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I'm using a Lubuntu 13.10 X86-64 livecd to chroot into another Lubuntu 13.10 X86-64 located on my hard drive in a folder called chroot. I've had no trouble using the terminal to chroot in, and I can launch gui applications on my current xserver from the chroot after using "xhost +" on the livecd, but I need provide the chroot it's own X output. I've googled, searched askubuntu, and typed every command under the sun and moon all to no avail. I would love a solution, but would even be happy for a guess if you've got one. I've backed up the chroot so I can restore if it gets messed up. I've also tried using Xnest but it doesn't want to work either. I would like to run the lxde desktop environment in the chroot, if possible logging in as a specific user.


Below are the commands I used to commence the chroot.

sudo mount --bind /dev /media/lubuntu/os/chroot/dev

sudo mount --bind /proc /media/lubuntu/os/chroot/proc

sudo mount --bind /sys /media/lubuntu/os/chroot/sys

sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf /media/lubuntu/os/chroot/etc/resolv.conf

xhost +

sudo chroot /media/lubuntu/os/chroot

I would also have typed "export DISPLAY=:0.0" in the chroot, but it worked without it.

Test Results:

Test #1:


I get a black screen on all outputs (control+alt+Fkeys), and I cannot type anything. I'm forced to kill the computer by hand.


In chroot terminal type

export DISPLAY=localhost:1

In chroot terminal type

startx -- :1

Test #2:


I get a black screen for F1, pressing "control + alt + F7" gets me back to my normal desktop. I cannot type anything on the black screen. When I enter "gksu leafpad" in the chroot terminal on F7 I get an error that it "cannot open display localhost:1". When I switch to F1 it now shows a terminal prompt for the livecd not the chroot.


In chroot terminal type

export DISPLAY=localhost:1

In livecd terminal type

sudo startx -- :1

Test #3: [Edited In]


I get a blank black window, just as I would for Xnest. When I try to launch xterm I get an error stating "could not resolve hostname lubuntu: Name or service not known". I've also tried installing "openssh-server" in the chroot, and on the livecd. When I use the same commands on the livecd only and attempt to launch xterm from the livecd I do not get the same error. Instead I get a password prompt. The livecd user "lubuntu" has no password. If I leave the password blank I get error "permission denied. If I create a user account a retry it I get error "permission denied, please try again" when entering the correct user password. The "could not resolve hostname lubuntu" error experienced with the chroot also occurs when using apt-get in the chroot, though I can and have installed things from apt.


In livecd terminal type

Xephyr -ac -screen 1024x768 -br -reset -terminate 2> /dev/null :1 &

In chroot terminal type


I also tried "DISPLAY=:1.0" in the livecd terminal.

In chroot terminal type

ssh -XfC -c blowfish root@lubuntu xterm

I also tried "user@server" and "root@localhost" in the chroot terminal.

Additional Information

Anything else you want to know? I'll try to add it here.

share|improve this question
Use Xephyr - – bodhi.zazen Mar 17 '14 at 19:57
@bodhi.zazen Thanks for the info – please delete me Mar 17 '14 at 21:07
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Use Xephyr

sudo apt-get install xserver-xephyr

Start Xephyr

Xephyr -ac -screen 1280x1024 -br -reset -terminate 2> /dev/null :1 &

The ":1" = your display (displays are numbered starting with 0)

-ac = disable access control restrictions= allow you to forward X

-screen 1280x1024 = screen size

-br = black background

-reset -terminate= Xephyr should automatically close when the last X client is killed, does not always work.

2> /dev/null redirects error messages.

Set your display (for X)


ssh into your chroot (you may need to install ssh server, you may also wish to look at LXC )

ssh -XfC -c blowfish user@server xterm

or use any other graphical tool you wish.

See also

share|improve this answer
Ran into some errors. Added results to my posting as "Test 3". I get error unable to resolve the host. I've also tried without the chroot and am unable to get to work that way either because it doesn't like my password. – please delete me Mar 17 '14 at 21:06
You have to give your chroot an ip address and then use the ip address in your command. root@ or whatever. If you do not know how to do that, I again suggest you use lxc ;) – bodhi.zazen Mar 17 '14 at 21:08
@user250271 Did you ever get this working ? – bodhi.zazen Mar 18 '14 at 15:30
Nope, but I think I need to learn a bit more first so I'm backburnering this for a bit. Thanks for the detailed answer. – please delete me Mar 19 '14 at 23:40
OK, well, as you work through chroot, if you get stuck, ask for help ;) – bodhi.zazen Mar 20 '14 at 0:49

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