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Is it possible to run a program in a fake environment?

I have a tool that requires a certain folder to be in /mnt/cdrom. I have the all the files from that cdrom stored in another folder, say /home/me/stuff. How can I pretend (just for one run of that program) that /home/me/stuff is actually /mnt/cdrom? I do not have root access so mount will not work.

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I take it this tool will not accept a symlink? e.g. ln -s /mnt/cdrom /home/me/stuff (assuming /home/me/stuff does not already exist) – geirha May 31 '12 at 7:09
@geirha That command will create a symlink called /home/me/stuff to /mnt/cdrom. This will succeed if /mnt/cdrom exists (in Ubuntu by default it does not), but that will not make it possible to alter the contents of /mnt/cdrom (which by default even if it did exist, you'd have to be root to accomplish). In contrast, if you meant ln -s /home/me/stuff /mnt/cdrom, that would attempt to create /mnt/cdrom as a symbolic link to /home/me/stuff, but this will fail if you are not root because only root can modify the contents of /mnt by default. – Eliah Kagan May 31 '12 at 7:13
@EliahKagan I meant what I said. henkenen did not specify whether write access was needed, only that the content of /mnt/cdrom should be available as /home/me/stuff. – geirha May 31 '12 at 7:15
@henkenen Can you tell us more about the program, its name, what it does, why it needs to access /mnt/cdrom, what language it's written in (if you know)? You can edit your question to provide this info. If you are going to be able to fool the program into thinking /home/me/stuff is really /mnt/cdrom, the way you do it will probably depend on some of these details. For example, if the program is a script (a text file containing code in an interpreted language, that can run as an executable), you could just edit it to use /home/me/stuff instead of /mnt/cdrom. – Eliah Kagan May 31 '12 at 7:15
@geirha No, you have misunderstood the question. The files are not in /mnt/cdrom. The files are in /home/me/stuff. The OP needs to get the program to access them in /home/me/stuff even though the program is only designed to access them in /mnt/cdrom. – Eliah Kagan May 31 '12 at 7:16

you could run it in a chroot environment..but odds are chroot would 1 require a fair amount of work, and 2. more importantly would require root access. (in which case sudo ln -s /mnt/cdrom /home/me/stuff would be much easier. ).

I would suggest just having a VM you can boot/play. VMware Player can play a VM you setup somewhere else...and you probably can run VMware player or Virtualbox from your $HOME w/o installing it. With some work.

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