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. 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