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#Project Quicksilver Version 0.1.1

##Single-command High-Performance Drupal/LEMP Deployment

Project Quicksilver uses Ansible to provision a full, high-performance LEMP stack with Memcached, phpMyAdmin, and SSMTP and a complete install of Drupal configured and running -- on a local or live virtual machine using Vagrant with a single command, often in less than 15 minutes. For more details, read the blog post.


  • Install VirtualBox

  • Install Vagrant 1.2 or higher

  • Set up Ubuntu 12.04 box base on vagrant - vagrant box add base

  • Install Ansible The most fail-safe way appears to be to install with pip. Sorry, Ansible does not support Windows at this time(although there are discussions about it), but you could run Project Quicksilver from a VirtualBox vm or a Linux server, if you have one you can ssh into.

  • Set up fireball. This makes ansible much faster.

      sudo easy_install pip    
      sudo pip install pyzmq PyCrypto 
      sudo pip install --pre python-keyczar 
  • Clone or Download the Project Quicksilver repo.

  • Go to your project directory and run:

      cp config-example.yml config.yml
      cp Vagrantfile-example Vagrantfile
  • You will need to edit config.yml to add your passwords and other config details, but you can leave it unchanged if you just want to test it (it will build a single Drupal site (on the Panopoly distro on VirtualBox - to try out phpMyAdmin, you must at least set a root database password).

  • You will need to add your Digital Ocean credentials to your Vagrantfile if you wish to provision with it. If only using VirtualBox, you can leave it unchanged.

  • If using Digital Ocean, install the vagrant-digitalocean plugin

  • Add the following to your .bashrc or .zshrc file:

      export ANSIBLE_HOSTS=~/ansible_hosts
      #Add Vagrant key for Ansible/direct ssh to vagrant on
      # see
      ssh-add ~/.ssh/insecure_private_key &>/dev/null
      #Configure for vagrant-digitalocean\
      export SSL_CERT_FILE=/usr/local/opt/curl-ca-bundle/share/ca-bundle.crt

    (The ssh-add allows you and Ansible to access the vagrant vm through the vagrant user, which uses an ssh key (called insecure because the private and public keys are both publicly available) and won't take a password. If you don't do this, ansible-playbook commands will fail, but vagrant provision and vagrant ssh both take care of this for you, so they will still work).

##Run ###To build the full stack on a VirtualBox vm:

  • Update your config.yml and adjust tuning.yml if desired.

  • Place the following lines in your ansible_hosts file:

  • From your Project Quicksilver folder, run vagrant up.

  • Once the playbook completes, you can go to your site at http://localhost:8080. phpMyAdmin is at http://localhost:8080/phpmyadmin/ (please note that the trailing slash is required on VirtualBox due to port forwarding issues - on a production server, it will correctly redirect a request without the trailing slash). You can ssh in using vagrant ssh. If the provisioning process gets interrupted, you can rerun the playbook with vagrant provision - you may need to bounce the server (see below).

###To update your server's configuration

  • Change your config.yml and/or tuning.yml to reflect new values. You can even add new sites or subdomains. This method cannot be used to delete sites/subdomains or to update them.
  • run vagrant provision. This will skip vm instantiation and begin the playbook specified in the Vagrantfile (configure-server.yml by default).

###To build the full stack on Digital Ocean: This process has a few hitches related to how new some of the integration projects are, but it still only takes a few minutes.

  • Test your configuration on VirtualBox (see above).
  • From your Project Quicksilver folder, run vagrant destroy if necessary to remove your VirtualBox vm (Vagrant 1.2 will not run both VirtualBox and Digital Ocean vms from the same directory; a future release will fix this).
  • Run vagrant up --provider=digital_ocean. This will create a new droplet on Digital Ocean. At the time of this writing, the playbook fails when Ansible is called because Vagrant isn't passing Ansible the new site's IP address (A fix is in the works.)
  • In your ansible_hosts file, change the IP address of the [vagrant] entry to the address of your new droplet (unlike VirtualBox, you don't want to add a port number)
  • From your Project Quicksilver folder, run vagrant provision
  • All Vagrant commands will now work on your Digital Ocean vps. You can remove your server (and stop billing) with vagrant destroy - always confirm that the operation succeeded by checking your droplets page - add/remove operations are generally reflected there immediately. You can of course destroy the droplet on the website manually as well.

