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20 Mar 2019 Installing Vagrant on CentOS 7

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This short post describes how to install the latest version of Vagrant using the libvirt provider on a fresh CentOS 7 (Minimal install). I will not do any security measures to harden this config, anyway not in this post. Vagrant supports different providers in addition to libvirt, like VirtualBox and VMware. I prefer libvirt because I am used to use virt-manager and KVM.

I assume you know what Vagrant is and basic usage of it. If you do not know what Vagrant is, please visit the Hashicorp website.

I used vagrant as a sandbox for my Puppet development several years ago, but somewhere along the way I stopped using it. The interest to start using Vagrant back again came after doing some Ansible playbook development. The easy way of setting up and tearing server boxes really helps when you develop and test.

My code examples usually starts with # or $, # tells you that I am using the root user account and $ as a normal user.

First we need to get the latest packages on our installation and reboot the server.

# yum -y update && shutdown -r

We are now ready to add the prerequisites to the installation.

It is easier to work with a graphical interface (GUI) with Vagrant, so we are installing the “Server with GUI” packages.

# yum -y group install "Server with GUI"

This command takes a while to finish, take a short break while it finishes the installation.

Now we are going to determine the latest version of Vagrant and install it. Open your web browser and visit http://releases.hashicorp.com/vagrant/ and copy the URL to the latest version available. In my case version https://releases.hashicorp.com/vagrant/2.2.4/vagrant_2.2.4_x86_64.rpm

Installing Vagrant

# yum -y install https://releases.hashicorp.com/vagrant/2.2.4/vagrant_2.2.4_x86_64.rpm 

=========================================================================================================
Package Arch Version Repository Size
Installing:
vagrant x86_64 1:2.2.4-1 /vagrant_2.2.4_x86_64 110 M
Transaction Summary
Install 1 Package
Total size: 110 M
Installed size: 110 M
Downloading packages:
Running transaction check
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded
Running transaction
Installing : 1:vagrant-2.2.4-1.x86_64 1/1
Verifying : 1:vagrant-2.2.4-1.x86_64 1/1
Installed:
vagrant.x86_64 1:2.2.4-1

Please note that when we install a package using the yum command like this, there will not be any updates automatically available. You need to manually download a never version when desired.

Now we have Vagrant installed but we have not chosen the type provider type we would like to use running our VMs. I prefer libvirt (KVM) as a provider for my VMs based on stability. Installing KVM as provider.

# yum -y install libvirt libvirt-devel qemu-kvm virt-install virt-manager virt-top libguestfs-tools bridge-utils

The virt-manager package will give us a GUI to our VMs and gives us console access if needed.

Start the libvirt daemon and enable default KVM virtualization during startup.

# systemctl start libvirtd && systemctl enable libvirtd

As a convenience I usually install the Development Tools package as well

# yum -y group install "Development Tools"

It is now time to choose the Vagrant provider and start using Vagrant. We are using the vagrant-libvirt provider. Make sure to run the following command as the user you are going to use with vagrant. I am using a regular user to install the plugin.

$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt
Installing the 'vagrant-libvirt' plugin. This can take a few minutes…
Fetching: excon-0.62.0.gem (100%)
Fetching: formatador-0.2.5.gem (100%)
Fetching: fog-core-1.43.0.gem (100%)
Fetching: fog-json-1.2.0.gem (100%)
Fetching: mini_portile2-2.4.0.gem (100%)
Fetching: nokogiri-1.10.1.gem (100%)
Building native extensions. This could take a while…
Fetching: fog-xml-0.1.3.gem (100%)
Fetching: ruby-libvirt-0.7.1.gem (100%)
Building native extensions. This could take a while…
Fetching: fog-libvirt-0.6.0.gem (100%)
Fetching: vagrant-libvirt-0.0.45.gem (100%)
Installed the plugin 'vagrant-libvirt (0.0.45)'!

It is now time to download an OS-image and create a VM using Vagrant. You can search for boxes to add on URL https://app.vagrantup.com/boxes/search

It is now time to create an environment for our VMs to be configured.

$ mkdir vagrant-example
$ cd vagrant-example

We are now ready to start using Vagrant and it is time to get the OS of our choice. You can search for the available boxes in https://app.vagrantup.com/boxes/search

I will download Ubuntu 18.04 (generic unmodified image) and CentOS 7 box images by issuing the following commands

$ vagrant box add generic/ubuntu1804 
==> box: Loading metadata for box 'generic/ubuntu1804'
box: URL: https://vagrantcloud.com/generic/ubuntu1804
This box can work with multiple providers! The providers that it
can work with are listed below. Please review the list and choose
the provider you will be working with.
1) hyperv
2) libvirt
3) parallels
4) virtualbox
5) vmware_desktop
Enter your choice: 2

Choose option 2) libvirt as provider since that is what I installed earlier in this post.

