Buster – the new version of Raspbian

Amid all the furore about the release of a certain new piece of hardware, some people may have missed that we have also released a new version of Raspbian. While this is required for Raspberry Pi 4, we’ve always tried to maintain software backwards-compatibility with older hardware, and so the standard Raspbian image for all models of Raspberry Pi is now based on Buster, the latest version of Debian Linux.

Why Buster?

The first thing to mention about Buster (who was the actual dog in Pixar’s “Toy Story” films, as opposed to the toy one made out of a Slinky…) is that we are actually releasing it slightly in advance of the official Debian release date. The reason for this is that one of the important new features of Raspberry Pi 4 is that the open-source OpenGL video driver is now being used by default, and this was developed using the most recent version of Debian. It would have been a lot of work to port everything required for it back on to Raspbian Stretch, so we decided that we would launch on Raspbian Buster – the only question was whether Buster would be ready before the hardware was!

As it turns out, it wasn’t – not quite. The official launch date for Buster is July 7, so we are a couple of weeks ahead. That said, Buster has been in a “frozen” state for a couple of months now, with only minor changes being made to it, so the version we are releasing is pretty much identical to that which will be officially released by Debian on July 7.

We started using Buster internally in January this year, so it has had a lot of testing on Pi – while we may be releasing it a bit early, you need have no concerns about using it; it’s stable and robust, and you can use apt to update with any changes that do happen between now and July 7 without needing to reinstall everything.

What’s new?

There are no huge differences between Debian Stretch and Debian Buster. In a sad reflection of the way the world is nowadays, most of the differences are security changes designed to make Buster harder to hack. Any other differences are mostly small incremental changes that most people won’t notice, and this got us thinking…

When we moved from Jessie to Stretch, many people commented that they couldn’t actually see any difference between the two – as most of the changes were “under the hood”, the desktop and applications all looked the same. So we told people “you’ve now got Stretch!” and they said “so what?”

The overall appearance of the desktop hasn’t changed significantly for a few years, and was starting to look a bit dated, so we thought it would be nice to give the appearance a mild refresh for Buster. Then people would at least be able to see that their shiny new operating system looked different from the old one!

The new appearance

There has been a definite trend in the design of most computer graphical user interfaces over recent years to simplify and declutter; to reduce the amount of decoration, so that a button becomes a plain box rather than something that resembles a physical button. You can see this in both desktop OSes like Windows, and in mobile OSes like iOS – so we decided it was time to do something similar.

The overall appearance of most of the interface elements has been simplified; we’ve reduced things like the curvature of corners and the shading gradients which were used to give a pseudo-3D effect to things like buttons. This “flatter” design looks cleaner and more modern, but it’s a bit of a juggling act; it’s very easy to go too far and to make things look totally flat and boring, so we’ve tried to avoid that. Eben and I have had a mild tussle over this – he wanted as much flatness as possible, and I wanted to retain at least a bit of curvature, so we’ve met somewhere in the middle and produced something we both like!

We’ve also changed the default desktop for a new one of Greg Annandale’s gorgeous photographs, and we’ve moved to a grey highlight colour.

(If you really don’t like the new appearance, it is easy enough to restore the former appearance – the old desktop picture is still installed, as is the old UI theme.)

Other changes

We’ve been including the excellent Thonny Python development environment in Raspbian for some time now. In this release, it’s now our default Python editor, and to that end, we are no longer including IDLE by default. IDLE has always felt dated and not very pleasant to use, and Thonny is so much nicer that we’d strongly recommend moving to it, if you haven’t already!

(If you’d like an alternative to Thonny, the Mu Python IDE is also still available in Recommended Software.)

We’ve made some small tweaks to the taskbar. The ‘eject’ icon for removing USB devices is now only shown if you have devices to eject; it’s hidden the rest of the time. Similarly, if you are using one of the earlier Pis without Bluetooth support, the Bluetooth icon is now hidden rather than being greyed out. Also, the CPU activity gauge is no longer shown on the taskbar by default, because this has become less necessary on the more powerful recent Raspberry Pi models. If you’d still like to use it, you can add it back – right-click the taskbar and choose ‘Add / Remove Panel Items’. Press the ‘Add’ button and you’ll find it listed as ‘CPU Usage Monitor’. While you are in there, you’ll also find the new ‘CPU Temperature Monitor’, which you can add if you’re interested in knowing more about what the CPU is up to.

One program which is currently missing from Buster is Mathematica. Don’t worry – this is only a temporary removal! Wolfram are working on getting Mathematica to work properly with Buster, and as soon as it is ready, it’ll be available for installation from Recommended Software.

A few features of the old non-OpenGL video driver (such as pixel doubling and underscan) are not currently supported by the new OpenGL driver, so the settings for these are hidden in Raspberry Pi Configuration if the GL driver is in use. (The GL driver is the default on Raspberry Pi 4 – older Pis will still use the non-GL driver by default. Also, if using a Raspberry Pi 4 headless, we recommend switching back to the non-GL driver – choose ‘Legacy’ under the ‘GL Driver’ setting in ‘Advanced Options’ in raspi-config.)

If the GL driver is in use, there’s a new ‘Screen Configuration’ tool – this enables you to set up the arrangement of multiple monitors on a Raspberry Pi 4. It can also be used to set custom monitor resolutions, which can be used to simulate the effect of pixel doubling.

Finally, there are a couple of new buttons in ‘Raspberry Pi Configuration’ which control video output options for Raspberry Pi 4. (These are not shown when running on earlier models of Raspberry Pi.) It is not possible on the Raspberry Pi 4 to have both analogue composite video (over the 3.5mm jack) and HDMI output simultaneously, so the analogue video output is disabled by default. 4Kp60 resolution over HDMI is also disabled by default, as this requires faster clock speeds resulting in a higher operating temperature and greater power consumption. The new buttons enable either of these options to be enabled as desired.

How do I get it?

As ever with major version changes, our recommendation is that you download a new clean image from the usual place on our site – this will ensure that you are starting from a clean, working Buster system.

We do not recommend upgrading an existing Stretch (or earlier) system to Buster – we can’t know what changes everyone has made to their system, and so have no idea what may break when you move to Buster. However, we have tested the following procedure for upgrading, and it works on a clean version of the last Stretch image we released. That does not guarantee it will work on your system, and we cannot provide support (or be held responsible) for any problems that arise if you try it. You have been warned – make a backup!

1. In the files /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list, change every use of the word “stretch” to “buster”.
2. In a terminal,

sudo apt update

and then

sudo apt dist-upgrade

3. Wait for the upgrade to complete, answering ‘yes’ to any prompt. There may also be a point at which the install pauses while a page of information is shown on the screen – hold the ‘space’ key to scroll through all of this and then hit ‘q’ to continue.
4. The update will take anywhere from half an hour to several hours, depending on your network speed. When it completes, reboot your Raspberry Pi.
5. When the Pi has rebooted, launch ‘Appearance Settings’ from the main menu, go to the ‘Defaults’ tab, and press whichever ‘Set Defaults’ button is appropriate for your screen size in order to load the new UI theme.
6. Buster will have installed several new applications which we do not support. To remove these, open a terminal window and

sudo apt purge timidity lxmusic gnome-disk-utility deluge-gtk evince wicd wicd-gtk clipit usermode gucharmap gnome-system-tools pavucontrol

We hope that Buster gives a little hint of shiny newness for those of you who aren’t able to get your hands on a Raspberry Pi 4 immediately! As ever, your feedback is welcome – please leave your comments below.


Neil Manuel avatar

I tried installing Buster on my Pi3B+ and it worked fine in spite of failing to get new updates as part of the installation – reporting libraries not available until July.
One hazard of releasing software too early?

gsb avatar

I also ran into this issue, however packages seem to install regardless via apt whether using Ethernet or WiFi (tested on both). Tested on the Raspberry Pi 3B+; will order a 4 soon.

Dan avatar

Once you get the failure in first setup to get updates. Hit back. Then open a terminal and enter this:

sudo apt-get update --allow-releaseinfo-change

Let it run through then hit next again to get updates through the setup. All works well.

David Morton avatar

I just tried the above command, and it bombs with an error that the text with -a is not understood.

My problem may also be different, last week Buster would update, this week it won’t. I’m told the “Suite status has changed from testing to stable” It goes on to tell me to look at the manpage for apt-secure, which is all theory and no use, so is no help.

How do I get updates happening again?

