Tool that makes it easier to create Linux containers for development using Debian systems.
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holodev maintains a UNIX (Do One Thing and Do It Well) and GNU (free as in freedom) philosophies.

A holodeck for software development

A tool to facilitate the creation of Linux Containers for developing Debian systems

The name holodev is a reference to the Holodeck from Star Trek:

Supported GNU/Linux distributions:

Distro holodev 0.9 holodev 1.0
Debian Squeezy not supported not supported
Debian Wheezy not supported not supported
Debian Jessie supported supported
Debian Stretch supported supported
Ubuntu Precise not supported not supported
Ubuntu Trusty supported supported
Ubuntu Utopic not tested not tested
Ubuntu Vivid supported not tested
Ubuntu Wily supported not tested
Ubuntu Xenial supported supported
Archlinux supported not tested
openSUSE 42.1 not tested supported
openSUSE 42.2 not tested supported
openSUSE 42.3 not tested not supported
openSUSE Tumbleweed supported supported
Fedora 24 supported supported
Fedora 25 supported supported
Fedora 26 not tested supported
Fedora 27 not tested supported


Unfortunately, support for "unprivileged containers" in Debian Jessie is not mature enough, then holodev needssudo to create and run "privileged containers".

Installing in Debian

Add the following repository to the sources.list:

deb unstable/

Download the key from the Debian repo:

# wget -O - | apt-key add -


# apt-get update
# apt-get install holodev

Installing in OpenSUSE

Development release

For development releases, you'll need to add the devel:tools equivalent to your distro version:


# zypper ar


# zypper ar


# zypper ar


# zypper ar

Then update your repo list:

# zypper ref

And finally install holodev:

# zypper in holodev

Stable release

holodev is part of the default repositories for current OpenSUSE distros (Leap and Tumbleweed), so no additional repo is needed.

Make sure your repos are updated:

# zypper ref

And install holodev:

# zypper in holodev

Installing in Archlinux

To install holodev on Archlinux it is necessary to have access to the AUR repository, and have any wrapper of pacman that watches AUR. If you are using Archlinux, it is almost safe to assume that you already have AUR and yaourt already configured to use. In any case, if you don't:

To watch AUR, edit the following file:

# vi /etc/pacman.conf

Then add:

SigLevel = Never
Server =$arch

To install yaourt follow this link instructions

Finally, install holodev:

yaourt -Syy
yaourt -S holodev


yaourt -S holodev-git

if you want the bleeding edge version.

Installing in Fedora



The holodev script creates Linux Containers using the current directory plus the git branch to compose the container name, it covers the scenario where, for each project (directory), there is a Linux Container, so that it is not necessary to install development dependecies to your system.

For example, in the noosfero directory, in the branch master it will create a container called noosfero-master:

    ~/src/noosfero$ holodev create

The container noosfero-master will be created with Debian Jessie (default). If you wish to inform another version of Debian just use the --release or -r:

    ~/src/noosfero$ holodev create --release jessie

If you do not want to use the branch git to compose the container name, use option --no-branch:

    ~/src/noosfero$ holodev create --no-branch

This will create a container called noosfero.


holodev has a small test suite implemented based on shunit2:

To run these tests you need to install vagrant,virtualbox and run the command vagrant up. In some cases you may need to install Virtualbox-guest-utils and perform the following:

    dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-dkms

Use the script (as root) to install development dependencies on your system.

Running tests

vagrant up
make test-vagrant

Building Debian package

To avoid running tests when building package run:

DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS=nocheck gbp buildpackage