==> box: Adding box 'generic/ubuntu1804' (v1.9.6) for provider: libvirt
box: Downloading: https://vagrantcloud.com/generic/boxes/ubuntu1804/versions/1.9.6/providers/libvirt.box
box: Download redirected to host: vagrantcloud-files-production.s3.amazonaws.com
==> box: Successfully added box 'generic/ubuntu1804' (v1.9.6) for 'libvirt'!

Next we add a CentOS 7 box image

$ vagrant box add centos/7

==> box: Loading metadata for box 'centos/7'
box: URL: https://vagrantcloud.com/centos/7
This box can work with multiple providers! The providers that it
can work with are listed below. Please review the list and choose
the provider you will be working with.
1) hyperv
2) libvirt
3) virtualbox
4) vmware_desktop

Choose option 2) libvirt

==> box: Adding box 'centos/7' (v1902.01) for provider: libvirt
box: Downloading: https://vagrantcloud.com/centos/boxes/7/versions/1902.01/providers/libvirt.box
box: Download redirected to host: cloud.centos.org
==> box: Successfully added box 'centos/7' (v1902.01) for 'libvirt'!

If you are behind a proxy, tell Vagrant to use it. If not, ignore the next line.

$ export https_proxy=proxy.example.com:8080

To create a Vagrant file and get starting with the Centos 7 image we just added

$ vagrant init centos/7
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
https://vagrantup.com for more information on using Vagrant.

The content of the Vagrantfile

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
config.vm.box = "centos/7"
end

It is now time to start our first virtual machine using Vagrant, but first we list the available boxes.

To start up our CentOS 7 box we run the following command

$ vagrant up

Bringing machine 'default' up with 'libvirt' provider…
==> default: Checking if box 'centos/7' version '1902.01' is up to date…
==> default: Uploading base box image as volume into libvirt storage…
==> default: Creating image (snapshot of base box volume).
==> default: Creating domain with the following settings…
==> default: -- Name: vagrant-example_default
==> default: -- Domain type: kvm
==> default: -- Cpus: 1
==> default: -- Feature: acpi
==> default: -- Feature: apic
==> default: -- Feature: pae
==> default: -- Memory: 512M
==> default: -- Management MAC:
==> default: -- Loader:
==> default: -- Nvram:
==> default: -- Base box: centos/7
==> default: -- Storage pool: default
==> default: -- Image: /var/lib/libvirt/images/vagrant-example_default.img (41G)
==> default: -- Volume Cache: default
==> default: -- Kernel:
==> default: -- Initrd:
==> default: -- Graphics Type: vnc
==> default: -- Graphics Port: -1
==> default: -- Graphics IP: 127.0.0.1
==> default: -- Graphics Password: Not defined
==> default: -- Video Type: cirrus
==> default: -- Video VRAM: 9216
==> default: -- Sound Type:
==> default: -- Keymap: en-us
==> default: -- TPM Path:
==> default: -- INPUT: type=mouse, bus=ps2
==> default: Creating shared folders metadata…
==> default: Starting domain.
==> default: Waiting for domain to get an IP address…
==> default: Waiting for SSH to become available…
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 it's present…
default: Key inserted! Disconnecting and reconnecting using new SSH key…
==> default: Configuring and enabling network interfaces…
default: SSH address: 192.168.121.32:22
default: SSH username: vagrant
default: SSH auth method: private key
==> default: Rsyncing folder: /home/hanshj/vagrant-example/ => /vagrant

You have to type your password to complete this command.

We have now created a new VM using Vagrant and ut is available to our disposal. The access it we can run the command

$ vagrant ssh
[vagrant@localhost ~]$

We are now presented with the Vagrant box prompt logged in as the user vagrant. Default for all Vagrant boxes is username vagrant and password vagrant.

To exit the SSH session to the Vagrant box just press Ctrl+D or just logout as you normally do.

To list the available boxes that we have downloaded

$ vagrant box list
centos/7 (libvirt, 1902.01)
generic/ubuntu1804 (libvirt, 1.9.6

To get a list of all VMs running on libvirt run the following command

$ sudo virsh list --all
----------------------------------------------------------------
1 vagrant-example_default running

The Vagrantfile can be modified to add extra disks, nics, memory, several VMs. There are many options available but here are some of the basics I usually add.

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
config.vm.box = "centos/7"
config.vm.hostname = "centos7-01.acme"
config.vm.define "centos7.acme"
end

When you have done some tests on your VM and you would like to start all over with a fresh VM, just destroy it and start all over.

$ vagrant destroy
default: Are you sure you want to destroy the 'default' VM? [y/N] y
==> default: Removing domain…

To start the VM again, fresh and ready just issue the command

$ vagrant up

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