Simon Long avatar

sudo apt -y update should fix that.

Jim O'Connell avatar

>sudo apt-get update –allow-releaseinfo-change

I believe that this site’s CMS text processor has changed the two hyphens before “allow-releaseinfo-change” into an en-dash, which would make cutting and pasting impossible.

Liz Upton avatar

Looks like you’re right. We’ll do our best to get that fixed.

Alex Bate avatar

I fix! :D

Geoff Rehmet avatar

One of the points I noted is that a lot more space is allocated to /boot on Buster, and a lot more space is used. What is the minimum /boot size needed to successfully upgrade from Stretch to Buster?

PhilE avatar

Provided there are no unnecessary files on your card, an old 56MB /boot FAT partition should be sufficient for an upgrade, but we would strongly recommend moving to the new 256MB FAT partition when possible.

Geoff Rehmet avatar

I have a recent Raspbian Stretch Lite install that has a 43MB /boot. After the Buster upgrade it had 40MB used, and still rebooted successfully. I am not 100% certain that there is nothing missing :-)

Eggert Ehmke avatar

I have upgraded three RPS 3B+ now and can tell, in all cases there were crashes during the installation process. Then I resized the boot partition to 240 GB and had no more problems.

Resizing the FAT partition with GParted is tricky: you must
1. backup the files in /boot
2. reformat the partition as ext4
3. resize and move both partitions
4. reformat the first partition to FAT32
5. relabel the partition to boot
6. restore the files from the backup

Sounds scary, but this worked for me.

Markus Lange avatar

Should this be the easy solution?

I did the same without backup, with the Paragon Partition Manager. Works as far as I can tell.

Doug Moen avatar

What version of OpenGL does the new driver support? (I’m asking for the OpenGL version, not the OpenGL ES version.) Thanks!

Liz Upton avatar

ES 3.0 at launch. The closest desktop version in terms of features is 2.0, but there’s an imperfect overlap of OpenGL and OpenGL ES features.

Anderson Silva avatar

And is it still “arm32”? When will it be arm64?

Alastair Stevens avatar

Is there any real need for a 64-bit OS on a system that maxes out at 4GB RAM? I imagine they might do this on the next version, but it’s not really necessary for now. Presumably there are advantages to having smaller 32-bit binaries etc, on a system that still has slightly more limited resources than a full-fat computer – even if the gap has narrowed.

crumble avatar

>Is there any real need for a 64-bit OS on a system that maxes out at 4GB RAM?

Yes, only in 64 bit the ARM core can use all of their features. AES to speed up en-/decryption for example.

MikusR avatar

There is no AES acceleration in the CPU version Raspberry is using. It is an optional feature.

Dingo35 avatar

I was inclined to be in favor of upgrading to 64 bits too, until I did some real benchmarking:

My conclusions were:
1) Floating point operations are up to 12 times faster in 64bits (see sysbench tests);
2) Binary size (on disk) increased with app. 22%,
3) memory usage can vary (in these tests) from no increase (memtester) to 4 times as much memory usage (valgrind test) in a 64 bits environment.
4) performance of non floating point, memory intensive programs can decrease by 30% (memtester) in a 64 bits environment.
The raspbian binaries are highly optimized when compared to the fedora 32 bits image:
5) binary filesize (sysbench and memtester both 20% reduction)
6) memory usage reduced by 20% (memtester) or even 500% (valgrind test)
7) performance increased 33% faster (sysbench) and 20% (memtester).

So: be carefull what you wish for!

Simon Long avatar

Thank you! Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing we have seen when benchmarking – a 64-bit OS just gives you a different set of compromises; it is not the case that everything gets better.

David Morton avatar

My 64-bit desires have been satisfied with Ubuntu-Mate. The only thing I’ve missed out on is Mathematica, but hey its easy to shut my 3B+ down and swap cards. I’m back up in about 73 seconds.

Simon Long avatar

Mathematica is now back for Buster – run Recommended Software, and you should be offered it to install.

Michael avatar

mongodb – with the 32 bit version it has a stup#* 2GB limit

Simon Long avatar

When someone comes up with a convincing improvement resulting from a move to 64-bit which justifies the loss of backward compatibility which it entails. Which no-one has yet managed to do.

Peter Stevens avatar

MongoDB will limit itself to 2GB which might make a difference for a cluster of 4GB Pis.

Peter Stevens avatar

To be clear, 32 bit MongoDB will be limited to 2GB of data – it’s the maximum size for your entire database, not just a process.

However, other document stores are available and I don’t think this one use case is enough to justify migrating everything to 64 bit.

Hamish avatar

Twice as many registers in 64b vs 32b?

We now have 4x as much RAM in the Pi-4-4G… That and the extra speed of operations far outweigh the sometimes you use up to 4x the memory when running valgrind IMO…

Silas avatar

Hi, Fantastic work!
Just wondering if the update applies to the desktop version also.

Simon Long avatar

We will create an updated x86 image at some point, but I can’t say when as yet. (It certainly won’t be until the x86 version of Debian Buster is officially released!)

Herman avatar

Very nice, Simon. I also hope that there will be a better built-in File Manager than the one in Stretch, because IMHO that is one of the things that would make Raspbian much more appealing to people used to Finder or Explorer.

rpi23_gen avatar

If you want more features, install SpaceFM. There’s a lot of functionality hidden in that. In addition, there are more than two dozen plugins available.

Herman avatar

OK, there’s always room for extra stuff, but a good file manager should be available from Raspbian itself. Not all (new) RPi users are rocket scientists or their main computer is a Mac or a Windows-PC and they are used to Finder or Explorer, file managers which offer access to their discs, folders and files in a more cpmprehensive way. IMHO no easy to understand file manager in Raspbian is a weakness (certainly to first users) and is a heritage from old time Linux that was used solely by nerds.

Simon Long avatar

Out of interest, what do you find inadequate about the Buster file manager?

I have already done a lot of work on it to simplify the original PCmanFM file manager (which I will agree was not the most intuitive thing in the world…), and to me it is now no more complex than those on Windows or Mac. Admittedly you need to have some understanding of the Linux directory structure to use the left-hand pane (the hierarchical view), but there are also shortcuts in the menus which can take you to most common locations. Navigating in the right-hand pane (the folder view) is identical to the use of the file managers in Windows and Mac, as is the support for dragging and dropping, copying, renaming etc.

How exactly do you think it should be improved? I’m open to ideas.

Ian Binnie avatar

PCManFM is adequate – the principle shortcoming, as far as I concerned, is the inflexibility of date format. The nn/nn/nn format is ambiguous – I use ISO8601 everywhere else.

PS I agree Explorer and Finder are poor – I wrote my own FileManager for macOS.

wb greene avatar

My only complaint about PCmanFM is when I run it over and ssh -X connection it doesn’t show the icons that are located under the menus.

It also is rather chatty with warnings and status, so I start it:
pcmanfm 2>/dev/null &

Herman avatar

Simon, for starters, I do appreciate your nice work on Raspbian, let there be no misunderstanding about that, so please, do not feel attacked, I just wanted to explain what my experiences are and I believe the FM could be more intuitive just like Finder (yes, I’m a Mac user and not so well acquainted with Linux).

Suppose you’ve got 2 extra discs, named “red_flower” and “green_apple”. On the Mac, when I open the Finder, the left hand pane will show me the names of the 2 extra discs “red_flower” and “green_apple (with eject arrow) and I can use them the same way I use Macintosh HD.

When I open the FM in Raspbian Stretch on a RPi 3+ (I didn’t install Buster yet because I am waiting for my RPi 4 with 4 Gb to arrive.), I do not see any “red_flower” or “green_apple” name in the left hand pane. I will have to dig into more than one folder before I can find them:

\ –> media –> pi

But there I do not see the “red_flower” nor the “green_apple” names. I see a lot of folder names and I will have to guess which one is the “red_flower” and which one represents the “green_apple” disc. On top of that, if I want to eject one of those discs, I have to deal under the eject arrow in the right hand top corner of the screen with disc-names that I have never met before. IMHO, that is not user friendly, certainly not for newbies and people with little knowledge of Linux, or am I missing or overlooking something? I’am ready to learn new ways to use use the FM in Raspbian if someone can point me into the right direction, thanks!

Simon Long avatar

Hi Herman,

Yes, that’s fair criticism – the way the file manager handles external drives could be better, and I do take your point about drive names. (Which, incidentally, I did do some tidying of in the Buster release – the names are now used slightly more consistently than they were before, albeit not perfectly yet.)

