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Old 10-22-2010, 10:36 PM   #1
bulls_i3
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Registered: Jan 2010
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Chrooting a Linux distro inside another


Hello.

This started out as a shoutout for help, but ended up being more of a HOWTO. Might as well since I couldn't readily find one online, although I didn't search long.

Problem:
I wanted to run RPM related stuff on my friend's fast machine, which is running Ubuntu. I have a half-server/half-trashcan running Fedora 13, but is painfully slow to be compiling and building RPMs. So I wanted to run a chrooted Fedora inside his Ubuntu. Here's how I did it:
(These instructions should work for pretty much any other distros. Lines starting with # need to be done as root)

On the Fedora box, I created a 2 GB ext3 image:

Code:
$touch rootfs.ext3
$dd if=/dev/zero of=rootfs.ext3 bs=1k count=2M
$mke2fs -j rootfs.ext3
I then mounted it, and copied the Fedora's root filesystem on to it.
Code:
$mkdir rootfs
#mount -t ext3 -o loop rootfs.ext3 rootfs
$cp -r /bin /boot /etc /lib /sbin /srv /usr /var rootfs/        (you may copy /home as well if you want to copy your home files)
#umount rootfs
After copying the rootfs.ext3 file to the Ubuntu machine, I mounted it there, and remounted the special filesystems (/proc, /dev, /sys) inside it:

On the Ubuntu machine:

Code:
$mkdir rootfs
#mount -t ext3 -o loop rootfs.ext3 rootfs
#cd rootfs
#mount --bind /proc proc
#mount --bind /sys sys
#mount --bind /dev dev
#mount --bind /dev/pts dev/pts
#chroot . su -c zsh <MyFedoraUsername>               (Change "zsh" to "bash" if you use bash).
That's it. Any commands you run in here will execute with the Fedora files and libraries, and inside the Fedora jail.

YUM NOTE:

I have found that "yum" was unable to connect to any of the repositories after doing this. I fixed that by changing all instances of "$releasever" in /etc/yum.repos.d/* to "13" (Since it was the rootfs of a Fedora13). This did the job:

Code:
#cd /etc/yum.repos.d
#for i in *; do sed -i $i -e "s/\$releasever/13/g"; done;
ROOT access inside the chroot:

I seem to be having a problem getting root access from inside the Fedora chroot. If I run "su", I get a "incorrect password" regardless of trying either password. The only way for me to currently get root access inside the chroot is to exit the chroot, then run:

Code:
#chroot . su -c zsh root
instead of

Code:
#chroot . su -c zsh <MyFedoraUsername>
If someone knows why that happens, or any other suggestions/tips I might have missed, please let me know and I'll try to make this a more complete HOWTO.

Last edited by bulls_i3; 10-23-2010 at 02:17 AM.
 
Old 10-25-2010, 02:05 PM   #2
MensaWater
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Location: Atlanta Georgia USA
Distribution: Redhat (RHEL), CentOS, Fedora, Debian, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Solaris, SCO
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Thanks for posting this.

Please mark the thread as "Solved" by going to thread tools. That way others will find it when looking for how to do it.
 
Old 10-27-2010, 05:07 PM   #3
fbsduser
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Will this type of setup allow me to use devices whose drivers are in the chrooted environment from apps outside of the chroot.
You see. I got a canon MP240 all-in-one printer and so far the only linux drivers out there for it are designed for ubuntu only. And I wanted to know if it was possible to stuff a minimal, cli-only ubuntu with the canon drivers in it and have the printer recognized by all the apps running outside the chroot.
 
Old 10-28-2010, 03:51 AM   #4
bulls_i3
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Registered: Jan 2010
Posts: 20

Original Poster
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By default, no.

But that's because applications, by default, look in /lib and /usr/lib. If your Ubuntu is jailed in /.ubuntu, then your apps that are outside of Ubuntu need to be told to look in /.ubuntu/lib and /.ubuntu/usr/lib.

I would imagine the simplest way of doing this would be to chroot a ubuntu, install the Canon drivers, then exit and symlink the canon drivers from /.ubuntu/usr/lib to /usr/lib.

Alternatively, you can just open the .deb file and copy the important files to the right location yourself.

PS I checked the Canon website and they make drivers in .deb and .rpm files. Link: http://software.canon-europe.com/products/0010645.asp
 
  


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