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Create virtual disk images using grml-debootstrap


Lars Wirzenius was searching for a tool to create virtual disk images. Turned out I needed something similar to improve the automatic deployment process of a customer’s platform installation.

Being the author of the mentioned grml-debootstrap tool I started to work on deploying virtual disk images using grml-debootstrap. As a result I just uploaded grml-debootstrap version 0.46 which is the first release being capable of installing virtual disk images. Thanks to great help by Thorsten Glaser also proper Grub integration is working now.


Grab the most recent grml-debootstrap version (>=0.46) from the grml-testing repository and make sure to install its recommends (kpartx mksh parted qemu-utils). Then just use the vmfile option to activate deployment of a virtual disk image, combined with the target option as usual. To adjust the disk size use the vmsize option.

Usage example:

# IMAGE_FILE="/mnt/sda1/qemu.img"
# grml-debootstrap --vmfile --vmsize 3G --target $IMAGE_FILE

I tested it from inside a running Grml live system, which is running inside a KVM image running on a Proxmox VE cluster. I can even invoke KVM/Qemu inside Grml inside KVM to test the image (using remote access e.g. via “vncviewer $IP_OF_KVM_HOST:5901”) running:

# kvm -hda $IMAGE_FILE -m 256 -vnc :1

And the best about it: it just works. :)
As usual: testing and feedback highly welcome.

2 Responses to “Create virtual disk images using grml-debootstrap”

  1. Paul Wise Says:

    How about uploading grml-debootstrap to Debian?

  2. mika Says:

    @Paul: lovely idea, thanks! Recorded in Grml’s BTS as – will work on that.