Hi, all -- I believe I have finally gotten somewhere with debootstrap. What a PITA this has been. For review, I have a somewhat interesting piece of hardware with no CD, video, or keyboard, and I not only want to be able to install a major *NIX release (where I don't have to do all of the building and package maintenance and security fixing but can instead just leave it to the YAST Online Update or apt-get or whatever) on it but also update it in the future all without having to take it apart and find some desktop PC into which to shove the hard drive to boot from CD. Enter debootstrap. As if that weren't challenging enough, I am quite a nervous nellie about this server since it is a central data, web, and backup as well as external login server for the house, so I'm going to practice this on a scratch machine first. The server is running an LFS build while the scratch box is running SuSE, but that's immaterial. Finally, since I 1) live at the bottom of a very lousy DSL well, 2) plan to do this several times, *and* 3) want to ensure that I'm working with the same snapshot each time so that it will really work when I do the real thing, I want to locally mirror enough debian tree to be able to install without depending on the outside world. Despite helpful advice here and there, this has proven a most excruciating exercise. I tried various options to debootstrap including --download-only to attempt to build a suitable mirror, tried mirroring a debian mirror on my production web server so that I could pick and choose as I pleased but gave up after some 38G (good grief!!), and finally figured that the woody (stable) ISO images MUST have a sufficiently complete set of files and that I would go ahead and use those rather than continue to attempt to install sarge (testing). That, and a bloody lot more download time, brings us to today. First I downloaded half a dozen woody images plus an upgrade, and with the loopback device to mount them I one by one extracted all of those into a directory on my server and made it available under http://debian/ for my debootstrap to use (with the proper 'debian' entry in /etc/hosts, of course). Since everything under dists/ was a symlink to woody, I used debootstrap -arch i386 woody /mnt/suse81 http://debian/ to try to install woody. Unfortunately, the first thing I got was I: Validating debootstrap.invalid_dists_woody_Release E: Invalid Release file, no entry for main/binary-i386/Packages and debootstrap very much stops. Sheesh. What's up with that? After banging around a bit, I went and got http://http.us.debian.org/debian/dists/woody/Release and put it in place of my existing Release file on the server and tried again. Then I had trouble with Packages, so I got http://http.us.debian.org/debian/dists/woody/main/binary-i386/Packages.gz and put it in place and extracted it to an uncompressed version. Finally I ran debootstrap -arch i386 woody /mnt/suse81 http://debian/ one last time and as promised in the debootstrap howto at http://trilldev.sourceforge.net/files/remotedeb.htm I got to I: Base system installed successfully. to start my chroot shell. Woo hoo! What a freaking nightmare. I sure hope this helps someone else who is trying to figure out how to use this thing. Thanks for all the help & HAND :-D -- David T-G firstname.lastname@example.org http://justpickone.org/davidtg/ Shpx gur Pbzzhavpngvbaf Qrprapl Npg!
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