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Home » Debian 12 ‘Bookworm’ Officially Released with Kernel 6.1

Debian 12 ‘Bookworm’ Officially Released with Kernel 6.1

Get ready to experience the power-packed Linux with Debian 12 “Bookworm” release, available now for download and upgrade.

Debian, the “Universal operating system”, has officially unveiled its highly anticipated version 12, codenamed “Bookworm.” Packed with a host of new features and improvements, Debian 12 ensures users have access to cutting-edge technologies while maintaining its renowned stability and reliability.

A key highlight of this release is the integration of Linux mainline Kernel 6.1, which was released in December 2022. By incorporating the latest kernel, Debian 12 provides users with the most up-to-date hardware support, guaranteeing a seamless experience on a wide range of devices. With Kernel 6.1, Debian 12 remains just one release behind the bleeding edge, ensuring users benefit from the latest advancements and optimizations.

Debian 12 Bookworm Desktop (Xfce)
Debian 12 Bookworm Desktop (Xfce)

Kernel 6.1 introduces several noteworthy features, including initial support for the Rust programming language framework, updates to Intel and AMD’s upcoming CPU/GPU line-ups, performance enhancements for file systems like btrfs, and much more.

In addition to the kernel upgrade, Debian 12 significantly changes how non-free packages are handled in the installer. Previously, Debian provided separate ISO files for “Free” and “non-free” packages, making it somewhat confusing for users to select the appropriate ISO file for their specific hardware needs. The Debian team initiated a community voting process to address this issue to determine the best approach for managing non-free packages.

Based on the voting results, Debian 12 now offers primary ISO files that contain both free and non-free packages, streamlining the installation process and ensuring users have access to the necessary drivers for their hardware. This change simplifies the ISO selection process, allowing users to download a single ISO file encompassing all their requirements, be it for a laptop, desktop, or server.

For enthusiasts of the GNOME desktop environment, Debian 12 brings even more good news. Pipewire, along with the Wireplumber manager, replaces PulseAudio as the default sound server in Debian 12 with GNOME. This modern audio subsystem, already adopted by other leading distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and Pop!_OS, provides improved audio management and a smoother audio experience for GNOME users.

Moreover, Debian 12 introduces the latest version of the apt package manager, version 2.6. This updated package manager includes specific enhancements to support the non-free ISO image integration introduced in this release. Notable changes include the automatic enabling of non-free firmware by default and the ability to display updates for non-free packages, ensuring users stay informed about the latest updates and security patches.

While all major desktop environments receive updates in Debian 12, the GNOME desktop remains on version 43 due to scheduling conflicts with the recently released GNOME 44. Nevertheless, users migrating from Debian 11 will still experience a significant upgrade, as GNOME 43 offers a feature-rich environment with a plethora of improvements.

On the other hand, KDE Plasma 5.27, the final Plasma 5 version before the upcoming Plasma 6, receives a substantial upgrade, guaranteeing a polished and refined desktop experience.

Additionally, Debian 12 introduces Xfce 4.18, bringing remarkable enhancements to the desktop environment, including improved Thunar features. Other featured desktop environments include LXQt 1.2, MATE 1.26, and LXDE 11, each offering their own set of improvements and updates.

As for core modules and applications, Debian 12 includes notable updates to essential software. Python 3.11, a significant release for developers and various use cases, makes its way into this release, enabling users to take advantage of the latest Python features.

Furthermore, LibreOffice 7.4 and Firefox 102.9 ESR received noteworthy updates, delivering improved productivity tools and an enhanced browsing experience.

A quick rundown of key applications and package updates in Debian 12 includes LibreOffice 7.4.4, Firefox 102.9 ESR, GIMP 2.10.32, OpenJDK 11.6, PHP 8.2, Python 3.11+, and Samba 4.17. These updates ensure users have access to the latest versions of essential software and enjoy a secure and efficient computing environment.

Debian 12 also introduces miscellaneous updates to enhance the overall user experience. Notably, the operating system now detects Windows 11 in dual-boot configurations, providing seamless compatibility for users with mixed operating systems.

For those relying on screen readers, Debian ensures that screen reader support is enabled by default for the Cinnamon desktop environment, improving accessibility for visually impaired users. Furthermore, the automatic launching of speech synthesis after a 30-second timeout and improved detection of multipath devices offer added convenience and ease of use. Debian 12 also extends its support to new ARM and RISC-V devices, catering to a broader range of hardware options.

Upgrading to Debian 12

If you are running Debian 11 “Bullseye”, you can update the APT sources list with “bookworm” entries and do the upgrade process. I have written detailed upgrade steps below page:

Downloading fresh Debian 12

The official page is yet to reflect the release. You can check out the below pages for updated ISO files.

Wrapping up

With its impressive array of features and enhancements, Debian 12 “Bookworm” offers a compelling upgrade for Linux enthusiasts and professionals alike. Whether you seek the latest hardware support, streamlined package management, or a refined desktop experience, Debian 12 delivers on all fronts.

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