I need a package that's in jessie, the newer version of Raspbian, but not in wheezy, the one I have installed. Can I use it somehow? Can/should I just upgrade to jessie?


1 Answer 1


Can I use it somehow?

Maybe -- you can try. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sources.list and add a line:

deb http://archive.raspbian.org/raspbian/ jessie main

Then run apt-get update. This may take a few minutes. Searching for the package should now show it, and you can try apt-get install [whatever]. You may have to pull in further substantial updates from jessie.

Can/should I just upgrade to jessie?

You can [as of Sept/2015, you probably should], but read the caveats below first.

First add the line as above above to sources.list, then:

apt-get dist-upgrade

You may also want to comment out the wheezy line from the sources.list above to prevent clutter or confusion in the future.

A few things to note about this:

  • It requires a substantial download (1/2 GB+) and takes a while in addition to that (perhaps a few hours), during which time you must occasionally answer questions.

  • It changes the init system to systemd, replacing the older SysV init. You can install a compatibility package if this proves awkward.

  • I'd need to check but I think Raspbian has always defaulted to wheezy. For most of that time wheezy was the testing release. It has only recently become the stable release.
    – joan
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 21:03
  • @joan Yeah, it rolls forward debian.org/releases Perhaps saying raspbian uses wheezy because it is stable is a bit of a simplification but hopefully it gets a point across.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 21:07
  • I do use jessie/sid myself. However as the Pi is used by a lot of newcomers to Linux I was a bit critical that Raspbian was originally based on the testing rather than the stable release. I agree that using a stable release is the proper choice for the majority of users.
    – joan
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 21:17
  • Raspbian started with wheezy because wheezy was the first Debian release to have arm hard float support. Tweaking the minimum CPU settings is a lot easier than adding hard float support from scratch. Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 17:57
  • The late release of a raspberry pi foundation raspbian jessie image was mostly down to difficulties forward porting the foundation's modified packages (most notablly their hacked up version of ephiphany) Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 17:59

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