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I have in the past used debootstrap to bootstrap both Debian and Ubuntu systems. But this time, trying to bootstrap a Ubuntu system from a Debian 6 rescue system (Note: I have no choice about the rescue system, so please don't suggest using Ubuntu or such, it wouldn't be available to me).

Consider the following folder structure /target which I want to use to bootstrap the system:

/dev/md0 on /target type ext4 (rw,relatime,data=ordered)
/dev/md1 on /target/home type ext4 (rw,relatime,data=ordered)
/dev/md2 on /target/var type ext4 (rw,relatime,data=ordered)

Now I am running the following debootstrap command:

# LANG=en_US.UTF-8 debootstrap --exclude=dhcp3-common,dhcp3-client,laptop-detect,tasksel,tasksel-data --include=bash-completion,sudo,lshw,tmux,mercurial,etckeeper,unzip,mc,htop,pciutils,usbutils,openssh-server,localepurge,unattended-upgrades --print-debs --variant=minbase --arch=amd64 precise /target
I: Retrieving InRelease
I: Failed to retrieve InRelease
I: Retrieving Release
W: Cannot check Release signature; keyring file not available /usr/share/keyrings/ubuntu-archive-keyring.gpg
I: Retrieving Packages
I: Validating Packages
I: Resolving dependencies of required packages...
I: Resolving dependencies of base packages...
I: Found additional base dependencies: apt-utils bzr gnupg gpgv libapt-inst1.4 libapt-pkg4.12 libbsd0 libedit2 libevent-2.0-5 libexpat1 libgssapi-krb5-2 libk5crypto3 libkeyutils1 libkrb5-3 libkrb5support0 libpci3 libreadline6 libsqlite3-0 libstdc++6 libusb-0.1-4 libusb-1.0-0 libwrap0 lsb-release mime-support openssh-client python python-apt python-apt-common python-bzrlib python-configobj python2.7 readline-common ubuntu-keyring ucf
adduser base-files base-passwd bash bsdutils busybox-initramfs coreutils cpio dash debconf debianutils diffutils dpkg e2fslibs e2fsprogs findutils gcc-4.6-base grep gzip hostname ifupdown initramfs-tools initramfs-tools-bin initscripts insserv iproute klibc-utils libacl1 libattr1 libblkid1 libbz2-1.0 libc-bin libc6 libcomerr2 libdb5.1 libdbus-1-3 libdrm-intel1 libdrm-nouveau1a libdrm-radeon1 libdrm2 libelf1 libffi6 libgcc1 libglib2.0-0 libklibc liblzma5 libmount1 libncurses5 libncursesw5 libnih-dbus1 libnih1 libpam-modules libpam-modules-bin libpam-runtime libpam0g libpciaccess0 libpcre3 libplymouth2 libpng12-0 libselinux1 libslang2 libss2 libssl1.0.0 libtinfo5 libudev0 libuuid1 locales login lsb-base makedev mawk module-init-tools mount mountall multiarch-support ncurses-base ncurses-bin passwd perl-base plymouth procps python-minimal python2.7-minimal sed sensible-utils sysv-rc sysvinit-utils tar tzdata udev upstart util-linux xz-utils zlib1g apt apt-utils bash-completion bzr etckeeper gnupg gpgv htop libapt-inst1.4 libapt-pkg4.12 libbsd0 libedit2 libevent-2.0-5 libexpat1 libgssapi-krb5-2 libk5crypto3 libkeyutils1 libkrb5-3 libkrb5support0 libpci3 libreadline6 libsqlite3-0 libstdc++6 libusb-0.1-4 libusb-1.0-0 libwrap0 localepurge lsb-release lshw mc mercurial mime-support openssh-client openssh-server pciutils python python-apt python-apt-common python-bzrlib python-configobj python2.7 readline-common sudo tmux ubuntu-keyring ucf unattended-upgrades unzip usbutils
I: Deleting target directory
rm: cannot remove `/target/var': Device or resource busy
rm: cannot remove `/target/home': Device or resource busy

I am running this as root, but the last three lines throw me off. If I try the same but without /target/var and /target/home, the last lines change to:

I: Deleting target directory
rm: cannot remove `/target': Device or resource busy

I am using:

# debootstrap --version
debootstrap 1.0.42ubuntu0.1

from here and I installed it via dpkg -i debootstrap_1.0.42ubuntu0.1_all.deb which claimed to be successful. I have also attempted to install the variant buildd instead of the minbase one. Same result.

What is going on here? Why does debootstrap attempt to remove the target folder?

Note: I also checked the man page, but cannot find an option to prevent this attempted removal.

Also note: installing the keyring for the Ubuntu archive doesn't change a thing. I used wget -O /usr/share/keyrings/ubuntu-archive-keyring.gpg http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/project/ubuntu-archive-keyring.gpg for it.

