By Alain Francois, Alibaba Cloud Community Blog author
Vagrant is a virtualization tool that allows you to administer and deploy virtual machines from a command line interface. With the vagrant commands, you have the possibility to create new virtual light environments. Vagrant runs on Linux, Mac OS X or Windows and runs a whole bunch of operating systems. Vagrant is under the spell of the giants of the virtualization world.
The popularity of vagrant comes from the world of developers because it's an easy way for them to virtualize a new development environment without many constraints. In this tutorial, you learn how to install vagrant on Ubuntu 18.04 and create a vagrant machine.
To run vagrant, you need first a virtualization tool to be installed such as virtualbox or vmware workstation. Vagrant creates the virtual machines based on what we call vagrant boxes which is are type of image of an operating systems that you will need to install. You can consider it as a type of template from which the vagrant machine will be based on.
To create a vagrant machine, the vagrant command will download the box (image of the operating system) that you want your vagrant machine to be based on. It can be a modified vagrant machine with some other pre-installed tools. You can check the list of all the boxes available in the official link of vagrant
In our case, we will install first virtualbox on our Ubuntu machine. To be sure to have a full compatibility when writing this article, I recommend you to install the version VirtualBox 5.2
$ sudo apt install virtualbox [sudo] password for alain: Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following additional packages will be installed: adwaita-icon-theme at-spi2-core binutils binutils-common binutils-x86-64-linux-gnu build-essential cpp cpp-7 dconf-gsettings-backend dconf-service dkms dpkg-dev fakeroot fontconfig fontconfig-config fonts-dejavu-core g++ g++-7 gcc gcc-7 gcc-7-base glib-networking glib-networking-common glib-networking-services gsettings-desktop-schemas gtk-update-icon-cache hicolor-icon-theme humanity-icon-theme libalgorithm-diff-perl libalgorithm-diff-xs-perl libalgorithm-merge-perl libasan4 libasound2 libasound2-data libasyncns0 ..... ..... Need to get 84.6 MB/112 MB of archives. After this operation, 606 MB of additional disk space will be used. Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Now make sure that you have installed the version that I recommended
$ vboxmanage --version 5.2.18_Ubuntur123745
If you want to manually download it, you can go to the official link of virtualbox then download it
$ wget https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/5.2.26/virtualbox-5.2_5.2.26-128414~Ubuntu~bionic_amd64.deb --2019-03-20 16:36:35-- https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/5.2.26/virtualbox-5.2_5.2.26-128414~Ubuntu~bionic_amd64.deb Resolving download.virtualbox.org (download.virtualbox.org)... 188.8.131.52 Connecting to download.virtualbox.org (download.virtualbox.org)|184.108.40.206|:443... connected. HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK ... ...
Now you can install it with
$ sudo dpkg -i virtualbox-5.2_5.2.26-128414~Ubuntu~bionic_amd64.deb
If you face some errors with the dependencies, use the
apt install -f command
Now that your virtualbox is installed, you can install vagrant. By default, it's present in the officials repositories
When your vagrant is installed, you can now create your virtual machine
To create the vagrant machine, you need a vagrant box. You can check the list of the available boxes from the official link of vagrant. Let's create a vagrant machine based on debian 9, on your terminal, but first let's create a folder to organize our vagrant machines
$ mkdir vagrant-machine && cd vagrant-machine
Now you can run the command to initialize your vagrant machine
~/vagrant-machine$ vagrant init debian/stretch64 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.
That command creates in the current directory the file Vagrantfile containing all the information necessary to initialize, run and configure the vagrant machine by using the template of Debian 9 64 bits. You can check if you have the Vagrantfile in the current directory. It's essential to run the vagrant machine.
~/vagrant-machine$ ls Vagrantfile
The Vagrantfile contains some lines giving some information for the creation of your virtual machine. You can list the content of the file with the
Now you can run your vagrant machine
~/vagrant-machine$ vagrant up Bringing machine 'default' up with 'virtualbox' provider... ==> default: Box 'debian/stretch64' could not be found. Attempting to find and install... default: Box Provider: virtualbox default: Box Version: >= 0 ==> default: Loading metadata for box 'debian/stretch64' default: URL: https://vagrantcloud.com/debian/stretch64 ==> default: Adding box 'debian/stretch64' (v9.8.0) for provider: virtualbox default: Downloading: https://vagrantcloud.com/debian/boxes/stretch64/versions/9.8.0/providers/virtualbox.box ==> default: Successfully added box 'debian/stretch64' (v9.8.0) for 'virtualbox'! ==> default: Importing base box 'debian/stretch64'... ...
The first time that you run that command, it downloads and stores the vagrant box on your computer in the .vagrant.d directory of your home folder so that it will be used for the initialization of the vagrant machines that you will need to create from that box. You can see that it's downloading the box first. If you have downloaded a version of virtualbox which is not compatible with vagrant, you will receive a similar message as below
No usable default provider could be found for your system. Vagrant relies on interactions with 3rd party systems, known as "providers", to provide Vagrant with resources to run development environments. Examples are VirtualBox, VMware, Hyper-V. The easiest solution to this message is to install VirtualBox, which is available for free on all major platforms. If you believe you already have a provider available, make sure it is properly installed and configured. You can see more details about why a particular provider isn't working by forcing usage with `vagrant up --provider=PROVIDER`, which should give you a more specific error message for that particular provider.
