Binary Installation


If you’re ubuntu user you should use package. See instructions below.

Visit to find out latest tarball version. Then run the following:

$ wget
$ tar -xJf vagga-0.7.0.tar.xz
$ cd vagga
$ sudo ./

Or you may try more obscure way:

$ curl -sSf | sh


Similarly we have a -testing variant of both ways:

$ curl -sSf | sh

Runtime Dependencies

Vagga is compiled as static binary, so it doesn’t have many runtime dependencies. It does require user namespaces to be properly set up, which allows Vagga to create and administer containers without having root privilege. This is increasingly available in modern distributions but may need to be enabled manually.

  • the newuidmap, newgidmap binaries are required (either from shadow or uidmap package)

  • known exception for Arch Linux: ensure CONFIG_USER_NS=y enabled in kernel. Default kernel doesn’t contain it, you can check it with:

    $ zgrep CONFIG_USER_NS /proc/config.gz

    See Arch Linux

  • known exception for Debian and Fedora: some distributions disable unprivileged user namespaces by default. You can check with:

    $ sysctl kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone
    kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone = 1

    or you may get:

    $ sysctl kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone
    sysctl: cannot stat /proc/sys/kernel/unprivileged_userns_clone: No such file or directory

    Either one is a valid outcome.

    In case you’ve got kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone = 0, use something along the lines of:

    $ sudo sysctl -w kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone=1
    kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone = 1
    # make available on reboot
    $ echo kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone=1 | \
        sudo tee /etc/sysctl.d/50-unprivleged-userns-clone.conf
  • /etc/subuid and /etc/subgid should be set up. Usually you need at least 65536 subusers. This will be setup automatically by useradd in new distributions. See man subuid if not. To check:

    $ grep -w $(whoami) /etc/sub[ug]id

The only other optional dependency is iptables in case you will be doing network tolerance testing.

See instructions specific for your distribution below.


To install from vagga’s repository just add the following to sources.list:

deb [arch=amd64 trusted=yes] vagga main

The process of installation looks like the following:

$ echo 'deb [arch=amd64 trusted=yes] vagga main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vagga.list
deb vagga main
$ sudo apt-get update
[.. snip ..]
Get:10 vagga/main amd64 Packages [365 B]
[.. snip ..]
Fetched 9,215 kB in 17s (532 kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done
$ sudo apt-get install vagga
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 113 not upgraded.
Need to get 873 kB of archives.
After this operation, 4,415 kB of additional disk space will be used.
WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!
Install these packages without verification? [y/N] y
Get:1 vagga/main vagga amd64 0.1.0-2-g8b8c454-1 [873 kB]
Fetched 873 kB in 2s (343 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package vagga.
(Reading database ... 60919 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../vagga_0.1.0-2-g8b8c454-1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking vagga (0.1.0-2-g8b8c454-1) ...
Setting up vagga (0.1.0-2-g8b8c454-1) ...

Now vagga is ready to go.


If you are courageous enough, you may try to use vagga-testing repository to get new versions faster:

deb [arch=amd64 trusted=yes] vagga-testing main

It’s build right from git “master” branch and we are trying to keep “master” branch stable.

Ubuntu: Old Releases (precise, 12.04)

For old ubuntu you need uidmap. It has no dependencies. So if your ubuntu release doesn’t have uidmap package (as 12.04 does), just fetch it from newer ubuntu release:

$ wget
$ sudo dpkg -i uidmap_4.1.5.1-1ubuntu9_amd64.deb

Then run same sequence of commands, you run for more recent releases:

$ echo 'deb [arch=amd64 trusted=yes] vagga main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vagga.list
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install vagga

If your ubuntu is older, or you upgraded it without recreating a user, you need to fill in /etc/subuid and /etc/subgid. Command should be similar to the following:

$ echo "$(id -un):100000:65536" | sudo tee /etc/subuid
$ echo "$(id -un):100000:65536" | sudo tee /etc/subgid

Or alternatively you may edit files by hand.

Now your vagga is ready to go.

Debian 8

Install Vagga like in Ubuntu:

$ echo 'deb [arch=amd64 trusted=yes] vagga main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vagga.list
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install vagga

Then fix runtime dependencies:

$ echo 'kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone = 1' | sudo tee --append /etc/sysctl.conf
$ sudo sysctl -p

Now your vagga is ready to go.

Arch Linux

Default Arch Linux kernel doesn’t contain CONFIG_USER_NS=y in configuration, you can check it with:

$ zgrep CONFIG_USER_NS /proc/config.gz

You may use binary package from authors of vagga, by adding the following to /etc/pacman.conf:

SigLevel = Never
Server =$arch


alternatively you may use a package from AUR:

$ yaourt -S linux-user-ns-enabled

Package is based on core/linux package and differ only with CONFIG_USER_NS option. After it’s compiled, update your bootloader config, for GRUB it’s probably:

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg


After installing a custom kernel you need to rebuild all the custom kernel modules. This is usually achieved by installing *-dkms variant of the package and systemctl enable dkms. More about DKMS is in Arch Linux wiki.

Then reboot your machine and choose linux-user-ns-enabled kernel at grub prompt. After boot, check it with uname -a (you should have text linux-user-ns-enabled in the output).


TODO how to make it default boot option in grub?

Installing vagga from binary archive using AUR package (please note that vagga-bin located in new AUR4 repository so it should be activated in your system):

$ yaourt -S vagga-bin

If your shadow package is older than 4.1.5, or you upgraded it without recreating a user, after installation you may need to fill in /etc/subuid and /etc/subgid. You can check if you need it with:

$ grep $(id -un) /etc/sub[ug]id

If output is empty, you have to modify these files. Command should be similar to the following:

$ echo "$(id -un):100000:65536" | sudo tee -a /etc/subuid
$ echo "$(id -un):100000:65536" | sudo tee -a /etc/subgid

Building From Source

The recommended way to is to build with vagga. It’s as easy as installing vagga and running vagga make inside the the clone of a vagga repository.

There is also a vagga build-packages command which builds ubuntu and binary package and puts them into dist/.

To install run:

$ make install

or just (in case you don’t have make in host system):

$ ./

Both support PREFIX and DESTDIR environment variables.

You can also build vagga out-of-container by using Make sure you have the musl target installed:

$ rustup target add x86_64-unknown-linux-musl

Also make sure you have musl-gcc in your path:

$ which musl-gcc

Then just build using cargo and the appropriate target:

$ cargo build --target x86_64-unknown-linux-musl

OS X / Windows

We have two proof of concept wrappers around vagga:

  • vagga-docker which leverages docker for mac to run vagga on OS X
  • vagga-box a wrapper around VirtualBox (tested on OS X only so far)

If you’d like something more stable, try: