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A configurable local dev server
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Local Development Server

This repo will help you bootstrap a local development server. It's pretty swell.

What do I get?

I've loaded this machine with the most common tools that I've found that I need for most of my web projects. You might find that you don't use all of them - and that's ok. Just keep in mind, if you're going to be developing something for a production website as well, you really should trim down your development box to be identical to what's going to be in production. This box is not recommended for production deployments.

So, in here, in no particular order, are the highlights of what you get.

  • After you ssh to the box, you're put directly in the /vagrant folder and not left in your home directory
  • Git is installed
  • Apache is installed, default site is removed, your site is added as a vhost, and mod_rewrite is enabled. (Your folder location is /vagrant/web/your-site with your docroot being /vagrant/web/your-site/public
  • MySQL is installed, root password is still blank - this installation is pretty insecure
  • PHP is installed to the latest version supported by Apt and Ubuntu at time of installation (may not be bleeding edge)
  • PHP modules including imagick, gd, sqlite, curl and more
  • XDebug is available and loaded with an idekey of "vagrant"
  • NodeJS / NPM

In the config.yml file, there are other conditionals that will allow you to customize the following items:

  • Swap file for Ubuntu (disabled by default)
  • Outgoing mail (disabled by default) using SMTP relay host
  • Composer for managing PHP dependencies is installed (enabled by default)
  • Phing for managing deployments and builds (enabled by default)
  • API Doc for documenting APIs (enabled by default)
  • JS Doc for documenting Javascript (enabled by default)
  • WordPress Latest Version (and wp-cli) (disabled by default)
  • Drupal 8 (and drupal console) (disabled by default)
  • Joomla 3.5 (disabled by default)


There are two ways to use this box.

Just for local development

First, clone this to a location you desire.

git clone

Then, check out or create your own repo in the web/public folder (or you may want to delete the public folder first, and create it later)

cd web/public && git init

Use as part of your project.

You can use this as a basis or launch pad for your own project. Remember, this is not recommended for production boxes. However, if you want to distribute your project with a virtual machine, you can download this an integrate it into your project.

First, clone this to your project directory.

mkdir my-project && cd my-project && git clone .

Now, the easiest way to take care of this is to just git rid of my git history and create your own git project to begin with.

rm -rf .git && git init

git add . && git commit -a -m "First commit using for a local server."

Then you may want to add your own remote (yeah you probably want to do this).


To make the configuration of this local dev server easier, all configuration options have been included in a YAML file in the root of this project. There you'll find the following configuration options (with comments - of course!)

hostname This is the host name for your virtual machine. It is also added to your /etc/hosts file. Finally, this is also used in the VirtualBox registry (which isn't really that exciting until you were to look at something like the VirtualBox GUI and see very nicely labeled vagrant boxes - wow!)

private_network_ip Currently this box only allows a NAT + private network configuration. Here you must specify an IP address that is private and available. This is used when the hosts file is edited as well.

available_ram_mb This is the RAM amount that is specified for the VirtualBox virtual machine. I've picked 2G of RAM for a base box. You may want to raise or lower this depending on your needs.

enable_swap If you are running low on RAM you might need to enable your swap on this device. Try not to use this if you can help it.

enable_outgoing_mail This will allow outgoing email to be relayed using your SMTP server. You might use the SMTP server you have through your web hosting account, or something like GMail. (If you use gmail, you may need to turn on the ability to allow access from less secure apps as Google is cracking down on plain username/password authentication.)

outgoing_mail_smtp_server, outgoing_mail_smtp_port, outgoing_mail_user and outgoing_mail_pass are used to configure SMTP relay host forwarding. Remember, do not use your primary email here. Use a special SMTP user/service for this.

install_composer Installs Composer globally.

install_phing Installs Phing globally.

install_apidoc Installs API Doc globally.

install_jsdoc Installs JS Doc globally.

install_wordpress Installs WordPress in web/

install_drupal Installs Drupal in web/

install_joomla Installs Joomla in web/


cd directory-of-project && vagrant up

It's that easy! Now you have a nice local dev server. There was much rejoicing.


  • Vagrant 1.8+
  • vagrant-hostsupdater vagrant plugin
  • VirtualBox 4.x+
  • Ansible 1.9+


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