I have a raspbian stretch image which is of release date 2018-03-13. Is there any command I can use to upgrade it to the latest release os image of raspbian. I tried with apt dist-upgrade but the release date was same. I am checking the release date using cat /boot/issue.txt.

Is there any command available which I can you to upgrade the raspbian os image to its latest release version.


  • /boot/issue.txt doesn't get updated when using apt - as long as you apt update and apt upgrade you should have the latest - note, my /boot/issue.txt has Raspberry Pi reference 2016-05-27 ... because that's when I first flashed this pi (it was jessie back then) Jan 4, 2019 at 11:51
  • Okay so after dist-upgrade, I can assume that its now updated to the latest available.? I have device connected at remote side so cannot flash card so just want to make sure its updated to latest release. Is there any other way I can make sure its update to latest release.? Thanks
    – S Andrew
    Jan 4, 2019 at 11:54
  • uname -a will show you the kernel version - cat /etc/debian_version should show 9.6 - not sure if that's at all useful Jan 4, 2019 at 12:01
  • There are a number of different significant OS dates - the script in raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/85016/8697 shows you everything you might need.
    – Milliways
    Jan 4, 2019 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


With sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade you will upgrade the system by removing/installing/upgrading packages. That's the option defined for apt. I don't know if dist-upgrade from apt-get do exactly the same. In man apt you can read:

full-upgrade performs the function of upgrade but will remove currently installed packages if this is needed to upgrade the system as a whole.

I think this will not include new packages automatically that are included into the image of the new version so you may install them if you want. But you haven't needed them before otherwise they were upgraded. To be really sure that you have all new features you have to compare with the Release Notes.

  • full-upgrade is a synonym for dist-upgrade. It runs exactly the same process on Raspbian.
    – Dougie
    Jan 8, 2019 at 21:24
  • @Dougie Thanks for clarification. I was unsure because apt has commands which are not covered by apt-get, apt-cache.
    – Ingo
    Jan 8, 2019 at 22:41

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