How to keep your Raspberry Pi updated

How to keep your Raspberry Pi updated

Learn how to keep your Raspberry Pi patched and working well in the seventh article in our guide to getting started with the Raspberry Pi.

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Just like your tablet, cellphone, and laptop, you need to keep your Raspberry Pi updated. Not only will the latest enhancements keep your Pi running smoothly, they will also keep you safer, especially if you are connected to a network. The seventh article in our guide to getting started with the Raspberry Pi shares two pieces of advice on keeping your Pi working well.

Update Raspbian

Updating your Raspbian installation is a two-step process:

  1. In your terminal type: sudo apt-get update
    The command sudo allows you to run apt-get update as admin (aka root). Note that apt-get update will not install anything new on your system; rather it will update the list of packages and dependencies that need to be updated.
  1. Then type: sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    From the documentation: "Generally speaking, doing this regularly will keep your installation up to date, in that it will be equivalent to the latest released image available from"

Be careful with rpi-update

Raspbian comes with another little update utility called rpi-update. This utility can be used to upgrade your Pi to the latest firmware which may or may not be broken/buggy. You may find information explaining how to use it, but as of late it is recommended never to use this application unless you have a really good reason to do so.

Bottom line: Keep your systems updated!


About the author

Anderson Silva - He was introduced to Linux by his uncle back in 1996. In the early 2000s Anderson transitioned from being a developer to a system administrator/release engineer. He joined Red Hat as an IT Release Engineer in 2007. As of 2021, he is the Director of Incident Response @ Red Hat's Information Security Team. He currently holds an RHCE and an expired RHCA and is an active Fedora package maintainer...