Monday, April 10, 2017

Oracle Linux - use Vagrant to run Oracle Linux 6 and 7

Vagrant is an open-source software product build by HashiCorp for building and maintaining portable virtual development environments. The core idea behind its creation lies in the fact that the environment maintenance becomes increasingly difficult in a large project with multiple technical stacks. Vagrant manages all the necessary configurations for the developers in order to avoid the unnecessary maintenance and setup time, and increases development productivity. Vagrant is written in the Ruby language, but its ecosystem supports development in almost all major languages.

As part of the Vagrant ecosystem people can create Vagrant boxes and share them with others. We already have seen companies package solutions in virtual images to be used to provide customers with showcases of a working end-to-end solution. Even though this is a great way of sharing standard images of an operating systems including packaged products vagrant is more ented to provide custom images, boxes, to be used by developers for example.

Oracle Linux is already available within the vagrant boxes shared by the community. You can search for boxes in Atlas from Hashicorp build upon Oracle Linux in combination with Oracle Virtualbox. Even though that is great news, it has now improved with Oracle also providing official vagrant boxes from the Oracle website.

At this moment you can download official Oracle Linux boxes from for Oracle Linux 7.3, 6.8 and 6.9.

As an example of how to get started the below commands show the process to get a running Oracle Linux 6.8 box on a macbook with vagrant already installed.

Step 1 Download the box and add it to vagrant
vagrant box add --name ol6

Step 2 Initialize the box (in a directory where you want it)
vagrant init ol6

Step 3 start the vagrant box (virtualbox)
vagrant up

Step 4 Login to the virtual machine.
vagrant ssh

For those who like to see a short screencast, you can watch the below screencast of the process.

We have not shown the process of installing vagrant itself, you can find the instructions of how to install Vagrant on your local machine on the vagrant website. Having vagrant on your local machine will help you to speed up the rapid prototyping of new ideas without the need to install and re-install a virtual machine every time.

Having your own private vagrant boxes within an enterprise and provide them to your developers to enable them to work with virtual machines that match the machines you will deploy in your datacenter will speed up the process for developers and removes the time needed to install and re-install virtual machine. Making sure developers can focus on what they want to focus on, developing solutions and coding.

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