grml-debootstrap - wrapper around debootstrap for installing plain Debian
grml-debootstrap [ options ]
grml-debootstrap is a wrapper suite around debootstrap (and cdebootstrap if you want) for installing a plain Debian system (e.g. via Grml)
very fast and easy.
All you have to do is adjust a few variables in the configuration file /etc/debootstrap/config or specify some command line options and
invoke grml-debootstrap. If invoked without any configuration modifications or command line options a dialog based frontend will be
available to control some basic configuration options.
A plain and base Debian system will be installed on the given device, directory or virtual image file then. Customization of this process
is possible as well.
The Grml team does not take responsibility for loss of any data!
OPTIONS AND ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES --arch architecture
Set target architecture you want to install. Defaults to the architecture you are currently running. If you're running an amd64 kernel
and want to deploy an i386 system use this option. Note: deploying amd64 from an i386 kernel does not work. Example: "--arch i386"
Specify appendline for the kernel. E.g. "pci=nomsi"
-c, --config file
Use specified configuration file, defaults to /etc/debootstrap/config.
Execute chroot scripts from specified directory. This allows customisation of the chroot setup, the executable script(s) present in the
given directory are executed at the end of the chroot procedure. Default directory: /etc/debootstrap/chroot-scripts/
-d, --confdir path
Place of configuration files for debootstrap, defaults to /etc/debootstrap.
Use specified file for preseeding Debian packages instead of using the default <confdir>/debconf-selections.
Extra parameters passed to the debootstrap command.
Filesystem that should be created when installing to a partition. If unset defaults to ext3. Valid values are all filesystems that can
be created through mkfs.filesystem.
Skip user acknowledgement and do not prompt for user input.
Enable Grml.org's Debian repository (http://deb.grml.org/) via the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/grml.list configuration file. This provides
the option to install Debian packages from Grml's repository.
Device where grub should be installed to. Note that only the MBR (master boot record) can be used (/dev/sda, /dev/sdb,...). Partitions
(like /dev/sda1, /dev/sdb2,...) are NOT supported because grub2 doesn't support installation into the PBR (partition boot record)
anymore. Usage example: --grub /dev/sda. Note: just do not set this option to avoid installation of grub.
Show summary of options and exit.
Use specified hostname instead of the default (being grml).
-i, --iso /mntpoint
Specify mount point where you have a Debian ISO mounted loopback. Using this option instead of the mirror option gives you the
possibility to install the base-system without network access. Make sure you mounted the according Debian-ISO to the given /mntpoint.
See section Usage examples for a demonstration.
Do not overwrite user provided /etc/apt/sources.list.
-m, --mirror URL
Specify mirror which should be used for apt-get/aptitude. Corresponding with configuration variable MIRROR.
Skip debootstrap, only do configuration to the target.
Skip installation of packages defined in /etc/debootstrap/packages.
Do not prompt for the root password. Note: Use the --password option if you want to set the root password during an automatic
installation but don't want to use the interactive dialog.
-p, --mntpoint /mntpoint
Specify mount point that should be used for mounting the target system. Corresponding with configuration variable MNTPOINT. Note: this
option has no effect if option -t is given and represents a directory.
Use specified file as list for packages that should be installed instead of the default package list file <confdir>/packages.
Use specified password as password for user root. Use with caution, as your command line might be visible in the process list and the
shell history. It's meant for automatic installation only.
-r, --release releasename
Specify release of new Debian system. Supported releases names: lenny, squeeze, wheezy (note: requires current version of debootstrap)
and sid. Corresponding with configuration variable RELEASE.
Execute scripts from specified directory before executing the chroot script. This allows customisation of the system before the chroot
has been set up. The environment variable $MNTPOINT is available inside the scripts for direct access of the chroot. Default directory:
Execute scripts from specified directory. This allows customisation of the system after the chroot has been set up. The environment
variable $MNTPOINT is available inside the scripts for direct access of the chroot. Default directory: /etc/debootstrap/scripts/
-t, --target target
Target partition (/dev/...) or directory (anything else without /dev at the beginning). To install grub using --grub make sure to use a
device instead of a directory as target (installation of grub as bootloader when using directories is NOT supported).
Set up a Virtual Machine instead of installing to a partition or directory. This allows deployment of a Virtual Machine. The options
needs to be combined with the --target option. Usage example: --vmfile --target /mnt/sda1/qemu.img
Use specified size for size of Virtual Machine disk file. If not specified it defaults to 2G (being 2GB). Syntax as supported by
qemu-img (see manpage qemu-img(1) for details. Usage example: --vmsize 3G
Show version of program and exit.
the command line parsing of grml-debootstrap does not validate the provided arguments for the command line options. Please be careful
and check docs and /etc/debootstrap/config for further information.
grml-debootstrap --target /dev/sda1 --grub /dev/sda
Install default Debian release (wheezy) on /dev/sda1 and install bootmanager Grub in MBR (master boot record) of /dev/sda and use /dev/sda1
as system partition.
grml-debootstrap --target /dev/sda6 --grub /dev/sda --release sid
Install Debian unstable/sid on /dev/sda6, install bootmanager Grub in MBR (master boot record) of /dev/sda and use /dev/sda6 as system
mount /dev/sda1 /data/chroot
grml-debootstrap --target /data/chroot
Install default Debian release (wheezy) in directory /data/chroot (without any bootloader).
