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It says on the official site that "the kernel and firmware are installed as a Debian package, and so will also get updates when using [apt-get upgrade]"

I run apt-get update / apt-get dist-upgrade relatively frequently, yet when I run uname -a I get the following result:

Linux rpi 3.12.28+ #709 PREEMPT Mon Sep 8 15:28:00 BST 2014 armv6l GNU/Linux

Since I am using a reduced version of Debian, is there any specific package I need to install or something I have to do in order to tie the firmware into the apt packages?

I'd prefer not to have to run rpi-update often, as that provides bleeding-edge versions of kernel, something I'd rather not have.

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    Note that the foundation's page is about Updating and Upgrading Raspbian (emphasis mine). If you're running a custom, cut-down, systemd-excised Debian system, you won't get the Raspbian-specific updates.
    – scruss
    Aug 28, 2016 at 14:49

2 Answers 2

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You need to use sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade and you're good to go. Once done, reboot. It should be upgraded to 3.18.xx kernel. You can verify it by uname -a after rebooting.

While as per Deviantfan's comment,

A normal upgrade refuses to add or remove packets, and if this is necessary for upgrading existing ones (new dependencies etc.), these packets won´t upgrade. Dist-upgrade includes adding/removing dependencies if necessary. That´s all

Hope it helps.

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  • Did not work. Same version as before. For reference, the list of packages upgraded was binutils libgnutls-deb0-28 libgnutls-openssl27 libpsl0 libsystemd0 libterm-readkey-perl libudev1 udev If it makes a difference, sources is set to stretch and I'm running the system off a flash drive (the SD card is just boot).
    – Sunny
    Jul 19, 2015 at 1:37
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    dist-upgrade is totally different thing Eh no. A normal upgrade refuses to add or remove packets, and if this is necessary for upgrading existing ones (new dependencies etc.), these packets won´t upgrade. Dist-upgrade includes adding/removing dependencies if necessary. That´s all.
    – deviantfan
    Aug 2, 2015 at 18:07
  • @deviantfan You're right. My bad. Edited. :) Aug 3, 2015 at 5:28
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dist-upgrade by itself will not upgrade you to a new OS release unless you modify your /etc/apt/sources.list beforehand and point apt the the repositories of the OS release that you want to get.

More precisely, dist-upgrade merely specifies a conflict resolution mechanism that is less conservative that the one used by regular upgrade. dist-upgrade allows apt to remove some previously installed packages if these packages create dependency chains that make the entire upgrade impossible.

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