Provided by: debirf_0.38_all bug


       debirf - build an initrd to boot a full Debian system entirely from RAM


       debirf <subcommand> [options] [args]


       debirf (DEBian on Initial Ram Filesystem) is a set of tools designed to create and prepare
       a kernel and initial ram filesystem that can run a full-blown Debian environment  entirely
       from RAM.

       debirf  has  various subcommands (see SUBCOMMANDS) which act on a specified debirf profile
       (see PROFILES).

       The debirf system is outlined at:


       Make a stock debirf rescue image using the default settings:
        $ tar xzf /usr/share/doc/debirf/example-profiles/rescue.tgz
        $ debirf make rescue

       Make a debirf rescue image, specifying the mirror and a local HTTP proxy:
        $ tar xzf /usr/share/doc/debirf/example-profiles/rescue.tgz
        $ DEBIRF_MIRROR= http_proxy= debirf make rescue


       debirf takes various subcommands:

       make [options] PROFILE
              Create a debirf system based on profile PROFILE.  This will create the root for the
              profile,  run  all  modules  on  the  root, and then generate the kernel image (see
              KERNEL) and debirf initramfs.  This subcommand takes various options (see OPTIONS).

       enter PROFILE
              Chroot into root of profile PROFILE, with full profile environment.

       makeiso PROFILE
              Create a bootable CD-ROM image from the kernel  and  initramfs  in  PROFILE.   This
              requires  a  bootloader  to  be  available.   If  grub-mkrescue (in the grub-common
              package on debian) is available, it will be used.  Otherwise, isolinux is  used  if
              it  is  available.   You  may use the DEBIRF_ISO_BOOTLOADER environment variable to
              specify a preference manually (see below).

       help   Output a brief usage summary.

OPTIONS (for make subcommand only)

       -c, --check-vars
              check variables before make

       -n, --new
              create new root, even if old one exists

       -o, --overwrite
              debootstrap on top of old root if it exists

       -s, --skip
              skip debootstrap step altogether if old root exists

       -r, --root-build
              use real chroot to build instead of fakechroot (requires  superuser  privileges  or

       -w, --no-warning
              skip superuser warning

       -i, --initrd-only
              remake initramfs from existing root (skip debootstrap and module stages)

       -k, --kernel-deb=KERNEL
              install KERNEL .deb, instead of default kernel


       A  debirf  profile  is a directory containing a debirf.conf config file and a modules sub-
       directory (see MODULES).


       If the profile directory includes a 'packages' file,  it  is  interpreted  as  a  list  of
       packages  to  include/exclude  during the debootstrap stage.  Packages should be specified
       one per line, with a '+' prefix to indicate inclusion during debootstrap, or a '-'  prefix
       to indicate exclusion.


       Modules  are  used  to  configure  the  debirf  system,  and  can  be  used  to extend the
       capabilities of debirf.  Modules are bash shell scripts that are executed in alpha-numeric
       order  by  run-parts  in a chroot in the debirf root during the module stage of the debirf
       build.  The module stage is right after the debirf debootstrap stage, and right before the
       initramfs  archive  is  created.   All shell variables beginning with "DEBIRF_", including
       those defined in the debirf.conf file, are available to the modules.

       Modules may specify packages to be included/excluded during  the  debootstrap  stage  with
       special  '#DEBIRF_PACKAGE>'  comments  anywhere  in  the  module.   Lines  beginning  with
       '#DEBIRF_PACKAGE>+'   specify   packages   to   include,   and   lines   beginning    with
       '#DEBIRF_PACKAGE>-'  indicate  packages  to exclude.  Only one package should be specified
       per comment line (no spaces).  So for instance, the lines:


       would include the packages emacs and ed, and would exclude the package nano.

       NOTE: Some modules are more important to the proper functioning of debirf than others, and
       the  ordering  of  modules is important.  Some modules may depend on certain other modules
       having already been, or not yet been, run.  For  instance,  the  module  that  cleans  the
       debirf  apt cache ("z1_clean_root") should be the last module run at the end of the module


       The debirf "install-kernel" module will try to pick the most  up-to-date  kernel  for  the
       suite  you  are  installing  (versions  2.6  only), with the arch determined by the kernel
       running on the host build system.


       A set of pre-defined bash shell functions are  available  to  the  modules  to  fasciliate
       configuring the debirf system:

       debirf_exec <command>
              Execute <command> within debirf root (DEBIRF_ROOT) with chroot.

       msg <message>
              Output a message to standard out during the build process.

       failure <message> <exit-code>
              Cause debirf script to fail with <exit-code>, and <message> to stderr.

       debirf_info_sh <message>
              Write one line of sh code to the file on the debirf root.

       debirf_info_comment <message>
              Write one line of comment to the file on the debirf root.


       The following environment variables are used by debirf:

              debirf label (default: debirf)

              where to build the debirf (default: ./)

              architecture to build (default is the architecture of the build machine)

              suite to build from (default determined from lsb_release, otherwise "sid")

              distro for suite (default determined from lsb_release, otherwise "debian")

              mirror to pull suite (default determined by DEBIRF_DISTRO)

              keyring to verify debootstrap (default determined by DEBIRF_DISTRO)

              the  flavor  of  kernel  debirf  should  install.  Supply everything from a typical
              debian package name  after  the  version  number.   e.g.  486,  vserver-686-bigmem,
              openvz-amd64. (default chosen based on currently-running kernel)

              whether to use "grub" or "isolinux" as the El Torito bootloader for debirf makeiso.
              if not specified, "grub" is the default.


              Debirf  profile  configuration  file.   Contains  values  for  the  various  debirf
              environment  variables  (see  ENVIRONMENT).  Variables specified in the debirf.conf
              override those specified on the command line.

              File that stores various information about the  debirf  build.   This  is  a  bash-
              sourceable file.


       Written by Jameson Rollins and Daniel Kahn Gillmor.


       Debirf  does  not  work  as  a  non-privileged user across different versions of libc.  In
       particular, this means that you probably won't be able to build an image from a  different
       version  of  the  operating  system  than  you're  using  without  building  as root. (see

       Please report bugs in debirf via the debian BTS:


       Copyright © 2007-2011 Jameson Rollins and Daniel Kahn Gillmor
       This is free software.  You may redistribute copies of it  under  the  terms  of  the  GNU
       General  Public  License <>.  There is NO WARRANTY, to
       the extent permitted by law.


       /usr/share/doc/debirf/README, debootstrap(8), fakechroot(1)