Your message dated Sat, 07 Apr 2018 15:21:07 +0000
with message-id <>
and subject line Bug#833525: fixed in debootstrap 1.0.96
has caused the Debian Bug report #833525,
regarding debootstrap: Deleted my entire /home partition using "mostly 
harmless" debootstrap --print-debs option
to be marked as done.

This means that you claim that the problem has been dealt with.
If this is not the case it is now your responsibility to reopen the
Bug report if necessary, and/or fix the problem forthwith.

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--- Begin Message ---
Package: debootstrap
Version: 1.0.81
Severity: normal

Dear Maintainer,

*** Reporter, please consider answering these questions, where appropriate ***

   * What led up to the situation?
0) Okay, this will be embarrassing...
1) Occasional need to work on i386 software on an x86-64 machine.
2) Previous experiment led to a marginally usable "minimal"  /chroot/i386 
partition (without internet connection)
3) Desire to add internet connection to same, start by listing packages which 
would be installed by "debootstrap --print-debs"
4) Failure to understand that "debootstrap --print-debs" operated by performing 
the entire debootstrap operation, 
listing packages, then deleting the created directory, despite a note in the 
manfile to that effect.
5) Further failure to note that such deletion would apply recursively to any 
automounted partitions in said created directory. 
6) Previous experiment involved automounting /proc, /sys, /var/tp, and /home 
into said /chroot/i386 partition.
7) Re-using the /chroot/i386 directory name in the "debootstrap --print-files" 
command. Without the --keep-bootstrop-dir option, since I was about to replace 
8) I said this was embarassing...

   * What exactly did you do (or not do) that was effective (or
Sadly, I no longer have my exact notes, as will become clear. But 
approximately, the command was (possibly with sudo, or after su):
debootstrap --print-debs /chroot/i386

   * What was the outcome of this action?
Well I briefly saw the list of packages flash past, before debootstrap got to 
the "The TARGET directory will be deleted...." part.
At which point various strange things started happening, until it gradually 
dawned on me that /home and /var/tmp were slowly disappearing before my eyes...

   * What outcome did you expect instead?

Somehow I expected to be left with a list of .deb packages and a functioning 
computer. I now understand my expectations were unrealistic.

Perhaps I have been punished enough ... and perhaps it would be a good idea to 
modify the bit of debootstrap that implements 
"The TARGET directory will be deleted...." and convince it to stop at 
automounted partitions in /etc/fstab (and/or mtab)?

It is too late for me, but it might be very pleasing to some future unwary 
operators to be left with their /home partition intact... 

(NB the packages/versions listed below apply to a reinstall, not the exact 
formerly-running system, for reasons that are hopefully clear)

*** End of the template - remove these template lines ***

-- System Information:
Debian Release: stretch/sid
  APT prefers stable-updates
  APT policy: (500, 'stable-updates'), (500, 'testing'), (500, 'stable')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)
Foreign Architectures: i386

Kernel: Linux 3.16.0-4-amd64 (SMP w/8 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=en_GB.utf8, LC_CTYPE=en_GB.utf8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash
Init: sysvinit (via /sbin/init)

Versions of packages debootstrap depends on:
ii  wget  1.18-1

Versions of packages debootstrap recommends:
ii  debian-archive-keyring  2014.3
ii  gnupg                   1.4.20-6

debootstrap suggests no packages.

-- no debconf information

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Source: debootstrap
Source-Version: 1.0.96

We believe that the bug you reported is fixed in the latest version of
debootstrap, which is due to be installed in the Debian FTP archive.

A summary of the changes between this version and the previous one is

Thank you for reporting the bug, which will now be closed.  If you
have further comments please address them to,
and the maintainer will reopen the bug report if appropriate.

Debian distribution maintenance software
Hideki Yamane <> (supplier of updated debootstrap package)

(This message was generated automatically at their request; if you
believe that there is a problem with it please contact the archive
administrators by mailing

Hash: SHA512

Format: 1.8
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2018 10:02:20 +0900
Source: debootstrap
Binary: debootstrap debootstrap-udeb
Architecture: source all
Version: 1.0.96
Distribution: unstable
Urgency: medium
Maintainer: Debian Install System Team <>
Changed-By: Hideki Yamane <>
 debootstrap - Bootstrap a basic Debian system
 debootstrap-udeb - Bootstrap the Debian system (udeb)
Closes: 563647 586158 732628 734324 754318 762431 775444 775474 798564 806780 
 debootstrap (1.0.96) unstable; urgency=medium
   * Escape spaces to fix debootstrap on path contains space fails
     Thanks to Tianon Gravi <> for the based patch
     (Closes: #586158, #762431)
   * Add warning if file specified via --keyring does not exist
     Thanks to jnqnfe <> for the patch
     (Closes: #754318, #775474)
   * Avoid unnecessary keyring warning with --second-stage option
     (Closes: #734324)
   * Output warning if falling back to sha1 (Closes: #775444)
     Thanks to jnqnfe <> for the patch.
   * Prevent unintended removal with --print-debs option (Closes: #833525)
     Thanks to Johannes Schauer <> for the patch
   * Add scripts for Kali Linux (Closes: #798564)
   * Improve manpage description for --{unpack,make}-tarball options
     (Closes: #563647)
   * debian/control
     - Add "Suggests: squid-deb-proxy-client"
   * debian/rules
     - Add Kali for ${keyring} pattern
   [ Sjoerd Simons ]
   * Fix multiple components usage for --foreign/--second-stage
     (Closes: #806780)
   [ Michael Vogt ]
   * Try to auto-detect proxy if available (e.g. squid-deb-proxy-client)
     (Closes: #732628)
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--- End Message ---

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