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I want to create debian filesystem offline (downloading only once). I am on a Ubuntu system and have tried the following :

sudo apt-get install debian-archive-keyring

Making the tar ball of the required packages

sudo debootstrap --verbose --arch arm64 --variant=minbase --foreign --make-tarball=packages_tar.tar buster rootfs http://ftp.debian.org/debian

Creating the rootfs from the given tar ball

sudo debootstrap --verbose --no-check-gpg --certificate=Release --unpack-tarball=/tmp/yash/rootfs/packages_tar.tar buster rootfs

When I am connnected to internet this works fine but when I disconnect from internet as per my requirement it fails at

E: Failed getting release file http://httpredir.debian.org/debian/dists/buster/Release

I do download the Release file from the link in the error but how am I to give it to debootstrap ?

I also tried the --download-only option but I dont see where it goes from there as --second-stage starts looking for files in /etc of the rootfs which does not yet exist.

Thank you

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