This page attempts to document how to create a Debian image for Docker.
You may use Debian images from Docker.io's Debian official repository if you trust their author, or you may prefer to create them yourself, using the methods described below.
The following is work in progress WITHOUT ANY WARANTY
The docker.io package ships the /usr/share/docker.io/contrib/mkimage-debootstrap.sh script which may be used to create a Docker image for Debian (or Ubuntu) using debootstrap, and with or without further tweaks.
Note that due to bug #740855 /usr/share/docker.io/contrib/mkimage-debootstrap.sh needs to be patched at the moment.
You may create an image for the stable suite (using the minbase debootstrap variant) with :
.../mkimage-debootstrap.sh $USER/minbase stable
The image may then be used with :
sudo docker.io run -i $USER/minbase:stable echo "hello world"
As an alternative to upstream's choices, you may modify the script so that it does not use the minbase variant by default. See for instance obergix's version and adjust to your needs.
See also http://www.debian-administration.org/article/696/A_brief_introduction_to_using_docker#a2 if you want to use a manual debootstrap install (without the upstream's contrib script's tweaks).
A dockerfile may then refer to your image using the following directive :
You may test it with :
echo "FROM $USER/minbase:stable" | docker.io build -t $USER/test:stable -
See http://sfxpt.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/debianubuntu-package-developing-with-docker-continued/ for a description of using mkimage-debootstrap.sh.