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A virtual machine for Ruby on Rails core development
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A Virtual Machine for Ruby on Rails Core Development


This project automates the setup of a development environment for Ruby on Rails core development. This is the easiest way to build a box with everything ready to start hacking on your pull request, all in an isolated virtual machine.



The virtual machine runs on top of VirtualBox.


We use Vagrant to build and provision the virtual machine:

gem install vagrant

How To Build The Virtual Machine

Building the virtual machine is this easy:

git clone
cd rails-dev-box
vagrant up

That's it.

If the base box is not present that command fetches it first. The setup itself takes about 3 minutes in my MacBook Air. After the installation has finished, you can access the virtual machine with

vagrant ssh

Port 3000 in the host computer is forwarded to port 3000 in the virtual machine. Thus, applications running in the virtual machine can be accessed via localhost:3000 in the host computer.

What's In The Box

  • Git

  • Ruby 1.9.3

  • Bundler

  • SQLite3, MySQL, and Postgres

  • System dependencies for nokogiri, sqlite3, mysql, mysql2, and pg

  • Databases and users needed to run the Active Record test suite

  • therubyracer

  • Memcached

What's Next

The first time you log into the box you generally want to configure Git:

git config --global "John Doe"
git config --global

set up your SSH keys, and clone your fork.

Virtual Machine Management

When done just log out with ^D and suspend the virtual machine

vagrant suspend

then, resume to hack again

vagrant resume


vagrant halt

to shutdown the virtual machine, and

vagrant up

to boot it again.

And to completely wipe the virtual machine from the disk destroying all its contents:

vagrant destroy # DANGER: all is gone

Please check the Vagrant documentation for more information on Vagrant.

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