How to upgrade Debian 9 Stretch to Linux Debian 10 Buster

March 29, 2019


Debian is a popular version, or fork, of the Linux operating system.

The most recently released version is Debian 10, codenamed Buster. The previous version Debian 9 Stretch is officially supported until June 2022. The newer version offers a longer support period and new features, so it is highly recommended to upgrade if running Debian 9.

This tutorial will walk you through how to upgrade from Debian 9 (Stretch) to Debian 10 (Buster).

how to upgrade debian strech to debian buster


  • A system running Debian 9
  • A Debian user account with sudo privileges
  • Access to a command line/terminal window (CtrlAltF2)
  • A recent snapshot (backup) of the system

Upgrade to Debian Version 10 Buster

Make sure to back up your system and data prior to upgrading. That way, if anything breaks during the upgrade, you can easily restore your system configuration.

Step 1: Update Package Manager and Repositories

By default, Debian 9 refers to the repositories designated for Stretch.

1. First, create a backup copy of the /etc/apt/sources.list file:

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.bak

2. Then, open the file for editing (we are using GNU nano for text editing):

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

3. Change all the references in this file from Stretch to Buster. The entries should appear as follows:

deb debian buster main

deb buster-updates main

deb buster/updates main
Debian Version 10 Buster successful install

4. Save the file using the keyboard combination Ctrl+O and Exit by pressing Ctrl+X.

You can also check for FTP download mirrors to replace the web address .

Step 2: Upgrade from Debian 9 to Debian 10

1. Update the local package lists:

sudo apt-get update

2. Next, run updates on the software packages to prepare for the operating system upgrade:

sudo apt-get upgrade

3. Finally, run the distribution upgrade:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

4. Once the process completes, reboot the system to boot into Debian 10 Buster:

sudo reboot

Step 3: Verify Debian 10 Update

You can use the hostnamectl command to display the OS version with the command:


The Operating System field should display Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster).

The output should appear as:

PRETTY_NAME="Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)"
NAME="Debian GNU/Linux"
VERSION="10 (buster)"

(Optional) Step 4: Remove Outdated Packages

After the upgrade to Debian 10, your system might have outdated packages and dependencies which are no longer necessary.

To remove outdated packages, run the --purge autoremove command:

sudo apt --purge autoremove


By following the directions above, you should have successfully upgraded from Debian 9 to Debian 10.

For more information about the upgrade process, including notes and extensive documentation, please refer to the Debian release notes.

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Sofija Simic
Sofija Simic is an experienced Technical Writer. Alongside her educational background in teaching and writing, she has had a lifelong passion for information technology. She is committed to unscrambling confusing IT concepts and streamlining intricate software installations.
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