Install the enable
Setup for unprivileged containers
It is recommended to use unprivileged containers (See Linux Containers#Privileged containers or unprivileged containers for an explanation of the difference).
In order to use them, you need to enable support to run unprivileged containers.
Once enabled, every container will be started
unprivileged by default.
For the alternative see howto set up privileged containers.
On first start LXD needs to be configured.
Run as root:
# lxd init
This will start an interactive configuration guide in the terminal, that covers different topics like storages, networks etc.
You can find an overview in the official Getting Started Guide.
Accessing LXD as an unprivileged user
By default the LXD daemon allows users in the
lxd group access, so add your user to the group:
# usermod -a -G lxd username
LXD consists of two parts:
- the daemon (the lxd binary)
- the client (the lxc binary)
The client is used to control one or multiple daemon(s).
The client can also be used to control remote LXD servers.
Overview of commands
You can get an overview of all available commands by typing:
Create a container
You can create a container with
lxc launch, for example:
$ lxc launch ubuntu:20.04
Container are based on images, that are downloaded from image servers or remote LXD servers.
You can see the list of already added servers with:
$ lxc remote list
You can list all images on a server with
lxc image list, for example:
$ lxc image list images:
This will show you all images on one of the default servers: images.linuxcontainers.org
You can also search for images by adding terms like the distribution name:
$ lxc image list images:debian
Launch a container with an image from a specific server with:
$ lxc launch servername:imagename
$ lxc launch images:centos/8/amd64 centos
To create an amd64 Arch container:
$ lxc launch images:archlinux/current/amd64 arch
Create a virtual machine
Just add the flag
$ lxc launch ubuntu:20.04 --vm
- For now virtual machines support less features than containers (see Difference between containers and virtual machines for example).
cloudvariants of the official images enable the lxd-agent out-of-the-box (which is needed for the usual lxc commands like
You can search for cloud images with
lxc image list images: cloudor
lxc image list images: distribution-name cloud.
If you use other images or encounter problems take a look at #lxd-agent inside a virtual machine.
Use and manage a container or VM
Container/VM configuration (optional)
You can add various options to instances (containers and VMs).
See Configuration of instances in the official Advanced Guide of LXD for details.
Tips and tricks
Access the containers by name on the host
This assumes that you are using the default bridge, that it is named lxdbr0 and that you are using systemd-resolved.
# systemd-resolve --interface lxdbr0 --set-domain '~lxd' --set-dns $(lxc network get lxdbr0 ipv4.address | cut -d / -f 1)
You can now access the containers by name:
$ ping containername.lxd
It seems that the systemd-resolve solution stops working after some time.
Another solution is to create a
/etc/systemd/network/lxd.network that contains (replace x and y to match your bridge IP):
[Match] Name=lxdbr0 [Network] DNS=10.x.y.1 Domains=~lxd IgnoreCarrierLoss=yes [Address] Address=10.x.y.1/24 Gateway=10.x.y.1
Use Wayland and Xorg applications
There are multiple methods to use GUI applications inside containers.
You can find an overview in the official Forum of LXD: https://discuss.linuxcontainers.org/t/overview-gui-inside-containers/8767
Method 1: Use the host's Wayland or Xorg Server
Use Wayland instead (but be aware that Xorgs downsides also apply to XWayland).
Summary: In this method we grant containers access to the host's sockets of Wayland (+XWayland) or Xorg.
1. Add the following devices to a containers profile.
See also: LXD-Documentation regarding Devices
General device for the GPU:
mygpu: type: gpu
Device for the Wayland Socket:
- Adjust the Display (wayland-0) accordingly.
- Add the folders in /mnt and /tmp inside the container, if they don't already exist.
Waylandsocket: bind: container connect: unix:/run/user/1000/wayland-0 listen: unix:/mnt/wayland1/wayland-0 uid: "1000" gid: "1000" security.gid: "1000" security.uid: "1000" mode: "0777" type: proxy
Device for the Xorg (or XWayland) Socket:
Note: Adjust the Display Number accordingly (for example X1 instead of X0).
