What's New in Debian 11 “Bullseye”

What's New in Debian 11 “Bullseye”

The much-awaited release of Debian 11 “Bullseye” is released on 14th August 2021 after two years of development.

It will be supported for the next five years.

Debian is the most stable and secure Linux-based operating system. Many popular distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Raspberry Pi trace their roots back to Debian.

Debian 11 comes with many changes and enhancements.

In this article, you can learn the newly introduced features in Debian 11 “Bullseye”.

8 New Features in Debian 11 Bullseye

1. New Theme

Debian 11 Theme

Debian’s release always features new wallpapers and themes.

Bullseye has a very captivating new theme that is noticeable at very first glance.

It is called “homeworld,” and it is inspired by the early 20th-century Bauhaus movement. It features deep blue colors and geometric shapes.

The new theming is integrated into the login screen, installer, desktop, or on the Grub menu.

2. Latest Version of Desktop Environments

Debian 11 Latest Version of Desktop Environments

Debian is a good choice for a stable computing experience with Linux.

Bullseye consists of several different desktop environments, including:

  • GNOME 3.38
  • KDE Plasma 5.20
  • LXDE 11
  • LXQt 0.16
  • MATE 1.24
  • Xfce 4.16

Debian prefers stability, and the desktop environment versions are not the latest ones. They are newer in comparison to the previous Debian 10.

3. Upgraded Kernel - Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS

Debian 11 Upgraded Linux Kernel

Debian 10 Buster previously used Kernel 4.19. The Linux kernel in Bullseye has been updated to version 5.10.

This means users can expect better hardware support along with performance improvements.

It also means more efficient use of resources and some minor bug fixes.

Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS is a long-term support kernel that will be supported until December of 2026.

4. Major Application and Package Updates

Debian 11 package updates

Bullseye includes an updated package base.

Bullseye has a total of 59,551 packages. It has over 11,294 new packages and 42,821 software packages with newer versions.

It also has newer versions of popular applications like LibreOffice, Emacs, GIMP, and various server and programming-related tools.

Updates to popular packages include:

  • LibreOffice suite being moved up to 7.0
  • Calligra suite moving to version 3.2
  • GIMP moving up to 2.10.22
  • GNOME desktop environment (DE) is now at version 3.38
  • Fedora 34 and Ubuntu 21.04 are shipping with GNOME 40

5. Driverless Printing and Scanning

Debian 11 Driverless Printing and Scanning

Printing and scanning are now easier with Bullseye. Thanks to improvements in the CUPS and SANE utilities.

Debian has upgraded its utilities to handle devices that require special drivers.

Debian 11 now comes packed with ipp-usb. It utilizes the vendor-neutral IPP-over-USB protocol supported by many modern printers.

This indicates that the Bullseye will now support newer printers without requiring its drivers.

Also, the SANE driverless backend support allows users to use scanners easily.

6. Improved Security

Debian 11 Security

Bullseye has replaced the default encryption algorithm for local account passwords. Password hashing for local system accounts now uses Yescrypt by default.

The cryptographic security of yescrypt is based on that of SHA-256, HMAC, and PBKDF2.

Buster used SHA-512 by default and did not support Yescrypt. This change addresses security issues encountered in SHA-256 and SHA-512.

7. Support for exFAT File Systems

Debian 11 Support for exFAT Filesystems

You no longer need to exfat-fuse package for mounting ExFAT filesystem.

Thanks to the Linux kernel 5.10, Debian 11 has support for the exFAT filesystem. It defaults to using it for mounting exFAT file systems.

Tools for creating and checking an exFAT file system are provided in the exfatprogs package.

8. Multiple Languages

New Fcitx 5 input method - Debian 11

Bullseye includes a new Fcitx 5 input method.

Fcitx 5 is an input method for a wide variety of languages. It supports Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and many other languages.

Fcitx 5 is the successor of the popular Fcitx 4 in Buster (Debian 10). The new version has better Wayland support and the new add-on-loader.

Download Debian 11 Bullseye

Debian 11 is publicly available to download on its official website.

If you are already using Debian 10, you can easily upgrade to Debian 11 by changing your sources list. You can find a more detailed walkthrough of the upgrade process in the Debian documentation.


Debian has emerged as an excellent benchmark for community projects. The release of Bullseye had a significant impact on the Linux community.

With many improvements for professional and new users, the Debian 11 Bullseye is worth a try.

This article covers only noteworthy changes in Debian 11. For a full overview, be sure to read the official release notes.

Shraddha S.
Shraddha S.
Head of Content

Shraddha Singh has a lot of thoughts about Technology and the Cloud Services Industry. An Indian native and a professional Technical writer, she gets her management skills from IIT-B.

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