Creating your own PHP dev-env in Vagrant: Part 2

June 3, 2016

Table of Contents

Part 1

Part 3

Bonus 1

Bonus 2

Full Code Base on GitHub


In the last post we installed vagrant and enabled the vagrant settings we need in the vagrantfile. We have set a base image of ubuntu 14.04, made a synced folder and enabled a private network connection between host and guest system. Now it’s time to write our first shell scripts, which will configure our guest system to serve as a web server.

Vagrant comes with a neat feature called provisioning. This can be shell scripts, which will be executed or files, which will be uploaded onto the guest system. Of course there are more provisioners to explore. For a full reference head over here. In this tutorial we will focus on these two provisioners. Before we setup our apache webserver, let’s start with a simple script, which should run before. This script will update the ubuntu system and should be a great intro into provisioning. First we create a new directory inside of our vagrant directory, called sh. This directory will contain all of our shell scripts, which we will write during this tutorial. Everything could be in a single shell script, but I like to split the shell scripts into specific categories. The first will be called and contains the the following content:

The first line will be in every script we write. It’s a dynamic binding to tell the operating system where to find the program, which should execute this script. Afterwards we update the system by executing apt-get update. As you can see, we don’t need to issue sudo rights. Everything inside these shell scripts will be run in su mode automagically. Now we need to get vagrant to provision this file. Thats why we add the following line after the definition of our base system.

This statement is pretty straight forward. We tell vagrant that we want to provision something, which is of the type shell and the path to the shell script is sh/ If we would start our system now, it would do a system update at the beginning. Now that we are working on the latest state of the system, we can start adding new software. It’s time to create the apache webserver. We add a new filed called to the sh directory, which we created earlier.

We start off in the same way, by downloading the software via apt-get:

Followed by this:

Here we delete any symlinks on the /var/www/html location, if they exist and create a new one afterwards. The symlink will be between our projects directory and the apache web server. So everything which changes in one place, will automatically change in the other location as well. It’s like the synced folders, but it’s an inter system feature of linux.

The next part is optional. I copied the whole apache.conf out of it’s base installation and keep it on my host system to change some things. On system startup I copy it back onto the guest and replace the base config with it.

This is a check, if a file is in the vagrant/tmp directory, called apache2.conf. If there is one, it will be moved over to the position of the original file. Otherwise an error is printed to the error channel of the console. But how do we get the file to the tmp directory? Remember that shell provision isn’t the only thing? Because now file provisioning comes into play.

We add this line under the shell provision. This copies the file from the conf directory to the tmp directory of the guest system. Why we need to do this extras step, you may ask? Why not copy it directly to the original location? Well, it’s pretty simple: In the provision context you don’t have any root rights. But later in the shell script you do. That’s why we provide a place for our files, where the shell scripts have access to later.

The next thing I do, is changing the rights on the webspace and the log directory, to be able to create and read files without any problems.

The last thing I do is activating mod rewrite, which allows web applications to rewrite the routing of requests. Many frameworks rely heavily on this feature.

And this is our full script:

In the next part we will reach forward to install php and mysql. You already learned the main functionalities, which we need to get our dev-env running. From now on it gets far more repetitive, but some small challenges are still waiting on our way.

Go to Part 3