cdebootstrap [OPTION]... SUITE TARGET [MIRROR]


cdebootstrap builds a basic Debian system of SUITE (e.g. etch, lenny, sid) into TARGET using the source specified in MIRROR. It supports http://, ftp://, file:// and ssh:// URL and defaults to The ssh:// scheme uses cat on the remote host to access the files. You have to setup a master connection and configure ssh to use it or use a key for authentication. No user interaction is possible. The complete log is saved as /var/log/bootstrap.log in the new system.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.


Ignore if packages can't be authenticated. This ignores the unavailability of Release.gpg, missing keyrings, broken signatures and missing gpgv executable.

-a, --arch=ARCH

Set the target architecture.

-c, --configdir=DIR

Set the config directory.


Enable debug output.

-d, --download-only

Download packages, but don't perform installation.


Drop packages from the installation list. This only works if the package is pulled in explicitely, either via priority or explicit definition in the config. It won't exclude packages which are pulled in via dependencies.


Use second stage installer. This does the unpack phase of the bootstraping only. The second stage installer will be available as /sbin/cdebootstrap-foreign and /sbin/init.

-f, --flavour=FLAVOUR

Select the flavour to use (see FLAVOURS below).

-k, --keyring=KEYRING

Use given keyring.

-H, --helperdir=DIR

Set the helper directory.


Install extra packages.

-q, --quiet

Be quiet. Only warnings and errors are shown.


-v, --verbose

Be verbose. All command output is shown.

-h, --help

Display this help and exit.


Output version information and exit.


Flavours available with default configuration:


Installs essential, apt and build-essential. Suitable for sbuild and pbuilder usage. All rc.d operations are disabled by a policy-rc.d script (cdebootstrap-helper-rc.d package).


Installs essential and apt. All rc.d operations are disabled by a policy-rc.d script (cdebootstrap-helper-rc.d package).


Installs required and important priority packages. This is the default flavour.