Setting up Development Environment using Vagrant

abhilash , vimal

October 3, 2012


We have some projects which takes lot of effort to set up. As with every projects setting up development environment includes installing git, curl, apache, mysql-server, ruby, rvm, ruby-gems for the app, etc. and also the project specific configurations.

Doing all these every time when you need to setup the development environment will be time consuming and takes a lot of effort.


Setting up the development environment in VM using Vagrant.

Vagrant helps to build development environment for projects and rebuild them when needed. And this environment can be shared among the team easily.

How ?

Vagrant is primarily a driver for Oracle VirtualBox virtual machines. You can download and install Vagrant from here or you can install it as a ruby gem for the rails projects. Vagrant uses a “base box” which is a base install (an OS) for the system you are going to use.

Different flavours of base boxes can be downloaded from

First step is to mark the root directory and setup the basic required files using the following command:

vagrant init

This will create a file called Vagrantfile this will contain the configuration details for the VM.

After the project initailization you can download Vagrant boxes from and add it to your project:

vagrant box add lucid64

You can also add the box from a remote server using:

vagrant box add lucid64

To list the boxes that you added you can use:

vagrant box list

Now you have to edit the Vagrantfile to use the base box that you have added. do |config| = "lucid64" end

Now we can start our new VM:

vagrant up

This will start a fully functional VM. To access the VM you have to do ssh:

vagrant ssh

This will log you into the virtual machine. Now you can start setting up the development environment. Once everything is ready we can package this VM to a box. This will help us to share the virtual environment that we created with the other team members.

vagrant package

This will create a vagrant box with the entire dev environment setup. Now to use this any machine, you have to install Virtualbox and Vagrant. Then add this box using:

vagrant box add lucid64_with_dev_setup

You can create a VM with this box and all the dev environment setup will be available with this VM.