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Debian 11 "bullseye" Review: What‘s New?

Written by Mantas Levinas
on September 14, 2021

Debian is a Linux distribution composed of free and open-source software, developed by the community-supported Debian Project. It is a highly stable, and scalable distribution renowned for its technical excellence and extremely large user base.

Debian 11 “bullseye” was released on 14th of August 2021 and is going to be supported for the next 5 years. This release contains over 11294 new packages out of 59551 packages overall in its repositories.

Resource Efficiency

We have run an operating system comparison on our own servers using a bare-bone system installation with standard system utilities and no desktop environment. Debian 11 is more efficient when it comes to memory and storage consumption.

Debian 11 consumes ~28% less memory and ~17% less storage than Debian 10. And when compared with Ubuntu 20.04, Debian 11 consumes 63% less memory and 45% less storage.

Major Updates

Among many changes some of the more impactful ones are these:

  • The most significant change is the transition from 4.19 to 10 Linux kernel with a 6-year long support (LTS). You may run it on i386, amd64, arm64, armel, armhf, mipsel, mips64el, ppc64el and s390x hardware architectures.
  • Driverless printing with CUPS & scanning with SANE are now supported by the operating system that allows for running printers and USB devices without the need for installing additional drivers.
  • Linux 5.10 kernel among many things also has exFAT support which has now become a default option in Debian 11 for mounting exFAT filesystems.
  • Systemd persistent journaling is now activated by default with an implicit fallback to volatile storage. You can find systemd log journal in "/var/log/journal/".

How to get started?

If you would like to check whether Debian 11 is right for you and if it supports your hardware, you may run a live install image that does not modify your disk storage and simply loads the operating system into memory.

In case you find out that some of your hardware is unsupported by the free Debian 11 installer, you may choose to use non-free installer images that include firmware for AMD and Nvidia graphic cards, Intel audio hardware, and other proprietary drivers.

Finally, you may deploy a server with Debian 11 pre-installed from your chosen cloud infrastructure provider and not bother about operating system installation, nor hardware compatability at all.