Using debootstrap and schroot to run a chroot jail

By the Bootstrap

Article from Issue 165/2014
Author(s):

We provide basic instructions for using Debian's debootstrap to create a schroot jail for building and testing packages.

Before containers, before Virtualbox, there was chroot [1]. Chroot does precisely what its name implies: It changes the apparent root directory, isolating it in what is known as a chroot or jail. By itself, a chroot jail falls short of a complete guest operating system, but in a Debian-based system, you can come close to one, thanks to debootstrap [2]. The result is a semi-independent installation of Debian or derivative running on the same machine as your main installation.

The chroot command first appeared in Version 7 Unix in 1979, and in BSD in 1982, where it was used to test the installation and build system. How chroot operates has remained almost entirely unchanged over the years. However, because you cannot detect the system's true root or its directory tree from within a chroot jail, you are severely limited in what you can do unless you install a separate operating system in the jail – a task that can be daunting if done manually. What debootstrap does is remove the drudgery, making the installation of a CLI operating system a matter of a single command. Similarly, schroot simplifies the daily management of the jail.

Once the chroot is configured, it becomes ideal for sandboxing [3] – testing a program where it can do minimal harm because it is isolated from the host operating system. In fact, the first use of chroot was to test an installation and build system. Today, debootstrap  – usually with the addition of schroot, the chroot manager – remains an important tool for package maintainers who build and test packages for multiple hardware platforms.

[...]

Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

SINGLE ISSUES
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
TABLET & SMARTPHONE APPS
Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • VServer

    The VServer project offers a secure and highly efficient virtualization alternative.

  • Sandboxing

     

  • Virtualizing with Xen

    The powerful and popular Xen virtualization system offers an easy solution for running Windows on Linux.

  • UCK

    We’ll show you how to create a custom Ubuntu ISO with the Ubuntu Customization Kit.

  • CloudLinux: More Hosting Accounts

    The Cloud Linux company in Princeton NJ has released its like-named operating system in version 5.5. The LiteSpeed webserver is now partnering with it to provide a corresponding version 4.0.14.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95

News

njobs Europe
What:
Where:
Country:
Njobs Netherlands Njobs Deutschland Njobs United Kingdom Njobs Italia Njobs France Njobs Espana Njobs Poland
Njobs Austria Njobs Denmark Njobs Belgium Njobs Czech Republic Njobs Mexico Njobs India Njobs Colombia