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Vagrant is a tool for managing and configuring virtualised development environments.

Vagrant has a concept of 'providers', which map to the virtualisation engine and its API. The most popular and well-supported provider is Virtualbox; plugins exist for libvirt, kvm, lxc, vmware and more.

Vagrant uses a mostly declarative Vagrantfile to define virtualised machines. A single Vagrantfile can define multiple machines.

See also Wikipedia:Vagrant.

Installing Vagrant

Install vagrant from the official repositories.

If you want to use Vagrant cloud you will need to install some plugins:

$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-login vagrant-share

These are proprietary plugins that are not included in the community version in the official repositories.


Vagrant has a middleware architecture providing support for powerful plugins.

Plugins can be installed with Vagrant's built-in plugin manager:

$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbguest


This plugin supports KVM as the virtualisation provider.

Vagrant installs a self-contained rainbow environment in /opt which interacts with the system ruby in Arch in confusing ways. As of vagrant 1.4.3, this invocation will install vagrant-kvm successfully:

$ CONFIGURE_ARGS="with-libvirt-include=/usr/include/libvirt with-libvirt-lib=/usr/lib" vagrant plugin install vagrant-kvm


This plugin adds Libvirt support.

It currently has the same issue with ruby as the vagrant-kvm plugin. As of vagrant 1.6.5, this invocation will install vagrant-libvirt successfully:

$ CONFIGURE_ARGS="with-libvirt-include=/usr/include/libvirt with-libvirt-lib=/usr/lib" vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt


First install lxc from the official repositories, then:

$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-lxc

Next, configure lxc and some systemd unit files per this comment. The plugin can now be used with a Vagrantfile like so:


Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|

    config.vm.define "main" do |config| = ''

        config.vm.provider :lxc do |lxc|
            lxc.customize 'cgroup.memory.limit_in_bytes', '512M'

        config.vm.provision :shell do |shell|
            shell.path = ''

The file should be a shell script beside the Vagrantfile. Do whatever setup is appropriate; for example, to remove puppet, which is packaged in the above box:

rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/puppetlabs.list
apt-get purge -y puppet facter hiera puppet-common puppetlabs-release ruby-rgen


Provisioners allow you to automatically install software, alter and automate configurations as part of the vagrant up process. The two most common provisioners are puppet from official repositories and chefAUR from the AUR Arch User Repository.

Base Boxes for Vagrant

Here is a list of places to get all sorts of vagrant base boxes for different purposes: development, testing, or even production.

  • The same Arch Linux x86_64 base box can also be obtained via Vagrant Cloud by running: vagrant init terrywang/archlinux
  • Vagrant Cloud is HashiCorp's official site for Vagrant boxes. You can browse user-submitted boxes or upload your own. A single Vagrant Cloud box can support multiple providers with versioning.
  • Opscode bento
    We all know what bento means in Japanese, right? In this case, they are NOT lunch boxes BUT extremely useful base boxes which can be used to test cookbooks or private chef (Chef Server and Client). Distributions included: Ubuntu Server, Debian, CentOS, Fedora and FreeBSD.
  • Vagrant Ubuntu Cloud Images
    It has been there since Jan, 2013. For some reason Canonical has NOT officially promoted it yet, may be still in beta. Remember these are vanilla images, NOT very useful without Chef or Puppet.

See also