Vagrant series I: Installing and using Vagrant on Windows 8.1 (Hyper-V required)

I’m sure you’ve heard about Vagrant at least to some degree somewhere. If you haven’t it may be time for you to become at least aware of its existence. I will not make any introduction post on it as it has been explained extensively and very well in lots of blogs and Internet pages:

In this post I will describe how I set up my own vagrant environment on Windows 8.1 so it might not fit well in other versions of Windows (Specially if you don’t have the Windows 8 Pro version) which don’t have the Hyper-V feature. My “lab” requirements are:

 Installing and running Vagrant

Installing vagrant is a pretty easy task in Windows (as well as in Linux), you just have to follow the installation wizard and you’ll be all set. Afterwards if you don’t have Git or some similar UNIX-like simulation environment on Windows, you’ll need to install the vagrant putty plug-in, which in my opinion makes life much easier and nicer than the embedded ssh binary.

After Vagrant is installed, you can access it running powershell (just remember to run it as administrator) and typing vagrant <command>

PS C:\Users\Marc> vagrant version
Installed Version: 1.7.2
Latest Version: 1.7.2

You're running an up-to-date version of Vagrant!

Aftwerwards we can add an existing box using (it can be remote or local Vagrant will add it anyway) vagrant box add <box>:

PS C:\Users\Marc> vagrant box add serveit/centos-7
==> box: Loading metadata for box 'serveit/centos-7'
    box: URL: https://atlas.hashicorp.com/serveit/centos-7
==> box: Adding box 'serveit/centos-7' (v1.3.1) for provider: hyperv
    box: Downloading: https://vagrantcloud.com/serveit/boxes/centos-7/versions/1.3.1/providers/hyperv.box
    box: Progress: 100% (Rate: 6648k/s, Estimated time remaining: --:--:--)
==> box: Successfully added box 'serveit/centos-7' (v1.3.1) for 'hyperv'!
PS C:\Users\Marc>

it’s not a requirement, but we can also set the default Vagrant provider using environment variables (local or global). If we don’t set it as an environment variable it’s necessary to set it up in the Vagrantfile(I’ll use t the Vagrantfile method) or when using the vagrant up <box> --provider <provider> command more info on vagrant documentation

Once we’ve set that, we’ll have to create a folder in which we can initialize our Vagrant environment using vagrant init and after editing the Vagrantfile created by the vagrant init command:

PS C:\Users\Marc> mkdir vagrant-centos7

    Directory: C:\Users\Marc

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----        23/02/2015     23:58            vagrant-centos7
PS C:\Users\Marc> cd .\vagrant-centos7
PS C:\Users\Marc\vagrant-centos7> vagrant init
A `Vagrantfile` has been placed in this directory. You are now ready to `vagrant up` your first virtual environment! Please read the comments in the Vagrantfile as well as documentation on `vagrantup.com` for more information on using Vagrant.

PS C:\users\marc\vagrant-centos7> atom .\Vagrantfile
# Vagrantfile
vagrant.configure(2) do |config|
  config.vm.box = "serveit/centos-7"
  config.vm.provider "hyperv"
end

NOTE: THERE IS AN BUG IN VAGRANT 1.7.2 WHICH DOESN’T RESPECT THE SECURE BOOT FLAG WHEN IT IMPORTS THE VM, TO FIX IT PLEASE MODIFY C:\HashiCorp\Vagrant\embedded\gems\gems\vagrant-1.7.2\plugins\providers\hyperv\scripts\import_vm.ps1 TO MATCH THIS
github bug. It’ll be fixed in upcoming versions so no need to worry :)
Alternatively, and if you’re running version 1.7.2, replace the file with this one

After setting up our Vagrantfile we will be able to run the vagrant box or VM using vagrant up It may prompt us for our username and credentials in order to map the SMB share:

PS C:\users\marc\vagrant-centos7> vagrant up
Bringing machine 'default' up with 'hyperv' provider...
==> default: Verifying Hyper-V is enabled...
==> default: Importing a Hyper-V instance
    default: Cloning virtual hard drive...
    default: Creating and registering the VM...
    default: Successfully imported a VM with name: CentOS 7
==> default: Starting the machine...
==> default: Waiting for the machine to report its IP address...
    default: Timeout: 120 seconds
    default: IP: 192.168.1.53
==> default: Waiting for machine to boot. This may take a few minutes...
    default: SSH address: 192.168.1.53:22
    default: SSH username: vagrant
    default: SSH auth method: private key
    default:
    default: Vagrant insecure key detected. Vagrant will automatically replace
    default: this with a newly generated keypair for better security.
    default:
    default: Inserting generated public key within guest...
    default: Removing insecure key from the guest if its present...
    default: Key inserted! Disconnecting and reconnecting using new SSH key...
==> default: Machine booted and ready!
==> default: Preparing SMB shared folders...
    default: You will be asked for the username and password to use for the SMB
    default: folders shortly. Please use the proper username/password of your
    default: Windows account.
    default:
    default: Username: marc
    default: Password (will be hidden):
==> default: Mounting SMB shared folders...
    default: C:/Users/Marc/vagrant-centos7 => /vagrant

I like to connect to the newly booted VM using Putty, so instead of typping vagrant ssh, we’ll install Install Vagrant putty to connect to our newly created Hyper-V VM and copy the putty executable on the windows PATH (C:\Windows for example) to be able to type vagrant putty:

PS C:\users\marc\vagrant-centos7> vagrant plugin install vagrant-multi-putty
Installing the 'vagrant-multi-putty' plugin. This can take a few minutes...
Installed the plugin 'vagrant-multi-putty (1.4.4)'!
PS C:\users\marc\vagrant-centos7> vagrant putty

Note that if we have not converted the SSH key that ships with the VM (in OpenSSL format) to a putty .ppk compatible format, we’ll not be able to connect to the machine password-less, instead we’ll have to type vagrant as a password

A new window will open and we’ll be able to do whatever we want inside our newly booted vagrant instance.
To stop it, we can either type poweroff inside the instance or type vagrant halt in our powershell prompt.

There are a few commands that are useful when interacting with vagrant:

 
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