Vagrant for Software Development
I came across Vagrant a while back at a bookstore. After browsing it, I didn’t get my hands dirty with it until recently. I started to play with it because one of my clients uses it in setting up development environment for convenience and consistency.
Instead of VMware, I used VirtualBox (https://www.virtualbox.org) which is an equivalent VMware Workstation from Oracle, but totally free as open source. Anyway, that doesn’t matter much because after install VirutalBox, I hardly notice that I am using VirtualBox. Most of the time, I just use Vagrant to ssh to my Linux virtual machine. As I read, Vagrant also supports Windows virtual machines, but I haven’t played with Windows.
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To get started, just select and download the Vagrant installer from its download page (https://www.vagrantup.com/downloads.html). Installing it on my MacBook is pretty straightforward and I don’t remember any details after a couple of days.
In a typical use case, I just need the following commands to get a working Linux machine working and ready for software development. That is an experience that is too easy to believe.
$ vagrant init precise64 $ vagrant up $ vagrant ssh
If you want to install additional software into the virtual machine, you can edit the vagrant file, which is more or less like a blue print for the virtual machine. By default, it’s created automatically with many different options commented out. You can uncomment some of these lines to install additional software.
$ vi Vagrantfile
After an extremely easy start, you may find more advanced features to learn and explore.