Over the weekend, Debian 12 “Bookworm” became available for download. For the first time, Debian users with hardware that relies on non-free firmware can download the operating system using the official ISOs, now that the non-free firmware is included by default.
The primary benefit of including non-free firmware in the official ISOs is that Wi-Fi and graphics hardware should work out of the box. Before, you had to grab one of the Debian project’s unofficial ISOs to use non-free firmware.
Aside from being a helluva lot easier to install, Debian 12 has updated software packages including GNOME 43, KDE Plasma 5.27, LXDE 11, LXQt 1.2.0, MATE 1.26, and Xfce 4.18. In terms of programs, we have Emacs 28.2, GIMP 2.10.34, LibreOffice 7.4, Linux 6.1, Vim 9.0, Firefox ESR and more.
The supported architectures include i386, amd64, arm64, armel, EABI hard-float ABI, armhf, mipsel, mips64el, ppc64el, s390x. On arm64, Secure Boot has been reintroduced for added security benefits. Of these architectures, most people will want the amd64 version as this is for 64-bit PCs.
Debian Stable releases such as Debian 12 are generally regarded as rock solid. Not only that but Debian 12 will be supported for the next five years thanks to the Debian Security and Debian Long Term Support teams.
If you want to get Debian 12 for your computer, you have a variety of options available on the download page. Most will want to scroll down to the section titled ‘Try Debian live before installing’ and click ‘64-bit PC live torrents’.
You’ll see a list of torrent files, each one containing Debian 12 with a different desktop environment. You will need a torrent program such as uTorrent or Transmission to download any of these files.
If you know you want to install Debian 12 and have an internet connection, you can directly download a net installer image from the Debian project without the need for a torrent program. You won’t be able to test the operating system in a live environment with the net installer.