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edit sorry I see you've tried my last suggestion, delete /target seems weird, have you tried to another location ie $HOME/target ? –  strings Jan 9 '13 at 16:51
    
/usr/share/keyrings/ubuntu-archive-keyring.gpg verify this exists by hand as well, you should not get this error either. –  strings Jan 9 '13 at 16:59

2 Answers 2

Bummer, the problem seems to be a bug (?) in debootstrap. When I run the command like this:

# LANG=en_US.UTF-8 debootstrap --exclude=dhcp3-common,dhcp3-client,laptop-detect,tasksel,tasksel-data --include=bash-completion,sudo,lshw,tmux,mercurial,etckeeper,unzip,mc,htop,pciutils,usbutils,openssh-server,localepurge,unattended-upgrades --print-debs --variant=minbase --arch=amd64 precise /target

I get the output (full output):

I: Retrieving InRelease
I: Failed to retrieve InRelease
I: Retrieving Release
I: Retrieving Release.gpg
I: Checking Release signature
gpgv: Signature made Thu Apr 26 00:49:42 2012 CEST using DSA key ID 437D05B5
gpgv: Good signature from "Ubuntu Archive Automatic Signing Key <ftpmaster@ubuntu.com>"
I: Valid Release signature (key id 630239CC130E1A7FD81A27B140976EAF437D05B5)
I: Retrieving Packages
I: Validating Packages
I: Resolving dependencies of required packages...
I: Resolving dependencies of base packages...
I: Found additional base dependencies: apt-utils bzr gnupg gpgv libapt-inst1.4 libapt-pkg4.12 libbsd0 libedit2 libevent-2.0-5 libexpat1 libgssapi-krb5-2 libk5crypto3 libkeyutils1 libkrb5-3 libkrb5support0 libpci3 libreadline6 libsqlite3-0 libstdc++6 libusb-0.1-4 libusb-1.0-0 libwrap0 lsb-release mime-support openssh-client python python-apt python-apt-common python-bzrlib python-configobj python2.7 readline-common ubuntu-keyring ucf
adduser base-files base-passwd bash bsdutils busybox-initramfs coreutils cpio dash debconf debianutils diffutils dpkg e2fslibs e2fsprogs findutils gcc-4.6-base grep gzip hostname ifupdown initramfs-tools initramfs-tools-bin initscripts insserv iproute klibc-utils libacl1 libattr1 libblkid1 libbz2-1.0 libc-bin libc6 libcomerr2 libdb5.1 libdbus-1-3 libdrm-intel1 libdrm-nouveau1a libdrm-radeon1 libdrm2 libelf1 libffi6 libgcc1 libglib2.0-0 libklibc liblzma5 libmount1 libncurses5 libncursesw5 libnih-dbus1 libnih1 libpam-modules libpam-modules-bin libpam-runtime libpam0g libpciaccess0 libpcre3 libplymouth2 libpng12-0 libselinux1 libslang2 libss2 libssl1.0.0 libtinfo5 libudev0 libuuid1 locales login lsb-base makedev mawk module-init-tools mount mountall multiarch-support ncurses-base ncurses-bin passwd perl-base plymouth procps python-minimal python2.7-minimal sed sensible-utils sysv-rc sysvinit-utils tar tzdata udev upstart util-linux xz-utils zlib1g apt apt-utils bash-completion bzr etckeeper gnupg gpgv htop libapt-inst1.4 libapt-pkg4.12 libbsd0 libedit2 libevent-2.0-5 libexpat1 libgssapi-krb5-2 libk5crypto3 libkeyutils1 libkrb5-3 libkrb5support0 libpci3 libreadline6 libsqlite3-0 libstdc++6 libusb-0.1-4 libusb-1.0-0 libwrap0 localepurge lsb-release lshw mc mercurial mime-support openssh-client openssh-server pciutils python python-apt python-apt-common python-bzrlib python-configobj python2.7 readline-common sudo tmux ubuntu-keyring ucf unattended-upgrades unzip usbutils
I: Deleting target directory
rm: cannot remove `/target': Device or resource busy

Now I am removing the --print-debs from the command line and suddenly I get a useful error message:

I: Retrieving InRelease
I: Failed to retrieve InRelease
I: Retrieving Release
I: Retrieving Release.gpg
I: Checking Release signature
I: Valid Release signature (key id 630239CC130E1A7FD81A27B140976EAF437D05B5)
I: Retrieving Packages
I: Validating Packages
I: Resolving dependencies of required packages...
I: Resolving dependencies of base packages...
I: Found additional base dependencies: apt-utils bzr gnupg gpgv libapt-inst1.4 libapt-pkg4.12 libbsd0 libedit2 libevent-2.0-5 libexpat1 libgssapi-krb5-2 libk5crypto3 libkeyutils1 libkrb5-3 libkrb5support0 libpci3 libreadline6 libsqlite3-0 libstdc++6 libusb-0.1-4 libusb-1.0-0 libwrap0 lsb-release mime-support openssh-client python python-apt python-apt-common python-bzrlib python-configobj python2.7 readline-common ubuntu-keyring ucf
I: Checking component main on http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu...
E: Couldn't find these debs: mc localepurge htop mercurial

An error message that I did not get on the first invoked command. This looks like an actual bug. Perhaps no one but a few people use the --print-debs argument, so it was never found. Removing the package names from the list in the --include argument then starts the proper (and from what it looks like up to now) successful bootstrapping process.

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add --keep-debootstrap-dir to the command line (even when using --print-debs). To prevent the target directory from being deleted.

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