Linux chroot command

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

About chroot

chroot runs a command or an interactive shell from another directory, and treats that directory as root.

This process is called changing root and the new root directory is referred to as chroot jail.

See our chroot definition for further information and history of this command.

chroot syntax


chroot runs COMMAND with the root directory set to NEWROOT.

OPTION may be one of the following:


specify the user and group to use. USER and GROUP may be specified by name or numeric ID.


specify supplementary groups as g1,g2,..,gN


display a help message, and exit.


output version information, and exit.

If no command is specified, chroot executes the command '${SHELL} -i'. By default, this is '/bin/sh -i'. This will drop you into a sh shell as root in the NEWROOT directory.

chdir — The system function for changing the working directory.