Detailed Guide on How to Update Raspberry Pi OS

Loved by adults and kids, Raspberry pi is highly regarded as one of the best computers with a single board. It is usually used as the base of many projects. However, just like every computer, it is necessary that you learn how to update raspberry pi os. These updates ensure that it comes with the latest fixes and features.

Majority of Raspberry Pi devices make use of Raspberry Pi OS. Raspberry Pi OS is regarded as a Linux operating system based in Debian and designed specially for PC. If this is not your first time using Linux, and making use of the terminal is comfortable for you, then learning how to update raspberry pi os or updating it to the most recent version will not be a problem for you.

What is Raspberry Pi OS?

The Raspberry Pi OS is formerly known as Raspbian. This operating system is specifically designed for use on Pi boards. Furthermore, many ARM-based single-board computers also feature Raspberry Pi Os. Raspbian, which was the first version, was officially launched in 2013. Starting from 2015, the Raspberry Foundation made it a sanctioned Pi distro. Mike Thompson and Peter Green developed Raspbian.

Raspberry Pi OS developed over time. Pi OS now features 64-bit and 32-bit photos. As time goes on, Raspberry Pi OS included several features with a necessity for desktop use. For a while now, the Pi now features programming resources. This includes an integrated development environment pre-installed on Pi.

Raspberry Pi Os is an ideal choice for general desktop use. You can easily customize the Raspberry Pi Os for individual use cases. It is also possible to install media server software like Emby for a Raspberry Pi NAS.  In general, the Raspberry Pi OS is the most effective distro for Pi users. The desktop interface of the Raspberry PI OS is similar to that of many desktops.


Request  PCB Manufacturing & Assembly Quote, Pls Send Files to Now


Why was Raspbian renamed as Raspberry Pi OS?

Raspbian was a portmanteau of Debian and Raspberry. After Raspbian existed for some years, the recommended Linux distribution of Pi Foundation benefitted from the name change. This development occurred at the same time an 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 was officially released. This marked the highest ever RAM to be on a Pi board.

The name change wasn’t the only thing Raspberry Pi OS gained. The operating system features both 64-bit and 32-bit flavors. This enables the 8GB RAM variant to use up all of its in-built memory. Peter Green and Mike Thompson initially launched Raspbian as a free independent project. According to Peter Green, the Raspbian project will keep delivering an Armv6 Desbian build.

Reasons Why Updating Raspberry Pi OS is Necessary

Raspberry Pi 4 board

Raspberry Pi OS Buster was released back in late 2019. It is based on the Debian Buster. Also, it has had some incremental updates. Already installed are some programming tools including Sonic Pi, Scratch, Python, and Java.

Raspberry Pi OS itself features some bundled tools. These include the Chromium browser, as well as other important programming-based utilities and applications. You will also find Claws Mail, Minecraft PE, and LibreOffice suite.

There have been enhancements in recent Raspberry Pi OS versions. One is the setup wizard, as well as a recommended tool for the software. Also included are display tweaks, which include Pixel Doubling to ensure UHD displays. Also, it supports Network booting in contrast to Ethernet.

Updating Raspberry Pi Using Raspberry Pi OS

The easiest way of updating Raspberry Pi OS is through the Terminal. You can do this through the desktop menu on the desktop or simply press Ctrl + Alt + T.

Start by updating your repository package list. This can be achieved with the command: sudo apt update.

Next, let the upgrade command run. You can achieve this with the command: sudo apt dist-upgrade.

Follow the prompts you see and then wait for the upgrading of the Pi to be completed. Once done, type this “sudo apt clean”. By doing so, all unneeded files that were downloaded during the upgrade process will be discarded. Complete the process by restarting your device by typing: sudo reboot.

Once raspberry pi has rebooted, what you’ll be using is its latest version. Great Job!

How to Update to Raspberry Pi OS’s Latest Version (From Stretch to Buster)

In order to upgrade your Raspberry Pi OS from Stretch to Buster, you will begin by updating, as well as upgrading to the most recent of all the packages. To achieve this, type the following

  • Sudo apt update
  • Sudo apt dist-upgrade  -y

After using this command, update the firmware with this command: sudo rpi-update.

When you upgrade to Raspberry Pi OS Buster, this means that you are switching repositories. You can easily achieve this by making edits to the sources. This is done with the command:

  • sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Now, using your arrow keys, browse through the list till you discover this:

  • deb http://Raspberry Pi Pi OS/ stretch main contrib non-free rpi

Now, make edits to this line, by deleting the word “stretch” and replacing it with “buster”, as shown below:

  • deb http://Raspberry Pi Pi OS/ buster main contrib non-free rpi

Next, press Ctrl + X to save what you’ve done and exit. Next, remove a changelog file:

  • sudo apt-get remove apt-listchanges

With this, you can save time as the updates of the operating system go on. With the updated sources, you will be able to run a complete package upgrade and update as follows:

  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt dist-upgrade

Completing this will take some time, so be calm and patient. Once complete, use the command:

  • sudo apt autoremove -y

In order to get rid of old packages having changed dependencies, use the following:

  • sudo apt autoclean

With this command, the cache of the package is cleared. This removes any data that is no more available for downloading. To finish the upgrade to Raspian Buster, simply reboot using the command:

  • Sudo reboot

Procedures for Downloading and Installing Raspberry Pi OS to SD Card

Some people might prefer to update their Raspberry Pi OS. However, you might want to download a new version. Maybe you don’t want the old version you were using or your SD card is corrupted. If you want to download and install the newest Raspberry Pi OS version, there are ways to do it.

