Debian 12 “Bookworm” Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

This release is powered by Linux kernel 6.1 LTS and features the KDE Plasma 5.27 LTS desktop environment.
Debian 12 Bookworm

The Debian Project released today the final version of the Debian 12 “Bookworm” operating system, a major release that brings several new features, updated components, and many improvements.

After almost two years of hard work, Debian 12 “Bookworm” is finally here and it’s powered by the long-term supported Linux 6.1 LTS kernel series. This kernel brings new and updated drivers to support modern hardware and it will be officially supported until December 2026.

New features in Debian 12 “Bookworm” include a new non-free-firmware repository consisting of non-free firmware packages split from Debian’s non-free repository. Those upgrading from Debian 11 to Debian 12 will have to add the new non-free-firmware repository to their sources.list files.

Debian 12 also brings read/write support for APFS (Apple File System) with the apfsprogs and apfs-dkms utilities, a new tool called ntfs2btrfs that lets you convert NTFS drives to Btrfs, a new malloc implementation called mimalloc, a new kernel SMB server called ksmbd-tools, and support for the merged-usr root file system layout.

Other new features include Secure Boot support on UEFI-capable AArch64 (ARM64) systems, a new shiny-server package for Debian Med Blend that simplifies scientific web apps using the R language, as well as GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 12.2 as default system compiler.

This release also includes completely new artwork called Emerald, designed (once again) by Juliette Taka. New fonts are also present in this major Debian release, along with a new fnt command-line tool for accessing 1,500 DFSG-compliant fonts.

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,” reads the release announcement.

Other noteworthy changes include the deprecation of os-prober by default in the GRUB bootloader to check for existing OS installations. This mainly affects dual-boot users, who will need to rely on dpkg-reconfigure now.

Debian Bookworm also deprecates the use of bash as /bin/sh, removes the libpam-ldap and libnss-ldap packages as they’re no longer maintained upstream and replaces them with libpam-ldapd and libnss-ldapd, removes the tempfile and rename.ul programs (mktemp and file-rename can be used as a replacement), and replaces rsyslog with the systemd journalctl utility for viewing logs.

Also deprecated is the which tool. The Debian Project recommends using command -v for writing shell scripts), as well as type or type -a for interactive Bash shell users. ZSH, CSH, and TCSH users are not affected by this change.

As with previous releases, Debian 12 is supported on 32-bit (i386), 64-bit (x86_64), AArch64 (arm64), Armel, ARMhf, MIPS 64-bit Little Endian (mips64el), MIPS (mipsel), PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian (ppc64el), RISC-V (riscv64), and IBM System z (s390x).

Debian 12″Bookworm” will soon be is available for download as live images from here pre-installed with the KDE Plasma 5.27 LTS, GNOME 43, Xfce 4.18, Cinnamon 5.6, MATE 1.26, LXDE 11, and LXQt 1.2.0 desktop environments. However, these live images are only supported on 64-bit systems.

Installation images for all supported architectures mentioned above will also be available for download from here. Upgrading from Debian 11 “Bullseye” to Debian 12 “Bookworm” is also possible and rather easy by following the official upgrade instructions (don’t forget to add the new non-free firmware repo).

Debian 12 “Bookworm” will be supported for five years, until June 2028. Here are a few screenshots of the boot menu, lock screen, and a live session featuring the KDE Plasma 5.27 LTS desktop environment.

Image credits: Debian Project

Last updated 9 months ago

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