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What exactly is a chroot? Is it similar to a simultaneous dual boot?

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http://askubuntu.com – It has been suggested to me that the use of a chroot might solve my problem of building an application that must run on an embedded device. I have inferred from this description that it is somehow similar to creating the embedded environment locally on my machine which I can then use to develop on from my desktop development machine. Is this the right way to look at the functionality or have I totally misunderstood? In order to get some idea of how it works I read this https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DebootstrapChroot which I will attempt to make a chroot for an old Ubuntu version on my machine. Howe (HowTos)