The first step here is to download the Etcher SD card writing software from After this, visit the download page on the Raspberry Pi website. Select a copy of Raspberry Pi OS Lite or Raspberry Pi OS. You can directly download it from the website.

Raspberry Pi OS Lite is an ideal option if your internet connection is very slow. Try DietPi if you need a lighter distro.

Unzip the file to unload the IMG disk image after downloading it. You can input the SD card into the card reader of your computer and then launch Etcher. Choose “select image” and browse to the IMG.

Click on ”Flash”  to start and wait for the SD card to format. You can now have the Raspberry Pi OS installed. Close Etcher after completing the install process and remove the SD card.

Insert the SD card in the Raspberry Pi, and then you can enjoy Raspberry Pi OS’s new features.


Request  PCB Manufacturing & Assembly Quote, Pls Send Files to Now


Procedures for Installing Raspberry Pi OS OS with NOOBS (Easier)

It can be a bit tasking to get to grips with image files. There is a better option that doesn’t require installing additional software. This option allows you to copy the installer to the SD card. The NOOBS refer to New Out of the Box Software. It is specifically designed to enable the installation of an OS much easier on your Raspberry Pi.

The NOOBS supports several OSs installations which offer you an option of:

  • OSMC
  • Windows 10 IoT Core
  • Ubuntu MATE
  • Raspberry Pi OS and Raspberry Pi OS Lite and more

NOOBS can be simply downloaded from the Raspberry Pi website. You can choose between NOOBS Lite or the offline version. NOOBS Lite needs an internet connection.  After you have downloaded any of the two, unzip the contents. After this, copy the contents to an SD card. Remove the SD card and input it in a powered-off Raspberry Pi. You can then power it up. The NOOBS menu will display a few moments later. You can then choose the Raspberry Pi OS you want to install.

Berryboot is another option to NOOBS. BothNOOBS and Berryboot have similar purposes.

Installing Raspberry Pi OS to a USB Drive

Rather than using an SD card, you can run the most recent Raspberry Pi OS Stretch from a USB drive. If you have a Raspberry Pi 3, you can easily do this. With these devices, you can copy the OS to a connected USB device.  It could even be a HDD or USB flash device. Here, you don’t need to install from scratch. You should rather upgrade Raspberry Pi OS in the terminal.

How to update Raspberry Pi OS on a Raspberry Pi

Updating Raspberry Pi OS on a Raspberry Pi can be a very simple task. However, it is important to know the necessary procedures for achieving this. Here are four ways to get your Raspberry Pi update with a new version of Raspberry Pi OS:

  • Make a fresh install onto SD card
  • Boot from USB if you don’t want to depend on an SD card
  • Make an update within the terminal
  • Install a fresh version onto an SD card

You can update your Raspberry PI using these ways. Once you upgrade your Raspberry Pi OS, get ready to start exploring your Raspberry. Keeping a Raspberry Pi OS installation up to date is very necessary. Ensure you keep yours up to date. To achieve this, you might need to carry out a fresh installation every time. Also, you can achieve this by making an upgrade in the terminal.

Updating the Raspberry Pi Firmware

To develop the Raspberry Pi and the firmware it usually runs, one company responsible for this is the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Occasionally, there’s a new firmware to add significant security updates or fixes to the Raspberry Pi.

In order to update the Raspberry Pi firmware, all you need to do is run any of these commands – sudo apt full-update or sudo apt update. This helps in updating your Raspberry Pi using firmware releases that are stable. If this doesn’t work well for you, and you desire updating to the latest possible firmware, then you can decide to choose the rpi-update tool.

Normally, the Raspberry Pi comes with Raspberry Pi OS already installed. However, it also works fine with other operating systems of Linux.

Note that, before going ahead to update the raspberry pi firmware, make sure you’re having the most recent version of the tool rpi-update, already installed. Open a SSH connection or terminal to the Raspberry Pi, and before you fit enter, type the following commands:

  • sudo apt update && sudo apt install rpi-update

If you already have the most recent version installed, then simply type this command: sudo rpi-update. This runs the updating tool of the firmware, then press enter. Before the firmware upgrade begins, you will need to give a confirmation whether you wish to or not. This is done by tapping the “Y” letter on the keyboard.

Immediately the Raspberry Pi firmware updates completely and doesn’t reboot automatically, type the command: sudo reboot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I run the Raspberry Pi on Android?

The Raspberry Pi supports hardware-based rendering. Providing support for the hardware render enables Android to have full use of the GPU in Raspberry Pi. With this, you can maximize performance when games are running on your device.

Which is the best OS for Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi OS is the best OS for Raspberry Pi. This OS was specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi OS is the officially supported OS of the Raspberry foundation. It can accomplish a lot of tasks.


Though Linux devices such as the Raspberry Pi are usually more secure compared to Windows, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make it compulsory to ensure your Raspberry Pi is updated at all times. With regular updates, you get new bug fixes, software, advancements, etc.

Having read through this article, you should know how to update Raspberry Pi OS. Making use of the Linux terminal will be a good idea.


    GET A FREE QUOTE PCB Manufacturing & Assembly Service
    File Upload