How to Install Jailkit on Ubuntu/Debian

By | May 1, 2023


Jailkit is a set of utilities that can be used to setup a chroot based restricted environment where users have limited access to the file system and the commands they run.

The jailkit utilities make it easy to setup a restricted shell or run services or programs inside such a restricted environment.

Project website

In this post we shall be installing the jailkit utilities on debian/ubuntu

Install jailkit on Ubuntu/Debian

Jailkit can be installed from the repositories on Ubuntu.

$ sudo apt-get install jailkit

If it is not available in the repositories then you can download the source and compile directly. It will involve only a few steps.

1. Install Build Tools - Since jailkit would be compiled on the system, first of all, its necessary to get the build utilities to compile. So install the following packages

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake libtool flex bison debhelper binutils-gold

2. Download Jailkit - from the following url, or visit the website to get the latest url if it has changed.
$ wget

3. Extract the archive

$ tar -vxzf jailkit-2.16.tar.gz

4. Compile jailkit and create deb file

Jailkit already comes with necessary code and configurations to compile itself into a deb file that can be installed neatly on Debian based systems. Just run the following command and it should be done.

$ cd jailkit-2.16/
$ sudo ./debian/rules binary

5. Install the deb file

The previous command would create a deb file called jailkit_2.16-1_amd64.deb.

$ cd ..
$ sudo dpkg -i jailkit_2.16-1_amd64.deb

Thats it. Now jailkit is installed. Jailkit makes many commands available which can be used to setup chroot based jailed environments. Here are the commands

$ jk_
jk_addjailuser   jk_chrootlaunch  jk_cp            jk_jailuser      jk_lsh           jk_uchroot       
jk_check         jk_chrootsh      jk_init          jk_list          jk_socketd       jk_update

All the above commands have man pages which contain more information about how to use them. Or read more about them at the website


The above simple steps showed how to install jailkit utilities. In the next article we shall see how to setup a jailed shell with jailkit. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].


How to Install Jailkit on Ubuntu/Debian
  1. Marius

    sudo ./debian/rules binary
    dh_clean -k -s
    dh_clean: Compatibility levels before 5 are no longer supported (level 4 requested)
    dh_clean: Compatibility levels before 5 are no longer supported (level 4 requested)
    debian/rules:74: recipe for target ‘install-arch’ failed
    make: *** [install-arch] Error 25

  2. Attila Fulop

    As of today python is also a prerequisite on wheezy

    configure: error: python not found please install python
    make: *** [config.status] Error

    I installed it by apt-get install python

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *