published: 25th of March 2017
Vagrant by Hashi Corp is an extremely useful tool for building and configuring reproducible development environments. Vagrant enables this with the sharing of configuration files that are used to build exactly the same environment every time. This allows for collaborative development with less instances of "it worked on my <insert dev machine>" bugs making it into production.
Vagrant runs on your local machine and works in conjunction with Virtualbox, VMware Fusion or VMware Workstation. The following components make up the Vagrant architecture:
Virtual machines in a Vagrant environment are called boxes. Hashicorp has an online repository for box hosting at https://atlas.hashicorp.com/boxes/ . No account is needed to search for and download boxes which can be accessed at https://atlas.hashicorp.com/boxes/search .
centos/7 and ubuntu/trusty64 are examples of boxes available on Atlas.
A Vagrantfile is the mechanism used to define a build environment. When vagrant is instructed to start a build it will look for a file called Vagrantfile in the directory the build was initiated from.
The piece that ties it all together is Vagrant. You could say Vagrant is an orchastration engine for building development evironments. With only two commands you can have a box or boxes downloaded from Atlas and an entire environment provisioned in your hypervisor of choice.
Both Vagrant and Virtualbox can be installed on Windows, Mac and Linux. The installation process is very straight forward and outlined below.Vagrant
Go over to https://www.vagrantup.com/docs/installation/ and download the installer for your operating system. I am using a Mac and the installation processs was as simple as opening the .dmg and following the prompts.
# check vagrant version vagrant --version # output Vagrant 1.8.6
Next head to https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads and download the installer for your operating system. Similar to the Vagrant install, open the .dmg and follow the prompts.
# check virtualbox version vboxmanage --version # output 5.1.18r114002
Once Vagrant is installed all Vagrant related commands start with vagrant . To see a list of all available commands issue the vagrant list-commands command.
vagrant list-commands # output 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 connect connect to a remotely shared Vagrant environment 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 HashiCorps Atlas 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 share share your Vagrant environment with anyone in the world 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 version prints current and latest Vagrant version
It is possible to get a vagrant box prior to initialising a build and also at build initialisation.Prior To Initialisation
vagrant box add centos/7 --provider virtualbox
Downloading boxes prior to initialisation is useful if you want to build an environment in places you don't have any internet access. In the above example centos/7 is the box OS and virtualbox is the type of virtual machine.At Initialisation
vagrant init centos/7; vagrant up --provider virtualbox
This will download the latest centos/7 box if not already downloaded. If the box was previously downloaded and still exists then it will not be downloaded again. Again, the virtual machine will be of the virtualbox type. These commands also initialise and bring up a build environment, there will be more on this later.
Once boxes are downloaded they are stored in ~/.vagrant.d/boxes/ . To list all boxes issue the vagrant box list command.
vagrant box list # output CumulusCommunity/cumulus-vx (virtualbox, 3.2.1) arista-vEOS (virtualbox, 4.15.9) arista-vEOS (virtualbox, 4.18.0) centos/7 (virtualbox, 1608.01) centos/7 (virtualbox, 1702.01) centos/7 (vmware_fusion, 1702.01) hashicorp/precise64 (virtualbox, 1.1.0) juniper/vqfx10k-pfe (virtualbox, 0.1.0) juniper/vqfx10k-re (virtualbox, 0.1.0)
In this lab we will use Vagrant to download, build and delete an environment with a Centos host. I will be running this lab on my Macbook pro laptop and use Virtualbox as the hypervisor. This should be repeatable on either Linux or Windows with little to no modifications required.
At this point you should have Vagrant and Virtualbox installed, if not scroll back up and go through the installation process for both. You may or may not already have a centos/7 box installed. If not that is fine, we will download one as part of the build process.
Execute the following to start the build process.
# Make and change to build directory mkdir -p ~/vagrant/test-build; cd ~/vagrant/test-build # Initialise build environment vagrant init centos/7; vagrant up --provider virtualbox
This will build a Centos 7 VM in virtual box and the output be similar to the below.
# output 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. Bringing machine 'default' up with 'virtualbox' provider... ==> default: Importing base box 'centos/7'... ==> default: Matching MAC address for NAT networking... ==> default: Checking if box 'centos/7' is up to date... ==> default: Setting the name of the VM: test-build_default_1490407027239_29074 ==> 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: No guest additions were detected on the base box for this VM! Guest default: additions are required for forwarded ports, shared folders, host only default: networking, and more. If SSH fails on this machine, please install default: the guest additions and repackage the box to continue. default: default: This is not an error message; everything may continue to work properly, default: in which case you may ignore this message. ==> default: Rsyncing folder: /Users/brad/vagrant/test-build/ => /vagrant
.... and that is it, incredible right! So what exactly happened as part of this build? Lets have a closer look.
vagrant init centos/7 creates a Vagrantfile which is the configuration file describing the build environment.Vagrantfile
# -*- mode: ruby -*- # vi: set ft=ruby : # All Vagrant configuration is done below. The "2" in Vagrant.configure # configures the configuration version (we support older styles for # backwards compatibility). Please dont change it unless you know what # youre doing. Vagrant.configure("2") do |config| # The most common configuration options are documented and commented below. # For a complete reference, please see the online documentation at # https://docs.vagrantup.com. # Every Vagrant development environment requires a box. You can search for # boxes at https://atlas.hashicorp.com/search. config.vm.box = "centos/7" # Disable automatic box update checking. If you disable this, then # boxes will only be checked for updates when the user runs # 'vagrant box outdated'. This is not recommended. # config.vm.box_check_update = false # Create a forwarded port mapping which allows access to a specific port # within the machine from a port on the host machine. In the example below, # accessing "localhost:8080" will access port 80 on the guest machine. # config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 80, host: 8080 # Create a private network, which allows host-only access to the machine # using a specific IP. # config.vm.network "private_network", ip: "192.168.33.10" # Create a public network, which generally matched to bridged network. # Bridged networks make the machine appear as another physical device on # your network. # config.vm.network "public_network" # Share an additional folder to the guest VM. The first argument is # the path on the host to the actual folder. The second argument is # the path on the guest to mount the folder. And the optional third # argument is a set of non-required options. # config.vm.synced_folder "../data", "/vagrant_data" # Provider-specific configuration so you can fine-tune various # backing providers for Vagrant. These expose provider-specific options. # Example for VirtualBox: # # config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |vb| # # Display the VirtualBox GUI when booting the machine # vb.gui = true # # # Customize the amount of memory on the VM: # vb.memory = "1024" # end # # View the documentation for the provider you are using for more # information on available options. # Define a Vagrant Push strategy for pushing to Atlas. Other push strategies # such as FTP and Heroku are also available. See the documentation at # https://docs.vagrantup.com/v2/push/atlas.html for more information. # config.push.define "atlas" do |push| # push.app = "YOUR_ATLAS_USERNAME/YOUR_APPLICATION_NAME" # end # Enable provisioning with a shell script. Additional provisioners such as # Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Salt, and Docker are also available. Please see the # documentation for more information about their specific syntax and use. # config.vm.provision "shell", inline: <<-SHELL # apt-get update # apt-get install -y apache2 # SHELL end
As you can see most of the configuration is commented (#) out. When the vagrant init command is executed, Vagrant creates a default Vagrantfile in the current directory. The Vagranfile contains the most common settings, but the only configuration that will be executed is config.vm.box = 'centos/7'.
vagrant up --provider virtualbox starts the build process specifying virtualbox as the hypervisor. If the VM(s) specified in the Vagrantfile do not already exist on the local machine, they will be downloaded prior the the environment build.
As part of the machine build Vagrant also does the following:
Accessing hosts is as simple as executing the vagrant ssh command. This will ssh from the host machine to the VM using the vagrant user. If you have more than one host configured in your Vagrantfile then also specify the hostname like so vagrant ssh <hostname> .
vagrant ssh # You are now in the VM [vagrant@localhost ~]$ [vagrant@localhost ~]$ whoami vagrant
If you want to stop and environment and come back to it later without having to go through the build process again issue the vagrant halt command.
vagrant halt # output ==> default: Attempting graceful shutdown of VM...
To check the status of the environment issue the vagrant status command.
vagrant status # output Current machine states: default poweroff (virtualbox) The VM is powered off. To restart the VM, simply run `vagrant up`
When you are finished with the environment issue the vagrant destroy command. This will halt and delete the VMs but the Vagrantfile will still be available.
vagrant destroy # output 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...
So that's it, as part of this lab we downloaded and installed Vagrant and Virtualbox, used Vagrant to download virtual machines from Atlas, initialise and build an environment, access the VM from the host and delete the environment.
The "from the start to the beginning" series aims to take you from nothing to getting you up and running. This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide, but should be enough to get you started on the journey.