With regards finding external drives, there are a couple of shortcuts to make it easier than looking in the file browser. One is that external drives should always display by default on the desktop nowadays, and you can open them in the file manager, drag & drop to them etc from there. The other quick way to get to them is to go into the “Go” menu in the file manager and choose “Devices” – this will show all mounted drives. There is still the confusion over drive names here – it’s to do with the device name being shown instead of the volume name – which is something I will have another look at when I get a chance!

There did used to be the option of having a “places” column on the left hand side of the window instead of the hierarchical browser, but I found that I never used it; I spent all the time with it switched into the hierarchical view. But if you want it back, just go into the Layout tab of the Preferences window and untick “Display simplified user interface and menus”.

QwertyChouskie avatar

In my opinion, the Places view should be the default, as it is much more user-friendly and much more similar to File Explorer and Finder.

Also, would the team consider switching the default file manager to Thunar? It’s directory tree has entries for all attached devices (with human-readable names), and it’s “Places” view is also much better than PCManFM’s, catagorizing into “Devices”, “Places”, and “Network” (which PCManFM doesn’t seem to even have).

Actually, is LXDE even developed anymore? (AFAIK most of the effort is going into LXQt.) It may be better to eventually switch to full XFCE… (I’m saying this as someone who uses Xubuntu for their daily work and LOVES it.)

So short term, switching to using the Places view by default would fix this issue, though IMO a switch to Thunar should be considered long-term.

Milliways avatar

I hope you won’t be influenced by one vocal user.

Rather than making Linux like Windows or macOS the users of these systems should learn to use Linux.

The LAST thing we need is something like Finder or Explorer. It amazes me how anyone works with directories interspersed with files.

I wouldn’t object to more meaningful Device names, but this is only one use case, and the first thing I do is disable the automount feature. If I want something mounted I mount it, usually using fstab.

I would like more options to configure the File Manager, which would cater for different use cases.

rpi23_gen avatar

SpaceFM is available in Raspian.

Supra avatar

It worked for me. I have no problems. Copy and Paste on prompt nicely. Thanks!

Archisman Panigrahi avatar

How does the operating system check the version of Raspberry Pi in order to decide which settings to show?

Simon Long avatar

There are a bunch of helpful functions in /usr/bin/raspi-config which check board revision numbers – these are called whenever something version-specific is run.

Archisman Panigrahi avatar

I was curious to know how the first generation Raspberry Pis perform in Debian Buster?

Is the performance quite the same as old versions like Jessie or Wheezy?

Simon Long avatar

They seem to run fine – I’ve run Buster on both Pi 1 and Pi Zero, and they seemed no different from earlier versions in terms of performance.

Walter Sonius avatar

For the official raspberry “TV-hat” the package “tvheadend” is missing from the buster apt repository, will this be added back to the default repo before launch? Using buster lite on a RPI3.

As a workaround Installing the official tvheadend doozer build for raspbian stretch still works if you specifically mention “raspbian-stretch” since buster is officially lacking.

James Hughes avatar

We are are aware, the Pi4 release deadlines meant some things still need to be done, this is one of them. Should be fairly soon.

James Williams avatar

Can you say more about the lack of the underscan feature in the new OpenGL driver? Does that mean that using that driver will always result in overscan, so that not all possible pixels are visible? I always disable overscan in config.txt, but if I have a DMT monitor, maybe that isn’t necessary?

6by9 avatar

It’s being worked on.

The GL stack has moved all the parsing of HDMI EDIDs etc up to the kernel. The mainline kernel folk are currently adding overscan as an option in 5.2 (we’re on 4.19 as it is an LTS release).

The “quirk” of their overscan implementation is that everything will still be rendered at full resolution, and then “squashed” slightly to give the overscan margins. That’s going to give blurry images due to the resize, and is likely to be deeply unsatisfactory. The old overscan worked by reducing the frame buffer size from (eg) 1920×1080 to 1824×984 to give a 48 pixel border but retaining the 1:1 pixel mapping.
The mainline solution will get implemented first, but the scaling is likely to mean we have to rework it, and that’s likely to be messy.

For the upstream view on overscan see https://github.com/anholt/linux/issues/42

Carlos avatar

I have a Raspberry Pi 3B with SenseHat and PiCamera attached. I re-imagined my SD card with a clean headless Buster, touched an “ssh” file in the boot partition, but when I turned the Pi on I wasn’t able to ssh into it. The SenseHat was on with the rainbow matrix and never turned off.

I tried attaching an HDMI cable and powering it off/on to see if anything was showing up. And this time it did boot, the SenseHat turned off and I could ssh in.

Repeated the process a few more times, and when HDMI is disconnected I can never ssh in, when it is connected I can.

Tried changing power sources (it was previously a router’s USB port, and it’s now an actual power outlet, but I get the same behavior and can never boot without HDMI.

Any ideas?

James Hughes avatar

Please post on the forums for technical help.

Tawanda Gwena avatar

I have put my issue related to this in the forum:


Eric Dannewitz avatar

Ok, this messed up my kiosk Pis.

Seems lxsession is no longer there. So how does one make a pi boot into Chrome and run something?

Eric Dannewitz avatar

Nevermind. Seems like they moved it to


Modified that and I was back up.

Robert White avatar

Thank you.
Updated PI3b and went well and nice desktop image!
Instructions spot on, as usual.
Best wishes

Ronald R Riggs avatar

Will this new OS support SD cards larger than 32 GB?

James Hughes avatar

Raspbian has always supported SD cards > 32GB, we’ve tested up to 256Gb, but it should be OK for over 1TB.

Tad Marko avatar

Buster didn’t work on my RPi 1. I had to go back to Stretch. I didn’t log the error as I thought I’d read that it required a newer Pi, but now I realize I misread that the newer Pi requires Buster.

Simon Long avatar

Buster should work on the Pi 1 – I’ve run the download image on a Pi 1 here with no issues.

Robert Tatum avatar

My RPi.1 with 256mb of ram boots buster lite no problem,
not tired the full version yet

David B avatar

I also cannot get Buster to run on My Rpi1B. Just doesn’t boot at all. Put an older version on the same SD card and it runs fine.

Ralph Martin avatar

All working great for me on a headless Pi4, upgraded from a Pi3 running stretch, as a webserver, with /boot on SD and / on a USB3 HD.

lesc avatar

Didn’t quite get the meaning of section 6…, “Buster will have installed several new applications which we do not support”.
If those applications are not supported why are they included in the official released image? Or they are unsupported only for upgraded older RPi’s?

Simon Long avatar

They aren’t included in the official released image; they are included in Debian’s apt repository, and are automatically installed as part of the upgrade because Debian recommends them. We don’t recommend them – so we remove them.

It’s entirely up to you whether you leave them installed, but we don’t support them, so you’re on your own if any of them don’t work!

Gordon77 avatar

Thonny won’t work with my Python3 script of more than 5000 lines, just fails to load, IDLE works fine.

paddyg avatar

+1 I used Thonny for about a day and it seems to struggle very badly on anything more than a trivial file! Geany seems to be a much better bet IMO.

I also didn’t like the non-informative window on first boot as it tried to update the operating system. In fact I thought it had died so pulled the plug and re-burnt a slightly higher spec SD card then skipped the update and ran it in a terminal… To see that it was indeed taking forever to upgrade all kinds of kernel stuff. Presumably there are lots of patches being pushed out.

Remember the RPi is for hacking so black screens with text streaming up them are good. Don’t fall for your own hype and start thinking it’s a desktop computer!

Simon Long avatar

“Remember the RPi is for hacking so black screens with text streaming up them are good. Don’t fall for your own hype and start thinking it’s a desktop computer!”

I think it’s actually up to us to determine what the Pi is for – and we decided several years ago that black screens with text (that means nothing to 90% of users) streaming up them were a relic of the 70s with no place on a modern computer.

paddyg avatar

Er.. “relic of the 70s with no place in a modern computer” Have you spoke to Eben about that? It sounds like you want to make something very like the PC which he said was “the problem” and get away from things like the ZX Spectrum, BBC micro and Commodore 64 which he said were the solution!

Anyway, difference of opinion apart, I’ve been testing on Buster all day and it seems great so well done.

