distrobox enter


distrobox-enter takes care of entering the container with the name specified. Default command executed is your SHELL, but you can specify different shells or entire commands to execute. If using it inside a script, an application, or a service, you can specify the –headless mode to disable tty and interactivity.


distrobox enter

--name/-n:		name for the distrobox						default: my-distrobox
--/-e:			end arguments execute the rest as command to execute at login	default: default ${USER}'s shell
--no-tty/-T:		do not instantiate a tty
--no-workdir/-nw:	always start the container from container's home directory
--additional-flags/-a:	additional flags to pass to the container manager command
--help/-h:		show this message
--root/-r:		launch podman/docker/lilipod with root privileges. Note that if you need root this is the preferred
			way over "sudo distrobox" (note: if using a program other than 'sudo' for root privileges is necessary,
			specify it through the DBX_SUDO_PROGRAM env variable, or 'distrobox_sudo_program' config variable)
--dry-run/-d:		only print the container manager command generated
--verbose/-v:		show more verbosity
--version/-V:		show version


Enter a distrobox named “example”

distrobox-enter example

Enter a distrobox specifying a command

distrobox-enter --name fedora-toolbox-35 -- bash -l
distrobox-enter my-alpine-container -- sh -l

Use additional podman/docker/lilipod flags while entering a distrobox

distrobox-enter --additional-flags "--preserve-fds" --name test -- bash -l

Specify additional environment variables while entering a distrobox

distrobox-enter --additional-flags "--env MY_VAR=value" --name test -- bash -l
MY_VAR=value distrobox-enter --additional-flags "--preserve-fds" --name test -- bash -l

You can also use environment variables to specify container manager and container name:

DBX_CONTAINER_MANAGER="docker" DBX_CONTAINER_NAME=test-alpine distrobox-enter




This command is used to enter the distrobox itself. Personally, I just create multiple profiles in my gnome-terminal to have multiple distros accessible.

The --additional-flags or -a is useful to modify default command when executing in the container. For example:

distrobox enter -n dev-arch --additional-flags "--env my_var=test" -- printenv &| grep my_var

This is possible also using normal env variables:

my_var=test distrobox enter -n dev-arch --additional-flags -- printenv &| grep my_var

If you’d like to enter a rootful container having distrobox use a program other than ‘sudo’ to run podman/docker/lilipod as root, such as ‘pkexec’ or ‘doas’, you may specify it with the DBX_SUDO_PROGRAM environment variable. For example, to use ‘doas’ to enter a rootful container:

DBX_SUDO_PROGRAM="doas" distrobox enter -n container --root

Additionally, in one of the config file paths that distrobox supports, such as ~/.distroboxrc, you can also append the line distrobox_sudo_program="doas" (for example) to always run distrobox commands involving rootful containers using ‘doas’.