Debian documentation for TurnKey GNU/Linux

All Turnkey GNU/Linux appliances are based very closely on Debian. Except for a few custom free software components, the base OS of TurnKey appliances are assembled from unmodified Debian binaries straight from the official Debian repositories.

In other words, under the hood a TurnKey appliance is really just a Debian base optimized for a specific usage scenario by carefully pre-integrating a selection of Debian components, and sometimes third party software. This provides users with a starting point that is closer to the desired end-result (I.e., compared with installing Debian from scratch).

One of the advantages this provides is that all the wealth of Debian documentation applies to TurnKey GNU/Linux too. This generally holds true for Ubuntu documentation as well, since Ubuntu is also a derivative of Debian. Please note though that Ubuntu is NOT binary compatible with Debian (TurnKey is). As such, as a general rule, installing additional software from Ubuntu PPAs is NOT recommended (the only exception is if the software provider explicitly notes that it is 100% compatible with Debian).

The main exception is that the custom TurnKey ISO install process (di-live) is a subset of the Debian installer, so Debian installation guides don't directly apply. Other builds (e.g. OVA, LXC, etc) are "pre-installed" so don't require initial "installation".

TurnKey version < - > Debian version matrix

Please check the table below to see which Debian version you should be comparing to. Please note that it is possible to do a Debian "in place" upgrade (i.e. upgrade from one Debian version to the next) to a TurnKey appliance, so it is possible for the TurnKey and Debian version to get out of sync. To be sure, please double check both the TurnKey version and Debian version of your appliance (see details below the table). Please note that 'x' denotes any minor version number.

TurnKey version number    Debian/TurnKey Codename    Debian version number
   14.x       Jessie       8.x
   15.x       Stretch       9.x
   16.x       Buster       10.x
   17.x       Bullseye       11.x
   18.x       Bookworm       12.x
   19.x (future release)       Trixie       13.x


Check versions

To check the TurnKey version:


That will return a string in the format:


E.g.: v17.1 LAMP appliance (amd64 arch - only supported arch at the time of writing):


To check Debian version(will match above by default, but may differ as noted):

lsb_release --all


No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Debian
Description:	Debian GNU/Linux 10 (bullseye)
Release:	11
Codename:	bullseye


Debian Documentation and Resources