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

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


  * 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)


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.