Simon Long avatar

Oddly enough, Eben takes a very keen interest in what I do, and was completely in favour of getting rid of the pages of scrolling text…

The point about the computers of the 80s that you mention is that they were intended as things you could program yourself. That is how they differ significantly from the PC, which is primarily just a box on which to run other people’s programs.

Making something approachable and easy to use encourages people to learn to program on it – making it look confusing and dated does not. As I’ve said many times on here before, the aim of Pi is to get people interested in programming, not to force them to become Linux hackers; they can try that later on!

Mark Currymonstah avatar

Surely you should be giving the +1 to vi then?

(Which is still my “IDE” of preference for most things btw!)

Aivar Annamaa (Thonny's main author) avatar

You are right, Thonny is currently not optimized for large programs. The main focus has been on providing helpful features for total beginners.

You may get better performance if you go to Regular mode, open Editor options (Tools => Options => Editor) and switch off “Highlight matching names” and “Highlight local variables”.

Nick avatar

I still don’t get it. Why to use sluggish stuff for beginners since there are wonderful editors like Sublime Text, Atom. And you are learning the real thing. When I was 9 years old I was fine with Turbo Pascal IDE and it was not super-beginner friendly, but it was a tool learning which you can improve your skills.

Francois Visagie avatar

Before prompting to proceed, apt dist-upgrade reports:
The following packages will be REMOVED:
… kodi kodi-bin …

However, those do not appear again under either NEW or to-be-upgraded packages.

How should I upgrade to Buster and retain support for Kodi?
What will happen to existing library data and settings?

John Roper avatar

Does this update bring support for using both HDMI and the official touchscreen at the same time?

Francois Visagie avatar

It seems my first comment didn’t make it, here goes again.

apt reports that the Stretch kodi 18.2 will be removed, and won’t be reinstalled automatically.

According to the forum only 17.6 is available in the Buster repository.

Is there any way to install 18.2, from the Stretch repository or something?

Simon Long avatar

The version of Kodi available for Buster on Pi 4 is the standard Debian build (17.6) and is not optimised for Pi, so it will run poorly. There is a Pi 4 version of Kodi with hardware acceleration, but it is only currently available as part of the LibreELEC operating system, not in Raspbian. We will address this at some point, but we can’t make any promises as to when – for now, if you want to run Kodi on a Pi 4, we recommend using LibreELEC rather than Raspbian to do so.

If you are using a Pi 3, then it is probable that the Stretch version of Kodi will work on Buster, but we haven’t tested it. It definitely won’t work well on Pi 4!

Francois Visagie avatar

Thanks, Simon. I have a Pi 3B and if I can make time will try figure out how to install Stretch Kodi 18.2 on Buster for it. Unless the Buster Kodi upgrade beats me to it ;-).

James Heather avatar

Did you get a chance to try this? I’m in the same situation, and have upgraded without realising that Kodi would be screwed.

Ngosang avatar

There isn’t a custom kodi version for raspbian buster and, the “debian buster version” is outdated and not working for me.
I updated the whole systen to buster as instructed in this post. After that, I tried to install kodi stretch and the main problem was the libraries libcurl3 libmariadbclient18 are incompatible with buster (replaced with libcurl4 and libmariadb3). The packages curl and rpi-update need the new libraries…
It took me a while to solve all the problems, I leave my solution:

# add stretch and buster repositories (both, don’t worry about conflics)
nano /etc/apt/sources.list
nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list

# remove kodi from buster (if you installed it)
apt-get purge kodi kodi-bin kodi-data kodi-repository-kodi kodi-visualization-spectrum

# install old libraries used by kodi, you have to remove some packages when asked
apt-get install libcurl3 libmariadbclient18

# install stretch versions
apt-get install -t stretch kodi kodi-bin curl rpi-update

# enable autostart (in my installation I commented the group in systemd unit)

Anonymous avatar

Thanks! This solution worked for me

Ngosang Kplan avatar

There isn’t a custom kodi version for raspbian buster and, the “debian buster version” is outdated and not working for me. I updated the whole system to buster as instructed in this post. After that, I tried to install kodi stretch and the main problem was the libraries libcurl3 libmariadbclient18 are incompatible with buster (replaced with libcurl4 and libmariadb3). The packages curl and rpi-update need the new libraries… It took me a while to solve all the problems, I leave my solution:

# add stretch and buster repositories (both, don’t worry about conflics)
nano /etc/apt/sources.list
nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list

# remove kodi from buster (if you installed it)
apt-get purge kodi kodi-bin kodi-data kodi-repository-kodi kodi-visualization-spectrum

# install old libraries used by kodi, you have to remove some packages when asked
apt-get install libcurl3 libmariadbclient18

# install stretch versions
apt-get install -t stretch kodi kodi-bin curl rpi-update

# enable autostart (in my installation I commented the group in systemd unit)

Chris avatar

is it possible to use a display like the original 7” on sdi displayport and a hdmi monitor at the same time? By meaning of a dual screen solution.


Tim Jones avatar

Ordered a couple of 4 B+ boards and cases. Great forward movement on the designs :).

When will we see a 64bit version of Linux for the Pi 3 B+ and 4B+ boards? It’s great to have power but 64 is the current state of affairs for ARM SoC systems.

Simon Long avatar

When someone demonstrates a clear advantage to using 64-bit on Pi platforms for common use-cases (other than “it’s newer”). 64-bit may be the current state of the art, but it would orphan the 10 million or so Pi 1, 2 and Zero boards out there – for us, it is more important to retain backward compatibility than to have the (very questionable) advantages of 64-bit.

Rob Nugent avatar

I hope the other Linux distros will be able to fill the gap.

I’ve had qite good results with Fedora/AArch64 on the RPI3. Hopefully they can support the RPi4 as well before too long.

My interest is as a cheap 64 bit development/test platform for software to be deployed to higher-end hardware.


Thomas Browne avatar

This is precisely my use case too. I want to run 64-bit ARM Linux software in a small RPi 4 cluster. If I can get it running at a decent clip on RPis, it’s obviously going to work fantastically well proper data center hardware. The beauty of small boards like the Raspberry Pi is that they show up bottlenecks and corner case problems really well without having to create enormous test suites. I’m probably not going to notice the difference between 5 milliseconds and 100 milliseconds responsiveness. But I sure will notice the difference between 100 milliseconds and 2000 milliseconds. For this reason alone, proper 64 bit support to properly “mirror” large scale platforms and a “mini” level would be awesome.

Harry Hardjono avatar

Speaking of displays, can I simply get USB to HDMI adapter instead of micro HDMI? I already have USB C to HDMI as part of my Samsung Dex experience. But USB3 to HDMI is fine, too.


My questions is about RAM & SD footprints (metrics) comparing Stretch to Buster:
Where might I find any documentation of the maximum amount of RAM used (NOT required) for both of these Debian distributions? (high water mark)
Also, what is the maximum used space for the OS partitions on the SD card?

The purpose of my questions are to evaluate the value of upgrading to Buster for an earlier RPi board (v2, v3…).

AndrewS avatar

Try it on a new SD card, and if it doesn’t meet your requirements, simply use the old SD card again?

Ron avatar

Can only install Kodi 17.6 on the release, and it’s non-usable – screen takes forever to update the mouse movement. Does it relate to the new OpenGL driver? Is there a way fix it?

Simon Long avatar

The version of Kodi available for Buster on Pi 4 is the standard Debian build and is not optimised for Pi, so it will run poorly. There is a Pi 4 version of Kodi with hardware acceleration, but it is only currently available as part of the LibreELEC operating system, not in Raspbian. We will address this at some point, but we can’t make any promises as to when – for now, if you want to run Kodi on a Pi 4, we recommend using LibreELEC rather than Raspbian to do so.

Alastair Stevens avatar

I installed a fresh Buster image on my Pi3, and it almost runs perfectly. But Pi-Hole isn’t fully happy yet. I guess their install scripts might need tweaking for the new environment. Lighttpd installed but won’t run, for starters. I haven’t had time to try and fix it yet. But everything else looks sweet, and the new distribution seems to make the Pi3 feel faster and better. The Pi4 is already on order, naturally, to open up more new frontiers :)

Phil Hopkins avatar

My issue with Pi-Hole is that it is running but the Web console isn’t accessible…nor is even a simple test HTML file I loaded to the same directory as the Pi-Hole Web console.

Phil Hopkins avatar

The problem turned out to be related to the lighttpd service. See my fix (below). The Pi-Hole Web dashboard is working now after implementing this.

