I wanted to write about this topic since last year but never got around it. What I find surprising is that things have not changed much even as off today with regards to this issue.

Last year, I wrote a blog article on bootstrapping your system using debootstrap. Later on, I wrote  another article which used debootstrap again for creating a cross-compiling environment for Linux kernel.

However there also exists another package with similar name called as “cdebootstrap“, however the description of the package is not very different than that of debootstrap which is very surprising as it does not explain any non-trivial differences. In fact there is a bug report on Debian BTS regarding the same.


man debootstrap
man cdebootstrap

also does not return anything interesting.

So then why would somebody choose one over another? How can we know which package is suitable for our needs?

Upon searching little bit I could just gather the following piece of information regarding  *possible* differences:

1. Based on this IRC log, cdebootstrap is written in C language and is faster (around to the power of ten) than debootstrap. Perhaps, that explains the “C” in cdebootstrap?

2. cdebootstrap is the newer package and is more maintained and updated than debootstrap. Perhaps, it might replace debootstrap at some point in the future?

3.  Based on this Debian-boot mailing list thread, it seems that cdebootstrap installs quite less number of packages as compared to debootstrap.

I understand the the above points still do not give any meaningful answers with regards to their functionality difference. I guess the only way to know more about the differences is to dive into the source code of both the packages to read the author’s mind…

On the other hand, if anyone of you who happens to read this post knows more about the differences then please post it in the comment section below and I will try to update the blog entry with the new information.

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