What is the best way to upgrade a RPi-4B from Buster to Bullseye?

I'm been having problems in updating Nodejs on one of my RPi-4Bs and thought I'd start afresh and install
OS-Bullseye as well as Node-RED, Mosquitto, etc.

My main concern is the RPi currently boots off of a 120GB SSD (no SD card) that contains 38GB of my music as a Samba share that it streamed to various Pi(es) running MoOde Audio around my house.

I'm looking for suggestions as to how to move to Bullseye without wiping out my music.

1 Like

I would move the data to a different system and start from scratch again, then move it back. It is the only safe way.


Debian just released Bookworm. It can't be too long till RPiOS follows suit, maybe wait till then?

1 Like

Will you be able to double-jump though?

There is no upgrade path from Buster to Bullseye so those of us (me too) with old and not very well documented servers will be no worse off with Bookworm.

Seems pretentious to call a matchbox sized thing a server!

Node-red is easy enough to transfer, it's all the other stuff which might turn out tricky.

You could splash a tenner on a new drive :wink:

So what would you suggest I do with this 'el cheapo' drive?
Plug it in to the Pi or connect it to my PC and FTP material to it?

It's even cheaper, on Amaon-UK at the moment, at £6.98 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just ordered three of these drives and a couple of external SATA to USB-3.0 enclosure cases.
Cases nearly as expensive as the drives !!

1 Like

I have succesfully upgraded several RPi's to Bullseye following the guide below. But they all did boot from standard sd cards and I had full backup of those for each before I started. The upgrade worked well and all are still running fine. Only thing is if you have a lot of other experimental stuff installed, that will of course also still be there and sometimes it is nice to start with a fresh install. In my case I had software installed that would require me to rebuild them on each RPi, rebuild that takes very long time, so in my case, I saved a lot of time


Well if you want to start fresh then just build a new image on to it.

You could then copy the music from the old drive.

Showing as £10.65 for me - do you have a link, I might get some to use for backups.
(I plug in the extra drive then clone the main drive)

In fact you could clone your drive then try the upgrade on the copy per @krambriw

What case did you get ? I normally just use these -

I'm not sure if it still apply but not all adapters perform the same on a Pi
See this link
To this day it can still be treacherous to buy a storage adapter for your Raspberry Pi 4. There are many that will not work properly and perform very poorly.


1 Like

Still showing £6.98 for me on Amazon-UK (although in the picture it says £12.28 - ignore that).
I ordered three SSDs plus the case as I needed the value of the order to be over £25 to get FREE delivery.

This was the case I ordered at £5.99

1 Like

If you wanted MORE, note that CCL have a 1TB M.2 device going for just £50 right now. That's a steal and I ordered one yesterday for my Tiny PC workstation. That tiny thing will be (is already really) my most powerful computer ever despite its tiny size. 32GB RAM, i9, NVIDIA Quatro, sweet. Not a server though, it is my daily-driver - benefits of working from home.

Think you must have driven the price up :confused: it shows 12.28 when I follow the link

Just realised that is the price with an Amazon business acct, so that may explain the difference?
So at £6.98 that must be a 'snip'.

1 Like

The retail price did indeed go up a bit yesterday evening. Not sure if Dave is to blame or a rush of forum members thinking it's cheaper than a micro SD card.

But for one long weekend in June it was less than £6!

1 Like

I'll get you to buy my stuff in future then :wink:

No problem at all as I could put your address in Leeds as an alternative destination.

Don't look now but it's £6.98 for everyone today.

1 Like

2 on order now thanks :shushing_face:

As it seems you allready made a decision - I just can say - I had several buster to bullseye tries on raspberries. None of them succeeded - most of them done short after bullseye was available for the RPi.
I guess I did close to 100 updates on PCs and servers - they generally did succeed.

In my cases all new clean setup RPis did speed up extremly - at least it fellt that way.

What I can suggest (from more then 35 years of PC work)
Take a paper or notepad (or at least a medium that does not rely on one of the services you will have to turn of - Dont get me wrong - JUST to be sure :grin:

Write down every tool or service you use
copy the configs
copy the data
I do even write down the paths - mostly digital

copy all the settings on the machine - mostly the things you forget that they where touched once
grab all crons
grab all desktops if you used a GUI

If I do want to feel very secure I do this and grab the history to make a small sh script out of it
not very sophisticated - just with oneliners for each task
but this makes some kind of documentation and very often you then see what still missing
(and if you really need to - the setup gets better and faster each time to redo it :rofl:)

Good Luck :smiley:

1 Like