Now you can access your vagrant machine by using ssh but not by the normal usual way as you know. It's the vagrant ssh command used like below
$ vagrant ssh Linux stretch 4.9.0-8-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.144-3 (2019-02-02) x86_64 The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software; the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright. Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law. vagrant@stretch:~$ You can try an update
Now you are in the virtual machine. You can start to work normally by updating and installing the packages
vagrant@stretch:~$ sudo apt update Hit:1 http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates InRelease Ign:2 http://deb.debian.org/debian stretch InRelease Hit:3 http://deb.debian.org/debian stretch Release Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done 10 packages can be upgraded. Run 'apt list --upgradable' to see them. vagrant@stretch:~$ exit
With vagrant you will need to manage your virtual machine and also the boxes that you will download. There are a lots to operations that you can do on vagrant but you should at least know the commands which can be very useful for regular operations.
You should understand that to run those vagrant commands, for most of them, you have to be in the folder containing the vagrant machine, in other words the Vagrantfile.
Below you can see a list of useful vagrant command to manage your virtual machine
vagrant init: creates a vagrant configuration file (Vagrantfile) which will be read to initialize the vagrant machine to setup. The file contains the box on which the machine should be based on, the cpu, networking, etc
vagrant up: downloads or imports the box to run the vagrant machine. It will read the content of the Vagrantfile and executes line in order to set up the machine according to the environment that is specified in the file
vagrant ssh: by default it helps you to access your vagrant machine but unlike the normal ssh command, you have to be in the current folder where your machine (Vagrantfile) is stored. When you want to leave the vagrant machine, just use the
exitcommand to return to the host
vagrant suspend: to suspend the vagrant machine
vagrant resume: to resume a vagrant machine which has been suspended
vagrant halt: to stop a vagrant machine like the shutdown. But you can use the linux
shutdowncommand inside the vagrant machine to stop it also as it works like a normal machine.
vagrant reload: helps to stop and start your vagrant machine like a restart but it will not read again the new instructions that you provided in the Vagrantfile
vagrant destroy: this command will stop the vagrant machine and destroy all the configuration that you did
vagrant status: it gives you the state of the current vagrant machine, if it's running, stopped or suspended.
Now it will be also useful for your to know the vagrant command which will help you to operate on your boxes.
vagrant box add: helps to download the box specified after the command. The box will be stored in the default folder
vagrant box list: shows you a list of all the boxes that you have downloaded
vagrant box update: updates the box of the current vagrant machine. If you want to update a specific box without being in folder of the vagrant machine, use the
--boxfollowed by the name of the box
vagrant box remove: deletes the specified box following the command
As said before, the
vagrant up command will download the box to run the vagrant machine immediately after the downloading process. But it's possible to first download all the boxes that you need and then run the vagrant machine that you want not immediately.
To do this, we use the command
vagrant box add followed by the name of the box to download as below
$ vagrant box add centos/7 ==> box: Loading metadata for box 'centos/7' box: URL: https://vagrantcloud.com/centos/7 This box can work with multiple providers! The providers that it can work with are listed below. Please review the list and choose the provider you will be working with. 1) hyperv 2) libvirt 3) virtualbox 4) vmware_desktop Enter your choice: 3 ==> box: Adding box 'centos/7' (v1902.01) for provider: virtualbox box: Downloading: https://vagrantcloud.com/centos/boxes/7/versions/1902.01/providers/virtualbox.box
During the process it will download and store the boxes in the default folder
~/.vagrant.d. You can use the same command to download the others boxes that you can need from the official link
Now let us try to run the vagrant machine based on centos 7. First let's create a directory and initialize our machine
$ mkdir centos7 && cd centos7 $ vagrant init centos/7 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.
Now let's run the machine,
$ vagrant up 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' version '1902.01' is up to date... ==> default: Setting the name of the VM: centos7_default_1553955605013_87107 ==> default: Fixed port collision for 22 => 2222. Now on port 2200. .... .... ==> default: Machine booted and ready! ....
You see that it didn't try to download the virtual machine but it just imported the box directly because it was detected in the default folder where it's saved. You can now ssh your vagrant machine with the
vagrant ssh command and first update the system or whatever you want
[vagrant@localhost ~]$ sudo yum update Loaded plugins: fastestmirror Determining fastest mirrors * base: mirror.wiru.co.za * extras: mirror.wiru.co.za * updates: www.ftp.saix.net base | 3.6 kB 00:00 extras | 3.4 kB 00:00 updates | 3.4 kB 00:00 (1/4): base/7/x86_64/group_gz | 166 kB 00:01 (2/4): extras/7/x86_64/primary_db | 187 kB 00:01 (3/4): base/7/x86_64/primary_db | 6.0 MB 00:07 (4/4): updates/7/x86_64/primary_db | 3.4 MB 00:16 Resolving Dependencies --> Running transaction check ---> Package NetworkManager.x86_64 1:1.12.0-8.el7_6 will be updated ---> Package NetworkManager.x86_64 1:1.12.0-10.el7_6 will be an update ---> Package NetworkManager-libnm.x86_64 1:1.12.0-8.el7_6 will be updated ... ...
Now you know how to create a virtual lightweight environment for your tests before going on production. Vagrant can be manipulated also by non system administrators and is very popular among the developers. It gives the advantages to manage configuration of the virtual machine with provision tools such as chef, puppet if you have many environments to configure.
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