Ross Porter avatar

Any chance USB Audio Class 2 (UAC2) devices will work on a Pi 4 with Buster? I’ve ordered a Pi 4, so I’ll find out soon enough, but I’m curious to hear if there is any official thinking. I’ll specifically be testing with a Schiit Fulla 2 DAC / headphone amp. From Pi 3B+ pre-Buster testing, there appear to be USB issues related to packet intervals for high-speed Isochronous devices. As everyone else has said, it was a very pleasant surprise to hear about the Pi 4 releasing much sooner than expected!

AndrewS avatar


“almost all of the known issues with USB on previous models are no longer present.”

Ross Porter avatar

Cool! I’ll find the right forum to post the results of my UAC2 test.

Phil Hopkins avatar

I found what appears to be a permissions issue with any/all Web browsers (including Chromium and Dillo) with Buster.

When using Pi-Hole for ad blocking, their Web console interface is at the following URL:
http://[local ip of my pi-hole installation]/admin/index.php

This address is no longer available with Buster while it is with Stretch.

To test I’ve created a simple test.html file in the var/html/www/admin directory and tried to open it as an HTML page with no success. However I am able to view the html code with the browser, so I know I’m pointing to the correct file.


Phil Hopkins avatar

Fixed the Pi-Hole Web dashboard issue. It required adding a symbolic link and starting the lighttpd service from the Terminal command line.

Here’s the symbolic link:
$ sudo ln -s /usr/share/lighttpd/create-mime.conf.pl /usr/share/lighttpd/create-mime.assign.pl

Here’s the start command:
$ sudo service lighttpd start

Alastair Stevens avatar

Thanks Phil, that’s brilliant! Worked for me too – at least, lighttpd has started right away, haven’t tested the actual PiHole console yet.

Doug Blair avatar

pihole has a new release (1 July 2019) which appears to address this issue. pihole 4.3.1. See their change log. If you run the installer from the command line on your pi, or run pihole -up from the command line on an existing pihole, all is back to normal.

Dusty Kiddo avatar

I wish that Raspberry Pi would at least provide customers with the option of choosing either a 32-bit or a 64-bit edition for their Raspbian OS.

Sure, right now, (with only 4GB or memory at max), 32-bit seems like the best answer. However, give it two years, and suddenly Raspbian will find themselves in sudden need for a polished 64-bit edition. Wouldn’t it be better to start development of a 64-bit version now — and allow for people (as an option) to download / beta test it? This way, when the need for 64-bit arrives, you’ll be prepared.

Simon Long avatar

I’ve answered this point several times already above.

Backwards compatibility is a key issue for us – we have tens of millions of Pis in use in the wild which will not run a 64-bit OS. We are not prepared to orphan those devices unless there is a compelling advantage of using 64-bit for a majority of users, and at present, there is not. It offers no significant performance advantage; it actually runs slower in some cases; it makes downloads larger; there is no memory we can’t access with a 32-bit OS.

We do not have the resources to offer a choice of operating system images, all of which require maintaining, building, testing and hosting, nor do we have the support resources we would need to answer the hundreds of emails we would get from people who had downloaded the wrong one and now found their Pi didn’t boot!

If we were to move to 64-bit, it would make far more sense to do it at some point in the future when a) there was an actual need for it, and b) the number of 32-bit only Pi devices in the wild had dwindled somewhat. Now is not that time.

Lada avatar

Hi, I’ve read somewhere that a noticeable difference between 32 and 64 bit OS is with floating point speed, presumably double precision. It may be related to NEON implementation.

Can you elaborate a bit on this? Any benchmarks?

I want to run GNU radio and an SDR via USB3. I’d like to decide early what version of OS to start with, whether Raspbian or some 64bit distro. GNU radio is floating point intensive, as the block pass floating point data – it’s simpler and less noisy than using fixed point arithmetic (which GNU radio certainly does).

But some filters may require double precision arithmetic.

Are there any benchmarks regarding FFT speed? And most importantly, in 32 bit mode and 64 bit? Any difference?

Anyway, congrats to RPI 4 – a dream desktop machine.

Rob Nugent avatar

And there are of course other 64 bit Linux distros that currently run on RPi3 that I hope will make it to RPi4 also, such Fedora/AArch64:


Andreas Ihlenfeld avatar

If you really were concerned about backward compatibility
you wouldn’t have changed the mainboard layout and ports,
which would have allowed simple drop-in upgrades!

As it is, you’re just crippling a wonderful 64-bit computer
with a 32-bit OS, preventing people to develop 64-bit software
for bulky and expensive systems on a cheap go-everywhere-system
I can carry in my shirt pocket – congratulations!

MW avatar

I am running Buster on my RPi 2B v1.1, fresh install, and no noticeable speed differences.

The UI changes are OK and pleasingly it makes it less like LXDE, which can only be in my opinion a positive step.

Though over the years we have had to agree to disagree, I am appreciative of all the work undertaken to the UI.

Awaiting the x86 Debian with RPD release !!

Phil Olynyk avatar

I can’t see any of the (currently) 73 comments here. Any idea what went wrong?

Phil Olynyk avatar

Whatever was glitched is fixed now. I’m looking forward to trying buster on one of my 3B+’s and building OSCAR, an open source CPAP analysis reporter.

Domenico Lamberti avatar

strange, I cant get it to boot on my Pi4 it states the CPU as the BCM2835 and kernel panics. whether i instal buster, full buster, buster lite or noobs and then do it all over again, i get the same result.

GilDev avatar

Please don’t remove curvatures! It’s not 1980 anymore and just looking at what Microsoft did lately makes me want to cry… ? Flat design doesn’t mean boxy design.

Simon Long avatar

Too late…

But if you want the old appearance back, the previous theme is still installed; in the lxsession settings configuration file, change the line “sNet/ThemeName=PiXflat” to “sNet/ThemeName=PiX”.

unknown avatar

From https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/:

If your Raspberry Pi 4 will not boot, it is possible that the SPI EEPROM has become corrupted.

To check, remove the SD card, disconnect the device from power, then reconnect it. If the green LED does not flash, you will need to reprogram the EEPROM:

1. Download the bootloader
2. Extract it to an empty FAT-formatted SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi 4
3. Connect the power and wait for the green LED to flash quickly

James Hughes avatar

The chances of the EEPROM being corrupted are tiny. Booting problems are almost certainly caused by something else.

Domenico Lamberti avatar

weirdly, my Pi wont boot, but the EEPROM doesnt appear to be corrupted. unplugging the SD card and then plugging power in the LED shows green, but plugging the SD card in it starts to boot up then kernel panics.

hono avatar

Hello guys. I would like to know when option to boot and run from USB key will be available for RPi4.

Robin Newman avatar

Sonic Pi version 2.10 on Buster is weird. Version 3.0.1 has been available for Stretch for a very long time. This retrograde step is alarming for education for Schools buying Pi4 and wishing to use Sonic Pi in the future, as it cuts out a lot of facilities principally support for OSC and MIDI which make Sonic Pi much more versatile. I have been producing software and writing articles using version 3 and later for a about 2 years now!
eg this article which appeared as a MagPi project!

Simon Long avatar

This is up to the developer of Sonic Pi. The version he gave us for Scratch is not compatible with Buster – so we include the version which is available in the current version of Debian, which for Buster is 2.10 – https://packages.debian.org/buster/sonic-pi.

If you want a more up-to-date version, you need to ask the developer to upload one to Debian.

Michael Dominic Horne avatar

Thinking logically for a minute, therefore. Presumably, the developer of Sonic Pi, Sam Aaron, had not only early access to Buster but also to the Pi 4 to ensure compatibility? Otherwise, he would have had no chance to ensure that the newer version of Sonic Pi worked on the Pi 4.

Robin Newman avatar

hmm. I just checked a listing of the Stretch version published on Raspbian Stretch 2017-09-07
SHA-256: a64d742bc525b548f0435581fac5876b50a4e9ba1d1cd6433358b4ab6c7a770b

it quite clearly shows sonic-pi 1:3.0.1 armhf

(Version 2.10 was on the FIRST release of Stretch).
So it IS a downgrade, and will be detrimental to the use of Sonic Pi by schools. Judging by the fact that every Pi Academy course makes a big show of using Sonic Pi with Teachers I am surprised that this has happened. “The Developer” or Sam Aaron as you know, who is no longer supported by the foundation has had no heads up about the changes before the release.
I for one will build my own version (once the required libraries are available following the official release of Debian 10), but this is of no help to most users.

