Debian 12 “Bookworm”

June 10th, 2023

After 1 year, 9 months, and 28 days of development, the Debian
project is proud to present its new stable version 12 (code name bookworm).

bookworm will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the
combined work of the Debian Security team
and the Debian Long Term Support team.

Following the 2022 General Resolution about non-free firmware,
we have introduced a new archive area making it possible to separate non-free
firmware from the other non-free packages:

  • non-free-firmware

Most non-free firmware packages have been moved from non-free to
non-free-firmware. This separation makes it possible to build a variety
of official installation images.

Debian 12 bookworm ships with several desktop environments, such as:

  • Gnome 43,
  • KDE Plasma 5.27,
  • LXDE 11,
  • LXQt 1.2.0,
  • MATE 1.26,
  • Xfce 4.18

This release contains over 11,089 new packages for a total count of 64,419
packages, while over 6,296 packages have been removed as obsolete. 43,254
packages were updated in this release.
The overall disk usage for bookworm is 365,016,420 kB (365 GB), and is made up
of 1,341,564,204 lines of code.

bookworm has more translated man pages than ever thanks to our
translators who have made man-pages available in multiple languages
such as: Czech, Danish, Greek, Finnish, Indonesian, Macedonian,
Norwegian (Bokmål), Russian, Serbian, Swedish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
All of the systemd man pages are now completely available in German.

The Debian Med Blend introduces a new package: shiny-server which
simplifies scientific web applications using R. We have kept to our
efforts of providing Continuous Integration support for Debian Med team
packages. Install the metapackages at version 3.8.x for Debian bookworm.

The Debian Astro Blend continues to provide a one-stop solution for
professional astronomers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists with updates to almost
all versions of the software packages in the blend. astap and
planetary-system-stacker help with image stacking and astrometry
resolution. openvlbi, the open source correlator, is now

Support for Secure Boot on ARM64 has been reintroduced: users of UEFI-capable
ARM64 hardware can boot with Secure Boot mode enabled to take full advantage of
the security feature.

Debian 12 bookworm includes numerous updated software packages
(over 67% of all packages from the previous release), such as:

  • Apache 2.4.57
  • BIND DNS Server 9.18
  • Cryptsetup 2.6
  • Dovecot MTA 2.3.19
  • Emacs 28.2
  • Exim (default email server) 4.96
  • GIMP 2.10.34
  • GNU Compiler Collection 12.2
  • GnuPG 2.2.40
  • Inkscape 1.2.2
  • The GNU C Library 2.36
  • lighthttpd 1.4.69
  • LibreOffice 7.4
  • Linux kernel 6.1 series
  • LLVM/Clang toolchain 13.0.1, 14.0 (default), and 15.0.6
  • MariaDB 10.11
  • Nginx 1.22
  • OpenJDK 17
  • OpenLDAP 2.5.13
  • OpenSSH 9.2p1
  • Perl 5.36
  • PHP 8.2
  • Postfix MTA 3.7
  • PostgreSQL 15
  • Python 3, 3.11.2
  • Rustc 1.63
  • Samba 4.17
  • systemd 252
  • Vim 9.0

With this broad selection of packages and its traditional wide
architecture support, Debian once again stays true to its goal of being
The Universal Operating System. It is suitable for many different
use cases: from desktop systems to netbooks; from development servers to
cluster systems; and for database, web, and storage servers. At the same
time, additional quality assurance efforts like automatic installation and
upgrade tests for all packages in Debian’s archive ensure that bookworm
fulfills the high expectations that users have of a stable Debian release.

A total of nine architectures are officially supported for bookworm:

  • 32-bit PC (i386) and 64-bit PC (amd64),
  • 64-bit ARM (arm64),
  • ARM EABI (armel),
  • ARMv7 (EABI hard-float ABI, armhf),
  • little-endian MIPS (mipsel),
  • 64-bit little-endian MIPS (mips64el),
  • 64-bit little-endian PowerPC (ppc64el),
  • IBM System z (s390x)

32-bit PC (i386) no longer covers any i586 processor; the new minimum processor
requirement is i686. If your machine is not compatible with this requirement,
it is recommended that you stay with bullseye for the remainder of its support

The Debian Cloud team publishes bookworm for several cloud computing

  • Amazon EC2 (amd64 and arm64),
  • Microsoft Azure (amd64),
  • OpenStack (generic) (amd64, arm64, ppc64el),
  • GenericCloud (arm64, amd64),
  • NoCloud (amg64, arm64, ppc64el)

The genericcloud image should be able to run in any virtualised environment,
and there is also a nocloud image which is useful for testing the build process.

GRUB packages will by default no
longer run os-prober for other operating systems.

