Vagrant: Create a multi-machine environment

Note: this is not a vagrant tutorial, its just a presentation of a Vagrantfile that could do your life easier!.

Vagrant is a tool that allows you very easy to create development environments and small labs. So i have create this script that covers the following needs:

  • This script is somehow like a template, with minimum modifications in a config section you can add /remove as many VMs you want
  • You can easily modify the resources of each VM.
  • It uses the vagrant-hostmanager plugin, this plugin modifies the /etc/hosts file of your computer and makes the VMs accessible from your computer with their hostnames.
  • When you do vagrant destroy it reverts any changes to /etc/hosts
  • it copies your public key to the VMs for passwordless SSH
# -*- mode: ruby -*-
# vi: set ft=ruby :
# Tested environment
# OS: ubuntu 20.04
# Vagrant: 2.2.6
# Hypervisor: virtualbox 6.1
# Box: centos/7
# Required plugin:
# vagrant-hostmanager (1.8.9, global
NETWORK = "192.168.50."
# VM machines configuration
# ip address of the vm is NETWORK plus the last part of the IP
"slave01" => [NETWORK+"10", 512, false, 'centos/7'],
"slave02" => [NETWORK+"11", 512, false, 'centos/7'],
# A trick to read your SSH public key
# Then the public key is appended to /home/vagrant/.ssh/authorized_keys of the VM
ssh_pub_key = File.readlines("#{Dir.home}/.ssh/").first.strip
Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
# Those are options for the hostmanager plugin
# hostmanager add records to /etc/hosts to enable
# guests to guests and host to guests communication with hostnames
# To enable the plugin
config.hostmanager.enabled = true
# To enable add records to host /etc/hosts
config.hostmanager.manage_host = true
# To enable add records to guest /etc/hosts
config.hostmanager.manage_guest = true
# Not use private ip addresses for the hosts file, set to false
config.hostmanager.ignore_private_ip = false
config.hostmanager.include_offline = true
HOSTS.each do |(name, cfg)|
ipaddr, ram, gui, box = cfg
if ARGV[0] != 'destroy'
config.vm.provision 'shell', inline: "echo #{ssh_pub_key} >> /home/vagrant/.ssh/authorized_keys", privileged: false
config.vm.define name do |machine| = box
machine.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |vbox|
vbox.gui = gui
vbox.memory = ram = name
machine.vm.hostname = name
# Deleting entries from known_hosts on 'destroy'
if ARGV[0] == 'destroy'
puts("Deleting entries from known_hosts")
system("ssh-keygen -f #{Dir.home}/.ssh/known_hosts -R '#{name}'")
system("ssh-keygen -R #{ipaddr}")
end 'private_network', ip: ipaddr, netmask: NETMASK

Place the script in a proper directory

$ mkdir -p ~/vagrant/test
$ cp Vagrantfile ~/vagrant/test

Install the vagrant-hostmanager plugin

$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-hostmanager

Edit the Vagrantfile to match your needs

$ vim ~/vagrant/test/Vagrantfile

Start vagrant

$ cd ~/vagrant/test
$ vagrant up

If everything gone well the VMs will boot, and you will be capable to SSH your VMs from the host using their hostnames passwordless.

Written by

DevOps engineer, loves Linux, Python, cats and Amiga computers

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