Vagrant: Up and Running
Create and Manage Virtualized Development Environments
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2013
Pages: 158

Discover why Vagrant is a must-have tool for thousands of developers and ops engineers. This hands-on guide shows you how to use this open source software to build a virtual machine for any purpose—including a completely sandboxed, fully provisioned development environment right on your desktop.

Vagrant creator Mitchell Hashimoto shows you how to share a virtual machine image with members of your team, set up a separate virtualization for each project, and package virtual machines for use by others. This book covers the V1 (1.0.x) configuration syntax running on top of a V2 (1.1+) core, the most stable configuration format running on the latest core.

  • Build a simple virtual machine with just two commands and no configuration
  • Create a development environment that closely resembles production
  • Automate software installation and management with shell scripts, Chef, or Puppet
  • Set up a network interface to access your virtual machine from any computer
  • Use your own editor and browser to develop and test your applications
  • Test complicated multi-machine clusters with a single Vagrantfile
  • Change Vagrant’s default operating system to match your production OS
  • Extend Vagrant features with plugins, including components you build yourself
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Colophon
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyVagrant: Up and Running
 
3.9

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (8)
  • Helpful examples (8)
  • Accurate (4)
  • Concise (4)
  • Well-written (4)

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough (3)

Best Uses

  • Novice (8)
  • Intermediate (6)
  • Student (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (8)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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3.0

Excellent structure, needs update

By Itinerant Worker

from Canberra, Australia

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Too many errors

Best Uses

  • Novice
  • Student

Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

I used this product to get a simple Vagrant box for an existing Django application up and running, complete with shell and Puppet provisioners. The guidance provided by the author is excellent, though the examples are out of date. It was relatively simple task to comb the Vagrant documentation for the new configuration syntax, and to be honest this activity probably helped me learn more about Vagrant in the meantime.

I would recommend this to a friend, with a forewarning that the configuration files are out of date and my friend will have to go through the same cross-referencing that I went through. The important part of this book for me is the step-by-step introduction to Vagrant, Puppet, and Chef.

 
5.0

Nice book, easy to follow and detailed

By lugrant

from Trento, Italy

About Me Developer, Sys Admin

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

    Start from the beginning finishing to advanced customization overview. Great!

    (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Not clear which version of Vagrant

    By Rob

    from UK

    Verified Reviewer

    Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

    Vagrant 1.2 was released in April 2013

    This book comes out in May 2013 and appears to cover pre-Vagrant 1.2. The syntax is different - for example the book talks about shared_folder which is in pre-1.2 (version 2) but not in 1.2 (v2).

    Please clarify. And preferably please support both versions and in each example in the book be clear on which one it is for. Thanks.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A Quick Read With All the Nece

    By nikolawannabe

    from Redmond, WA

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

      If you aren't already familiar with vagrant, it is a piece of software responsible for making a virtual machine be easily manageable and configurable from the command line. More than that, it can be used to make a developer's life much easier by hiding away all of the tedium of setting up a development environment per the product's specifications. This book is all about the whys and hows of running vagrant.

      I was pleasantly surprised to find this book very useful and easy to read through. For me, I finished it in a couple evenings, and now use it primarily as a reference manual. It covers the important topics of networking and configuration in sufficient depth to be know what you are doing from a read-through.

      I feel like what I learned most from this book, though, is that vagrant (fortunately!) is not all that complicated. You can get up and running quickly and basically be done with it. I do, however, now need a book on Chef for provisioning...

      I'd recommend this book to anyone thinking about using vagrant for development. or anyone who has recently rolled out a deployment of it. If you've already been using vagrant for a while and don't need to extend it and are happy with your network configuration already, this book may not be a necessity, but it wouldn't hurt.

      I received this book for free through the O'Reilly blogger program.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      From zero to Vagrant in a few pages

      By Ivan

      from London

      About Me Developer, Sys Admin

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

      • Not comprehensive enough

      Best Uses

      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

      I wanted a book to get me up to speed with Vagrant.

      Vagrant has changed the way I develop and I needed to have a solid base and that's what this book gives you. It is true that with the new version of Vagrant the book seems outdated already but the point of the book is not to give you precise instructions but to make you understand how and why.

      The Provisioning chapter was not my thing since I use Ansible, but still, I learnt few tricks to speed up my deploys.

      Books are great for building this baseline of knowledge. For the accurate sintaxis and instructions I fall back to internet.

      Disclaimer: I received an electronic version of this book because I am a part of the wonderful O'Reilly Blogger Review Program. These are just my opinions of the book.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Practical and Useful Guide Vagrant

      By Mike Stok

      from Toronto, ON, Canada

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

        I have started experimenting with Vagrant at work, and asked O'Reilly for copy of the book to review. They gave me a copy of the e-book with the expectation that I review the book.

        Vagrant: Up and Running is a relatively new book from the reliable O'Reilly stable. The author of the book and creator of Vagrant, Mitchell Hashimoto, says: "Vagrant is a tool for building complete development environments, sandboxed in a virtual machine."

        This is a short and dense book. It can be read "cover to cover" to get a good overview of the whys, hows, and details of Vagrant; it can be used as a reference – although you should keep an eye on the source as Vagrant's a living project.

        For me the book provides a solid foundation for day to day use of Vagrant, with plenty of guidance for getting into more advanced usage. Automation is encouraged by Vagrant's workflows, and Vagrant plays well with Chef and Puppet to provision systems. There are no obvious gaps in the book from my perspective, it covers a lot of ground in a relatively slim volume (196 pages on my iPad, 156 pages in paper according to O'Reilly).

