Creating a Vagrant environment from scratch

18 Jan 2017 in Vagrant

In order to start, create a vagrant environment based on Ubuntu Trusty (of course you can start with something of your choice):

# create the machine
vagrant init ubuntu/trusty

# boot it
vagrant up

# get into
vagrant ssh

# configure it
sudo apt-get update

# install vim
sudo apt-get install vim

# more commands like eg
# - install apache
# - install mysql
# - configure something
# - etc

# create a swap file
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swap bs=1M count=512
sudo chmod 600 /swap
sudo mkswap /swap
echo "/swap  none  swap  sw  0  0" | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab

# clear the box
sudo apt-get clean
# minimize packaged box size
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/EMPTY bs=1M
sudo rm -f /EMPTY
# clear history
cat /dev/null > ~/.bash_history && history -c && exit

When you are ready, logout and package the box

vagrant package --output

and destroy the machine

vagrant destroy
rm Vagrantfile

Then you can either import the box like this

vagrant box add my/box
vagrant init my/box

Or you can take advantage of box versioning:

At first calculate the sha1 (or sha256, sha512, your call) of the box


And then create the file my-box.json with contents like

    "name": "my/box",
    "description": "This box contains My Box",
    "versions": [
            "version": "1.0.0",
            "providers": [{
                    "name": "virtualbox",
                    "url": "file:///path/to/my/",
                    "checksum_type": "sha1",
                    "checksum": "-->CHECKSUM-HERE<--"

after that, you can import the box with something like

vagrant box add path/to/my-box.json
vagrant init my/box

or by supplying it in the Vagrantfile: = "my/box"
config.vm.box_url = "file://path/to/my-box.json"

By adjusting the above paths accordingly you can store the boxes along with the json file (the box metadata) on a personal server.

Of course, the preffered way to create a vagrant environement is to use something like chef, puppet, ansible, etc, but this is simpler in the essence that you don't have to deal with any provisioning tools.