grml-debootstrap --target /dev/sda3 --grub /dev/sda --mirror ftp://ftp.tugraz.at/mirror/debian
Install default debian release (wheezy) in a Virtual Machine file with 3GB disk size (including Grub as bootmanager in MBR of the virtual
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1
grml-debootstrap --vmfile --vmsize 3G --target /mnt/sda1/qemu.img
Install default Debian release (wheezy) on /dev/sda3 and install bootmanager Grub in MBR (master boot record) of /dev/sda and use /dev/sda3
as system partition. Use specified mirror instead of the default (ftp://ftp.debian.de/debian) one.
mount -o loop /mnt/sda6/debian-CD-1.iso /mnt/iso
grml-debootstrap --target /dev/sda1 --grub /dev/sda --iso file:/mnt/iso/debian/
Install Debian on /dev/sda1 using the loopback mounted Debian-ISO for the base-system and install bootmanager Grub in MBR (master boot
record) of /dev/sda and use /dev/sda1 as system partition. Please notice, that the chroot system requires network access for all packages
which are not part of the ISO.
Main configuration file. You have to adjust it according to your needs if you want to execute grml-debootstrap in the non-interactive mode
without any special command line arguments.
The script executed within the new Debian system as soon as the main system has been installed via [c]debootstrap.
Defines the default locales used for generating locales via locale-gen.
Defines the software packages which should be installed in the new Debian system by default.
Debian Packages dropped in this directory will be installed into the new Debian system by default (Control variable: EXTRAPACKAGES)
The default directory for storing information about executed stages. Every single function of grml-debootstrap will write done to the
stages directory into a file named as the function itself if it has been executed successfully. You can adjust the location of the
directory via configuration variable STAGES via /etc/debootstrap/config. Please notice that you have to remove the stages directory on your
own if you want to re-execute grml-debootstrap after running it successfully once. This should avoid recurrent execution by error of
grml-debootstrap (which might delete present data).
You can control execution of grml-debootstrap via adjusting /etc/debootstrap/config for some main stuff or via setting some selected
variables via command line. The packages which should be installed in the new Debian system can be defined via the file
/etc/debootstrap/packages. If you want to put existing files to the new Debian system you can place them into the (by default non-existing)
directories boot, etc, share, usr and var in /etc/debootstrap/. Every existing directory will be copied to the new Debian system then. If
you want to install additional packages that are not available via the Grml or Debian mirror drop them into /etc/debootstrap/extrapackages
and make sure that EXTRAPACKAGES is set to "yes".
If environment variable AUTOINSTALL is set grml-debootstrap can be executed in a full automatic mode. While this mode isn't really useful
for interactive execution (just configure /etc/debootstrap/configure or specify the relevant variables on the command line instead) it is
meant for use via boot option debian2hd on the Grml live system. The boot option debian2hd (more precise: the kernelname at the bootprompt)
supports the following boot options (they correspond with the command line options mentioned above):
The target partition/directory of the new Debian system. Usage example: target=/dev/sda1
Where do you want to install grub to? Usage example: grub=/dev/sda
Specify release of new Debian system. Defaults to Debian wheezy. Supported relases: lenny, squeeze, wheezy and sid. Usage example:
Specify mirror which should be used for apt-get/aptitude instead of the default one (http://cdn.debian.net/debian). Usage example:
Set password of user root without prompting for it but set it to the given argument. Usage example: password=AiTh5ahn
Usage example for automatic installation:
debian2hd target=/dev/sda1 grub=/dev/sda mirror=ftp://ftp.tugraz.at/mirror/debian password=foobar
You have to enter this command line at the bootprompt of the Grml live system. Please make sure that /dev/sda1 is the partition where you
really want to install your new Debian system.
Automatic installation within booting process is done in grml-autoconfig via setting environment variable AUTOINSTALL and creation of
/usr/bin/grml-debootstrap_noninteractive with the available and relevant boot options for grml-debootstrap.
| Release / Tool | debootstrap | cdebootstrap |
| Lenny | works  | works  |
| Squeeze | works | works |
| Wheezy | works | works |
| Sid | works  | works  |
 Please notice that lenny is the current old-stable release within Debian. grml-debootstrap can handle the release but you really
should not use lenny anymore unless you really know what you are doing. Choose Debian 6.0 (squeeze) or Debian 7.0 (wheezy) instead.
Notice that you need to specify a mirror providing the lenny release, the default (http://cdn.debian.net/debian) doesn't provide it any
longer nowadays. Set the mirror to e.g. http://archive.debian.org/debian/ if you don't have your own lenny mirror.
When installing lenny to a new mdraid, grml-debootstrap will use md metadata format version 0.90. This limits the device to a maximum
size of 2TB, but has the advantage of grub-legacy actually being able to boot from it.
 Please notice that sid is Debian/unstable and due to its nature might not be always installable. What might work instead is
deploying a stable or testing release and upgrade it after installation finished.
Probably. Please send bugreports to Michael Prokop <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
debootstrap (8), cdebootstrap (1).
Michael Prokop <email@example.com>
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