Between releases, the Technical Committee resolved that Debian bookworm
should support only the merged-usr root filesystem layout, dropping support
for the non-merged-usr layout. For systems installed as buster or bullseye
there will be no changes to the filesystem; however, systems using the older
layout will be converted during the upgrade.

Want to give it a try?

If you simply want to try Debian 12 bookworm without installing it,
you can use one of the available live images which load and run the
complete operating system in a read-only state via your computer’s memory.

These live images are provided for the amd64 and
i386 architectures and are available for DVDs, USB sticks,
and netboot setups. The user can choose among different desktop
environments to try: GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, and Xfce.
Debian Live bookworm has a standard live image, so it is also possible
to try a base Debian system without any of the graphical user interfaces.

Should you enjoy the operating system you have the option of installing
from the live image onto your computer’s hard disk. The live image
includes the Calamares independent installer as well as the standard Debian Installer.
More information is available in the
release notes and the
live install images sections of
the Debian website.

To install Debian 12 bookworm directly onto your computer’s storage
device you can choose from a variety of installation media types to Download
such as: Blu-ray Disc, DVD, CD, USB stick, or via a network connection.
See the Installation Guide for more details.

Debian can now be installed in 78 languages, with most of them available
in both text-based and graphical user interfaces.

The installation images may be downloaded right now via
bittorrent (the recommended method),
jigdo, or
HTTP; see
Debian on CDs for further information. bookworm will
soon be available on physical DVD, CD-ROM, and Blu-ray Discs from
numerous vendors too.

Upgrading Debian

Upgrades to Debian 12 bookworm from the previous release, Debian 11
bullseye, are automatically handled by the APT package
management tool for most configurations.

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. The upgrade tools and process are quite reliable, but
a hardware failure in the middle of an upgrade could result in a severely
damaged system.
The main things you’ll want to back up are the contents of /etc,
/var/lib/dpkg, /var/lib/apt/extended_states and the output of:
$ dpkg --get-selections '*' # (the quotes are important)

We welcome any information from users related to the upgrade from bullseye
to bookworm. Please share information by filing a bug in the
bug tracking system
using the upgrade-reports package with your results.

There has been a lot of development to the Debian Installer resulting in
improved hardware support and other features such as fixes to graphical
support on UTM, fixes to the GRUB font loader, removing the long wait at
the end of the installation process, and fixes to the detection of BIOS-bootable
systems. This version of the Debian Installer may enable non-free-firmware
where needed.

The ntp package has been replaced with the ntpsec package,
with the default system clock service now being systemd-timesyncd; there
is also support for chrony and openntpd.

As non-free
firmware has been moved to its own component in the archive
, if you have non-free
firmware installed it is recommended to add non-free-firmware to your
APT sources-list.

It is advisable to remove bullseye-backports entries from APT source-list
files before the upgrade; after the upgrade consider adding bookworm-backports.

For bookworm, the security suite is named bookworm-security; users
should adapt their APT source-list files accordingly when upgrading.
If your APT configuration also involves pinning or APT::Default-Release,
it is likely to require adjustments to allow the upgrade of packages to the new
stable release. Please consider disabling APT pinning.

The OpenLDAP 2.5 upgrade includes some incompatible changes
which may require manual intervention
. Depending on configuration the
slapd service may remain stopped after the upgrade until new
configuration updates are completed.

The new systemd-resolved package will not be installed automatically
on upgrades as it has been split
into a separate package
. If using the systemd-resolved system service, please install the new package manually after
the upgrade, and note that until it has been installed, DNS resolution may no
longer work as the service will not be present on the system.

There are some changes to system logging;
the rsyslog package is no longer needed on most systems, and is not installed
by default. Users may change to journalctl or use the new
high precision timestamps that rsyslog now uses.

Possible issues during the upgrade include
Conflicts or Pre-Depends loops which can be solved by removing and eliminating
some packages or forcing the re-installation of other packages. Additional
concerns are Could not perform immediate configuration … errors for which
one will need to keep both bullseye (that was just removed) and
bookworm (that was just added) in the APT source-list file, and
File Conflicts which may require one to forcibly remove packages.
As mentioned, backing the system up is the key to a smooth upgrade should any
untoward errors occur.

There are some packages where Debian cannot promise to provide minimal
backports for security issues. Please see the Limitations
in security support

As always, Debian systems may be upgraded painlessly, in place,
without any forced downtime, but it is strongly recommended to read
the release notes as
well as the installation
for possible issues, and for detailed instructions on
installing and upgrading. The release notes will be further improved and
translated to additional languages in the weeks after the release.

About Debian

Debian is a free operating system, developed by
thousands of volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the
Internet. The Debian project’s key strengths are its volunteer base, its
dedication to the Debian Social Contract and Free Software, and its
commitment to provide the best operating system possible. This new
release is another important step in that direction.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at or send mail to .

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