In-place OS upgrade with dietpi platform?

In my use case I’m using an x64 with Debian 9 and eventually I would like to upgrade to Debian 10 Buster. Is it possible to do an in-place upgrade of OS with the dietpi platform?

Theoretically yes. Debian Buster (compared to Raspbian Buster) works quite well here on my test x86 VM.
But I would not recommend, especially if you installed some other software titles via dietpi-software.

  • Not all installs via dietpi-software are based on the Debian APT repo, thus would be updated when upgrading the system to Buster.
  • Some installs have configs and dependencies based on the current Debian version. Those might fail or need a reinstall, when Buster is applied.
  • Not all installs have been tested with Buster yet. Some are known to fail, e.g. if a custom APT repo, from where the software is installed, does not yet have a Buster branch.
  • The DietPi system itself needs to be told about the distro version change as well, although a /DietPi/dietpi/func/dietpi-obtain_hw_model && source /DietPi/dietpi/func/dietpi-globals should do for current session.

Since I test any changes we do to DietPi and our software installs on a Debian Buster test system as well, and run my private Raspberry Pi with Raspbian Buster and DietPi, at least I can verify software titles that already work without (known) issues.
So if you give me a list of your installed software, we can derive a little better if issues are expected or not.

What you should anyway do, is a full disk backup (or at least dietpi-backup) before attempting the distro upgrade.
You know the changes that need to be done to /etc/apt/sources.list, followed by apt update && apt upgrade && apt full-upgrade?

But I would recommend a fresh install based on a clean Debian Buster with this mini iso, e.g. booted from USB stick:
You can follow moreless this install guide in how to install Debian from the iso and DietPi-PREP on the system afterwards:

In general, if you are willing to take the above mentioned risk/limitations, I would be happy if you test DietPi with Debian Buster. It’s official release should be this summer, and we aim to have DietPi completely compatible (with software installs that support it themselves as well) until then, so we can ship fresh images directly.

Thank you a lot for this verbose information, very much appreciated. :smiley: Can’t wait to see the stable release of DietPi based on Buster. That’ll be the moment when I switch to DietPi on my rPi. :sunglasses: I’ve already used your VirtualBox Buster image of DietPi to preview it a bit.

I personally like to use Pi-hole with unbound dns server - already doing so on Raspbian light (Stretch), but unfortunately the current Strech release only ships with an outdated version of unbound that doesn’t work for me.

For what it’s worth I tried this on an XU4 going from Jessie to Stretch - had a 99% functioning system afterwards, just one program didn’t work.

Easy enough to clone your SD card and experiment, you learn a lot from doing so.


Thank you John.

I started by fiddling with the VirtualBox Buster image I found here but it’s x86 only and for VirtualBox and dated end of March 2019. I’d need an image made for the ARM64 architecture to put it on my rPi 3 SD card.

Is there a recent Buster based DietPi testing SD card image available somewhere for ARM64?

VirtualBox does not support ARM. For RPi3 we provide the Raspbian-based armhf images, so no ARMv8 even that the CPU is theoretically capable of it. But there should be no limitations compared to using a custom ARMv8 image. The Raspberry Pi Foundations kernel development should vastly weight out anything that would be manually possible compared to he theoretical benefit of an ARMv8 OS.

Alright. Mmh, but I can’t see a Buster testing image there for rPi, only for VirtualBox? :question:

Just did a fresh install on an Odroid C2 and then inplace Buster upgrade:

All good. Installed Wordpress, PiHole, Medusa, Emby, Lighttpd, PhP, MariaDB - all working.


I am updating the RPi image the next days and provide a Buster testing image as well.

Thank you for your effort.

I’ve upgraded to Buster in the meanwhile. To do so I installed DietPi Strech first and then changed the sources.list to reflect the new Buster repository. I then did an apt-get update|upgrade|dist-upgrade and as far as I can tell things seem to have worked smoothly. Downloads weren’t big, just maybe between 20-50 MB. Afterwards I installed Pi-hole and unbound DNS recursive server on the Buster distro. They work fine.

A cat /etc/debian_version now tells me “buster/sid”.

A cat /etc/os-release now displays:

PRETTY_NAME=“Raspbian GNU/Linux buster/sid”
NAME=“Raspbian GNU/Linux”

A “uname -a” outputs:

Linux DietPi 4.14.98-v7+ #1200 SMP Tue Feb 12 20:27:48 GMT 2019 armv7l GNU/Linux

However, the other way didn’t work for me, i.e. to make use of a clean Buster mini.iso and then prep it for DietPi. I just wasn’t able to boot from that mini.isos, no clue why.

Many thanks for testing Raspbian Buster. I was just about to create an image for RPi (Buster image) but then we needed to fix those nasty ARMv6 errors with the last update quickly.

However yet manually changing the sources.list (and sources.list.d/raspi.list) is the way to go. Debian mini.iso does not work since this is Debian, not Raspbian, which does not support the RPi without having it’s custom bootloader+kernel installed first. For this reason we use the Raspbian Lite as base image (sadly only Stretch available so far) and do a dist-upgrade as well.