DebianDebian Based

How To Install Backports on Debian 11

Install Backports on Debian 11

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Backports on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Backports have recompiled packages from testing (mostly) and unstable (in a few cases only, e.g. security updates), so they will run without new libraries (wherever it is possible) on a stable Debian distribution. Backports are pinned to priority 100 using apt-pinning, ie they are only installed when explicitly requested. Otherwise, the package from stable takes precedence. A package that has been installed from the backports is updated from the backports.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Backports on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 11.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Backports on Debian 11 Bullseye

Step 1. Before we install any software, it’s important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https curl

Step 2. Installing Backports on Debian 11.

By default, Backports is not available on Debian 11 base repository. So, now run the following command below to add their respective repository manually on our Linux system:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following lines:

deb bullseye-backports main contrib non-free
deb-src bullseye-backports main contrib non-free

Once you add the repository to your Debian system, now install Backports using the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt -t bullseye-backports upgrade

Step 3. Installing Packages from Debian Backports Package Repository.

If you wish to install some specific package from the backport repository then you have manually specified the package. backport repo along with -t flag with an APT package manager.

sudo apt install "package-name" -t bullseye-backports

For example, install the latest version of Kernel for new features and driver support:

sudo apt install linux-image-amd64 -t bullseye-backports

To search for a package on the Debian backports package repository, run the following command:

apt-cache search package-name

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Backports. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of the Backports on Debian 11 Bullseye. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Backports website.

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