I read that Raspberry Pi now offers an 64 Bit OS for Raspberry 3B. Mine is running already for quite a while and it took me some time to configure my software (main part: Nextcloud) correctly, so I would prefer to keep current package versions and configurations as much as possible. But for now I have only seen the switch with re-flashing the SD card. That would mean I would spent a week (I am not the most clever person on terminal and with linux) to set everything up again.

So: Is there any way to “upgrade” the OS? I.e. replace the OS with a 64 bit system and recompile / install all installed software?

  • Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit was released 2 Feb 2022 so hardly "new" you are unlikely to notice any difference from 32bit. NO Raspberry Pi OS has ever supported upgrade - let alone 64bit. Bookworm should be released in the next couple of months.
    – Milliways
    Jul 11 at 11:30
  • Actually the 64-bit version has been available in beta form since mid 2020. Unless you have a good reason for this, I would not bother. You might want to consider using or implementing a configuration manager or something now though, eventually you may have to upgrade and that will make it much easier. In the meantime a good idea would be to get an extra SD card so you can fiddle with all that.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 11 at 14:32
  • Thanks for the comments, I was not aware, that they usually do not have updates. Then I might just stick to my OS; I am on bookworm already (32 bit); the main reason I was thinking about this was that Nextcloud has a small warning recommending to switch to 64bit.
    – Ronny
    Jul 11 at 15:02
  • they usually do not have updates? huh? "they" do have updates, you're asking to migrate from one architecture to another, not update your OS - it is technically possible, but it's far easier to just install from scratch Jul 11 at 23:22
  • Sorry, typo, I meant upgrade not update. – Is there a tutorial now to do that? My system grew over time since it usually takes me a long time to get things working and I would prefer not to start from scratch, since that would mean I would be without a Nextcloud for half a year or so.
    – Ronny
    Jul 12 at 11:16

1 Answer 1


For what is worth, I was able to do this on 3 separate systems, but it is very difficult, and unless you understand dpkg and apt well (not at user level, but towards Debian developer level), I wouldn't advise it. It took me about 6 hours on the first system, and down to 3-4 hours on the third one. This third system was done fully remote, and worked on first reboot even.

I've written my experience here: https://k1024.org/posts/2023/2023-10-31-raspberry-pi-upgrade-crossgrade/, but again, I don't recommend it unless you want a challenge, have backups and can afford downtime.

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