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GeoBox - A hackbox for geo stuff

This is a vagrant box that includes some GIS related tools for hacking. You can use it to get started with some standard tools without worrying about messing up your local machine.

Included in VM

  • Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin
  • GEOS 3.3.3
  • Proj 4.7
  • SpatiaLite 3.1
  • GDAL 1.9.1
  • Mapnik 2.0.1
  • PostgreSQL 9.1
  • PostGIS 2.0.1
  • Redis 2.2.x
  • MongoDB 2.x
  • NodeJS stable (currently 0.8.x)
  • Ruby 1.9.3 + Bundler
  • CartoDB (master)
  • osm2pgsql
  • osmosis
  • Imposm 2.4
  • nginx
  • zsh

Requirements for host machine

  • Ruby
  • VirtualBox Download
  • Vagrant gem install vagrant


git clone
cd geobox
git submodule init
git submodule update
vagrant box add precise

Usage & Setup

to build the VM from the base image and ssh into it:

vagrant up
vagrant ssh

exiting ssh from the VM:


or to stop it from the host:

vagrant suspend

to destroy the VM from the host (to either delete it completely or rebuild it):

vagrant destroy

then to rebuild everything:

vagrant up

Note: Starting the machine for the first time will take about 20-30 minutes since it builds ruby, node, and PostGIS from source.

Accessing CartoDB

To access the CartoDB server, you need to add something to your host file.

echo " cartodb.localhost.lan" | tee -a /etc/hosts

Once you have cartodb.localhost.lan resolving, you go to http://cartodb.localhost.lan:3000 in your browser to get to CartoDB.

CartoDB is started using WEBrick in the background, but you can kill it manually and start it via ssh manually if you want:

cd /usr/local/src/cartodb
sudo kill `pids/`
bundle exec rails server

Connecting to PostgreSQL

To access the postgres instance from outside the VM (e.g. psql or pgAdmin), use and username vagrant and password vagrant. This can be convenient for loading data that's on your local machine or being able to use pgAdmin to get to the database.


If you want to add your own stuff, you will want to take a look at default.rb. It has most of the hackish code that installs and sets up the box. Improvements are welcome since I have no idea what I'm doing.


  • Proper init.d scripts and helpers to start/stop CartoDB stuff, or at least some shell aliases?
  • nginx setup for CartoDB stuff (preferably an optional setting that "just works" for both WEBrick and nginx)
  • TileMill
  • Options to use the latest and greatest of all stuff (Mapnik HEAD, PostGIS HEAD, etc)
  • Separate some of the stuff from the core recipe into different recipes
  • Fix all the custom execute commands to be more resilient to the vagrant reload command so they don't rebuild every time (mostly done, albeit hacky)
  • Oh yeah, security, don't use this for production.
  • EC2 compatible deployment using chef-solo, see previos item.