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This builds an up-to-date Vagrant Ubuntu Base Box as described at the From Iso To Vagrant Box article.

Currently this targets Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa).


Install Packer 1.6+ and Vagrant 2.2.9+.

Ubuntu Host

On a Ubuntu host, install the dependencies by running the file at:

And you should also install and configure the NFS server. E.g.:

# install the nfs server.
sudo apt-get install -y nfs-kernel-server

# enable password-less configuration of the nfs server exports.
sudo bash -c 'cat >/etc/sudoers.d/vagrant-synced-folders' <<'EOF'
Cmnd_Alias VAGRANT_EXPORTS_CHOWN = /bin/chown 0\:0 /tmp/*
Cmnd_Alias VAGRANT_EXPORTS_MV = /bin/mv -f /tmp/* /etc/exports
Cmnd_Alias VAGRANT_NFSD_CHECK = /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server status
Cmnd_Alias VAGRANT_NFSD_START = /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server start
Cmnd_Alias VAGRANT_NFSD_APPLY = /usr/sbin/exportfs -ar

For more information see the Vagrant NFS documentation.

Windows Host

On a Windows host, install Chocolatey, then execute the following PowerShell commands in a Administrator PowerShell window:

# NB if you want to use Hyper-V see the Hyper-V section in this document
#    and do not install virtualbox at all.
choco install -y virtualbox --params "/NoDesktopShortcut /ExtensionPack"
choco install -y packer vagrant jq msys2

Then open a bash shell by starting C:\tools\msys64\mingw64.exe and install the remaining dependencies:

pacman --noconfirm -Sy make zip unzip tar dos2unix netcat procps xorriso mingw-w64-x86_64-libcdio
for n in /*.ini; do
    sed -i -E 's,^#?(MSYS2_PATH_TYPE)=.+,\1=inherit,g' $n

NB The commands described in this README should be executed in a mingw64 bash shell.

qemu-kvm usage

Install qemu-kvm:

apt-get install -y qemu-kvm
apt-get install -y sysfsutils
systool -m kvm_intel -v

Type make build-libvirt and follow the instructions.

Try the example guest:

cd example
apt-get install -y virt-manager libvirt-dev
vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt
vagrant up --provider=libvirt --no-destroy-on-error
vagrant ssh
vagrant destroy -f

VirtualBox usage

Install VirtuaBox.

Type make build-virtualbox and follow the instructions.

Try the example guest:

cd example
vagrant up --provider=virtualbox --no-destroy-on-error
vagrant ssh
vagrant destroy -f

Hyper-V usage

Install Hyper-V and also install the Windows Sandbox feature (for some reason, installing this makes DHCP work properly in the vEthernet Default Switch).

Make sure your user is in the Hyper-V Administrators group or you run with Administrative privileges.

Make sure your Virtual Switch (its vEthernet network adapter) is excluded from the Windows Firewall protected network connections by executing the following commands in a bash shell with Administrative privileges:

PowerShell -Command 'Get-NetFirewallProfile | Select-Object -Property Name,DisabledInterfaceAliases'
PowerShell -Command 'Set-NetFirewallProfile -DisabledInterfaceAliases (Get-NetAdapter -name "vEthernet*" | Where-Object {$_.ifIndex}).InterfaceAlias'

Create the base image in a bash shell with Administrative privileges:

cat > <<EOF
# set this value when you need to set the VM Switch Name.
export HYPERV_SWITCH_NAME='Default Switch'
# set this value when you need to set the VM VLAN ID.
export HYPERV_VLAN_ID=''
# set the credentials that the guest will use
# to connect to this host smb share.
# NB you should create a new local user named _vagrant_share
#    and use that one here instead of your user credentials.
# NB it would be nice for this user to have its credentials
#    automatically rotated, if you implement that feature,
#    let me known!
export VAGRANT_SMB_USERNAME='_vagrant_share'
# remove the virtual switch from the windows firewall.
# NB execute if the VM fails to obtain an IP address from DHCP.
PowerShell -Command 'Set-NetFirewallProfile -DisabledInterfaceAliases (Get-NetAdapter -name "vEthernet*" | Where-Object {$_.ifIndex}).InterfaceAlias'
make build-hyperv

Try the example guest:

NB You will need Administrative privileges to create the SMB share.

cd example
# grant $VAGRANT_SMB_USERNAME full permissions to the
# current directory.
# NB you must first install the Carbon PowerShell module
#    with choco install -y carbon.
# TODO set VM screen resolution.
PowerShell -Command 'Import-Module Carbon; Grant-Permission . $env:VAGRANT_SMB_USERNAME FullControl'
vagrant up --provider=hyperv
vagrant ssh
vagrant destroy -f

VMware vSphere usage

Download govc and place it inside your /usr/local/bin directory.

Install the vsphere vagrant plugin, set your vSphere details, and test the connection to vSphere:

sudo apt-get install build-essential patch ruby-dev zlib1g-dev liblzma-dev
vagrant plugin install vagrant-vsphere
cd example
cat > <<EOF
export GOVC_INSECURE='1'
export GOVC_HOST='vsphere.local'
export GOVC_URL="https://$GOVC_HOST/sdk"
export GOVC_USERNAME='administrator@vsphere.local'
export GOVC_PASSWORD='password'
export GOVC_DATACENTER='Datacenter'
export GOVC_CLUSTER='Cluster'
export GOVC_DATASTORE='Datastore'
export VSPHERE_ESXI_HOST='esxi.local'
export VSPHERE_TEMPLATE_FOLDER='test/templates'
export VSPHERE_TEMPLATE_NAME="$VSPHERE_TEMPLATE_FOLDER/ubuntu-20.04-amd64-vsphere"
export VSPHERE_VM_FOLDER='test'
export VSPHERE_VM_NAME='ubuntu-vagrant-example'
export VSPHERE_VLAN='packer'
# see
govc version
govc about
govc # list datacenters
govc find # find all managed objects

Download the Ubuntu ISO (you can find the full iso URL in the ubuntu.json file) and place it inside the datastore as defined by the vsphere_iso_url user variable that is inside the packer template.

See the example Vagrantfile to see how you could use a cloud-init configuration to configure the VM.

Type make build-vsphere and follow the instructions.

Try the example guest:

vagrant up --provider=vsphere --no-destroy-on-error
vagrant ssh
vagrant destroy -f
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