These are instructions for installing other Linux distributions as clients within Bedrock Linux 1.0alpha3.
See the tips, tricks and troubleshooting page after installing each of these for other advice about using the specific distribution as a client.
If there are no instructions below specific to a Linux distribution which you would like to make into a client for your Bedrock Linux install, you can usually fall back to installing the distribution through its normal installation means. Once it is installed, you may simply copy its root directory to where you would like the client to reside within Bedrock. When installing the Linux distribution by its normal means, be very careful when partitioning, and be careful to avoid having the bootloader take over your system.
For example, if you install Slackware to a USB flash drive, you can mount the USB flash drive in Bedrock Linux and copy its contents to /var/chroot/slackware.
However, this method requires rebooting as well as provides the possibility of unintentionally wiping something important when partitioning or forcing you to reinstall your bootloader, and thus the distro-specific instructions described below may be preferable if available.
The essentials of Debian-based Linux distributions can be installed through a program called "debootstrap." Debootstrap is a shell script which can be easily installed into almost every Debian-based Linux distribution, and is often available in the repositories of non-Debian-based Linux distributions, such as Fedora. While it is possible to install debootstrap (by first installing dpkg and pkgdetails) into just about any other Linux distribution as well, it is not covered here. Busybox's dpkg does not seem sufficient for debootstrap
Boot into a Linux distribution which can run debootstrap, or use an existing client which can use debootstrap in Bedrock Linux if available. LiveCD/LiveUSBs such as Knoppix or an Ubuntu installer should work.
Ensure the pre-requisites for debootstrap are available. This can be done by
installing debootstrap through the distribution's package manager (which should
bring in its dependencies) if available. Next, download the .deb file for the
debootstrap specific to client Linux distribution release you would like, or a
newer debootstrap .deb from the same distribution. For example, for Debian
Squeeze, grab the file made available from
here. If you are attempting
to use debootstrap from a non-debian-based Linux distribution, convert the .deb
file to the native package format with something such as the
Install the package. If on a debian-based system (as root):
dpkg -i debootstrap_
Make a directory in which to put the target client Linux distribution. If you are doing this from something other than Bedrock, such as a LiveUSB/LiveCD, be sure to mount the appropriate partition which you would like to contain your client and create the directory in there.
Use debootstrap to download and set up the target client Linux distribution.
For example, to install the (64-bit) x86_64 Debian squeeze to
It may take a bit to download and unpackage the various components.
Check to see if it created a non-blank
/var/lib/dpkg/statoverride file, and
if it did, delete the content (ie, leave a blank file in its place). See this
Don't forget to edit
/etc/apt/sources.list and other client-specific settings.
Note: Arch Linux changes rapidly, and so some of the details below may become out of date.
There are two strategies to acquiring a Arch Linux client at this point in time: The archbootstrap script and downloading the official arch linux image.
To try the archbootstrap script, go here and follow the instructions to acquire the client's files. Then configure the client. To utilize the official Arch Linux image instead, follow the instructions below.
Arch Linux provides a compressed image of an environment suitable for
bootstrapping an Arch installation, similar to the typical installation
media that you can find on Arch Linux's website. Normally, this is used
to install Arch from the environment of another Linux installation, but
we're going to use it to create our chrooted Arch client. Before you begin,
take note of your architecture, and find a
pacman mirror close to you.
This instruction will use the kernel.org mirror, although finding one
geographically close to you is recommended. More information can be
found on the official Arch wiki.
These instructions were tested from the core of Bedrock Linux with some software from a Debian Squeeze client, but they should work just as well on a LiveCD/LiveUSB.
Move into a temporary working directory:
Download and extract the bootstrap image:
ARCH# Set to either "x86_64" to "i686"
Prepare the mirrorlist:
Uncomment a mirror to download the base system from. It's a good idea to use the same mirror as before here.
Chroot into the bootstrapping environment:
/etc/resolv.conf is automatically mounted here, along with
the other necessary mount points. If this command fails, you probably don't have
bash version 4 installed on your host system. In that case, you can do the following:
Mount your chroot directory. These instructions will assume that this is a separate
/dev/sda2. If not, mount the partition containing it on
and adjust the next mkdir command accordingly.
Create a new directory in which to download and install the Arch Linux client:
pacman's gpg key database. Note that this command will take a long time
if you don't generate entropy for it. This usually involves randomly moving your
mouse for pressing random keyboard keys until the command completes.
Sync up the database to the existing Arch keys:
pacman-key --populate archlinux
Install the base system and dev tools to the directory specified earlier.
