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What Is Vagrant and Why Should I Care?

8 Comments

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Jeff Geerling

Great advice in this post, and for a lot of developers and designers, the first week or two can be daunting, especially if you’re used to something like MAMP or XAMPP. There are a ton of helpful Vagrant configurations out there to help you get bootstrapped for different frameworks (just search around on GitHub for “[framework of your choice] vagrant”.

Also, I noticed you mentioned PuPHPet, which helps get a decent Puppet-based PHP virtual machine set up, but there’s another VM builder that I think is even a little nicer/easier to work with, Phansible.

Paul Morriss

A couple of things:
What first impressed me about Vagrant when I first installed it was the fact that I could type in two lines that are on the site homepage, and have a VM up and running.

In my investigations I’ve discovered that there are Vagrant provisioners for some of the major VPS providers, so search for “[vps provider] vagrant provisioner”. That’s useful if you don’t mind a VM running on the public internet.

Alan Moore

When Vagrant is set up correctly, it works great. A recent project I worked at was beset by Vagrant issues because the offshore development team rolled out the Vagrant solution while they were still working on it: each night, they would tweak it, and each morning we would type `vagrant up` and be hit by a rolling screen of errors. With the time difference, we would have three hours for them to fix it, or spend a day unable to develop. I actually wound up typing more at the command-line than I had before then using Virtualenv and Homebrew. This situation lasted two weeks, and taught me two things: never roll out Vagrant before it’s ready as it will break the whole process, and making any changes to the Vagrant file may still break everything.

JemBijoux

Nice intro! The main reason I’m not using Vagrant yet myself is that I work with a lot of different under powered hardware lately. Instead of virtualization, I’ve been using several (free) legacy systems, building real servers from spare parts, and balancing my requirements across multiple machines. It’s fun, but managing my little network can definitely be time consuming.

Unfortunately running even a basic virtual machine for extended periods is more than my hardware can handle. You need to have a moderately modern computer to get into virtualization. Of course, I also realize most developers probably have more capable setups self contained withn a single box. (For comparison, I can’t run creative software like Photoshop either.)

Some of your concepts are still applicable though (related to provisioning anyways), and if you have the capacity to virtualize then that’s undoubtedly the way to go. This is the future. Thanks for your post.

Daniel Furze

I started playing with Vagrant after contributing to someone’s project the other day that used it for the environment setup and was a bit apprehensive – but you’ve explained things really well.
Great introduction to Vagrant, I’m going to keep ploughing on with it and set it up for some of my own projects now!

Ross Bruniges

Ran into a little problem on the initial ‘vagrant up’ (“VBoxManage: error: Failed to create the host-only adapter”) which I found is caused by a VirtualBox issue (https://github.com/mitchellh/vagrant/issues/1671)

tl;dr – running ‘sudo /Library/StartupItems/VirtualBox/VirtualBox restart’ worked like a charm and everthing worked out the box as expected!

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