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Bug#633782: debootstrap: "The bzcat is not available on the system" when installing sid

Package: debootstrap
Version: 1.0.32

This is my first bug report. Bear with me if it's not properly formatted.

I'm getting the error message "The bzcat is not available on the
system" when trying to install Debian sid from the latest daily
debian-testing-i386-businesscard.iso, downloaded from
dated 13-Jul-2011 17:22, SHA1

I'm running the install inside a coLinux 0.7.9 instance on Windows XP
SP3. I don't know if the virtualized environment is relevant, but I
mention it for completeness.

I'm starting the install in expert mode, passing priority=low as a
kernel parameter.

I'm able to get through most of the install, with some warnings about
kernel modules due to the mismatch between the coLinux kernel and the
one expected by the installer. I can provide details about these
errors if requested, but again, I don't believe they are relevant.

The error appears after selecting the "Install the base system" menu
option. Several files are downloaded, and and one point a dialog with
this error appears:

[!!] Install the base system
Debootstrap Error
The following error occurred:
The bzcat is not available on the system
Check /var/log/syslog or see virtual console 4 for the details.

The last few lines of /var/log/syslog and console 4 are the following
(complete syslog attached):
Jul 13 16:08:40 main-menu[1106]: INFO: Menu item 'bootstrap-base' selected
Jul 13 16:08:41 debootstrap: gpgv:
Jul 13 16:08:41 debootstrap: Signature made Wed Jul 13 14:19:54 2011
UTC using RSA key ID 473041FA
Jul 13 16:08:41 debootstrap: gpgv:
Jul 13 16:08:41 debootstrap: Good signature from "Debian Archive
Automatic Signing Key (6.0/squeeze) <ftpmaster@debian.org>"
Jul 13 16:08:41 debootstrap:

If I manually run debootstrap, a similar error occurs (complete
debootstrap output attached):
~ # debootstrap --no-check-gpg --arch i386 sid /target
I: Retrieving Release
I: Validating Packages
I: Resolving dependencies of required packages...
I: Resolving dependencies of base packages...
I: Found additional required dependencies: insserv libbz2-1.0 libdb5.1
libslang2 multiarch-support
I: Found additional base dependencies: libnfnetlink0 libsqlite3-0
I: Checking component main on http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian...
I: Validating libacl1
I: Validating zlib1g
I: Chosen extractor for .deb packages: ar
I: Extracting libacl1...
E: The bzcat is not available on the system

I was able to get the system installed by manually downloading and
installing bzip2 and libbz2:
~# cd /
~# wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/b/bzip2/bzip2_1.0.5-6_i386.deb
~# wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/b/bzip2/libbz2-1.0_1.0.5-6_i386.deb
~# ar x bzip2_1.0.5-6_i386.deb
~# tar xzvf data.tar.gz
~# rm debian-binary data.tar.gz control.tar.gz
~# ar x libbz2-1.0_1.0.5-6_i386.deb
~# tar xzvf data.tar.gz
~# rm debian-binary data.tar.gz control.tar.gz

Some discussion on the OFTC Debian IRC channel pointed to a recent
change to the .deb package format, and the fact that it is now
possible to use bzip2 compression for data.tar, as seen in the
libacl1_2.2.51-2_i386.deb, for example. It seems
debootstrap/debian-installer are not downloading this new requirement
before trying to install the system. Someone suggested that the issue
might actually be that bzip2 is not tagged as "Essential: yes".

I purposely left out the d-i tag, because I've read that the direct
installation of sid is not supported. Identical installations of
stable and testing work fine.

Please let me know if you need any more information. Thank you.

Arturo R.

Attachment: debootstrap.log.gz
Description: GNU Zip compressed data

Attachment: syslog.gz
Description: GNU Zip compressed data

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