The Easiest Way to Upgrade Raspberry Pi OS from Bullseye to Bookworm

Learn how to perform an in-place upgrade from Raspberry Pi Bullseye to Bookworm.
Read the full blog post at and continue the discussion here.

Technique #2 stopped my pi w2 dead in the water at second reboot. No little green light.
Ah well, I’ll burn a card with the imager.
It was just a test machine anyway; I daresay technique #3 will be fine.
I only had a go because my main dev machine is now Bookworm (debian on an intel machine) and of course one gets upgrade fever.
What I can say is that the X coming out of the gaggle of Pi’s seems to work well with the Wayland on Bookworm.

I cannot really recommend the in-place upgrade. It kind of works, but you are left with an inconsistent system. Not because of the Debian-base, but because of what the RPi-Foundation has built around that. You might be lucky and won’t notice it, but you might have problems later and spend a lot of time searching for the reason.

BTW: I decided to change from Wayland back to X. Wayland has a lot of advantages, but some important programs I use (XFCE, KiCAD) don’t support Wayland yet. But thankfully the switch is hassle-free and you can actually toggle the system using raspi-config.

No horrid problem - this is a test machine.
My dev box is in fact a chromebook; they just did a Bookworm update to their crostini container - I spend most dev time there in neovim, the flock of pi’s are accessed through ssh and I can cross-compile to them from the intel machine.
I don’t use a lot of X or Wayland to the flock. But an upgraded OS! New, shiny.
I’ll give #3 a shot. (rather boring, but maybe it’ll work)
Thanks for the article.