NOTE: THIS PROJECT IS NOW UNMAINTAINED. PLEASE SEE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION. — A virtual machine for running the Django core test suite with every supported version of Python, every supported database backend and other dependencies.
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Latest commit 292ca96 Sep 18, 2016 @jphalip committed on GitHub Mark project as unmaintained
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djangocore-box: A virtual machine for running the Django core test suite

The djangocore-box is a virtual machine (VM) containing all the programs and libraries required for running the Django core test suite in multiple different environments. Every supported version of Python (2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 and 3.3) is pre-installed as well as every supported database backend (SQLite, Spatialite, MySQL, PostgreSQL and PostGIS — Oracle is coming soon), all the GeoDjango dependencies and a number of third-party components such as Memcached and Python libraries like Sphinx, the Python Imaging Library, Textile and Markdown.

This is particularly useful to anybody interested in contributing to Django core without having to go through the trouble of installing and configuring all the software required to run the tests in all these environments.


Software installation

First of all, you need to install the latest versions of Vagrant and VirtualBox on your host machine.

Adding SSH keys to ssh-agent

SSH-Agent will allow you to share the ssh keys on your host machine with the VM. This will then allow you to authenticate to remote servers, like github for example, from inside the VM.

First, check if your keys are added to ssh-agent:

ssh-add -l

If you don't have any keys, or the key you want available to the VM is not listed, you can add your key by running the following:

ssh-add <path_to_key>


ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Booting the VM

Legend: (host) is for commands to run on the host machine, and (vm) is for commands to run inside the VM.

Setup the initial directory layout:

(host) $ mkdir djangocore
(host) $ cd djangocore
(host) $ git clone  # or replace django/django.git by <your username>/django.git if you have your own fork
(host) $ git clone
(host) $ mkdir sandbox

Then, either:

  • If you have not already downloaded the box file separately, then run the following commands to boot the machine.

      (host) $ cd djangocore-box
      (host) $ vagrant up

    This will automatically download the VM, which is about 1GB in size (be warned if you have a low bandwitdh Internet connection) and then boot it up. The download will only occur the first time you run vagrant up. Every subsequent times, it will just boot the VM, which only takes about 30 seconds.

  • Or, if you have already downloaded the box file separately (say, for example someone gave it to you via a flash drive), then run the following command in order to import the box into vagrant and boot up the VM:

      (host) $ vagrant box add djangocore-box-1.1 path/to/your/local/copy/of/
      (host) $ cd djangocore-box
      (host) $ vagrant up

    vagrant box add will copy the box file to ~/.vagrant.d/boxes, so you may delete the file you've dowloaded if you'd like to save some space on your hard drive.

As the VM boots up, it will prompt you to enter your host machine's administrator password (the same that you use for logging into your host machine). This is required so that Vagrant can setup the NFS shared folders.

Once the VM is up and running, type the following command to SSH into the VM (still from inside the djangocore-box/ folder):

(host) $ vagrant ssh

Once inside the VM, you can run the tests by typing any of the pre-defined aliases: runtests{2.4,2.5,2.6,2.7,3.3}-{sqlite,mysql,postgresql,spatialite,postgis}. For example:

(vm) $ runtests2.6-mysql
(vm) $ runtests2.7-spatialite gis
(vm) $ runtests2.5-postgresql auth forms

Building the VM from scratch

You probably don't need to build the VM from scratch, but if you really want it, the steps are still pretty simple. First, rename the file Vagrantfile to a temporary name (e.g. Vagrantfile-backup) and then rename the file Vagrantfile-build to Vagrantfile. Then run vagrant up. The automatic build process will take about an hour. Use that time to do other work, browse the web or go out for a nice stroll in the park!

Sandbox directory

In some cases, you will want to expose test projects, or test code to your host machine. The sandbox directory on the host is mapped to the /sandbox directory on the vagrant managed VM.

Any projects or code you create in /sandbox will be available in the djangocore/sandbox directory.

Notes about the VM configuration

Inside the VM, the /django folder is shared with the host and points to the git clone that was created in the steps above. The repository clone for the djangocore-box itself is also in a shared folder at /djangocore-box. This way you can edit Django's code using your favorite editor/IDE from your host machine and run the tests from inside the VM.

The various versions of python are installed in the /opt folder. The virtualenvs are named py{2.4,2.5,2.6,2.7,3.3} and are installed under /home/vagrant/.virtualenvs/.

virtualenvwrapper is also installed so you may run, for example:

(vm) $ workon py3.3

You should be able to push commits to your fork of django on github directly from inside the VM, as the SSH and git configuration files inside the VM are automatically symlinked to the corresponding files on your host machine. You may push those commits from the host machine too.

The test settings are available in /djangocore-box/test_settings/test_*.py. These files are available in every virtualenv via symlinks.

Firefox is pre-installed so that Django's selenium tests can be run in headless mode in a virtual display (with the id :99). For example, you may run a specific test like so:

(vm) $ runtests2.6-sqlite admin_inlines.tests.SeleniumFirefoxTests --selenium

The VM is based on a Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bits distribution.

Building the documentation

To build the documentation, simply activate one of the virtualenvs and run the Sphinx build command:

workon py2.7
cd /django/docs
make html

Vagrant command tips

  • To exit the VM and return to your host machine, simple type:

    (vm) $ exit

  • To shutdown the VM, type:

    (host) $ vagrant halt

  • To suspend the VM (i.e. freeze the VM's state), type:

    (host) $ vagrant suspend

  • Once shutdown or suspended, a VM can be restarted with:

    (host) $ vagrant up

  • To destroy the VM, simply type:

    (host) $ vagrant destroy

  • To check if the VM is currently running, type:

    (host) $ vagrant status

  • To re-run the provisioning after the VM has been started (if you have built the VM from scratch):

    (host) $ vagrant provision

  • More information is available in the Vagrant documentation.


  • Install the Oracle backend.


djangocore-box was authored by Julien Phalip and other contributors.