fakechroot - gives a fake chroot environment
] [ --
fakechroot runs a command in an environment where is additional possibility to
command without root privileges. This is useful for
allowing users to create own chrooted environment with possibility to install
another packages without need for root privileges.
fakechroot replaces some C library functions ( chroot(2)
etc.) by ones that simulate the effect of being called with root privileges.
These wrapper functions are provided as a shared library libfakechroot.so
which is loaded through the "LD_PRELOAD" mechanism of the dynamic
loader. (See ld.so(8)
In fake chroot you can install i.e. Debian bootstrap with debootstrap(8)
command. In such environment you can run i.e. apt-get(8)
install another packages. You don't need a special privileges and you can run
it on common user's account.
- -l library|--lib library
- Specify an alternative wrapper library. The default is
- -d ldso|--elfloader ldso
- Specify an alternative dynamic linker. This dynamic linker will be invoked
- Use system libraries before chroot's libraries. This might be a workaround
if system dynamic linker cannot load libc.so from fake chroot.
Try this setting if you noticed following errors:
$ fakechroot /usr/sbin/chroot /tmp/sarge /bin/true
/bin/true: relocation error: /srv/sarge/lib/tls/libc.so.6: symbol _dl
_starting_up, version GLIBC_PRIVATE not defined in file ld-linux.so.2
with link time reference
$ fakechroot /usr/sbin/chroot /tmp/centos4 /bin/true
- -e|--environment type
- Load additional configuration with environment. This configuration file is
a shell script which is executed before calling command. The script
can set additional environment variables, like i.e.:
"FAKECHROOT_EXCLUDE_PATH", "FAKECHROOT_CMD_SUBST" or
The environment type is guessed based on command name with optional
extension removed (e.g. running gettext.sh loads
"gettext" environment file). If command argument is
fakeroot(1) this argument is omitted and next argument is taken as
The configuration file name is type.env and is searched
at $HOME/.fakechroot and /etc/fakechroot
The default environment type is default and its configuration file
name is "default.env".
The special environment none means that no environment settings are
loaded at all.
- -c|--config-dir directory
- Specify a directory which contains additional configuration for
fakechroot. The default directory are "$HOME/.fakechroot" and
- -b|--bindir directory
- Specify a directory which contains the replacement executables shipped
with fakechroot. Those are script files with the extension
".fakechroot". By default they are distributed over the
"bin" and "sbin" directories in fakechroot's install
prefix, but sometimes a fixed location at build time is not feasible.
- [--] command
- Any command you want to be run as fakechroot. Use '--' if in the
command you have other options that may confuse fakechroot's option
- Display help.
- Display version.
An example session with fakechroot:
uid=1000(dexter) gid=1000(dexter) groups=1000(dexter)
$ fakechroot fakeroot debootstrap sid /tmp/sid
I: Retrieving Release
I: Retrieving Release.gpg
I: Checking Release signature
I: Base system installed successfully.
$ fakechroot fakeroot chroot /tmp/sid apt-get install -q hello
Reading package lists...
Building dependency tree...
Reading state information...
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 57.4 kB of archives.
After this operation, 558 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ sid/main hello amd64 2.8-4 [57.4 kB]
Fetched 57.4 kB in 0s (127 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package hello.
(Reading database ... 24594 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking hello (from .../archives/hello_2.8-4_amd64.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Processing triggers for install-info ...
Setting up hello (2.8-4) ...
$ fakechroot chroot /tmp/sid hello
is a complementary tool which emulates root environment.
fakeroot and fakechroot might wrap the same C library functions, i.e.
function. It is important to start fake environment in proper
order. fakeroot should be started inside fakechroot:
$ fakechroot fakeroot chroot /tmp/sid /bin/mknod /tmp/device c 1 2
fakechroot is a regular, non-setuid program. It does not enhance a user's
fakechroot should not be used as a tool for enhancing system security i.e. by
separating (sandboxing) applications. It is very easy to escape from a fake
fakechroot should not be run with real root privileges. It might decrease the
security of the system because the fakechroot provides own version of core
functions with behavior depended on some environment variables.
- The shared library containing the wrapper functions.
- The value is true for fake chroot environment.
- The version number of the current fakechroot library.
- The root directory of fake chroot environment.
- If this variable is set then "fakechroot version" string
is printed to standard output and the current process is terminated with
status taken from this variable. It can be a method to check if fakechroot
is preloaded correctly.
$ case "`FAKECHROOT_DETECT=1 /bin/echo`" in fakechroot*) echo LOADED;; esac
- The fakechroot library will dump some debugging info if this variable is
- The root directory for unix sockets. The default value is the same as
"FAKECHROOT_BASE" and it can be set separately if the
"FAKECHROOT_BASE" is too long and the unix socket path could
exceed the limit of 108 bytes.
- The list of directories which are excluded from being chrooted. The
elements of list are separated with colon.
The /dev, /proc and /sys directories are excluded by
default if this environment variable is not set.
This list has to contain at most 100 elements.
- A path to another dynamic linker (i.e. /lib/ld-linux.so.2 for i386
architecture, /lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 for x86_64 architecture).
This dynamic linker will be invoked directly. The dynamic linker don't allow
to change "argv" besides the file name of the executable
file, so some application won't work correctly, i.e.
- A list of command substitutions. If a program tries to execute one of the
commands given (path relative to the chroot, trailing dot is removed) then
the substitute command runs instead (path to substitute command is not
The substituted command inherits "FAKECHROOT_*" variables but the
original "FAKECHROOT_BASE" variable which is saved as
"FAKECHROOT_BASE_ORIG". It means that substituted command runs
outside fakechroot environment. Also original command name is saved as
will substitute "/bin/true" for "/usr/bin/mkfifo" and
will make possible to install sysvinit binary package.
Give as many substitute commands as you want, separated by ":"
It is suggested to substitute at least:
to make debootstrap(8)
To prevent some looping, the command substitution is done only if
"FAKECHROOT_CMD_ORIG" variable is not set currently.
- LD_LIBRARY_PATH, LD_PRELOAD
- Fakechroot is implemented by wrapping system calls. This is accomplished
by setting "LD_PRELOAD=libfakechroot.so". If this library can't
be found by dynamic linker, the /etc/ld.so.conf file or
"LD_LIBRARY_PATH" variable have to be modified.
- /lib/ld-linux.so.2 and /lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 are
always loaded from real environment. This path is hardcoded by linker for
all binaries. You can set the "FAKECHROOT_ELFLOADER" environment
variable or use "--elfloader" option.
- Every command executed within fakechroot needs to be linked to the same
version of the dynamic linker from real environment. If the libraries in
chroot are not compatible, try to use "--use-system-libs"
- You can provide symlinks to the outside. The symlink have to be created
before chroot is called. It can be useful for accessing the real
/proc and /dev directory. You can also set the
"FAKECHROOT_EXCLUDE_PATH" environment variable:
$ export FAKECHROOT_EXCLUDE_PATH=/tmp:/proc:/dev:/sys:/var/run:/home
- Statically linked binaries doesn't work, especially ldconfig(8), so
you have to wrap this command with dummy version and set the proper
"FAKECHROOT_CMD_SUBST" environment variable.
- ldd(1) also doesn't work. You have to use "alias
ldd='LD_TRACE_LOADED_OBJECTS=1'" or to use a wrapper instead. The
wrapper is installed as ldd.fakechroot and can be used with
"FAKECHROOT_CMD_SUBST" environment variable.
- The full screen applications hangs up if /dev/tty file is not a
real device. Link /dev/tty file or whole /dev directory to
the real one or remove it from fake chroot environment with
- lckpwdf(3) and ulckpwdf(3) are ignored so passwd(1)
command should work
- Your real uid should exist in /etc/passwd. Create it with adduser
--uid realuid realuser inside fake chroot environment.
- debuild(1) cleans environment. Use --preserve-env option to prevent
- rpmbuild(8) uses own glob(3) implementation which breaks
fakechroot so buildroot directory have to be the same inside and outside
If you find the bug or want to implement new features, please report it at
Copyright (c) 2003-2016 Piotr Roszatycki <email@example.com>
Copyright (c) 2007 Mark Eichin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Copyright (c) 2006, 2007 Alexander Shishkin <email@example.com>
Copyright (c) 2006, 2007 Lionel Tricon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
fakechroot is distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL 2.1