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       debootstrap - Bootstrap a basic Debian system


       debootstrap [OPTION...]  SUITE TARGET [MIRROR [SCRIPT]]

       debootstrap [OPTION...]  --second-stage


       debootstrap  bootstraps  a  basic  Debian  system  of SUITE (eg, lenny,
       squeeze, sid; or stable, testing, unstable) into TARGET from MIRROR  by
       running  SCRIPT.   MIRROR  can be an http:// URL, a file:/// URL, or an
       ssh:/// URL.  Notice  that  file:/  URLs  are  translated  to  file:///
       (correct  scheme  as  described  in  RFC1738  for local filenames), and
       file:// will not work.  ssh://USER@HOST/PATH URLs are  retrieved  using
       scp; use of ssh-agent or similar is strongly recommended.

       Debootstrap  can be used to install Debian in a system without using an
       installation disk but can also be used to run a different Debian flavor
       in  a  chroot  environment.   This  way you can create a full (minimal)
       Debian installation which can be used for  testing  purposes  (see  the
       EXAMPLES  section).   If  you  are looking for a chroot system to build
       packages please take a look at pbuilder.


              Set the target architecture (use if dpkg isn’t installed).   See
              also --foreign.

              Comma separated list of packages which will be added to download
              and extract lists.

              Comma separated list of packages  which  will  be  removed  from
              download  and extract lists.  WARNING: you can and probably will
              exclude essential packages, be careful using this option.

              Use packages from the listed components of the archive.

              By default, debootstrap will attempt  to  automatically  resolve
              any  missing  dependencies, warning if any are found.  Note that
              this is not a complete dependency resolve in the sense  of  dpkg
              or  apt,  and  that  it is far better to specify the entire base
              system than rely on this option.  With  this  option  set,  this
              behaviour is disabled.

              Name  of  the  bootstrap  script variant to use.  Currently, the
              variants supported are minbase, which  only  includes  essential
              packages  and  apt;  buildd,  which installs the build-essential
              packages  into  TARGET;  and  fakechroot,  which  installs   the
              packages  without  root  privileges.   Finally  there is variant
              scratchbox, which is for creating targets for scratchbox  usage.
              The  default,  with no --variant=X argument, is to create a base
              Debian installation in TARGET.

              Download signatures for retrieved Release files and  check  them
              against  KEYRING.   By  default, Release file signatures are not

              Produce more info about downloading.

              Print the packages to be  installed,  and  exit.   Note  that  a
              TARGET  directory  must be specified so debootstrap can download
              Packages files to determine which packages should be  installed,
              and  to  resolve  dependencies.   The  TARGET  directory will be
              deleted unless --keep-debootstrap-dir is specified.

              Download packages, but don’t perform installation.

              Do the initial unpack phase of bootstrapping only,  for  example
              if the target architecture does not match the host architecture.
              A copy of debootstrap sufficient for  completing  the  bootstrap
              process  will  be  installed  as /debootstrap/debootstrap in the
              target filesystem.  You  can  run  it  with  the  --second-stage
              option to complete the bootstrapping process.

              Complete   the   bootstrapping  process.   Other  arguments  are
              generally not needed.

              Run second stage in a subdirectory instead of root. (can be used
              to create a foreign chroot) (requires --second-stage)

              Don’t  delete  the  /debootstrap  directory  in the target after
              completing the installation.

              Acquire .debs from tarball FILE instead of downloading via http.

              Instead  of  bootstrapping,  make a tarball (written to FILE) of
              the downloaded packages.  The resulting tarball may be passed to
              a later --unpack-tarball.

              Used for internal purposes by boot-floppies

              Used for internal purposes by the debian-installer

              Override  automatic .deb extractor selection to TYPE.  Supported
              extractors are: dpkg-deb and ar.


       To setup a squeeze system:

       # debootstrap squeeze ./squeeze-chroot

       #            debootstrap            squeeze            ./squeeze-chroot

       Full   process   to  create  a  complete  Debian  installation  of  sid

            main # cd / ; mkdir /sid-root
            main # debootstrap sid /sid-root
            [ ... watch it download the whole system ]
            main # echo "proc /sid-root/proc proc defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab
            main # mount proc /sid-root/proc -t proc
            main # echo "sysfs /sid-root/sys sysfs defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab
            main # mount sysfs /sid-root/sys -t sysfs
            main # cp /etc/hosts /sid-root/etc/hosts
            main # chroot /sid-root /bin/bash
            chroot # dselect
            [ you may use aptitude, install mc and vim ... ]
             main # echo "8:23:respawn:/usr/sbin/chroot /sid-root " \
                    "/sbin/getty 38400 tty8"  >> /etc/inittab
            [ define a login tty that will use this system ]
             main # init q
            [ reload init ]

       Note that you will generally need a recent version of debootstrap to do
       this; the version currently in stable may stop working due  to  changes
       to unstable shortly after the last release.


       debootstrap  was  written  by  Anthony  Towns  <>.   This
       manpage was written by Matt Kraai <>.