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A Vagrant plugin to automate bindfs mount in the VM
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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

By default, all folders are binded after folders syncing between host and guest machines. You can pass a special :after (or :hook) option to the bind_folder method to choose when a folder should be binded. Supported values are :

  • :synced_folders (default)
  • :provision, to bind a folder after provisioning occured.


Vagrant.configure("2") 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,
  # this is only required for Virtualbox provider "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"

  ## Share the default `vagrant` folder via NFS with your own options
  config.vm.synced_folder ".", "/vagrant", type: :nfs
  config.bindfs.bind_folder "/vagrant", "/vagrant"

  # Bind a folder after provisioning
  config.bindfs.bind_folder "/vagrant-after-provision", "another/guest/mount/point", after: :provision


bindfs support

The bind_folder config accept any option you can pass to bindfs. vagrant-bindfs is compatible with bindfs from version 1.9 to 1.13.0. Check lib/vagrant-bindfs/command.rb for a complete list of supported options and default values.

Both long arguments and shorthand are supported. If you set both, shorthand will prevail. Long arguments can be written indifferently with underscore ('force_user') or dash ('force-user') and as strings (:'force-user') or symbols (:force_user).

You can overwrite default options via config.bindfs.default_options. See bindfs man page for details.

vagrant-bindfs detects installed version of bindfs, translate option names when needed and ignore an option if it is not supported. As we may have missed something, it will warn you when a binding command fail.

On Debian (this includes Ubuntu), SUSE and CentOS (5-6) guest systems, vagrant-bindfs will try to install bindfs automatically if it is not installed. On other system, you'll get warned.


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 or SUSE 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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