Minimal Vagrantfile for Container Linux
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lucab Merge pull request #316 from surgicalbanana/master
add support for $update_channel to match documentation
Latest commit 0857274 Jul 26, 2018

CoreOS Vagrant

This repo provides a template Vagrantfile to create a CoreOS virtual machine using the VirtualBox software hypervisor. After setup is complete you will have a single CoreOS virtual machine running on your local machine.


IRC: #coreos on

Mailing list: coreos-dev

Streamlined setup

  1. Install dependencies
  1. Clone this project and get it running!
git clone
cd coreos-vagrant
  1. Startup and SSH

There are two "providers" for Vagrant with slightly different instructions. Follow one of the following two options:

VirtualBox Provider

The VirtualBox provider is the default Vagrant provider. Use this if you are unsure.

vagrant up
vagrant ssh

VMware Provider

The VMware provider is a commercial addon from Hashicorp that offers better stability and speed. If you use this provider follow these instructions.

VMware Fusion:

vagrant up --provider vmware_fusion
vagrant ssh

VMware Workstation:

vagrant up --provider vmware_workstation
vagrant ssh

vagrant up triggers vagrant to download the CoreOS image (if necessary) and (re)launch the instance

vagrant ssh connects you to the virtual machine. Configuration is stored in the directory so you can always return to this machine by executing vagrant ssh from the directory where the Vagrantfile was located.

  1. Get started using CoreOS

Shared Folder Setup

There is optional shared folder setup. You can try it out by adding a section to your Vagrantfile like this. "private_network", ip: ""
config.vm.synced_folder ".", "/home/core/share", id: "core", :nfs => true,  :mount_options   => ['nolock,vers=3,udp']

After a 'vagrant reload' you will be prompted for your local machine password.

Provisioning with Ignition (VirtualBox Provider (default))

When using the VirtualBox provider for Vagrant (the default), Ignition is used to provision the machine. This uses a special plugin that is automatically installed when using the default Vagrantfile. The config options for the plugin are all prefixed with config.ignition and can be found in this Vagrantfile or in the README of the plugin

To get started, run curl\?size\=X, where X is the number of servers in your cluster (if a size is not provided, the default of 3 will be used). Then, replace <token> in the cl.conf file with the generated token from the curl command. More configuration may be added if necessary. Then, use config transpiler to write the Ignition config to config.ign by running ct --platform=vagrant-virtualbox < cl.conf > config.ign. To see all available configuration options, check out the Container Linux Configuration Specification as well as the Container Linux Config Transpiler Getting Started Documentation. There is also a basic Ignition file provided based on the Container Linux config that is included. To use that instead (not recommended), copy config.ign.sample to config.ign and make any necessary modifications. Check out the Ignition Getting Started documentation to learn about the available features.

Provisioning with user-data (VMWare provider)

When using the VMWare provider for Vagrant, the Vagrantfile will provision your CoreOS VM(s) with coreos-cloudinit if a user-data file is found in the project directory. coreos-cloudinit simplifies the provisioning process through the use of a script or cloud-config document.

To get started, copy user-data.sample to user-data and make any necessary modifications. Check out the coreos-cloudinit documentation to learn about the available features.


The Vagrantfile will parse a config.rb file containing a set of options used to configure your CoreOS cluster. See config.rb.sample for more information.

Cluster Setup

Launching a CoreOS cluster on Vagrant is as simple as configuring $num_instances in a config.rb file to 3 (or more!) and running vagrant up. If using the VirtualBox provider (default), copy the make sure to create a config.ign as described above so that the machines can be configured with etcd and flanneld correctly. Also, make sure to provide a fresh discovery URL in your config.ign file to bootstrap etcd in your cluster. If you are using the VMWare provider, make sure you provide a fresh discovery URL in your user-data if you wish to bootstrap etcd in your cluster.

New Box Versions

CoreOS is a rolling release distribution and versions that are out of date will automatically update. If you want to start from the most up to date version you will need to make sure that you have the latest box file of CoreOS. You can do this by running

vagrant box update

Docker Forwarding

By setting the $expose_docker_tcp configuration value you can forward a local TCP port to docker on each CoreOS machine that you launch. The first machine will be available on the port that you specify and each additional machine will increment the port by 1.

Follow the Enable Remote API instructions to get the CoreOS VM setup to work with port forwarding.

Then you can then use the docker command from your local shell by setting DOCKER_HOST:

export DOCKER_HOST=tcp://localhost:2375


If vagrant fails to run successfully, first make sure that the latest version of the coreos-vagrant project has been downloaded, then run vagrant destroy -f to remove old machines, vagrant box update to update the OS box, and vagrant plugin update vagrant-ignition to update the ignition plugin. If the problems persist after that, please report bugs at