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vagrant-helpers

Gem License
Vagrant environment customization helpers for VirtualBox.

Problem

Sometimes you have several Vagrant environments for a project (development, staging), and these environments differ significantly (e.g. number of VM instances, network settings). More often, several people can be working on the project at the same time on their own machines. You may write Vagrantfile for each of your environments, but you won't be able to add this file to source control.

Approach

The approach I came up with is quite simple. All environment settings are written down in an opts.yaml file in the project directory. Then, a special code in Vagrantfile parses this file and sets the necessary options. Now you can add Vagrantfile to source control without exposing specific information about your environment.

Each opts.yaml file is stored in its own environment. It should not be added to source control. You may create opts.example.yaml file with the sample configuration and add it to source control. Thus people cloning your project will be able to set up things fast by copying this file.

Setup

$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-helpers
$ cd /path/to/my/vagrant/project
$ echo "VagrantPlugins::Helpers::setup __dir__" > Vagrantfile

Usage

  1. Prepare an opts.yaml file applicable to your specific environment and configure your source control system to ignore it;
  2. Create an opts.example.yaml file and provide it with sample environment values (like a recommended Vagrant box to use and so on);
  3. Use Vagrant as usual.

Tips

networking

By default, Vagrant sets one NAT network adapter. If you don't want to complicate things with forwarded ports (e.g. for web server), your VM instance should have another network adapter, either Host-only or Bridged.

If you are developing a project on your own, you may use a Host-only network adapter. You should create a Host-only network in Virtualbox and then set an IP address from that network to the VM instance via opts.yaml file. However, your VM instance will only be accessed from your host computer.

If your VM instance is supposed to be available on the entire network (e.g. office network) you have no other choice but to use a Bridged network adapter. The host computer must be connected to a routed network (home or office Wi-Fi, for example). If your router has DHCP enabled, please consider choosing an IP address beyond the DHCP range. For instance, if a network address is 192.168.163.0/24, and a router leases addresses from 192.168.163.2 to 192.168.163.200, then the first address for your VM to use is 192.168.163.201.

opts file location

This feature has been introduced in 1.2.0

If you don't want opts.yaml file to be located in the Vagrant project's directory, you can specify the other path to your opts file via VAGRANT_HELPERS_OPTS environment variable.

You have two options:

  • add an environment variable before each Vagrant command VAGRANT_HELPERS_OPTS=my-awesome-opts.yaml vagrant up
  • put an environment variable to .env file located in Vagrant project's directory. For instance, this file may contain VAGRANT_HELPERS_OPTS=/absolute/path/to/my/opts/file

VAGRANT_HELPERS_OPTS may contain either an absolute or a relative path. If a relative path is specified, it is considered relative to the Vagrant project's directory.

bridged networking on demand

This feature has been introduced in 1.3.0

If you move often between different places, you may find it helpful to specify a different IP address for each of the networks you connect to. Here is the sample configuration:

    ...
    public:
      # At home
      - network: 192.168.163.0/24
        ip: 192.168.163.100
        bridge: 'en0: Wi-Fi (AirPort)'
      # At the office
      - network: 172.16.0.0/16
        ip: 172.16.0.17
        bridge: 'en0: Wi-Fi (AirPort)'
    ...

When your computer is at home (the network is 192.168.163.0/24), Vagrant will be configured to set 192.168.163.100 as an IP address for your virtual machine. When your computer is at the office (the network is 172.16.0.0/16), Vagrant will be configured to set 172.16.0.17 as an IP address for your virtual machine.

multi machine configuration

This feature has been introduced in 1.4.0

You can create a configuration for several VM instances. For more information, please refer to an example configuration file opts.multimachine-example.yaml.

set Vagrant properties directly

This feature is available as of 1.5.0

You can set VM instance properties directly in the following fashion:

vm:
  ...
  other:
    ssh.insert_key: no
  ...

WSL support

From 1.5.1 Virtualbox disk management is supported in a WSL environment. Extra disk files must reside outside WSL root, and must be configured as follows:

    ...
    storage:
      - filename: 'C:\storage\extra.vdi'  # an absolute Windows-style path
        size: 4096
    ...

When Vagrant is run in a WSL environment, it will be detected, and paths to extra disks will be automatically transformed with the wslpath utility.

License

MIT © Alexander Pyatkin

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