###To run Project Quicksilver playbooks on any server:

  • You will need an Ubuntu 12.04 server (You can try other Debian-based Linuxes, but they have not been tested. Non-Debian Linuxes will definitely not work.).

  • Add an account vagrant with sudo privileges that do not require a password. (This matches the account in the Ansible playbooks, even though you won't be using Vagrant)

  • Set up key-based ssh login from the machine that will be running the Ansible playbooks.

  • In your ansible_hosts file, change the IP address of the [vagrant] entry to the address of your target server (unlike VirtualBox, you don't want to add a port number)

  • Run ansible-playbook -u vagrant [playbook] where [playbook] is the name of the playbook (script) you want to run. For a full stack Drupal deployment, this would be

      ansible-playbook -u vagrant configure-server.yml

###To Add a Website to an Existing Server

  • The website and corresponding directory must not exist, or the playbook will do nothing. This protects your existing websites from being overwritten. If you need to replace a website, see the directions below to remove it first. You can change existing sites using Drush alone.
  • Add the website details to config.yml. You can leave existing sites' config in place - they will be skipped.
  • Run ansible-playbook -u vagrant deploy-archives.yml for a drush-archive install or ansible-playbook -u vagrant deploy-distro.yml for a new empty site. You can also safely run configure-server.yml or vagrant provision - it will run the whole playbook and correct anything not to spec.

###To Completely Remove a Website Be warned that this playbook completely eradicates all traces of a site, removing all files, the Drush alias, the database and db user, and the Nginx configuration (and the URL will stop working). If that's what you want, though, this will do the trick. This will only work for sites installed by Project Quicksilver playbooks. Its behavior on user-created sites may be unpredictable unless you followed the exact same conventions. Please back up your files and database before running this, or they will be gone forever.

Run ansible-playbook -u vagrant destroy-site.yml --extra-vars "site=sitename db=dbname, where sitename is the name you used in the site's creation (this will be its directory name as well), and dbname is the db name you assigned (and must equal the db username in this version).

###To bounce the server If a quicksilver playbook fails, it will not restart services that may have already been configured. If you have completed the playbook in multiple tries and the server is not working, use bounce-server.yml

###Using Drush You can use Drush from the site directory associated with the site or by using its alias, @site, where site is the name you gave it in config.yml. The Drush aliases are stored in /etc/drush/.

##Contribute If you have suggestions for better setting values or settings to add, or if you want to add support for other Vagrant providers, server packages, or applications, pull requests are welcome. I will try to include reasonable options that a lot of people will want, but the infinite number of choices and the fact that this is intended to be easy to use will require some editorial choices. Of course, you can always fork the project.


  • Implement SSL
  • Add support to build sites from Drush make files
  • Rework/Clean up Nginx config files
  • Add documentation on how to generate Linux password hashes on windows/osx
  • Test/add support for additional ISPs and mail providers
  • Use Ansible to wire-in memcached, etc. for distro deployments (right now, you have to edit settings.php & add Drupal module(s) manually)

##WordPress/LEMP-only This stack was originally built for a Drupal deployment, but most of it should be useful for any PHP app, including WordPress. Just change the Vagrantfile so that under config.vm.provision, the line reads:

ansible.playbook = "configure-lemp-only.yml"

All of the Drupal-specific tools will be omitted. You will have to create your own Nginx configuration for the sites, but the site-deployment playbooks for Drupal should be adaptable for specific applications. Nginx has some suggested settings, but there may be other choices out there.


##Disclaimer - Please read this!

No Warranty: These scripts make permanent system-level changes to your server. It is possible to overwrite or destroy websites and to make a server perform poorly or crash. Also, there could be security flaws that would expose your server to attack. Although efforts have been made to make them safe, you use them at your own risk. In addition, if you choose to use the Digital Ocean plugin, these scripts can incur usage fees. Use at your own risk.

Additional Warning: Version 0.1.x is the first working version and is not fully tested. Expect there to be bugs! There could be security flaws, and this configuration is not hardened. Please evaluate the scripts for yourself and give feedback about the project so it can be improved.


Single-command High-Performance Drupal/LEMP Deployment




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