Debian within SuSE

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Why should I do this?

In my case I need a Debian croos toolchain and my normal notebook system is SuSE 10.1. It was tiresome to reboot my system just to build a little pity program for my embedded SLIND RT Linux. Therefor I desided to install Debian right into my SuSE filesystem and chroot in there.

How to do this


Ok first you should know what bootstrapping is. Then you should also know that there is the debootstrap command in Debian. But regrettably SuSE does not have this nice command but - never mind SuSE knows alien!

Download and alien

Download debootstrap i386 or what architecture you have. Then:

alien --to-rpm debootstrap*.deb

Now you have an rpm SuSE understands. Just install it with:

rpm -i debootstrap*.rpm

Install Debian

Now you can install the prefered Debian into your filesystem. In my case I created the directory /debian and install sarge for my 32 bit system in there.

mkdir /debian
debootstrap --arch i386 sarge /debian

or like this:

debootstrap --arch i386 sarge /chroot/sarge/

Prepare the chroot environment

In order to resolve domain names do this:

cp /etc/resolv.conf /debian/etc/

Then chroot in your brand new Debian

chroot /debian

Now you should add some installation sources to your Debian:

echo "deb sarge main contrib non-free" > /etc/apt/sources.list

To test my Internet connection and because I dislike the original vi:

apt-get update
apt-get install vim

Oh before I forget do:

cd /dev
mount /proc
/sbin/MAKEDEV generic

To keep your Debian /proc file system you should

echo "proc-debian /debian/proc proc none 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

Get rid of locale errors

chroot /debian
cat > ~/.bashrc << "EOF"
set +h
umask 022
export LC_ALL

How to go on?

What I did you can see here

Bind chroot shell

It is also possible to bin chroot to a tty. For example tty3 and tty4 (switch with Control+Alt+F3 Control+Alt+F4): First install in your chroot environment

apt-get install mingetty

Then edit /etc/inittab and replace the tty3 and tty4 entries with like this:

3:2345:respawn:/usr/bin/chroot /mnt/chroot /sbin/mingetty tty3
4:2345:respawn:/usr/bin/chroot /mnt/chroot /sbin/mingetty tty4 

Be sure, that the path to chroot and to mingetty is correct (differs from distrie to distrie)! Reload inittab with

telinit Q


init 3 ; init 5

Connect to open X server

Example: Start a X server (not in chroot)

X -- :1

Then chroot with this script (user is your user):

mount --bind /home/user /debian/home/user
mount --bind /tmp /debian/tmp
mount /debian/sys
mount /debian/proc
export DISPLAY=:1
chroot /debian su user

On exit unmount

umount /debian/home/user 
umount /debian/tmp
umount /debian/sys
umount /debian/proc

Now you can start X applications like xeyes