I've been messing around with systemd-nspawn and overlayfs and been having a lot of fun. I successfully setup a few containers to play with.

I would like to boot a copy of my host system (Ubuntu 17.10 daily). When I run systemd-nspawn -D / -xb or even just systemd-nspawn -D / -x the cursor just sits there blinking. No messages, no login, no errors, nothing. Why wont it boot? Does it have something to do with my system being a full graphical system? Is there a way I can see more details about what it's doing?

Edit: I've discovered the problem. systemd-nspawn creates a directory /.#machine.d9a72c79cc95b034 to store the temporary system (I assume?) but since it creates the directory in the same directory it's copying it copies the new directory ... then copies that new directory and it continues until my disk is full. I end up with a directory structure something like .#machine.d9a72c79cc95b034/.#machine.d9a72c79cc95b034/.#machine.d9a72c79cc95b034/.... hundreds of folders deep. How do I break the loop?

systemd-nspawn -D / -xb is one of the examples in the manpages. Weird that they would include a use case it can't handle.

  • Since documentation seems to cover a broken case, I recommend filing a bug at: github.com/systemd/systemd/issues Either there's a bug in the code or docs, or the documentation could be improved. – Mark Stosberg Jul 26 '17 at 13:03

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