I need to set the arch option in debootstrap. So I did some research and read the manual.

After reading the manual I see that the section on the options simply says --arch=ARCH Implying that I should know the correct syntax for the architecture I need. I don't. I need 64 bit architecture. I know that "i386" can be used for 32bit architecture. What should I set the --arch option to if I want 64 bit architecture? Or more generally what would the range of options be?

I could guess (but don't know and can't determine) that potentially the range or arch options depends on the OS being booted. In my case its a version of ubuntu that I know should work in 64bit. So the question becomes how would I determine the 64bit architecture option syntax?

I could further guess (but again don't know and can't determine) that the option syntaxes are actually supplied by the booted OS and if I knew where to look I could figure it out. In which case, where would I look?


The possible values are the codenames of the architectures supported by the target operating system. See the installation guide for Ubuntu: for 64-bit x86, the appropriate value is amd64.

On systems with dpkg,

dpkg --print-architecture

will show the current architecture (which is the default architecture for debootstrap).

debootstrap is also capable of installing a system for any supported architecture, not only the host system’s architecture; see its --foreign option. If necessary it can use Qemu to emulate the target architecture.

  • Great thanks! I note also that it is case sensitive and thus AMD64 is NOT correct in this example. – Mr Purple Dec 16 '18 at 0:41

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