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synchweb development environment
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SynchWeb Virtual Development Environment


This project allows you to generate a vagrant based dev environment.

It uses Ansible for provisioning.

It can generate:

  • a standalone machine with apache, php, synchweb and mariadb in one box.
  • a multimachine setup:
    • web: apache, php and synchweb
    • db: mariadb server
    • cas: nfs and cas authentication (via nginx and tomcat).

The test data includes a couple of visits registered to the user:password 'boaty':'mcboatface'

Note the standalone version does not include a CAS server because of https port conflicts between nginx and apache


  • Clone this repository
  • Install vagrant, virtualbox and ansible on your host (e.g. apt install ansible vagrant virtualbox-qt)
  • Decide which OS you want centos or debian (centos is recommended and used more often)
  • cd into the dir (e.g. vagrant/centos)
  • Run vagrant up for default Vagrant file "vagrant -f " for other options
  • This should download the relevant box and provision the machine(s)
  • Try using a web browser on http://localhost:9080 or to see the Synchweb pages
  • If you want to edit the source code from the host, uncomment the Vagrant file line 'lamp.vm.synced_folder "src/", "/var/www/sites/"'. The SynchWeb source code will be synchronized to src sub directory (e.g. centos/src).


  • Authentication types supported: dummy and cas.
    • Dummy authentication should be used in the standalone case, CAS works for multi machine.
    • To change the authentication type, before running vagrant up, edit the template file playbooks/roles/synchweb/vars/main.yml
    • LDAP is also supported in SynchWeb if you want to test integration with a directory server
  • Some features may require your host being able to resolve the hostname of the boxes (e.g. cas logout will redirect to https://cas/cas/logout) so add an entry in your hosts file to point to
  • The CAS auth needs some work. At the moment it relies on a patched source file class.auth-cas.php to explicitly set the CAS certificate. The synchweb auth_host variable should match the cas role sitename.
  • Also for development with https you will need to generate a self signed certificate; configured to look in: /certs//.crt, /certs//.key


SynchWeb can be configured to talk to an LDAP server. An LDAP role is not currently included here. However you can get one from here Change the SynchWeb config.php settings to talk to the ldap server e.g. ldap://192.168.33.xx (see ldap Vagrant box for ip addr). You can add users (e.g. boaty) into the LDAP script. Best to do this before bringing the box up.


  • If you need to re-run the provisioning (after a change) run vagrant provision OR vagrant provision for multi-machine


  • cd into the dir and run vagrant destroy
  • This should cleanup and delete the vagrant box


  • We don't have many template files so some are stored under roles//files
  • Could be moved to separate templates folder at a later date...
  • There are lots of sql files (under roles/ispyb_db/files) that can be imported into the db - they will need checking to make sure you get what you need.
  • The debian standalone has some issue with the nfs role - it requires a restart for it to mount properly. May be a service order issue, if in doubt try re-provisioning (vagrant up --provision).

Web based Admin VM

  • There is also a simple web based admin tool under centos_ispyb_admin/
  • This is a flask tool that pulls code from
  • To run the admin VM; follow instructions in the roles/ispyb_admin/README.
  • Once provisioned, vagrant ssh, source /home/vagrant/env/bin/activate, then run: flask run --host (as an example - ip addresses may need to be changed based on your setup)
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