Distrobox, an excellent tool to integrate any distro into your system thanks to containers

has been made known the new version of Distrobox 1.3, which is positioned as a tool that allows you to quickly install and run any Linux distribution in a container and ensure its integration with the main system.

The project is implemented as a plugin on top of the Docker or Podman toolkit, and is distinguished by the maximum simplification of the work and the configuration of the integration of the execution environment with the rest of the system.

To create an environment with a different distro, just run a single distrobox-create command without thinking about the niceties. After launch, Distrobox forwards the user's home directory to the container, configures access to the X11 server and Wayland to run from the GUI container, allows you to connect external drives, adds sound output, implements shell-level integration SSH agent, D-Bus and udev.

As a result, the user can fully work on another distribution without leaving the main system. Distrobox claims to be able to host 16 distributions, including Alpine, Manjaro, Gentoo, EndlessOS, NixOS, Void, Arch, SUSE, Ubuntu, Debian, RHEL, and Fedora. Any distribution kit for which images exist in OCI format can be launched in the container.

This project aims to bring any user space of distribution to any other podman or docker compatible distribution, so it is mentioned that it has been written in POSIX sh so that it is as portable as possible and that the user does not have problems with the dependencies and the compatibility of the version of glibc, besides that it also aims to enter the container as soon as possible. fast possible

Distrobox 1.3 main news

The new version stands out because add distrobox-host-exec command to run commands from a container running in the host environment.

Another change that stands out is that added support for microdnf toolkit, as well as implemented support for containers running as root (rootful).

In addition to this, it also highlights the extended support for distributions (Fedora-Toolbox 36, openSUSE 15.4-beta, AlmaLinux 9, Gentoo, ostree-based systems) and that better integration with the system environment was implemented, for example, synchronization of timezone settings, dns and /etc/hosts.

Of the other changes that stand out:

  • Added -s/–size option to display container disk usage
  • AlmaLinux 9 added to tested container distributions
  • Fixed gentoo support
  • Added more basic tools, unminify apt-get/dnf/yum/pacman/zypper – install langs and docs
  • added pinentry to base package list
  • Fix for missing variables in some container images
  • mount home in canonical place for ostree systems.

How to install DistroBox on Linux?

For those who are interested in being able to install this tool, You should know that it is available in many of the main Linux distribution repositories.

But for this case, we will use the installation method offered for almost any Linux distribution. To do this, simply open a terminal and in it we are going to type the following:

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/89luca89/distrobox/main/install | sudo sh

And ready with that we can start using this tool.

Regarding its use, distrobox is divided into 8 commands:

  1. distrobox-create- creates the container
  2. distrobox-enter – to enter the container
  3. distrobox-list- to list containers created with distrobox
  4. distrobox-rm- to remove a container created with distrobox
  5. distrobox-stop- to stop a running container created with distrobox
  6. distrobox-init – the container entry point (not intended to be used manually)
  7. distrobox-export- is designed to be used inside the container, useful for exporting applications and services from the container to the host
  8. distrobox-host-exec- to execute commands/programs from the host, while inside the container

Finally If you are interested in learning more about Distrobox, you should know that the code of the project is written in Shell and is distributed under the GPLv3 license. You can consult both its source code, as well as its user manuals and more information in the next link.


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