Debian Testing “Bullseye”: The Repository Does Not Have a Release File

After installing Debian Testing "Bullseye" mid March 2020 I got an error trying to run apt update.

E: The repository 'http://security.debian.org./debian-security 
bullseye/updates Release' does not have a Release file.

Unfortunately, the Debian maintainers managed to let a bug creep into the /etc/apt/sources.list. It’s called "Testing" for a reason, I guess.

The offending lines are this.

deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security/ bullseye/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security/ bullseye/updates main

Note "bullseye/updates", which is where the error is. Change those two lines to look like this.

deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security/ bullseye-security main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security/ bullseye-security main

After that, the update will work. I have noticed that in a later version of the installer this bug has been fixed.

6 thoughts on “Debian Testing “Bullseye”: The Repository Does Not Have a Release File

  1. It’s worth noting that syntax for the correct lines have changed between Buster and Bullseye, so someone updating from Buster to Bullseye just by changing the name in sources.list will probably trip over this problem.

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