IBM i Chroot (version 2)

Chroot environment creation. Chroot (Change Root) is a PASE command used to change the relative root of a IBM i shell job. Read this article for more info on Chroot in PASE.


The highly-preferred way to install these scripts is by installing the RPM form via yum. For more information, see docs

After installation, creating a simple chroot (and then loading software into the chroot) can be done by simply running a couple commands. For instance, the following two commands create a chroot directory, then install bash inside the newly-created chroot

chroot_setup /QOpenSys/root_path
yum --installroot=/QOpenSys/root_path install bash

Chroot Setup Script -- set up chroot


-v: More verbose output.
-y: Auto respond yes to the prompts.
-g: Dynamic global variables.

[CHROOT DIRECTORY] is the Directory where the chroot will be.

[CHROOT TYPE] is specified by the .lst config files located within /chroot within this project.


$ chroot_setup /QOpenSys/root_path

$ chroot_setup /QOpenSys/root_path minimal includes
  • NOTE: If [CHROOT DIRECTORY] is the only argument specified a chroot with minimal & includes will be created. The Script will prompt to confirm.

  • NOTE: Full names are not required when specifying the [CHROOT TYPE] chroot_minimal.lst OR minimal will both work.

Chroot config files

The .lst files that start with chroot... are meant for creating chroot environments based on specific needs. For example, you can create a bare minimum chroot environment with chroot_minimal.lst. Or you could add multiple chroot...lst files together to create an environment with many features.

View the repo to see an exhaustive list of chroot_xxxx.lst files.

  • chroot_minimal.lst -- minimal PASE chroot env (/bin, /dev, /usr, ...)
  • chroot_bins.lst -- copy most of PASE /usr/bin (gcc development)
  • chroot_includes.lst -- copy most of PASE /usr/lib (gcc development)
  • chroot_libs.lst -- copy most of PASE /usr/lib (gcc development)
  • chroot_PowerRuby.lst -- copy PowerRuby into my chroot (PASE)
  • chroot_ZendServer5.lst -- copy Zend Server 5 into my chroot (PASE)
  • chroot_ZendServer6.lst -- copy Zend Server 6 into my chroot (PASE)
  • chroot_template.lst -- example template for your own chroot copy

Using Yum With Chroot

After Creating a chroot with minimal and includes configuration you can use Yum to install into your chroot. Packages such as Node.js can be installed by invoking:

yum --installroot=/QOpenSys/root_path install nodejs8

It is recommended to install bash within your chroot as well. you can do so with:

yum --installroot=/QOpenSys/root_path install bash


Dynamic Global Variables

You can pass in any named variable to so you can have replacement values in xxxxx.lst files. For example:

$ chroot_setup -g myuser=AARON -g mydir=/QOpenSys/root_path /QOpenSys/root_path /path/to/yourCustom.lst

And then in your .lst file you could have this:


Any instance of myuser would be interpreted as AARON when the script is run. Same for mydir and /QOpenSys/root_path.

Chroot Manager Python Script

TODO: Document


Articles about chroot:
- A (root) Change For The Better
- A (root) Change for the Better (part II) - IFS Containers (presentation)