Vagrant – Basics

This post will be the first one from a series covering Vagrant.

I recently started to play with it and thought it would be great to document what I learned so that others can benefit from my notes.

Vagrant is a tool for building and managing virtual machine environments.

Vagrant provides easy to configure, reproducible, and portable work environments built on top of industry-standard technology and controlled by a single consistent workflow.

Machines are provisioned on top of VirtualBox, VMware, AWS or any other provider. Then shell scripts, Chef or Puppet can automatically install and configure software on the virtual machine.

First you will need to download you backend provider(VirtualBox, VMware and so on).

I am using MacOS with VirtualBox.

Vagrant works with boxes which are base images that are used to clone virtual machines.

The first step with any Vagrant project is to create the Vagrantfile(this is actually the name of the file) which does two things:

  • mark the root folder of the project
  • describe what kind of VM you are using in the project

The project is started using “vagrant init”. You can get the list of commands for vagrant:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant list-commands
Below is a listing of all available Vagrant commands and a brief description of what they do.

box             manages boxes: installation, removal, etc.
cap             checks and executes capability
destroy         stops and deletes all traces of the vagrant machine
docker-exec     attach to an already-running docker container
docker-logs     outputs the logs from the Docker container
docker-run      run a one-off command in the context of a container
global-status   outputs status Vagrant environments for this user
halt            stops the vagrant machine
help            shows the help for a subcommand
init            initializes a new Vagrant environment by creating a Vagrantfile
list-commands   outputs all available Vagrant subcommands, even non-primary ones
login           log in to HashiCorp's Vagrant Cloud
package         packages a running vagrant environment into a box
plugin          manages plugins: install, uninstall, update, etc.
port            displays information about guest port mappings
powershell      connects to machine via powershell remoting
provider        show provider for this environment
provision       provisions the vagrant machine
push            deploys code in this environment to a configured destination
rdp             connects to machine via RDP
reload          restarts vagrant machine, loads new Vagrantfile configuration
resume          resume a suspended vagrant machine
rsync           syncs rsync synced folders to remote machine
rsync-auto      syncs rsync synced folders automatically when files change
snapshot        manages snapshots: saving, restoring, etc.
ssh             connects to machine via SSH
ssh-config      outputs OpenSSH valid configuration to connect to the machine
status          outputs status of the vagrant machine
suspend         suspends the machine
up              starts and provisions the vagrant environment
validate        validates the Vagrantfile
version         prints current and latest Vagrant version
parau-mbp:aut parau$

You can specify what box should be used by Vagrant. In this case, I used the box created by the makers of Vagrant.

You can see that the Vagrantfile was created and that is the content:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant init hashicorp/precise64
A `Vagrantfile` has been placed in this directory. You are now
ready to `vagrant up` your first virtual environment! Please read
the comments in the Vagrantfile as well as documentation on
`vagrantup.com` for more information on using Vagrant.
parau-mbp:aut parau$ cat Vagrantfile
Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.box = "hashicorp/precise64"
end
parau-mbp:aut parau$

Next, the box can be started like this:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant up
Bringing machine 'default' up with 'virtualbox' provider...
==> default: Box 'hashicorp/precise64' could not be found. Attempting to find and install...
    default: Box Provider: virtualbox
    default: Box Version: >= 0
==> default: Loading metadata for box 'hashicorp/precise64'
    default: URL: https://vagrantcloud.com/hashicorp/precise64
==> default: Adding box 'hashicorp/precise64' (v1.1.0) for provider: virtualbox
    default: Downloading: https://vagrantcloud.com/hashicorp/boxes/precise64/versions/1.1.0/providers/virtualbox.box
    default: Download redirected to host: hashicorp-files.hashicorp.com
==> default: Successfully added box 'hashicorp/precise64' (v1.1.0) for 'virtualbox'!
==> default: Importing base box 'hashicorp/precise64'...
==> default: Matching MAC address for NAT networking...
==> default: Checking if box 'hashicorp/precise64' is up to date...
==> default: Setting the name of the VM: aut_default_1522660746218_67289
Vagrant is currently configured to create VirtualBox synced folders with
the `SharedFoldersEnableSymlinksCreate` option enabled. If the Vagrant
guest is not trusted, you may want to disable this option. For more
information on this option, please refer to the VirtualBox manual:

  https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#sharedfolders
This option can be disabled globally with an environment variable:

