Vagrant Chef Fun

Feb 27, 2013 09:03 · 417 words · 2 minute read devops

A couple of days ago I got a chance to see some friends of mine (Matt Urbanski and Jinwoo Baek) give a presentation on chef. It was fantastic. Afterward we had a sort of impromptu demo session on using Vagrant and Chef to get an apache server up and running. So this is going to be a quick tutorial on how to use Vagrant and Chef to get a functioning apache server up and running on a vm.

Things you are going to need (or I expect to be installed):

  1. Ruby 2.x.x or 1.9.x
  2. Git
  3. xcode and xcode command line tools (if you have mac os)
  4. Virtual box

I would suggest using rvm to manage Ruby. Here is a post to help with the install. Download and install virtual box.

Now make a test directory and cd into it.

$ mkdir test && cd test 

Install vagrant

$ gem install vagrant

Create a new vagrant file.

$ vagrant init

Next open up the vagrant file and make it look like this:

  # Every Vagrant virtual environment requires a box to build off of. = "ubuntu"

  # Forward a port from the guest to the host, which allows for outside

  # computers to access the VM, whereas host only networking does not.

  config.vm.forward_port 80, 8080

  # Enable provisioning with chef solo, specifying a cookbooks path, roles

  # path, and data_bags path (all relative to this Vagrantfile), and adding 

  # some recipes and/or roles.


  config.vm.provision :chef_solo do |chef|

     chef.cookbooks_path = "./cookbooks"

     chef.add_recipe "apache2::default"



Next download a public base box with Ubuntu on it.

$ vagrant box add ubuntu  

Now clone a copy of the apache2 opscode cookbook into a directory for cookbooks.

$ mkdir cookbooks && cd cookbooks 
$ git clone

Okay next you need to modify some of the source code for the cookbooks.

vim recipes/default.rb 

Then add this to the default.rb file just below the comments. (Because the version of ubuntu I downloaded needed an apt-get update in order for the package install to work.)

bash "apt-get update" do
  user "root"
  code <<-EOH
  sudo apt-get update

Finally use vagrant to start the server up.

$ vagrant up

Now we should be able to hit the url in your browser simply hit localhost:8080. This should give you a 404 from Apache Server at localhost port 8080.

I think it is nothing short of amazing how easy it is to get a virtual machine up and running with an Apache server.

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