[systemd-devel] systemd-nspawn old guests

Lennart Poettering lennart at poettering.net
Mon Dec 8 06:08:45 PST 2014

On Fri, 05.12.14 20:25, Thomas S Hatch (thatch45 at gmail.com) wrote:

> I have been having trouble running nspawn containers that don't have
> systemd (centos 6, Ubuntu 14.04, debian wheezy etc), I imagine I am just
> not finding the solution online.
> The container seems to start without issue but never presents a login
> prompt. I added audit=0 to the kernel arguments as the manpage suggested
> but to no avail.
> I am using systemd 217 on Arch Linux.
> Any suggestions as to where I should look to solve this?

By default most old distributions assume that the venerable VT
subsystem is available when booting up, and will present gettys on
/dev/tty1, /dev/tty2 and so on, which nspawn cannot provide however.

To make those old distributions work you need to patch /etc/inittab
(or similar) to execute the getty on /dev/console (which spawn does
provide) instead of /dev/tty1, /dev/tty2, and so on.

When using a systemd-enabled distribution inside a container, then no
such manual changes to it are necessary, as systemd contains
appropriate provisions since a longer time to invoke a single getty on
/dev/console if the VT subsystem is not available.


Lennart Poettering, Red Hat

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