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       debirf - build an initrd to boot a full Debian system entirely from RAM


       debirf <subcommand> [options] [args]


       debirf (DEBian on Initial Ram Filesystem) is a set of tools designed to
       create  and  prepare a kernel and initial ram filesystem that can run a
       full-blown Debian environment entirely from RAM.

       debirf has  various  subcommands  (see  SUBCOMMANDS)  which  act  on  a
       specified debirf profile (see PROFILES).

       The debirf system is outlined at:


       debirf takes various subcommands:

       make [options] PROFILE
              Create  a  debirf  system  based  on profile PROFILE.  This will
              create the root for the profile, run all modules  on  the  root,
              and  then  generate  the  kernel  image  (see KERNEL) and debirf
              initramfs.  This subcommand takes various options (see OPTIONS).

       enter PROFILE
              Chroot   into   root  of  profile  PROFILE,  with  full  profile

       makeiso PROFILE
              Create a bootable CD-ROM image from the kernel and initramfs  in
              PROFILE.   This requires a bootloader to be available.  If grub-
              mkrescue (in the grub-common package on debian) is available, it
              will  be  used.   Otherwise,  isolinux (from the syslinux-common
              package)  is  used  if  it  is  available.   You  may  use   the
              DEBIRF_ISO_BOOTLOADER   environment   variable   to   specify  a
              preference manually (see below).

       help   Output a brief usage summary.

OPTIONS (for make subcommand only)

       -c, --check-vars
              check variables before make

       -n, --new
              create new root, even if old one exists

       -o, --overwrite
              debootstrap on top of old root if it exists

       -s, --skip
              skip debootstrap step altogether if old root exists

       -r, --root-build
              use  real  chroot  to  build  instead  of  fakechroot  (requires
              superuser privileges or CAP_SYS_CHROOT)

       -w, --no-warning
              skip superuser warning

       -i, --initrd-only
              remake initramfs from existing root (skip debootstrap and module

       -k, --kernel-deb=KERNEL
              install KERNEL .deb, instead of default kernel


       A debirf profile is a directory containing a  debirf.conf  config  file
       and a modules sub-directory (see MODULES).


       Modules  are  used  to  configure the debirf system, and can be used to
       extend the capabilities of debirf.  Modules are bash shell scripts that
       are  executed  in  alpha-numeric  order by run-parts in a chroot in the
       debirf root during the module stage of the debirf  build.   The  module
       stage is right after the debirf debootstrap stage, and right before the
       initramfs archive  is  created.   All  shell  variables  begining  with
       "DEBIRF_",  including  those  defined  in  the  debirf.conf  file,  are
       available to the modules.

       NOTE: Some modules are more important  to  the  proper  functioning  of
       debirf  than  others,  and  the ordering of modules is important.  Some
       modules may depend on certain other modules having already been, or not
       yet  been,  run.   For  instance, the module that cleans the debirf apt
       cache ("z1_clean_root") should be the last module run at the end of the
       module stage.


       The debirf "install-kernel" module will try to pick the most up-to-date
       kernel for the suite you are installing (versions 2.6 only),  with  the
       arch determined by the kernel running on the host build system.


       A  set of pre-defined bash shell functions are available to the modules
       to fasciliate configuring the debirf system:

       debirf_exec <command>
              Execute <command> within debirf root (DEBIRF_ROOT) with  chroot.

       msg <message>
              Output a message to standard out during the build process.

       failure <message> <exit-code>
              Cause  debirf  script to fail with <exit-code>, and <message> to

       debirf_info_sh <message>
              Write one line of sh code to the file on the  debirf

       debirf_info_comment <message>
              Write  one line of comment to the file on the debirf


       The following environment variables are used by debirf:

              debirf label (default: debirf)

              where to build the debirf (default: ./)

              architecture to build (default is the architecture of the  build

              suite  to  build  from  (default  "karmic"  on Ubuntu, "squeeze"

              distro for suite (default determined by DEBIRF_SUITE)

              mirror to pull suite (default determined by DEBIRF_DISTRO)

              keyring   to   verify   debootstrap   (default   determined   by

              whether  to use "grub" or "isolinux" as the El Torito bootloader
              for debirf makeiso.  if not specified, "grub" is the default.


              Debirf profile configuration  file.   Contains  values  for  the
              various   debirf   environment   variables   (see  ENVIRONMENT).
              Variables specified in the debirf.conf override those  specified
              on the command line.

              File  that  stores  various  information about the debirf build.
              This is a bash-sourceable file.


       Written by Jameson Rollins and Daniel Kahn Gillmor.


       Report bugs to <>.


       Copyright © 2007 Jameson Rollins and Daniel Kahn Gillmor
       This is free software.  You may redistribute copies  of  it  under  the
       terms       of       the      GNU      General      Public      License
       <>.  There is NO WARRANTY,  to  the
       extent permitted by law.


       debootstrap(8), fakechroot(1)