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How to Update Raspberry Pi (OS, Firmware, EEPROM & Kernel)

How to update raspberry pi

In this tutorial, you will be learning how to update Raspberry Pi firmware/ operating system with simple steps.

Updating the Raspberry Pi is an important thing that you have to perform on a regular basis. This will ensure that your device is running at its best performance level and most importantly, improved security.

Raspberry Pi OS packages receive regular updates that include general bug fixes, minor improvements, and security enhancements. So you can update your Raspberry Pi with the latest version of the OS to improve the device’s overall performance.

If you remotely connect your Raspberry Pi via SSH or using VNC, then it’s an inevitable thing to keep your system updated to the most recent version. This is because you should take extra care in terms of security while using remote access.

Fortunately, updating your Raspberry Pi is not at all a tedious task especially when you have the official Raspberry Pi OS or Raspbian.

How to Update Raspberry Pi OS

Two of the most used operating systems on Raspberry Pi are Raspbian and Ubuntu which are purely based on Debian. And, Debian-based systems make use of the apt package manager for the updation.

We are going to update Raspberry Pi from the terminal and for that, you have to open the terminal using CTRL + ALT + T

  1. At first, we need to update the package list. The package manager uses the package list to check what packages need update and their downloading source as well. Run the following command to update the package list.
    sudo apt update
  2. Once the package list is updated, you can run a full update on any of the available packages. By performing a full upgrade the package manager will automatically download and install any additional dependencies that software might require. To do so, issue the below command.
    sudo apt full-upgrade
  3. Once you run the command, you will be prompted to confirm the full upgrade. So type y and then press the ENTER key. This may also update raspberry pi kernel and some other packages. update raspberry pi full upgrade
  4. If everything is completed, you will need to reboot your device to reflect the changes. For that run the following command.
sudo reboot

Clean up the Cache and Obsolete Files

After an update, there is a chance for the existence of some remnant files. You can remove those files and clean up your device using the autoremove command.

Apart from that, there may exist some obsolete files in the cache that are no longer needed for your device. You can remove them also clean command.

To do this, run the following commands one by one.

sudo apt autoremove
sudo apt clean

Update Raspberry Pi EEPROM

Updating the bootloader of your Raspberry Pi to the latest preview version is an optional step. You may perform this only if you are facing any problems with your Pi.

Otherwise, the updated version will be automatically pushed through the Raspbian package repository once it becomes a stable build. So I recommend you wait for the stable version to release unless you mess up with booting your Pi.

Note that you are gonna install a potentially unstable version of the bootloader which may be buggy.

  1. You can check whether any updates are available for install by running the following command.
    sudo rpi-eeprom-update
  2. If any available update is there, you can give the following command to update Raspberry Pi EEPROM.
    sudo rpi-eeprom-update -a
  3. After updating the bootloader, you need to restart your device to apply the changes.
    sudo reboot


By now, you will know how to update Raspberry Pi OS and its bootloader. You can try it on your Pi and get it updated with the latest version.

Always upgrade your Pi to the latest stable version to maintain the security and performance of your device.

If you run into any problems, don’t hesitate to ask via comments.

Found an issue with this article? Report it here, so that I can resolve it.

About the Author: Vishnu Mohan

Vishnu Mohan is an ardent hobbyist of Raspberry Pi projects, who hails from God's Own Country. He is kind of a minimalist person who believes in keeping things simple & elegant in life. Apart from the techy things, he is passionate about music and cricket. In his free time, he likes to read books and spend quality time with his family and friends.

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