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I had never heard of fakeroot before but I was compiling a package that wants it as a dependency. The man page tries to be reassuring but should I be comfortable with this on my systems?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 7 '10 at 15:45

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes.

Fakeroot does what it can to pretend to the called process that it's root, but does not (cannot) grant any additional privileges, so no security holes are opened by installing or using it.

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In fact is prevent excessive usage of the "real" root. The most common usage in my own experience is for building Linux packages (i.e. .deb or .rpm), so developers (or their build system automation) don't need to run as root to build a package. –  mctylr Apr 7 '10 at 18:01
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