Xsocket: bind: container connect: unix:/tmp/.X11-unix/X0 listen: unix:/mnt/xorg1/X0 uid: "1000" gid: "1000" security.gid: "1000" security.uid: "1000" mode: "0777" type: proxy
2. Link the sockets to the right location inside the container.
Note: These Scripts need to be run after each start of the container; you can automate this with systemd for example.
Shell-Script to link the Wayland socket:
#!/bin/sh mkdir /run/user/1000 ln -s /mnt/wayland1/wayland-0 /run/user/1000/wayland-0
Link the Xorg (or XWayland) socket:
#!/bin/sh ln -s /mnt/xorg1/X0 /tmp/.X11-unix/X0
3. Add Environment variables to the users config inside the container.
Note: Adjust the Display Numbers and/or the filename (.profile) accordingly.
$ echo "export XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=/run/user/1000" >> ~/.profile $ echo "export WAYLAND_DISPLAY=wayland-0" >> ~/.profile $ echo "export QT_QPA_PLATFORM=wayland" >> ~/.profile
For Xorg (or XWayland):
$ echo "export DISPLAY=:0" >> .profile
Reload the .profile:
$ . .profile
4. Install necessary software in the container.
5. Start GUI applications.
Now you should be able to start GUI applications inside the container (via terminal for example) and make them appear as a window on your hosts display.
You can try out "glxgears" for example.
The root user in the container is the root user on the host.
If you want to set up a privileged container, you must provide the config key
Either during container creation:
$ lxc launch ubuntu:20.04 ubuntu -c security.privileged=true
Or for an already existing container you may edit the configuration:
$ lxc config edit ubuntu
name: ubuntu profiles: - default config: ... security.privileged: "true" ...
lxd-agent inside a virtual machine
Inside some virtual machine images the
lxd-agent is not enabled by default.
In this case you have to enable it manually, for example by mounting a
9p network share. This requires console access with a valid user.
1. Login with
$ lxc console virtualmachine-name
Login as root:
You can use cloud-init for this for example.
$ su root
Mount the network share:
$ mount -t 9p config /mnt/
Go into the folder and run the install script (this will enable the lxd-agent inside the VM):
$ cd /mnt/ $ ./install.sh
After sucessful install, reboot with:
lxd-agent is available and
lxc exec should work.
Check kernel config
By default Arch Linux kernel is compiled correctly for Linux Containers and its frontend LXD. However, if you are using a custom kernel, or changed kernel options the kernel might be configured incorrectly. Verify that your kernel is properly configured:
Resource limits are not applied when viewed from inside a container
lxd will need to be restarted. Enable
lxcfs.service for the service to be started at boot time.
Starting a virtual machine fails
If you see the error:
Error: Required EFI firmware settings file missing: /usr/share/ovmf/x64/OVMF_VARS.ms.fd
Arch Linux does not distribute secure boot signed ovmf firmware, to boot virtual machines you need to disable secure boot for the time being.
$ lxc launch ubuntu:18.04 test-vm --vm -c security.secureboot=false
This can also be added to the default profile by doing:
$ lxc profile set default security.secureboot=false
No IPv4 with systemd-networkd
Starting with version version 244.1, systemd detects if
/sys is writable by containers. If it is, udev is automatically started and breaks IPv4 in unprivileged containers. See commit bf331d8 and discussion on linuxcontainers.
On containers created past 2020, there should already be a
systemd.networkd.service override to work around this issue, create it if it is not:
You could also work around this issue by setting
raw.lxc: lxc.mount.auto = proc:rw sys:ro in the profile of the container to ensure
/sys is read-only for the entire container, although this may be problematic, as per the linked discussion above.
If you uninstalled the package without disabling the service, you might have a lingering broken symlink at
If you want to remove all data:
# rm -r /var/lib/lxd
If you used any of the example networking configuration, you should remove those as well.