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What's New in Debian 12 'Bookworm': Features, Updates, and More

Discover Debian 12 'Bookworm': The latest stable release packed with new features, enhanced security, and a vast software repository. - Community submission by Editor (9to6linux) on

What's New in Debian 12 'Bookworm': Features, Updates, and More

What's New in Debian 12 'Bookworm': Features, Updates, and More

Discover Debian 12 'Bookworm': The latest stable release packed with new features, enhanced security, and a vast software repository.

The Debian project, renowned for its commitment to free and open-source software, is thrilled to announce the release of Debian 12, codenamed "bookworm". With 1 year, 9 months, and 28 days of dedicated development, this stable version showcases the collective effort of the Debian Security team and the Debian Long Term Support team. As the successor to Debian 11 "bullseye", bookworm will receive support for the next five years, ensuring its stability and security.

One of the notable changes in bookworm is the introduction of a new archive area dedicated to non-free firmware packages. In compliance with the 2022 General Resolution on non-free firmware, these packages have been separated into the "non-free-firmware" category. This separation enables the creation of a diverse range of official installation images. This step aligns with Debian's commitment to providing user-friendly options while maintaining its dedication to free software.

Debian 12 bookworm arrives with a wide array of desktop environments, catering to various user preferences. These include GNOME 43, KDE Plasma 5.27, LXDE 11, LXQt 1.2.0, MATE 1.26, and Xfce 4.18. Users can choose the environment that suits their needs and enjoy a seamless experience.

With the release of bookworm, Debian offers an impressive package count, consisting of 11,089 new packages, totaling 64,419 packages. Furthermore, 6,296 obsolete packages have been removed, and 43,254 packages have been updated, reflecting the dedication of the Debian community to maintaining an up-to-date and extensive software repository. In terms of code, bookworm comprises a staggering 1,341,564,204 lines.

Debian takes pride in its extensive localization efforts, and bookworm continues this tradition. With a focus on translated man pages, Debian provides support for multiple languages such as Czech, Danish, Greek, Finnish, Indonesian, Macedonian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Russian, Serbian, Swedish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. Additionally, the German-speaking community will be pleased to find complete availability of systemd man pages in German.

Debian 12 bookworm introduces new features to various specialized blends. For instance, the Debian Med Blend incorporates the shiny-server package, which simplifies the creation of scientific web applications using R. The Debian Astro Blend caters to the needs of professional astronomers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists, with updates to numerous software packages such as astap and planetary-system-stacker for image stacking and astrometry resolution, as well as the inclusion of openvlbi, an open-source correlator.

Security is a top priority for Debian, and bookworm brings back support for Secure Boot on ARM64. Users with UEFI-capable ARM64 hardware can now enable Secure Boot mode, benefiting from enhanced security measures.

The release of Debian 12 bookworm also entails updates to various software packages, including popular tools and frameworks. Noteworthy updates include Apache 2.4.57, BIND DNS Server 9.18, Dovecot MTA 2.3.19, GIMP 2.10.34, LibreOffice 7.4, OpenJDK 17, PostgreSQL 15, Python 3.11.2, and PHP 8.2, among others. With this comprehensive range of software packages, Debian maintains its status as the Universal Operating System, accommodating a wide range of use cases, from desktop systems to servers for web, database, and storage applications.

The Debian project continues to prioritize architecture support, and bookworm officially supports nine architectures: 32-bit PC (i386), 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), and IBM System z (s390x). Notably, 32-bit PC (i386) no longer supports i586 processors, with the new minimum requirement being i686.

Debian's commitment to cloud computing is evident with bookworm's availability on various cloud computing platforms, including Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, GenericCloud, and NoCloud. The Debian Cloud team provides tailored images for each platform, enabling users to leverage the power and flexibility of cloud infrastructure.

For users interested in exploring Debian 12 bookworm without installation, live images are available for the amd64 and i386 architectures. These live images allow users to test Debian in a read-only state, directly from their computer's memory. Different desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, and Xfce, can be selected during live testing. Additionally, the live image offers the option to install Debian using the Calamares independent installer or the standard Debian Installer.

For those who wish to install Debian 12 bookworm directly onto their storage devices, a range of installation media options are available, including Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, CDs, USB sticks, and network installations. Debian now supports installation in an impressive 78 languages, offering a truly global experience.

Upgrading from Debian 11 bullseye to bookworm is made seamless through the APT package management tool. However, it is strongly advised to perform a full backup before initiating the upgrade process to safeguard against any unforeseen issues. The release notes and installation guide provide detailed instructions and address possible upgrade concerns. Users are encouraged to provide feedback on their upgrade experience through the Debian bug tracking system, contributing to the continuous improvement of the Debian ecosystem.

Debian 12 bookworm represents yet another milestone in the Debian project's commitment to delivering a reliable, secure, and versatile operating system. With its vast range of packages, extensive architecture support, and adherence to free and open-source principles, Debian remains a trusted choice for a wide array of computing needs.