An experimental xhyve/hyperkit provider for vagrant
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vendor/xhyve-ruby Fixed unreliable booting of images from specific MAC addresses Dec 10, 2016

Vagrant xhyve Provider

Gem Version

This is a Vagrant plugin that adds an xhyve provider to Vagrant.


  • Basic features work
  • Can work with Hyperkit fork of Xhyve
  • qcow image support


You need to use sudo for most vagrant actions with the xhyve driver, due to the entitlements needed for xhyve to run without sudo. More details in the xhyve github issue.


Install using standard Vagrant plugin installation methods. After installing, vagrant up and specify the xhyve provider. An example is shown below.

$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-xhyve
$ sudo vagrant up --provider=xhyve

Of course prior to doing this, you'll need to obtain an xhyve-compatible box file for Vagrant.

Quick Start

After installing the plugin (instructions above), you can try an xhyve ubuntu linux example. This is similar to the example from the xhyve intro blog post.

$ mkdir xhyve-vagrant
$ cd xhyve-vagrant
$ vagrant init oldpatricka/ubuntu-14.04
$ sudo vagrant up --provider xhyve

This will start an Ubuntu Linux instance. you can log in with:

$ sudo vagrant ssh

Box Format

The vagrant-xhyve box format is pretty straightforward. See the example_box/ directory. That directory also contains instructions on how to build a box.


This provider exposes quite a few provider-specific configuration options:

  • memory - The amount of memory to give the VM. This can just be a simple integer for memory in MB or you can use the suffixed style, eg. 2G for two Gigabytes
  • cpus - The number of CPUs to give the VM
  • xhyve_binary - use a custom xhyve version
  • kernel_command - send a custom kernel boot command

These can be set like typical provider-specific configuration:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  # ... other stuff

  config.vm.provider :xhyve do |xhyve|
    xhyve.cpus = 2
    xhyve.memory = "1G"
    xhyve.xhyve_binary = "/Applications/"
    xhyve.kernel_command = "root=/dev/mapper/centos-root ro crashkernel=auto acpi=off console=ttyS0 LANG=en_GB.UTF-8" # example for a CentOS installed in a LVM filesystem

Synced Folders

There is minimal support for synced folders. Upon vagrant up, vagrant reload, and vagrant provision, the XHYVE provider will use rsync (if available) to uni-directionally sync the folder to the remote machine over SSH.

Using Docker's HyperKit Fork of Xhyve

Docker has a very nice port of Xhyve called HyperKit. It has some interesting features like better stability and qcow support (which this provider can't use yet).

If you want to try it out, either install hyperkit directly, or you can use the version bundled with Docker for Mac. The path to the binary is /Applications/ See the configuration section above for how to use this with the xhyve_binary option.


Q. Should I use this for my work?

A. Do you want to keep your job? I'm not even sure you should use this for toy projects.

Q. Why?

A. This project is powered by ignorance and good intentions.

Q. Will I ever not have to use sudo or setuid root?

A. There's a theory in that issue linked above that wrapping xhyve in an app store app would help. If that were the case, you could probably use the embedded binary with vagrant-xhyve. Another option is to use setuid root.

Q. This sucks.

A. That's not a question, but why don't you try out another implementation. Looks pretty nice.


This plugin was heavilly cribbed from the vagrant-aws and vagrant-virtualbox providers. So thanks for those.

This also uses the nice xhyve-ruby gem, by Dale Hamel.


To work on the vagrant-xhyve plugin, clone this repository out, and use Bundler to get the dependencies:

$ bundle

Once you have the dependencies, verify the unit tests pass with rake:

$ bundle exec rake

If those pass, you're ready to start developing the plugin. You can test the plugin without installing it into your Vagrant environment by just creating a Vagrantfile in the top level of this directory (it is gitignored) and add the following line to your Vagrantfile

Vagrant.require_plugin "vagrant-xhyve"

Use bundler to execute Vagrant:

$ bundle exec vagrant up --provider=xhyve


  • Patrick Armstrong
  • Nuno Passaro
  • Guy Pascarella