  VAGRANT_DISABLE_VBOXSYMLINKCREATE=1

or on a per folder basis within the Vagrantfile:

  config.vm.synced_folder '/host/path', '/guest/path', SharedFoldersEnableSymlinksCreate: false
==> default: Clearing any previously set network interfaces...
==> default: Preparing network interfaces based on configuration...
    default: Adapter 1: nat
==> default: Forwarding ports...
    default: 22 (guest) => 2222 (host) (adapter 1)
==> default: Booting VM...
==> default: Waiting for machine to boot. This may take a few minutes...
    default: SSH address: 127.0.0.1:2222
    default: SSH username: vagrant
    default: SSH auth method: private key
    default:
    default: Vagrant insecure key detected. Vagrant will automatically replace
    default: this with a newly generated keypair for better security.
    default:
    default: Inserting generated public key within guest...
    default: Removing insecure key from the guest if it's present...
    default: Key inserted! Disconnecting and reconnecting using new SSH key...
==> default: Machine booted and ready!
==> default: Checking for guest additions in VM...
    default: The guest additions on this VM do not match the installed version of
    default: VirtualBox! In most cases this is fine, but in rare cases it can
    default: prevent things such as shared folders from working properly. If you see
    default: shared folder errors, please make sure the guest additions within the
    default: virtual machine match the version of VirtualBox you have installed on
    default: your host and reload your VM.
    default:
    default: Guest Additions Version: 4.2.0
    default: VirtualBox Version: 5.2
==> default: Mounting shared folders...
    default: /vagrant => /Users/parau/aut
parau-mbp:aut parau$

To check the status of the VM:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant status
Current machine states:
default                   running (virtualbox)

The VM is running. To stop this VM, you can run `vagrant halt` to
shut it down forcefully, or you can run `vagrant suspend` to simply
suspend the virtual machine. In either case, to restart it again,
simply run `vagrant up`.
parau-mbp:aut parau$

And this is how you can connect to the VM:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant ssh
Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.2.0-23-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:  https://help.ubuntu.com/
New release '14.04.5 LTS' available.
Run 'do-release-upgrade' to upgrade to it.
Welcome to your Vagrant-built virtual machine.
Last login: Fri Sep 14 06:23:18 2012 from 10.0.2.2
vagrant@precise64:~$

You can add another box:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant box add ubuntu/trusty64
==> box: Loading metadata for box 'ubuntu/trusty64'
    box: URL: https://vagrantcloud.com/ubuntu/trusty64
==> box: Adding box 'ubuntu/trusty64' (v20180328.0.0) for provider: virtualbox
    box: Downloading: https://vagrantcloud.com/ubuntu/boxes/trusty64/versions/20180328.0.0/providers/virtualbox.box
    box: Download redirected to host: cloud-images.ubuntu.com
==> box: Successfully added box 'ubuntu/trusty64' (v20180328.0.0) for 'virtualbox'!
parau-mbp:aut parau$

And this is the box list:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant box list
hashicorp/precise64 (virtualbox, 1.1.0)
ubuntu/trusty64     (virtualbox, 20180328.0.0)
parau-mbp:aut parau$

You can suspend the VM, which is a point in time state of the VM:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant suspend
==> default: Saving VM state and suspending execution...
parau-mbp:aut parau$

You can resume the VM using:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant resume
==> default: Resuming suspended VM...
==> default: Booting VM...
==> default: Waiting for machine to boot. This may take a few minutes...
    default: SSH address: 127.0.0.1:2222
    default: SSH username: vagrant
    default: SSH auth method: private key
==> default: Machine booted and ready!
==> default: Machine already provisioned. Run `vagrant provision` or use the `--provision`
==> default: flag to force provisioning. Provisioners marked to run always will still run.
parau-mbp:aut parau$

As a side note, you can shutdown the VM using “vagrant halt”.

In case you do not need the VM anymore, you can destroy it(it will free all the resources allocated when the VM was created), but it will not remove the box(you must use “vagrant box remove”):

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant destroy
    default: Are you sure you want to destroy the 'default' VM? [y/N] y
==> default: Forcing shutdown of VM...
==> default: Destroying VM and associated drives...
parau-mbp:aut parau$

You can spin again the VM by doing “vagrant up”.

Let’s spin another VM by modifying the Vagrantfile and reference an Ubuntu box:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ cat Vagrantfile
Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.box = "ubuntu/trusty64"
end
parau-mbp:aut parau$

And start the VM:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant up
Bringing machine 'default' up with 'virtualbox' provider...
==> default: Importing base box 'ubuntu/trusty64'...
==> default: Matching MAC address for NAT networking...
==> default: Checking if box 'ubuntu/trusty64' is up to date...
.....
==> default: Mounting shared folders...
    default: /vagrant => /Users/parau/aut
parau-mbp:aut parau$

Now the VM is:

parau-mbp:aut parau$ vagrant ssh
Welcome to Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.13.0-143-generic x86_64)

And this should cover the basics in order to get started with Vagrant.

In the next posts, I will cover more advanced topics related.

I hope you found this post informative.

 

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Paris ARAU

Paris ARAU is a networking professional with strong background on routing and switching technologies. He is a holder of CCIE R&S and dual JNCIE(SP and ENT). The day to day work allows him to dive deeply in networking technologies. Part of the continuously training, he is focusing on Software Defined Network and cloud computing.

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