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How to upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11

Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11 whose stable release is coming soon.

Debian 11 is the newest release of Debian which will include advanced packages and a huge number of improvements. Many users will do a system reinstall but we will rely on the power of Debian to do an upgrade from APT.

To do this we need to do some preliminary steps to ensure that the whole process is done correctly

…before starting the process

Before upgrading your system, it is strongly recommended that you make a full backup, or at least back up any data or configuration information you can’t afford to lose. Although the process is quite safe, it never hurts to prevent any problems.

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Also, it is necessary that you remove any external repositories you have on the system and any packages that are not distributed by Debian. This will make the process even more reliable and avoid compatibility problems.

Remember that during the process some services will be interrupted so be prepared for that.

Upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11

Now edit the sources.list file containing the Debian repositories.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

And leave the list of repositories as follows:

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

However, if you have never used the contrib and non-free repositories, you can remove them.

Save your changes and close the text editor.

Then, refresh APT.

sudo apt update

And perform a mass upgrade of the system with the command

sudo apt full-upgrade
1.- Upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11
1.- Upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11

According to the Debian upgrade documentation, this command:

This will perform a complete upgrade of the system, installing the newest available versions of all packages, and resolving all possible dependency changes between packages in different releases. If necessary, it will install some new packages (usually new library versions, or renamed packages), and remove any conflicting obsoleted packages.

During the process, you will notice that you will be prompted to restart the services automatically.

2.- Services configuration
2.- Services configuration

And you will be prompted to change the stored password.

3.- Configuring base-passwd
3.- Configuring base-passwd

Also if you are in an SSH session, you will be asked if you want to update the service configuration file or keep it.

In the end, reboot the system.

And check the changes with Neofetch, for example.

4.- Debian 11 installed
4.- Debian 11 installed


The process of upgrading from Debian 10 to Debian 11 is not that complex. But it can always give a problem so it is recommended to be prepared for any unfortunate case. So, enjoy it.

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