There are quite a few meta-packages in Debian; whether or not any one of them is appropriate will depend on your exact requirements. Start by looking at the packages produced by
tasksel; those are the meta-packages used by the Debian installer. Most of them are language-related, or desktop-related, but there are a few server-related packages too (
tasksel package corresponds to an entry in the installer, so any package set which can be installed using the installer can also be obtained by installing
tasksel packages (or using
The “base” Debian installation is determined by package priorities and the “essential” flag rather than a meta-package (see the definition in Debian Policy). You’ll always have all essential packages, and you should always have all packages with priority “required”. In your particular case the contents of your image will be determined by the options given to
debootstrap; see its documentation for details. If you don’t specify a
--variant, you’ll get a base Debian install, the same as you’d obtain from the installer if you didn’t select any additional packages.
Based on your comments, I take it what you’re really looking for is to replicate the set of packages which end up installed by default. A default installation includes more packages than the base system; it also includes what’s known as the standard package set, i.e. all packages with standard “priority”. This includes packages such as
file, the Debian documentation,
vim-tiny... There is no corresponding meta-package; to install these packages after
tasksel and run
tasksel install standard.