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A Vagrant plugin to automate bindfs mount in the VM

branch: master


A Vagrant plugin to automate bindfs mount in the VM. This allow you to change owner, group and permissions on files and, for example, work around NFS share permissions issues.

Some Background: Why vagrant-bindfs

The default vagrant provider is virtualbox. It's free, and it works well, but it has some performance problems.

People often recommend switching to vagrant's VMWare-fusion provider. This reportedly has better performance, but shares with symlinks won't work. You also have to buy both the plugin and VMWare-fusion.

The final recommendation, at least on Linux/OSX hosts, is to use nfs. However, an NFS mount has the same numeric permissions in the guest as in the host. If you're on OSX, for instance, a folder owned by the default OSX user will appear to be owned by 501:20 in the guest.

This is where vagrant-bindfs comes in!


  • mount your share over NFS into a temporary location in the guest
  • re-mount the share to the actual destination with vagrant-bindfs, setting the correct permissions

Note that map_uid and map_gid NFS options can be used to set the identity used to read/write files on the host side.


Vagrant-bindfs is distributed as a Ruby gem. You can install it as any other Vagrant plugin with vagrant plugin install vagrant-bindfs.


In your Vagrantfile, use config.bindfs.bind_folder to configure folders that will be binded on VM startup. The format is:

     config.bindfs.bind_folder "/path/to/source", "/path/to/destination", options

Example do |config|

      [...] # Your VM configuration

      ## Basic usage
      config.bindfs.bind_folder "source/dir", "mount/point"

      ## Advanced options
      config.bindfs.bind_folder "source/dir", "mount/point",
        :perms           => "u=rw:g=r:o=r",
        :create_as_user  => true

      ## Complete example for a NFS shared folder
      # Static IP is required to use NFS shared folder "private_network", ip: ""
      # Declare shared folder with Vagrant syntax
      config.vm.synced_folder "host/source/dir", "/vagrant-nfs", :type => :nfs
      # Use vagrant-bindfs to re-mount folder
      config.bindfs.bind_folder "/vagrant-nfs", "guest/mount/point"


Supported options

bind_folder supports the following arguments:

  • :owner (defaults to 'vagrant')
  • :group (defaults to 'vagrant')
  • :perms (defaults to 'u=rwX:g=rD:o=rD')
  • :mirror
  • :o
  • :'mirror-only'
  • :'create-for-user'
  • :'create-for-group'
  • :'create-with-perms'

… and following flags (all disabled by default, vagrant-bindfs rely on bindfs own defaults) :

  • :'no-allow-other'
  • :'create-as-user'
  • :'create-as-mounter'
  • :'chown-normal'
  • :'chown-ignore'
  • :'chown-deny'
  • :'chgrp-normal'
  • :'chgrp-ignore'
  • :'chgrp-deny'
  • :'chmod-normal'
  • :'chmod-ignore'
  • :'chmod-deny'
  • :'chmod-allow-x'
  • :'xattr-none'
  • :'xattr-ro'
  • :'xattr-rw'
  • :'ctime-from-mtime'

You can overwrite default options via config.bindfs.default_options.

See bindfs man page for details.

vagrant-bindfs does not check compatibility between given arguments but warn you when a binding command fail or if bindfs is not installed on your virtual machine. On Debian systems, it will try to install bindfs automatically.


If you find this plugin useful, we could use a few enhancements! In particular, capabilities files for installing vagrant-bindfs on systems other than Debian would be useful. We could also use some specs…

How to Test Changes

If you've made changes to this plugin, you can easily test it locally in vagrant. From the root of the repo, do:

  • bundle install
  • rake build
  • bundle exec vagrant up

This will spin up a default Debian VM and try to bindfs-mount some shares in it. Feel free to modify the included Vagrantfile to add additional test cases.

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