It’s been more than 25 years since the first stable released of the Debian operating system. Debian was one of the first operating systems to use a Linux kernel, and it’s come a long way in the past two and a half decades, also serving as the foundation for other popular operating systems such as Ubuntu. Now the Debian team has released Debian 10, code-named Buster.

The free and open source operating system includes thousands of new software packages, a new display manager enabled by default, support for UEFI Secure Boot, and many other changes. And Debian 10 will be officially supported for 5 years.

Among other things, Debian 10 uses the Wayland display server by default instead of Xorg, although Xorg is still installed and users can switch to it if they want/need to. AppArmor is also now enabled by default, providing tighter security.

At a time when other operating systems are dropping support for some older technologies, Debian continues to support a wide variety of chip architectures including 32-bit and 64-bit x86, ARM, and MIPS processors.

There’s also support for devices with Allwinner processors including single-board computers and laptops from FriendlyARM (makers of the NanoPi line of devices, Olimex, and Pine64.

Debian 10 also includes newer versions of applications including LibreOffice, GIMP, Calliga, and more — although it’s worth noting that these aren’t necessarily the newest versions of those apps, since Debian’s stable releases tend to favor, well, stability over cutting-edge features.

Case-in-point: the latest version of the Linux kernel is version 5.1, but Debian 10 will ship with Linux kernel 4.19, which was released last October.

With Debian 10 out the door, the developers are starting to turn their attention to the next version of the operating system. It could be a few years before Debian 11 “Bullseye” is ready for public consumption, but Buster will likely see a number of security and stability updates in the meantime.

Upgrading Debian

Upgrades to Debian 10 from the previous release, Debian 9 (code name stretch) are automatically handled by the apt package management tool for most configurations. 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 guide 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.