Debian is one of the oldest GNU/Linux distributions, and it continues to serve as the foundation for many other Linux-based operating systems including Ubuntu, Kali, MX, and the Raspberry Pi OS, among others.

The operating system is also known for emphasizing stability over flashy new features, and it can take a long time for new releases to arrive. Case in point: Debian 12 “bookworm” is now available, after nearly 20 months of development.

Debian 12 brings thousands of new and updated packages and support for a wide variety of desktop environments and processor architectures (including 32-bit and 64-bit PC, ARM, MIPS, and PowerPC.

But one of the biggest changes across the board is a move from Linux kernel version 5.10 to 6.1 LTS (with updated drivers, support for new hardware, and long-term support through at least December 2026).

Another major change is a new repository for non-free firmware that makes it easy to install Debian on systems that might not be fully compatible with only free and open source firmware without the need to offer two different ISO image files.

Starting with Debian 12, ISO files include both free and non-free firmware by default, but it’s set up in a way that allows users who only want to run free and open source firmware to choose that option. This comes as a response to a General Resolution about non-free firmware that the community voted on last year.

Users who are using non-free firmware and are upgrading from Debian 11 should add the new non-free-firmware repository to their APT sources-list.

Some other changes include the reintroduction of Secure Boot on ARM64 systems, support for reading and writing to APFS (Apple File System), updated artwork, and newer versions of desktop environments including Gnome 43, KDE Plasma 5.27, LXDE 11, LXQt 1.2.0, MATE 1.26, and Xfce 4.18.

You can find more details in the release announcement or Debian 12 release notes. Upgrade instructions are available in the Debian Wiki, and Live images should be available for testing and/or installation soon.

Upgrading from Debian 11

via DebugPoint

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  1. instaale el Mx 23.1 pero tiene un iso la comp en algun l
    ugar q impide se pueda usar el CDrom no lo instala tampoco lo reconoce con ningun prog :esta en log tpm en la computadora.HP UEFI deleted tpm log.Con Gparted no crea la part sr0 deletea los modulos del kernel 8812.ko No original module was found for this module on this kernel.solution

  2. Testing it out now on my OS testing mule, a HP mini desktop with the i5-9500T.

    Running my favorite full DE, KDE, and it defaulted to Wayland which was pretty cool. Firefox-ESR crashed the first time I closed it after syncing my account, and stayed resident so it wouldn’t re-open until I manually killed the process. That was not promising.

    Now that the account sync is done it seems stable, I loaded about 100 of my bookmarks at once and it’s chugging along just fine (I only have 16GB of RAM in this machine so I’m afraid to open more than that).

    As usual for Debian, some odd choices for default software in KDE; GIMP instead of Krita, for example. And some long-standing annoyances, like not putting the user created during installation in the sudoers file, or even having a “wheel” group to add them to. Can we all just move on to OpenBSD’s doas already and leave sudo’s complicated mess behind?

    Anyway, definitely evolution with no revolution here, which is what Debian is all about. The inclusion of non-free firmware during installation is a welcome addition to those of us who are not enlightened FOSS purists, and overall it’s perfectly usable and perfectly Debian.

      1. I know how to do it, I meant can the various distros, especially the main ones, move on from sudo like they are slowly moving on from X11? There’s no reason a new release of any distro should force the user to deal with sudo’s insanity by default.

  3. I’m running it right now. 😉 Farrrrrr less bugs than Fedora, but I would say not as secure. A couple things…

    There is still no included firewall, so you have to get online to download one. They didn’t even include iptables! So that gets pulled in.

    Secondly, they are still using the old outdated luks1 disk encryption format when everyone else has moved to luks2. Less secure.

    You can find out what you’re running by typing: sudo cryptsetup luksDump /dev/whatever-your-disk-is.

    Other than that, oh, clamav found a virus in a script in /usr/bin, which I deleted. Otherwise, it’s stable and virtually bug free from the few hours I’ve been using it. Happily typing this in bookworm xfce.

    Happy debian’ing everyone. 😉

      1. Be as it may, the *buntus and Fedora have always included a firewall by default. I don’t know how to use iptables or nftables, I just want something I can set. The fact that with Debian I always had to download ufw to have a firewall irritated me. Most people, including myself, don’t know how to manually set up iptables. They just want something that requires a couple lines in the terminal or click a button in a program.

        I’ve used linux since the Ubuntu 8.04 days, and I’m still just an intermediate user, definitely not advanced by any means.

        p.s. to anyone who might be curious, I discovered by accident yesterday that using the Ufw firewall and “default deny” options still responds to ping requests. Using Firewalld and using the default “drop” zone, does not respond. Just a PSA for those that care about security. I’m not using Firewalld from here on out.

        1. edit: meant to say that I am using Firewalld from here on out. I wont be using Ufw any more.

  4. I was hoping Debian 12 would finally get a new noob friendly installer, I recently installed it on an old very dead laptop only to find there was indeed something seriously wrong with the laptop’s hardware making it incapable of booting into a desktop environment. Although it isn’t difficult, its unpleasantness approaches that of a BSD installation. However, installing Extix is far more annoying and also less rewarding than both.

    1. My personal opinion – but I find the Debian installer more friendly than Fedora’s, for what it’s worth. And I used openbsd about 3 years back for a while and I found it to be a real PITA.

      1. Yea Fedora’s python installer is a bit wonky and original. Fedora-spins could never get my odd laptop screen resolution right and Dnf Dragora was buggy with my laptop resolution and would always cut off the bottom 1/4th of gui apps. Other than that Fedora was comparable to Debian based.. Also a bit easier to add repos in Fedora.