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Vagrant / Chef Configurations v1.1

Everything that one needs to create development environments with Vagrant and Chef.

This repo is very much a work in progress. There are many things that can be improved. Annotations were made in comment form within the example Vagrantfile, regarding room for improvement. Issues and pull-requests are encouraged.

Features Include

  • LAMP (PHP 5.4)
  • Git
  • Composer
  • PHPUnit
  • automatic MySQL database creation
  • automatic apache vhost creation
  • other cookbooks and ready for love (ElasticSearch)


These instructions are merely one way to use these tools. I'm presenting them because I feel that they're both reasonable and simple.

These are instructions for creating a development environment utilizing Vagrant for virtual-machine management and Chef for installing and configuring software.

You would install this individually into each site repo. When working on a site, you'd bring up the server. When you're done, you suspend it. I repeat. Each individual site repo has its own virtual-machine that is brought up when you're working on that specific site, and then suspended when you're done.

This should work on any Windows, OSX, or Linux box.

First, install the applications.

(DO NOT INSTALL FROM PACKAGE MANAGER) If you do install virtualbox, vagrant or chef from package managers then expect pain.

Now, set up your project.

  1. Add this repository to yours.
cd mysite

git submodule add
  1. Update the submodules within the submodule. (inception)
git submodule update --init --recursive
  1. Copy an example Vagrantfile to your project's root.
cp vagrant-chef/vagrant/vagrantfiles/Vagrantfile .
  1. Read the Vagrant file and modify where appropriate for your project.

  2. Add this entry to hosts file app.local


Start the Application

$ vagrant up

Wait until Vagrant / Chef are done. Then, in your browser hit http://app.local.

Stop the Application

You have the choice of either... supending the application (takes a small bit more disk space). Recommended

$ vagrant suspend

or.. you can halt the box. (saves like 200meg?) But, because next time you start it up again it'll take a long time.

$ vagrant halt

When making changes to the environment...

If configurations change you can simply run:

$ vagrant reload

It will then apply your changes to the Vagrantfile or cookbooks.

Easing the pain

Ok, it's not really that painful in exchange for what you get from it. I add these aliases to my shell script's initialization file for ease. You might like them, too.

alias vl="VBoxManage list runningvms"
alias vu="vagrant up"
alias vd="vagrant suspend"
alias vr="vagrant reload"
alias vs="vagrant ssh"
alias ga="git add ."
alias gc="git commit -a"
alias gp="git push"


There is a known Mac issue with VirtualBox crashing your VMs. Here are more details and the solution.

How you can help!

I've made many annotations of issues in the Vagrantfile example, each could use a solution.

Trying to install this on your system and reporting back any issues that you've had with instructions listed would be a huge help.

Know a bit about Vagrant / Chef and want to complain that something could be done better? Please open an issue!


My Chef cookbook collection along with some example Vagrantfiles



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