Robin Newman avatar

Article was cut off. It was on Robot Glockenspiel controlled by Raspberry Pi published in MagPi 10 month ago!

Allen avatar

Will programs linked against the Broadcom VC libraries in /opt/vc still work in Buster?

Christopher Gioconda avatar

Rebooting after upgrade from Stretch takes me back to command prompt, and x doesn’t seem to start. VNC throws “Cannot currently show the desktop” error. Any idea how to debug why x isn’t starting? TIA!

Simon Long avatar

You need to explicitly set a screen resolution when using Buster headless over VNC – you can do this via the Raspberry Pi Configuration application, or by setting values in /boot/config.txt.

Christopher Gioconda avatar

Looks like I missed that. That did the trick, thank you Simon for replying personally!!

Thomas Wendell avatar

Sorry for butting in..
My RPi3B(no +) has a monitor connected (usually powered off), as I prefer to use VNC from my main Win-machine. Can i somehow set the VNC windows resolution to bigger than 1920×1080?
My main machine has a 4k monitor…

Thomas Wendell
Helsinki, FI

Daniel Davis avatar

in-place upgrade is failing Here is my session:

pi@HoneypotPi:~ $ grep -rl stretch /etc/apt/ | sudo xargs sed -i ‘s/stretch/buster/g’
pi@HoneypotPi:~ $ sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade
Get:1 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease [15.0 kB]
Get:2 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian buster InRelease [25.1 kB]
Ign:3 https://packagecloud.io/headmelted/codebuilds/debian buster InRelease
Err:4 https://packagecloud.io/headmelted/codebuilds/debian buster Release
404 Not Found
Get:5 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster/main armhf Packages [13.0 MB]
Get:6 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian buster/main armhf Packages [201 kB]
Get:7 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster/contrib armhf Packages [59.0 kB]
Get:8 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster/non-free armhf Packages [103 kB]
Get:9 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster/rpi armhf Packages [1,360 B]
Reading package lists… Done
E: The repository ‘https://packagecloud.io/headmelted/codebuilds/debian buster Release’ does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can’t be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.
pi@HoneypotPi:~ $

Simon Long avatar

It looks as if the packagecloud.io repo doesn’t have Buster available yet – as this isn’t a repo which is anything to do with us, we can’t do much to fix that.

About the only thing you can do is to look through the files in /etc/apt/sources.list.d, find the one which references packagecloud.io, and replace “buster” in that one with “stretch”, and then try again.

Gamegenorator avatar

I successfully updated to buster with the following error, “APT had planned for dpkg to do more than it reported back (9424 vs 9432). Affected packages: Libreoffice-common:armhf”

Runik avatar

Is there a list of ‘recommended software’ bundled with the associated Buster w/ desktop download?
I would like to see if enough of the software interests me enough to take the larger file or if I’d rather take the smaller and download what I want manually.

Simon Long avatar

If in doubt, take the smaller version – it’s very unlikely anyone will be interested in all the packages in Recommended Software. The smaller version should be the default download for most people – the full download is really only intended for people who won’t have Internet access on the Pi once it is running.

Michael Z avatar

Has the onboard WiFi antennae drivers changed? I can no longer connect to my work’s Enterprise wifi. Now it tries to connect, drops the signal, tries to connect, drops the signal, etc. If I connect a wifi dongle, the wifi connects through the wifi dongle without problems, meaning the wpa_supplicant file is correct. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I imagine using a driver from Stretch could help but I don’t know how…

James Hughes avatar

Please post your question on the forum – more chance of getting a response.

RL avatar

I also have problem with a new Raspberry3, installed “Buster” and entered the same settings in wpa_supplicant.conf, but can’t connect to Enterprise WiFi. The “old” Raspberry3 is working fine with the same WiFi.


It breaks Pi-hole

Liz Upton avatar

Pi-hole is probably among the software that hasn’t been upgraded for Buster yet. If you give it a little while I’m sure the developers are already on it.

Joe Adams avatar

Liz and all others,

I have just successfully followed the instructions here to update my raspberry pi 3B+ to Buster. When installing, I did not update the config files that I modified but pressed “N” instead.

Pihole Web Admin breaks, but I can confirm that the actual service is still running in the background fine. I can still browse the web and have no ads where it worked previously and can use the CLI to run updates.

For me, this 3B+ exists only as a Pihole, so it’s still doing it’s job fine. A big thank you to the RPi team and contributors.

Phil Hopkins avatar

Hi Robert, Liz and Joe. See earlier in the thread how to fix the Pi-Hole Web Admin dashboard with Buster. Here’s the fix:

$ sudo ln -s /usr/share/lighttpd/create-mime.conf.pl /usr/share/lighttpd/create-mime.assign.pl

$ sudo service lighttpd start

Joe Adams avatar


You’re right. That worked for me.

Konstantinos Karvouniaris avatar

I was just reading MagPi 83 and I have to ask this of Simon:
I’ve used a Pi 3B as my everyday desktop for the last year and a half and I really miss the ability to lock my desktop when I walk away, like I do on my Windows PC with Win+L or on any other Linux distro. I’m certainly going to be using the Pi 4 as my primary desktop computer at home, perhaps even at work in the future as a thin client, but only if I’m able to lock my screen, without the need to log out every time.
Do you think such a feature can be implemented? It may not seem as much but I find it super important

Marcelo Lagoa de Almeida avatar

Primeiramente, obrigado pela preocupação com hardware mais antigo! De fato, Raspbian Buster deve funcionar lindamente num Pi4…
Mas instalei-o no meu Pi3B e está funcionando bem!
Apenas uma observação:
Notei um boot mais lento!
Será que é necessário fazer alguns ajustes no config.txt ou algum outro arquivo de configurações, para que meu Pi3B faça boot mais rápido (tão rápido quanto ele fazia com o Raspbian Stretch)?
Eu fiz uma instalação limpa (sem upgrade do S.O. antigo) usando o Etcher. E também estou usando um SSD para boot e operação, no lugar do Micro SD (mas o SSD eu já usava desde o tempo do Raspbian Stretch).

phil avatar

My freshly installed Buster appears to be running a DLNA server.

After noticing router traffic from the Pi, the iftop package was used to inspect wlan0 and shows constant polling by the Pi. The polled addresses include
all local IP addresses on my LAN

I’ve tried searching for DLNA packages that might be installed but come up blank.

I’m using the Pi in question to stream an SDR ham radio so the multicast polling is more than a nuisance and I’d like to disable it…

Any suggestions would be welcome!

Simon Long avatar

Errr – no idea! We’re certainly not installing a DLNA server, or indeed anything to my knowledge which could be hammering your network. I suspect therefore that it is something from upstream Debian Buster, but I have no idea what.

phil avatar

Thanks for the quick response, no surprise I couldn’t find a reference to it in the Buster info, so that eliminates the OS.

I didn’t see anything likely in any of the running processes but I’m no Linux guru.

I’ll remove the only package I’ve installed (WSPR 2.0.1) apart from iftop and see if that kills it, otherwise I’ll start again with a fresh install.

Oh, it is running headless using the pre-installed RealVNC and didn’t have a visible desktop so I installed a desktop package but can’t remember what it was.

Thanks again for your help, I do appreciate this isn’t a help forum and only posted here to get your definitive answer on Buster.

Simon Long avatar

“Oh, it is running headless using the pre-installed RealVNC and didn’t have a visible desktop so I installed a desktop package but can’t remember what it was.”

I wonder if it is RealVNC doing the polling?

Jakub avatar

Great Job, The Pi Team :)
One question regarding the new video driver.
Will it allow for extending the desktop on both one of the HDMI screens, and a Pi Screen attached via the DSI interface?
In the old Rasbian, the root of the problem was apparently single frame buffer implemented in the system/driver.
As now two screens are allowed, this, I hope, should no longer be a problem.

Alain Geenrits avatar

I wonder if you are considering KDE5 as a desktop or if I can install it. After all this years still my favourite desktop env on Linux!

Simon Long avatar

We’re very happy with LXDE, and have no plans to change desktop.