After this command finishes, you can safely exit the chroot and start configuring
the system you just installed to
Add in a new section for Arch, which might look something like this:
[client archlinux] path =
/var/chroot/arch updatecmd = pacman -Syu framework = # desired framework share = # other items to share
Clean up the temporary directory:
Arch Linux is now installed as a client. Now is a good time to run your
first update via
brc archlinux pacman -Syu
Note that you will have to either reboot, or resync the path and client manually in order to start using your new client.
Finally, note that the above method includes the "linux" package but it does not seem to run the hook to create the initrd. If you want to use Arch Linux's kernel when booting, reinstall the "linux" package to have it create the initrd for you to copy into place:
pacman -S linux
Or, alternatively, if you do not want to use the kernel, you can remove it to save disk space:
pacman -R linux
Gentoo Linux provides a tarball of the userland, which makes installing it as a Bedrock client fairly simple. Note that this is a quick overview of the steps required in getting Gentoo working as a Bedrock client. For more information on configuring and using Gentoo, consult the Gentoo Handbook.
To download the tarball, navigate to the
Gentoo mirrorlist and choose
the mirror that is closest to you. Once you've followed the link to the mirror,
releases/amd64/autobuilds/current-stage3 for 64-bit, or
releases/x86/autobuilds/current-stage3 for 32-bit, and download the
appropriate stage3 tarball to the directory that Gentoo is being installed into.
Unpack the tarball.
The next step is to configure
so that you can compile the appropriate utilites using portage. For information
on how to optimize portage for comiplation on your machine, consult Gentoo's
Compilation Optimization Guide.
After configuring your compilation optimization variables, it is time to set up the system so that you can chroot into it to finish the installation process.
You will now install portage while inside the Gentoo chroot.
Now, before installing anything with Gentoo, it is recommended that you choose
a system profile. This will set up default values for your
USE variable, among
other things. You can view the available profiles with
and set it by selecting the number associated with the desired configuration
Finally, you may configure your
USE flags in
flags are one of the most powerful features in Gentoo. They are keywords that
allow you to tell portage what dependencies and you would like to allow or
block from your system. For information on how to use
USE flags, consult the
section of the Gentoo Handbook.
It is recommended that you update your system to be compatible with your newly
USE flags. However before recompiling your system, you may want to
gentoolkit, which provides the
revdep-rebuild utility. This will
allow you to rebulid the applications that were dynamically linked to the
now-removed software but don't require them anymore.
Now that Gentoo is fully set up, exit the chroot and remove the mounts
The essentials of Fedora can be installed through the 2.X branch of a program
febootstrap. Febootstrap is very similar in spirit to
simply intended for creating Fedora systems rather than Debian. Note that a 3.X
branch was created which is intended to create "supermin appliances"; use the
2.X branch instead. This may be difficult to find in the repositories of any
given Linux distribution, and thus it may be required to compile it from
If you have access to a Linux distribution which has febootstrap 2.X in its repositories, your you can find a febootstrap 2.X package which will work in a distribution to which you have access, install it and run the following command, at which point you will be done installing Fedora as a client (ie, you can skip the rest of the steps below). Otherwise, you will have to skip this step and following all of the following steps.
For example, to install Fedora 17 (beefy miracle) to
febootstrap fedora-17 /var/chroot/beefy/
It may take a bit to download and unpackage the various components.
brc into a Linux distribution which will be used to compile febootstrap
and then later use febootstrap. Note that while most of the requirements for
febootstrap are fairly standard, it does require yum, which is in many but not
all of the major Linux distribution's repositories - chosing one of the
distributions which do will make things easier.
Download the latest febootstrap 2.X source from here to
Untar the package.
Configure things. You may be warned you are missing requirements - install them and try again.
If you receive an error about
-all-static, note that at least one person who
had such an error reported some succes compiling febootstrap by commenting out
the line containing
init_LDFLAGS = -all-static from
/tmp/febootstrap-VERSION/helper/Makefile and replacing it with
There is no need to properly install febootstrap, as it will run from
/tmp/febootstrap- just fine. However, it does depend on
executables which are found within
/tmp/febootstrap- to be present
PATH. Use febootstrap to download and set up the target client
VERSION"\ ./febootstrap fedora-
For example, to install Fedora 17 (beefy miracle) to /var/chroot/beefy:
VERSION"\ ./febootstrap fedora-17 /var/chroot/beefy
Clean up the temporary febootstrap directory:
rm -rf /tmp/febootstrap-