Vagrant virtualizes environments easily!

Image you are working on 3 different projects:

  • Project A: PHP 5.3, NginX, MySQL…
  • Project B: Ruby, Rails, MangoDB…
  • Project C: PHP 5.4, Apache2, PostgreSQL…

The problem is obvious. Imagine now that the production server is Ubuntu 12.04 and you’re working on Mac OS X or windows. How to solve these problems ? Vagrant will help us to install the Ubuntu 12.04 Box and to make 3 development environments with its dependencies via provisioning scripts !



Vagrant’s packages are prefered but it’s possible to install with Ruby Gem. {% highlight bash %} $ gem install vagrant {% endhighlight %}


On Windows and Mac OS X, the vagrant command should automatically be placed on your PATH like PATH=$PATH:/Applications/ On other systems, you must add `/opt/vagrant/bin to your PATH.

Vagrant in action !

Let’s create our first vrtualized development envionment for the project A which is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin).

  • mkdir -p ~/Vagrant/ProjectA && cd !!:2
  • vagrant box add precise32 - download Ubuntu 12.04 Box.
  • vagrant init precise32 - create a file named Vagrantfile which will let us to setup the envionment.
  • vagrant up - mount the instance.
  • vagrant ssh - connect to the instance.

That’s it ! Want to test other base boxes ? All base boxes has the following base requirements:

  • VirtualBox Guest Additions for shared folders, port forwarding, etc…
  • SSH with key-based auto. support for the vagrant user.
  • Ruby and RubyGems to install Chef and Puppet.
  • Chef and Puppet for provisioning support.

Usefull comands

  • vagrant - list all commands.
  • vagrant status - status of your VM.
  • vagrant box add|list|remove|package - all about your boxes.
  • vagrant destroy|up - delete all traces of the VM off the disk.
  • vagrant suspend|resume - graceful shutdown of your VM.
  • vagrant halt|up - save the current running state of your VM and then stop it.
  • vagrant reload - graceful shutdown and reload your VM.
  • vagrant provision - reload provisioner.
  • vagrant package - make a package of your VM.


Not very usefull to have a blank virtual machine. Provisioners allow you to easily setup your virtual machine with everything it needs to run your software. Vagrant supports Chef, Puppet and Shell. It’s so possible to make our projects A, B and C easily ! I’ll make a post about provisioning with puppet later. Hope you’ll use vagrant for your next project !

Antoine Corcy

Developer / Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark