Debian From Scratch 0.99.0 Is Out

At long last, I’ve finally updated Debian From Scratch (DFS). For those of you not familiar with DFS, it’s a single, full rescue CD capable of working with all major filesystems, LVM, software RAID, and even compiling a new kernel. The DFS ISO images also contain a small Debian mirror subset that lets you use cdebootstrap, along with the other utilities on the CD, to perform a manual, “Gentoo-like” installation. It also serves as an excellent rescue CD, with a full compliment of filesystem tools, backup/restore software, and a development environment complete enough to build your own kernels.

DFS also refers to dfsbuild, the tool that generates DFS images. dfsbuild is available as a Debian package. dfsbuild is designed to make it trivial to build your own custom DFS images. You can have your own set of Debian packages on your images, your own kernels, etc. Unlike many other systems, you can go from the example dfs.cfg to a customized DFS build in just a few minutes, even if you’ve never used dfsbuild before.

Version 0.99.0 is a from-scratch rewrite and port to Haskell. You can read the full list of new features in the announcement, but the biggest is that it now supports standard Debian initramfs kernels in addition to ones that have enough drivers statically linked to be able to read the CD-ROM.

You can also download my DFS images or browse the docs online.

8 thoughts on “Debian From Scratch 0.99.0 Is Out

  1. Kamaraju Kusumanchi says:

    I just feel that this kind of info could be posted to debian-user mailing list since that is where all the users lurk around!

  2. Anes says:


    What about amd64 ?

    Thanks for xou work.

    1. John Goerzen says:

      The i386 images feature 64-bit amd64 kernels as a boot-time option already, and can be used to rescue or install 64-bit machines.

      You can also build your own pure 64-bit images if you like.

  3. cliff says:

    Debian initramfs kernels ….
    Are they Roundup Ready?

    1. John Goerzen says:

      Cliff, you had Terah and me both cracking up over this!

      I can say that yes, these kernels are roundup-ready — spray the roundup on, pull the CD out of the ground months later, wipe it off, and they’re just as good as new!

  4. Yang Shouxun says:

    Can you share with us why you want to change from OCaml to Haskell?

    I noticed the bug #358944 at That might be one of reasons, but I don’t understand the details.


  5. This is way more helpful than anything else I’ve looked at.

  6. http://www./ says:

    Carlos, let’s turn the dream into a reality…if we start planning now we might be able to pull it off in a year! I’ve never been to Sicily, but it sounds heavenly. Who else is up for Sicily? I’m going to research Taormina right now.

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