Getting Started

The following setup steps have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 and 22.04 as well as on Debian buster, bullseye and bookworm. On Debian buster the packages ansible and qemu-user-static from buster-backports are required.


  1. Install lxd:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install snapd
    sudo snap install core
    sudo snap install lxd
    sudo usermod -a -G lxd $USER
  2. Close and re-open your user session to apply the new group membership (this guide assumes that you are either member of the group sudoers or admin, for details please read the linux containers documentation).

  3. Initialize lxd:

    sudo /snap/bin/lxd init

    The default settings are ok. Use the storage backend “dir” if there is no zfs setup on your computer or if you do not want to create a btrfs pool.

Installing edi from the Package Repository

For your convenience, you can directly install edi from a ppa (Ubuntu) or packagecloud (Debian):

  1. Add the edi repository to your setup:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:m-luescher/edi-snapshots
    sudo apt update
    curl -s | sudo bash
  1. Install edi:

    sudo apt install edi

Setting up ssh Keys

If you plan to access edi generated containers or target systems using ssh, it is a good idea to create a ssh key pair. Hint: edi versions greater or equal than 0.11.0 have a secure by default setup of ssh and disable password based login.

  1. Review if you already have existing ssh keys:

    ls -al ~/.ssh

    Valid public keys are typically named,, or

  2. If there is no valid ssh key pair, generate one:

    $ ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C ""
    Generating public/private rsa key pair.
    Enter file in which to save the key (/home/YOU/.ssh/id_rsa):
    Created directory '/home/YOU/.ssh'.
    Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
    Enter same passphrase again:

    Hint: If you decided to use a passphrase and do not want to reenter it every time, it is a good idea to use a ssh-agent.

Building a First Container

  1. Create an empty project folder:

    cd ~/
    mkdir my-first-edi-project
    cd my-first-edi-project
  2. Generate a configuration for your project:

    edi config init my-project debian-bookworm-amd64
  3. Build your first (development) lxc container named my-first-edi-container:

    sudo edi -v lxc configure my-first-edi-container my-project-develop.yml

Exploring the Container

  1. Log into the container using your current user name (Note: This user is only available within a development container.) and the password ChangeMe!:

    lxc exec my-first-edi-container -- login ${USER}
  2. Change the password for your container user:

  3. Install a package within the container:

    sudo apt install cowsay
  4. Share a file with the host (Note: The folder ~/edi-workspace is shared with your host.):

    cowsay "Hello world!" > ~/edi-workspace/hello
  5. Leave the container:

  6. Read the file previously created within the container:

    cat ~/edi-workspace/hello
  7. Enter the container as root (Note: This is useful if you have a container without your personal user.):

    lxc exec my-first-edi-container -- bash
  8. And leave it again:

  9. Get the IP address of the container:

    lxc list my-first-edi-container
  10. Enter the container using ssh:

  11. And leave it again: