How to debootstrap Debian 4 and 5 (etch & lenny)? I lost my etch/lenny chroots (and I need them from time to time for customer work) and just wanted to recreate them. I discovered that it didn't work as expected. Here are the solutions I found.
First I was hit by https://bugs.debian.org/768540
which I easily fixed. But after that, I discovered that the libc6 preinst did not cope with Linux versions 3.x (i.e. having only two components instead of 3 like they usually had during the 2.6.x era).
Working around this (without compiling a kernel with a custom version number) required to use a tool called "setarch" which has a --uname-2.6 option that will fake a 2.6.52 Linux version... so what you actually need to call is "setarch $(uname -m) --uname-2.6 cdebootstrap --allow-unauthenticated etch /srv/chroots/etch http://archive.debian.org/debian
". HTH someone else (and thanks to ansgar who pointed me to this option on #debian