable to Debian Testing

The process is quite simple and we only have to change the Debian repositories to point to the testing branch.

Before we start I remind you that Debian Stable is quite stable and that Testing could give you a headache or two. Besides this process is not recommendable to do in servers or if your system works properly. Also, the process will take some time depending on the number of packages you have installed.

So, open the Debian archive repository.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

And change all repositories from stable or buster to testing. It also eliminates backports or updates. Or any external repository to avoid problems in the update.

At the end, there is a file with the following content

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

Save the changes and close the editor.

Then refresh APT.

sudo apt update

And it makes the update:

sudo apt upgrade

Then:

sudo apt dist-upgrade

During the process, you will see a screen informing you that the services need to be restarted automatically.

1.- Services question during the process to change Debian Stable to Debian Testing
1.- Services question during the process to change Debian Stable to Debian Testing

In the end, restart your computer.

And when it starts again you will have Debian Testing.

Check it out by running it:

lsb_release -a
2.- Debian Testing running
2.- Debian Testing running

So, enjoy it.

Conclusion

Debian is quite stable but it is also true that it does not have very updated packages. In this post, you will learn how to change Debian Stable to Debian Testing. It’s simple and can be useful for you.

Happy holidays.

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