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autopkgtest-virt-lxc(1) General Commands Manual autopkgtest-virt-lxc(1)


autopkgtest-virt-lxc - autopkgtest virtualisation server using LXC


autopkgtest [...] -- lxc [options] lxc-container [-- extra lxc-start args...]


autopkgtest-virt-lxc provides an autopkgtest virtualisation server using LXC. It adapts the raw functionality provided by the lxc-* tools for use by autopkgtest.

Normally autopkgtest-virt-lxc will be invoked by autopkgtest.

You can conveniently create a suitable container using the autopkgtest-build-lxc(1) script.


autopkgtest-virt-lxc assumes that you have already prepared a suitable Debian based LXC container. See lxc-create(1) for how to create containers, and particularly autopkgtest-build-lxc(1) for conveniently creating standard autopkgtest containers.


This option makes use of lxc-start-ephemeral to create temporary container overlays, instead of the default behaviour of cloning your containers.

This can be used to dramatically improve performance, although you may see issues due to the overlayfs filesystem as used by lxc-start-ephemeral not being completely transparent (e. g. seen with tar failing when running LXC within Qemu). Before using this option in automation you should ensure that tests that involve large I/O work as expected.

Note that ephemeral containers do not support rebooting with LXC 1.x. This does work with LXC >= 2.x.

Run lxc-* commands through sudo; use this option if you run autopkgtest as normal user, but need to run the container itself as root (if you use LXC system level containers).

Set a custom name for the temporary container in which to run the test. This is autogenerated by default (autopkgtest-lxc-XXXXXX), but if you have a way to generate more expressive unique names you can use that to make it easier to map containers to running tests.

Limits the amount of disk space that the test container is allowed to use for its root filesystem. When this option is used, then the test container will be backed by a loop device of the given SIZE, and it won't be possible for the container to consume all of the disk space in the host machine.

Enables debugging output.

You can pass additional options to LXC: Anything after a -- gets passed verbatim to lxc-start/lxc-start-ephemeral.


The behaviour of autopkgtest-virt-lxc is as described by the AutomatedTesting virtualisation regime specification.


autopkgtest does not run apt-get update at the start of a package build, which can cause a build failure if you are using a development release template. You will need to run apt-get update in the template yourself (e. g. using --setup-commands).


Create a suitable debootstrap-based container for Debian or Ubuntu template, e. g. a Debian sid one (will be named autopkgtest-sid):

autopkgtest-build-lxc debian sid

Or an Ubuntu one based on the cloud images (faster than autopkgtest-build-lxc's "ubuntu" template with debootstrap, but much bigger):

lxc-create -t ubuntu-cloud -n autopkgtest-trusty -- -r trusty -d daily

Run tests against hello_2.8-4.dsc, using the LXC container autopkgtest-sid, and with an ephemeral overlay for speed:

autopkgtest hello_2.8-4.dsc -- lxc -e autopkgtest-sid


autopkgtest(1), autopkgtest-build-lxc(1), lxc-create(1), /usr/share/doc/autopkgtest/.


autopkgtest-virt-lxc was written by Robie Basak <> and Martin Pitt <>.

This manpage is part of autopkgtest, a tool for testing Debian binary packages. autopkgtest is Copyright (C) 2006-2013 Canonical Ltd and others.

See /usr/share/doc/autopkgtest/CREDITS for the list of contributors and full copying conditions.

2013 Linux Programmer's Manual