arkose got dropped from the repos as it was no longer compatible with newer kernels: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/arkose/+bug/1299904

Bare LXC is a poor substitute, as it only offers a persistent alt root with full initialization/login/stopping. Creating the containers and initializing them is slow.

Is there an alternative tool (or maybe some fancy way of using lxc) that is -- just like arkose -- ephemeral and instantly created from the current state?

1 Answer 1


You can use lxc-start-ephemeral. It creates an overlayfs (and by default backs it with a tmpfs so it's in memory and crazy fast). Once you shut down the container, the overlayfs goes away (unless you specified --keep-data, in which case the overlay is kept around).

A downside versus arkose (which I never used, though, so I don't know) is that you have to create the "base" container, so that will take a bit of time, the first time it's created. So the sequence goes:

lxc-create -n trusty-base -t ubuntu -- -r trusty  # This will take a bit of time
lxc-start-ephemeral -d -n trusty-working -o trusty-base # This will be nearly instant
lxc-destroy -n trusty-working # No trace of the container will be left
lxc-destroy -n trusty-base
lxc-create -n trusty-base -t ubuntu -- -r trusty # This will be faster than the first time due to local caching of required files
  • Is there a way of using the current system as the reference for lxc-start-ephemeral ? or does it need to be another lxc container?
    – oriol
    Feb 26, 2015 at 23:33
  • Yes, it needs to be another container as far as I know :( sorry.
    – roadmr
    Feb 27, 2015 at 14:15

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