My Daily Vagrant Tricks

(3 minute read)

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I use Vagrant daily to take care of my various dev environments. Its the only reliable way I can juggle different Apache, MySQL, PHP, SASS/Compass versions, etc. I run one vagrant environment per site so I end up having quite a few vagrants halted on my system. I use the following tools to help make my management of my environments that much easier.

vbguest

This plugin allows you to automatically install the host’s VirtualBox Guest Additions (or auto-upgrade them.) I use this because when I create a new vagrant install I really hate having to go and look up the commands to install/compile the VirtualBox Guest Additions. I also used to stick with old versions of VirtualBox just so I wouldn’t have to take the time to upgrade my Guest Additions. Now I can just upgrade VirtualBox as needed and this plugin takes care of the additions without any work from me.

To install just run:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbguest

No config modifications or commands are required.

hostmanager

I got tired of having to manually edit my /etc/hosts to make urls like andrew.dev resolve. This plugin takes care of setting both your host and guest hosts file entries for you (depending on config.) This is great if you ever run multiple Vagrant boxes that need to talk to each other.

To install just run:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-hostmanager

If you want to have this plugin update your host systems /etc/hosts file you’ll need to add the following to your Vagrantfile:

config.vm.hostname = 'yourhostname.blah'
config.hostmanager.enabled = true
config.hostmanager.manage_host = true

Be sure to check the readme file in the git repo for all the options.

If you use .dev for your TLD Chrome will try to search instead of going to the site. Enter a “/” after it to tell Chrome that it is a url.

NFS

I edit my files using PHPStorm (with the Vim plugin) in my host system so I need a way to get my files from OS X to my Linux guest. By default Vagrant/VirtualBox provides multiple ways to get the files from one system to another. I use the NFS option to avoid the default memory mapped option since it is very slow when you have thousands of little source files (as Drupal tends to).

Just add the

, type: "nfs"

to the end of your standard

config.vm.synced_folder "repopathgoeshere", "/vagrant"

line to make it

config.vm.synced_folder "repopathgoeshere", "/vagrant", type: "nfs"

One thing to note, if you are running Compass/SASS on your guest system, there is a noticeable lag from when you save the file on your host system to when it recompiles on your guest system (I’ve seen the delay be as bad as a minute.) If you are trying to do something like this I’d recommend you try the new rsync option available in Vagrant 1.5 and later.

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