        To me the big benefit of Vagrant is that you can provide a project with a base box and a Vagrantfile, and any contributor will be able to quickly and easily bring up a standard environment in which to develop and test. This can eliminate any number of "…but it works on my system!" type problems.

        The book explicitly states The Tao of Vagrant which essentially means that developers and systems operations engineers are all able to use identically built systems in VMs while still able to use their favourite tools and workflows on their development hosts. These systems are easy and quick to mint. The book works its way from simple set-ups to more complicated examples using multiple virtual machines networked together. By the end of the book you have been exposed to Vagrant plugins, and you will most likely have enough of its concepts under your belt to navigate the source (even if you're not yet familiar with Ruby).

        There is some repetition in the book which makes it easier to use as reference, but seems a little odd when reading it end to end. As there's no filler in the book this is not an issue in my eyes.

        If you need to distribute environments which can be run inside virtual machines to developers, testers, or deployers then Vagrant is a tool worth a long hard look, and Vagrant: Up and Running is a great kickstart and reference guide.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Must-read for those interested

        By Krzysztof Ropiak

        from Gdańsk

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

          Vagrant: Up and Running is a very concise book that helps you to get started with Vagrant, which is a very smart tool with growing role in software development. I believe that title of the book is very appropriate as you can hit the ground running and start using the tool comfortably for your project very soon after reading this book.

          There's quite short introduction to what Vagrant is, and then the author shows exactly how to use it properly. Mitchell show how to install it and how to interact with it by the offered set of commands. You'll find there instructions for creating virtual machine, provisioning it and setting up a network, also between set of machines. The author discusses many common use cases for using every feature of this tool. Portion of the book shows usage of the plugins for Vagrant and teaches you about development of these plugins. At the end of the book, you'll also find reference chapters that describes Vagrant's options one by one.

          I've really enjoyed reading this book. Mitchel Hashimoto shows how to solve most common problems - problems that most readers will encounter if the try Vagrant or virtualization in general, like automatic software installation, port forwarding, folder sharing. And he does it all with quite simple and very easy to understand examples.

          I fully recommend reading it for anyone that is interested in what Vagrant offers to its users and how to make best use of it.

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Good introduction to Vagrant

          By sl4mmy

          from Chicago, IL

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

          • Not comprehensive enough
          • Too many errors

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Plugin Developer

          Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

          I enjoyed "Vagrant: Up and Running" and think it is a good introduction to Vagrant. The book is a nice complement to the "Getting Started Guide" on the project website. New users and people with zero Vagrant experience will be able to pick up this book and learn everything they need to start using Vagrant and getting the most out of it.

          The last chapter covers Vagrant plugins and should be very helpful for plugin developers. Mitchell does a good job of explaining how to create command, configuration and provisioner plugins, and he steps through several complete examples in this section of the book. In my opinion, this chapter is the best existing documentation on Vagrant plugin development.

          However, I'm only giving this book three stars because as good as it is I think it still leaves a lot to be desired. There are numerous spelling and grammar errors in the book. The quality of writing isn't particularly good; for example, there is an awful lot of repetitive writing that is tiresome to read and just feels like filler, and the way v1 vs v2 configuration is described and handled in the book felt awkward.

          But the biggest problem with the book is the plugin chapter (which, interestingly, is also probably the most valuable part of the book!). In particular, there are two problematic aspects.

          First, by Mitchell's own admission this chapter's coverage of plugin development is incomplete. He explains this is because the API and architecture of host, guest and provider plugins aren't that common and are also about to undergo major changes. Personally, I think if these plugin types are so uncommon then it is actually more important to cover them here, because there will be fewer examples in the wild that other developers can study. Also, I wonder why he and O'Reilly didn't just hold publication until after the API changes. In my opinion it would be better to wait longer for the book to come out if that means its coverage will be more comprehensive, rather than ending the most valuable chapter in the book with "there's this other stuff I didn't want to talk about, but if you're curious you can always read the source."

          Second, the difference between the v1 and v2 configurations is confusing. Mitchell explains this is because the v1.1 series introduced some non-backwards compatible changes (and then he repeats this several more times throughout the rest of the chapter), but it still just feels... half-baked. I applaud Vagrant's commitment to backwards compatibility, and I understand the technical reasons as he explains them. But the way it is handled just feels awkward. I wonder if it wouldn't have been better just to focus exclusively on the v1 configuration and never mention the existence of the v2 configuration. Since the v1.0 series is the current stable release and v2.0 is still a ways off, I think it would be fine to only cover the stable configuration and leave the newer stuff to a future edition of the book. Alternatively, as I mentioned before, I think he and O'Reilly should have delayed publication until Vagrant 2.0. It just feels muddled that there are these different configuration versions, and he goes to such pains to explain them and the reason why they exist and what Vagrant's version numbers mean, but then he skips discussing a few different plugin types because they're about to change.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Intro for the great software

          By Tamagawa Ryuji

          from Osaka, Japan

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

          • Not comprehensive enough

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Vagrant: Up and Running:

          I love Vagrant. In a very short period, my life as a software engineer has changed so much by Vagrant. I can't imagine how to live my daily life without it now.

          Vagrant: Up and Running is, just like Vagrant, simple, useful, impressive. It begins with the idea of 'TAO of Vagrant', which shows the way to go for developers/operators. Descriptions about each features of Vagrant is also easy to understand.

          Well written, must-have especially for engineers who start using and want to make full use of Vagrant.

          Displaying reviews 1-9

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