README for debootstrap ====================== See the manpage for (some) documentation. Running debootstrap from source ------------------------------- You can run debootstrap from its source tree without installing it. This can be useful if you want a quick way to make a Debian chroot on another system, or if you are testing modifications to debootstrap. First, get the source. * Either by using git git clone https://anonscm.debian.org/git/d-i/debootstrap.git * Or by visiting <https://packages.debian.org/source/sid/debootstrap> and downloading the tar.gz file Then in the debootstrap source directory: export DEBOOTSTRAP_DIR=`pwd` sudo ./debootstrap stable my-stable-dir If you are running a multi-stage boot strap (for example for a QEMU rootfs) you don't even need root: export DEBOOTSTRAP_DIR=`pwd` fakeroot ./debootstrap --foreign --arch=armhf testing my-testing-dir http://deb.debian.org/debian Of course you will need to execute the second stage as root to finish the bootstrap: (on foreign hardware) /debootstrap/debootstrap --second-stage Future ------ * Cross-strap support - so you can bootstrap a filesystem to the point where it will successfully boot, and finish installing itself without having to be running the target architecture or OS yourself. This means you should be able to run debootstrap --arch powerpc sarge ./sarge-ppc-chroot ... on an i386 system, boot a powerpc box with sarge-ppc-chroot as its root files system, and have it "work". The cross-hurd package does something similar, and should be replaced by this feature. * There should be some (better) way of telling debootstrap what "base" packages you want to install -- this varies between making a chroot, doing an install, and doing a buildd. Also, some installs want different base packages (to setup networking, or kernels, eg) NMUing ------ If there's a problem with debootstrap that you need fixed, feel free to do an NMU to fix it. Usual rules: try not to break anything, and mail the patch to the BTS. Don't worry about asking first though. However, note that debootstrap is now team maintained. Anyone in d-i can do a release without the bother of a NMU.
We maintain our own debootstrap since Debian's maintainer is obstructing a bugfix to honor exclude directive and allow people to avoid having systemd at early stage, see bug 668001 in Debian