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Friday
Apr092010

Vagrant - Build and Deploy Virtualized Development Environments Using Ruby

One of the cool things we are seeing is more tools and tool chains for performing very high level operations quite simply. Vagrant is such a tool for building and distributing virtualized development environments.

Web developers use virtual environments every day with their web applications. From EC2 and Rackspace Cloud to specialized solutions such as EngineYard and Heroku, virtualization is the tool of choice for easy deployment and infrastructure management. Vagrant aims to take those very same principles and put them to work in the heart of the application lifecycle. By providing easy to configure, lightweight, reproducible, and portable virtual machines targeted at development environments, Vagrant helps maximize your productivity and flexibility.

If you've created a build and deployment system before Vagrant does a lot of the work for you:

  • Automated virtual machine creation using Oracle’s VirtualBox
  • Automated provisioning of virtual environments using chef
  • Forward ports to the host machine
  • Full SSH access to created environments
  • Shared folders allows you to continue using your own editor
  • Package environments into distributable boxes
  • Completely tear down environment when you’re done
  • Easily rebuild a complete environment with a single command

For new projects there's a very high bar for setting up this kind of one button style infrastructure. Many times I've spent many many weeks building similar systems, Vagrant looks like a very interesting option for jumping on the fast track to robust repeatable deploys.

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Reader Comments (4)

You must be kidding. It's an important problem space, and maybe the tool itself works fine, but the name and logo for this project is in such poor taste that I would never consider using it. It's like naming a cloud computing project "Katrina."

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Karwin

I agree.

The name is ill-considered enough (see: GIMP), but it takes some chutzpah to manifest it as a drawing that makes no mistake as to the creator's intent. For the project's sake, I'm hoping for an image change. An apology to anyone offended would be nice, too.

I'm hoping that Mr. Cooper just is clueless, and that this will be a lesson in sensitivity.

April 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTal

From Wikipedia:

"A vagrant is a person in a situation of poverty, who wanders from place to place without a home or regular employment or income."

...I dig the name and the logo, particularly in relation to the product. Keep up the good work!

April 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill

@Todd Hoff

Thanks for the post.

"Many times I've spent many many weeks building similar systems"

You've nailed it there. We just wanted to take this idea that has been bouncing around and make it simple/easy to implement.

@bill

Thanks for the compliment! We're glad to see people are using the tool to make their lives a bit easier.

April 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Bender

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