This is a mini-HowTo on running Finit in an LXC system container. We will be using a variant (external) of Buildroot, called NetBox to create a squashfs (read-only) image for the root filesystem. Then we will give the container a single writable directory from which it then uses bind mount to emulate a full-blown system.

It is expected you have LXC installed and all the relevant build tools needed to create the image. How to set that up is not covered by this tutorial.

First we clone NetBox and build an app image for Zero (x86_64):

git clone
cd netbox
make netbox_app_zero_defconfig

After a few minutes the build has completed and in the output/images/ directory we have the netbox-app-zero.img which we now can set up an LXC config file for. Make sure to create the appropriate directories as we proceed. Start by copying the .img file to the LXC images directory, then create this file:

# /var/lib/lxc/foo/config = foo
lxc.tty.max = 4
#lxc.hook.pre-mount = /var/lib/lxc/images/foo.img /var/lib/lxc/foo/rootfs
#lxc.rootfs.path    = overlayfs:/var/lib/lxc/foo/rootfs:/var/lib/lxc/foo/delta0
#lxc.rootfs.options = -t squashfs
lxc.rootfs.path = loop:/var/lib/lxc/images/netbox-app-zero.img = cgroup:mixed proc:mixed sys:mixed
#lxc.mount.entry=run run tmpfs rw,nodev,relatime,mode=755 0 0
#lxc.mount.entry=shm dev/shm tmpfs rw,nodev,noexec,nosuid,relatime,mode=1777,create=dir 0 0
lxc.mount.entry=/var/lib/lxc/foo/mnt mnt none bind 0 0 = veth = up = lxcbr0
#lxc.init.cmd = /sbin/init finit.debug

#lxc.seccomp.profile = /usr/share/lxc/config/common.seccomp
lxc.apparmor.profile = lxc-container-default-with-mounting

As can be seen from the example config above, there are many ways to skin this cat. This time around are focusing on the uncommented lines which loop mount the image, mounts a mix of the kernel file systems and a writable directory on /mnt in the container’s namespace. We also set up basic networking, which will only work if you have the lxcbr0 bridge interface on your host system.

Notice the AppArmor profile used, you my need to extend it with the following extra permissions at the bottom:

# /etc/apparmor.d/lxc/lxc-default-with-mounting
mount fstype=tmpfs,
mount fstype=overlay,

Reload AppArmor, or restart your system to activate the changes, then we can start the container with:

$ sudo lxc-start -n foo -F
● ● ●  NetBox - The Networking Toolbox ═════════════════════════════════
[ OK ] Mounting filesystems
[ OK ] Populating device tree
[ OK ] Restoring system clock (UTC) from RTC
[ OK ] Initializing random number generator
[ OK ] Starting System log daemon
[ OK ] Starting networking
[ OK ] Starting SSH daemon
[ OK ] Calling /etc/rc.local

Welcome to Buildroot
buildroot login: root
   Welcome to NetBox   |  |  |  |  -__|__ --|_     _|  -__|   _|        |  _  |
    Made by Westermo   |________|_____|_____| |___| |_____|__| |__|__|__|_____|
NetBox 2021.02-r0-206-g0eba0db-dirty -- Feb 13 19:25 CET 2022
Type: 'help' for help with commands, 'exit' to log out.


Type poweroff to terminate the container. To start it in the background, omit -F above, then use lxc-attach to connect (and disconnect) from it.