Gennaro Giugliano avatar

Hi, yesterday i have upgrade on my rpi 3 sources list rpi from raspbian stretch at raspbian buster…..it work fine


Robin Newman avatar

I have now built the latest Sonic Pi 3.2dev from source on a Pi4 under Buster (having removed the Sonic Pi 2.1 package completely) and it works well with better performance than previously.
However I then moved the SD card to a Pi3 and it freezes the computer completely during the boot process for Sonic Pi. I have tried 2 different SD cards and 2 different Pi3 with the same result.
Difficult to know how to debug this as only way to retrieve things is to power down the Pi3.

Simon Long avatar

That’s very odd. There is some debug available in the SonicPi startup process – it writes things to various log files, and shows some useful information on the terminal if launched from it – not sure if any of that is helpful. You could also try setting up an SSH connection into the Pi and using it to monitor from another computer – quite often if the desktop is non-responsive, an SSH terminal will tell you useful things about what happened. I’m really not able to offer much more specific advice – you’ve already got a lot further than I ever managed to by being able to rebuild it, so well done!

Robin Newman avatar

I have been checking the SP logs. In the startup sequence it gets scsynth running OK (I built SC 3.9.1 and associated sc3-plugins). There is an error in the serverstartup log, which may be significant, but the same error occurs when it boots OK on a Pi4. I was trying with an ssh connection, but that seizes up also and is unresponsive, so at present I’m finding it difficult to make further progress.
(btw i was initially going to build SC 3.10.2, but cant find support files in Buster to use qt5 webengine, although files are listed in the main debian testing libs.)

Martins avatar

If there are applications that you don’t support then why can’t you take them out of the whole upgrade

Simon Long avatar

Because Debian automatically installs them as recommended dependencies of other packages – unfortunately it’s not easy to prevent it from doing this, and its much easier to just remove them afterwards. Particularly as we don’t recommend you upgrade like this anyway!

Akhil avatar

Hi Simon, does rpi 4 has hardware acceleration support for h264/265 codecs at 4k 60fps? Is there any plan to support opencl in future?

chris avatar

Just upgraded my pi zero using the instructions provided with no trouble at all. Thanks!

John M0RVJ avatar

I have to thank and congratulate you Simon and the team… I’m still waiting for my Pi4 to arrive in the post but I’m running raspbian buster and it feels like a lovely update on my pi 3b+. It’s smooth and quick and fresh. The 3b+ has largely taken over as my main home machine… I use a macbook pro for work connected to 2 monitors on my desk. I am looking forward to driving them both from a pi! As a ham radio enthusiast it feels like you folks are ‘fixing’ or have ‘fixed’ computing for the hobbyist!

S-Mario avatar

Wow… I was still playing around with my Pi2 with Wheezy and all at a sudden I found out that I just missed “some” updates! Simply WOW… :-)
I am curious to try this Buster, but one thing I could not find out is the difference between the images: is there a comparison table with what is included and what not? How can I choose wisely between Desktop, Desktop + recommended software and Lite? (Ok, don’t tell me that I could just try them all :-D)

Simon Long avatar

Roughly – Lite is a command-line only version with no desktop at all. It boots to the command line and has a basic selection of command-line utilities only. Desktop (without Recommended Software) gives you the desktop, the Chromium web browser, the VLC media player and the Thonny Python IDE, plus a few desktop utilities. It’s the one we recommend people download if they aren’t sure which one they want!
Desktop with Recommended Software is the same as Desktop without Recommended Software, but with a bunch of other software – LibreOffice, ClawsMail, Minecraft, Scratch, Sonic Pi, RealVNC, and a few other bits and bobs. You really only need that one if you are not going to have ‘net access on your Pi – otherwise it’s just easier to install the bits you want from the Recommended Software application in the smaller image.

Todd avatar

Hi, is the Buster Lite able to run Qt 5 application? Does it include Python 2 or 3? Thank you!

Marv avatar

Has anyone managed to set up static IP addresses on Raspian Buster? With my Raspberry pi 1b I tried it in several ways. Wireless & Wired Network Settings seems to have no effect. Not even the DNS server is taken over.

Pietro avatar

Sorry maybe it’s written but the thread is too long :-)
Simple. I have both a Rasp Pi2 and a Rasp Pi3.
The pi3 was running since 2 years with “Jessie” and it was a bit slow but all was running (mysql,wordpress,phpmyadmin and much more). I tried to upgrade to “Strech” and things were wrong. I’m not a guru i spent one week then i decided to roll back to jessie. No problem now i thougt that i can play with my unused Pi2 starting from scratch and installing a fresh laste OS. I found the name is “buster” i installed it and it works but checking out the OS version, despite i installed Buster i see the previos Scretch…is it normal? Is it because maybe buster is for the new pi4? To ne honest i don’t understand…for sure i downloaded and flashed Buster but on PI2 i see Scretch. Thanks for help.

Kenn Martin avatar

Has something changed with auto login in Buster. On Jessie I can set it up but on Buster I keep getting prompted for a user login. I want to auto login as a user (not pi). I have created the user and can login OK, I then change /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf to change autologin-user=USERNAME
autologin-user-timeout=0 and run sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm but after a reboot I am still prompted for the users password. If I enter the password all is OK but I need to start as the user WITHOUT the password.

Simon Long avatar

Was this an upgrade of a Stretch image, by any chance?

The Buster image will auto login by default, but there have been a few changes to the way lightdm works which means that the auto login process has changed between the two versions, and it is possible that an upgraded Stretch image didn’t get all the changes. I’d recommend starting again with a clean Buster image if you are having problems.

Ben Francis avatar

Do the graphics upgrades and the new open source OpenGL video driver mean work might start again on support for Wayland? Things didn’t sound very optimistic as of last year https://joshondesign.com/2018/03/26/linux_graphics_state

Simon Long avatar

We have no plans to resurrect work on Wayland.

Joe Bode avatar

Hello Together,
is it possible after manually update a SD Card in a PI3 to Buster:
Put it in a Pi4? Will it boot?
The reason why i am asking:
I have 3 x Pi3 and want to replace them with Pi4s without install everything from scratch…

Simon Long avatar

The instructions above *should* convert an existing Stretch Pi 3 image to one which boots Buster on a Pi 4, but it’s not guaranteed to work – make a backup first and try it.

Pauli Isoaho avatar

I read this “The microSD card slot is also twice as fast, offering a theoretical maximum of 50 MBps versus 25 MBps on the 3B+” but then in some other places someone said it needs new drivers. Are they part of Buster pakcage?

David Williams avatar

RE the 7″ touch screen – screen works fine and touch for mouse too but the previous hacks for a rightbutton click don’t seem to work. Is this supposed to be supported in buster?

Dave Smith avatar

Hi there, any reason the Citrix receiver wont install on the pi 4? Is buster that different to previous OS’s where it worked? Thanks

Andy avatar

Hi Simon. First thanks for the great work. It was just an update on the TVHEADEND situation ? Got a rpi4 with a pi dvb hat thinggy.

Eddy Sels avatar

Tried to upgrade but Always get
Er moeten 1.923 MB aan archieven opgehaald worden.
Na deze bewerking zal er 2.038 MB extra schijfruimte gebruikt worden.
E: U heeft onvoldoende vrije schijfruimte op /var/cache/apt/archives/
saying not enough disk space
following command:
sudo du -sh /var/cache/apt
gives me:
59M /var/cache/apt
I cleaned archives and it is empty.
So 59M is not enough? My SD card is 8GB.

Simon Long avatar

You need at least 2GB free, so no, 59MB is nowhere near enough. I’d suggest using the SD Card Copier tool to clone your existing card onto a 16GB card, and doing the upgrade on there.

Pearl.852 avatar

Congratulations for the new Buster!!

Trying to do an update, but getting an error message as below:
$ sudo apt-get update
Get:1 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian buster InRelease [25.1 kB]
Get:2 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease [15.0 kB]
Get:3 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian buster/main armhf Packages [205 kB]
Reading package lists… Done
E: Repository ‘http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease’ changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘testing’ to ‘stable’
N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.
Please help!

Simon Long avatar

It’s a temporary glitch due to Buster now being officially released. For the time being, just do “sudo apt-get -y update”.

Pearl.852 avatar

Thanks for the quick reply. But still the same with your suggestion.

$ sudo apt-get -y update
Hit:1 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian buster InRelease
Get:2 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease [15.0 kB]
Reading package lists… Done
E: Repository ‘http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease’ changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘testing’ to ‘stable’
N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.

sp601 avatar

I successfully used the following command:

sudo apt-get –allow-releaseinfo-change update

followed by ‘sudo apt-get upgrade’ and ‘sudo apt-get dist-upgrade’

The update command gave the following output:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo apt-get –allow-releaseinfo-change update
Hit:1 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian buster InRelease
Get:2 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease [15.0 kB]
Ign:3 http://repo.vivaldi.com/stable/deb stable InRelease
Hit:4 http://repo.vivaldi.com/stable/deb stable Release
Get:5 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster/main armhf Packages [13.0 MB]
Fetched 13.0 MB in 54s (243 kB/s)
Reading package lists… Done
N: Repository ‘http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease’ changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘testing’ to ‘stable’

Pearl.852 avatar

Simon, never mind! Just tried again using “sudo apt update” and it prompts “…to accept these changes and continue updating from this repository? [y/N]”. Now everything is fine. Thanks!!
$ sudo apt update
Get:1 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian buster InRelease [25.1 kB]
Get:2 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease [15.0 kB]
E: Repository ‘http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster InRelease’ changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘testing’ to ‘stable’
N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.
Do you want to accept these changes and continue updating from this repository? [y/N] y
Get:3 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian buster/main armhf Packages [13.0 MB]
Get:4 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian buster/main armhf Packages [205 kB]
Fetched 13.2 MB in 1min 19s (167 kB/s)
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
5 packages can be upgraded. Run ‘apt list –upgradable’ to see them.

slawa321 avatar

sudo apt update

Leo avatar

lol on website on screenshoot still shows raspberry pi in hand

Marc avatar

Hello Simon, Is there the option to install Jessie or Stretch on RPI4b?
I have a license of teamviewer V12 and this version do not work with Buster. To Buy a license of Teamviewer V14 will cost me 650€ x Year. :(

Thank you

MW avatar

There are no official plans to update any previous release of Raspbian to support the 4B..

…instead all development is now focusing on Buster running well on all models of RPi & CM.

Victor I Villavicencio avatar

I have installed Buster and Stretch on several RPi 3B+.So stating the obvious, they both have different screen saver images. But from a remote terminal, what are the console commands so that I can determine whether the RPi has Buster or Stretch? Thank you for your time.

Ludo Angot avatar

@Victor: you can check which version of raspbian is running with cat /etc/os-release (it will output among other things the VERSION_CODENAME, for ex. =buster)

Frank avatar

For Raspbian Buster:
What should be in the file “50unattended-upgrades” in apt.conf.d ? The default, after installing unattended upgrades points to “Debian” instead of “Raspbian”. When unattended upgrades runs, nothing gets upgraded. On the other hand, when I manually run
apt-get update and apt-get upgrade
upgrades happen.
I’m thinking it should be:

Unattended-Upgrade::Origins-Pattern {

instead of:

Unattended-Upgrade::Origins-Pattern {

Is this right?

Unmesh avatar

I have a RPiZW running Stretch with CUPS and Avahi to act as an AirPrint server and tried a fresh installation of Buster on a new microSDHC card to do a test drive. All instructions I’ve seen on the Internet ask you to add the user pi to the group lpadmin as one of the steps but the command

sudo usermod -aG lpadmin pi

no longer works and the CUPS GUI will not let me add a printer.

Should I be using a different command with Buster?

cal lidderdale avatar

I install Buster from scratch on Aug. 5th, ran update, did some installs etc. Couple of weeks later I run apt update and nothing, as in there’s nothing to update. Do I have a problem or have there been no updates.

Chris avatar

Why Raspbian Buster Lite as an empty /sys/class/backlight/ directory?
I’ve the official 7″ touchscreen connected and I would like to programmaticaly power off the screen.

Chris avatar

I found that I cannot manage backlight (brigthness, power) if I disable the touchscreen (disable_touchscreen=1 in /boot/config.txt)

it’s really weird because I thought it only turned off the touch, not the total control of the screen

Matti avatar

I have issue with Kernel and cifs modules versions:

pi@rpi4:~ $ uname -a
Linux rpi4 4.19.57-v7l+ #1244 SMP Thu Jul 4 18:48:07 BST 2019 armv7l GNU/Linux
pi@rpi4:~ $ find /lib/modules/ -name cifs.ko
pi@rpi4:~ $ sudo mount // /mnt/4TB2 -o user=admin,password=Vihta123,uid=pi,gid=pi
mount error: cifs filesystem not supported by the system
mount error(19): No such device
Refer to the mount.cifs(8) manual page (e.g. man mount.cifs)

How I can either upgrade kernel versions or downgrade cifs versions to be compatible?

Please advice.

RaspiLover avatar

The “flat look” adoption is a major mistake. It makes the interface much harder to interact with, because, well, you are ridding the interface of interactive indicators.

There are reasons people seek out a different O/S, the look-n-feel being one of them. Why would you want Raspbian to look like everyone else, and a horrible look-n-feel standard at that?

Like that transparent enclosure trend of the late 90s, I cannot wait for this “flat” trend in technology to run its course as well.

Pramod Joglekar avatar

Buster doesn’t work with I2C/SMBus read.
Is a fix on the way?

Edward Hoffman avatar

I need to customize the kernel. Is Raspbain Buster source code available? If so please provide a link.

Mitesh avatar

I am using Raspberry Pi 4 B Model and have written a buster with desktop in this. Here, I try to run a pi camera but, not responding. And here one error is coming that “Cannot currently show the desktop”.

Fino avatar

I cannot configure eth0 interface on Buster

Bernd avatar


I changed from stretch to buster in the sources.list and raspi.list files, ran sudo apt update and sudo apt dist-upgrade.

Download ran successful, the raspberry froze in the unpack process. Now at reboot the screen is blank and the red led blinks four times.
The SD card can be read in my Ubuntu distribution.

Is there any chance to fix the upgrade using my PC?

Any HELP appreciated.

Chris Freyberg avatar

Hi everyone,

I’m a Pi enthusiast and hobby user and I use my Pi’s for small non-critical production situations. I’m really grateful to all the amazing people who have worked on the development of the Pi, Rasbian and the rest.

But, being a crusty old bugger, I’ve found the introduction of the PI 4 and Buster a bit frustrating, in that I think the announcements of those somewhat oversold the reality; at least, my version of reality. From what I can make out, at announcement time there were a number of known regression issues in the GPU firmware. If I had known about them, I would have deferred migration of my platforms from Pi 3/Stretch to Pi 4/Buster.

So what would I have liked to see being done differently? Well, I would have liked to see the announcements contain a caveat, and for those caveats to refer to some sort of list of known regression issues for Pi 4 vs Pi 3, Buster vs Stretch specifically from kernel through to default desktop.

I guess that what I am pleading for is that more information to be made available in a way that specifically targets those making making major upgrade decisions, where a balance of what you might gain and what you might lose (in the short term) is very important.

Murat avatar

I just upgraded from Stretch to Buster on my Pi 3. Within 12 hours it stopped working four times due to overheating. Every time it needs a hard reset (disconnecting and reconnecting the power cable). Finally I removed the cap of the case, which I never did before. However it freezed fifth time. It’s the same hardware. Anyone else facing a similar problem?

mnk avatar

Any body facing the same issue?
I loaded the base ‘buster light’ image on a previously used (good) 64Gb SD. Upon the first boot the auto-expand function only expanded to 16GB leaving the remaining 48 gb unused.
I never had any issues with auto-expanding all the way to 64gb on stretch or jessie. Any suggestions?

Nataša Doko avatar

Is the USB gadget precompiled?

quinten avatar

Anyone else having issues with mtp? In strech I could easily browe my samsung android phone over usb, but in Buster it doesn’t work anymore. It says something about a .service file not being provided?

dzyndzla avatar

wow, upgrade from stretch to buster worked without any issues ;d incredible ;d btw, thank you for your absolutely awesome work!

Linux-Andy avatar

Hallo liebe Freunde,
seit Buster gibt es mit dem Raspberry Pi4 ein Problem was den Betrieb einer USB-Webcam angeht. Im dev/ ordner werden für eine Cam in meinem Fall eine Microsoft VX2000 auch im V4l2 Ordner Einräge doppelt angelegt video0 video1 video10 video11 video12 usw. was dazü führt das die Cam z.B. bei Web RTC Anwendungen nicht sauber funktioniert. Mir scheint das ein Treiberproblem bei Buster zu sein, was bisher nicht gelöst wurde. Für Hinweise bin ich dankbar…MfG Linux-Andy.

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