I just installed a 32-bit chroot to run on my 64-bit system. In the chroot environment, the sudo command doesn't work, it says

sudo: command not found

Also, when I try the su root command, my password doesn't work (su: authentication failure). What password do they want?

I'm quite new to Ubuntu, so actually I don't really know what I'm doing. I am just trying to follow instructions.

I solved this particular problem simply by starting the chroot by the command:

katarina@ubuntu:~$ schroot -c oneiric_i386 -u root

instead of the one I used the first time:

katarina@ubuntu:~$ schroot -a

I still have some other problems, but I guess that's not for this question.

  • Well you may have just described the error: You are running 32-bit software on a 64-bit system! – It's Willem Jan 15 '16 at 22:14

In my opinion the question is more about not understanding what chroot does.

It moves the / to wherever you tell it, so there's no more /bin, /sbin, or /usr.

This means you're not going to have sudo anymore since it lives in one of those directories.

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You must install sudo in the chroot'ed environment:

apt-get install sudo
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    Unreal, can't believe it doesn't come shipped by default – Anthony Nov 21 '17 at 4:44

When you start a chroot environment, you are generally already root, so you don't need to use sudo or su root.

If you need to use a non-root user account, you need to create it first, and login as that user with (in the chroot)

login myuser


su - myuser

Next, if you want to let that user to use sudo, you need to add it to the admin group into the chroot.

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  • I see. No I want to use the root-account. But if I skip the sudo it sais permission denied: (oneiric_i386)katarina@ubuntu:~$ apt-get install vim E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (13: Permission denied) E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you root? – katarina Apr 10 '12 at 12:07
  • @katarina: but this command is run inside the chroot? Have you issued the chroot /path command? – enzotib Apr 10 '12 at 12:35
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    yes cause I couldn't find an editor in the chroot environment. I don't know wht you mean by the chroot /path command, what does it do? Sorry this is new to me. – katarina Apr 10 '12 at 13:41
  • @katarina: I suggest to review your chroot information with the following page Basic chroot. – enzotib Apr 10 '12 at 13:53

There's more to it than you think to get a working chroot jail. In your example, it's because the sudo command is in /bin and not available in your new root. But just installing the base packages to the new root won't do the trick, you also need to mount a /proc, /sys and /dev for the jail, probably create a couple of symbolic nodes, definitely a tty and for most practical purposes, it probably won't work without a random too. You do that with mknod.

Now all that sounds complicated, and to be honest, it is a bit involved. Debian based distros have a simpler way of dealing with it, namely, debootstrap, for which you can find a basic how-to tutorial in the Ubuntu help site.

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  • I think you forgot to mention sudoers? – SamB Nov 29 '13 at 6:11
  • @SamB Should be automagically created by installing the sudo package to the new root. – TC1 Nov 29 '13 at 10:17

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