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nix install on linux can fail with "cloning builder process: Operation not permitted" #1030

simonmichael opened this issue May 18, 2019 · 1 comment


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@simonmichael simonmichael commented May 18, 2019

The nix command for installing hledger, on the download page, can fail with an error like:

cloning builder process: Operation not permitted

since nix requires some kernel permission that GNU/Linux distros may not grant by default (NixOS/nix#2633). The workaround is to run a command similar to:

sudo sysctl kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone=1

before running nix-env.

Is it safe to leave this permission enabled ? thinks not. So maybe you should disable it again after running nix-env:

sudo sysctl kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone=0

This all seems pretty lame, presumably nix will fix eventually.

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@peti peti commented Jun 1, 2019

Note NixOS/nix#2633 (comment). Nix needs those privileges to set up the build sandbox. Without sandboxing enabled, those privileges are not required.

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