Debian 11 formally debuts and hits the Bullseye

11,294 packages added, 9,519 removed, and five years of support starting … now!


The Debian project has released the eleventh version of its Linux distribution.

Code-named Bullseye, the distro emerged on Saturday and will be supported for five years – a lifecycle made possible by its use of version 5.10 of the Linux kernel, which is itself a long-term support release that will be maintained until 2026.

New features that the project saw fit to single out as noteworthy include:

  • Native support for exFAT filesystems is a part of the kernel, rather than requiring use of the separate FUSE driver;
  • Support for the GNOME Flashback desktop environment if installed as part of the task-gnome-flashback-desktop package. KDE Plasma 5.20, LXDE 11, LXQt 0.16, MATE 1.24, and Xfce 4.16 are other desktop options;
  • USB printers can be treated as network devices with the new ipp-usb package, meaning driverless printing includes USB-connected printers.
  • Driverless scanning is also new, thanks to sane-escl in the libsane1 package;
  • win32-loader software enables Debian installation from Windows without use of separate installation media, now supports UEFI and Secure Boot.
  • Panfrost and Lima drivers to enable free support for the GPUs present in many ARM devices;
  • Podman 3.0.1, a Red Hat-developed daemonless container engine that can function as a drop-in replacement for Docker;
  • Support for init systems other than systemd is significantly improved compared to Buster.

There's plenty more, of course – as you might expect given the distribution includes 59,551 packages, of which 11,294 are new. And while 9,519 packages were marked as obsolete and removed, 42,821 packages were updated, and 5,434 packages remained unchanged.

Eight CPU architectures are supported. Namely:

  • 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).

The new release also updates commonly used open-source staples such as Samba, MariaDB, PHP, Perl, Apache, Python, Rust and Emacs, bringing them to more recent versions.

"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," states the project's release announcement.

"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 Bullseye fulfils the high expectations that users have of a stable Debian release."

You can put those claims to the test yourself by downloading a live image or a disk image.

Full release notes can be found here.

The release of Bullseye will be significant as Debian is the basis for many popular Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Devuan and Raspbian. ®

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