HashiCorp Vagrant 1.8

HashiCorp Vagrant 1.8

Dec 21 2015 Mitchell Hashimoto

Today we announce the release of Vagrant 1.8. Vagrant is a tool for building and managing development environments.

Vagrant 1.8 introduces a number of major features and hundreds of improvements and bug fixes. The major features are outlined below and the full list of improvements can be found in the official CHANGELOG. Thanks to the hundreds of contributors that helped make this release bigger and better than it could've been with just us working on it.

You can download Vagrant 1.8 from the project website. There are no major backward incompatibilities so you should be able to drop-in the update and get working right away!

Read on to learn more about the major new features in Vagrant 1.8.

Linked Clones

Vagrant now uses linked clones to import boxes for VirtualBox and VMware. Linked cloning is a feature supported by many hypervisors that dramatically speeds up imports by only creating a differential disk versus copying the entire disk image of the virtual machine.

Linked cloning will happen automatically if your system supports it. Providers other than VirtualBox and VMware can be updated outside of Vagrant to support linked cloning automatically.

vagrant up times will be much faster and the amount of disk space used will be significantly reduced. As an anecdotal measure, a small Linux box on my machine went from a 10 second import to less than second. And a Windows box (typically very large) went from a 40 second import also to less than a second.

The catch with linked cloning is that the original box can't be removed until all environments using that box are destroyed. If you try to vagrant box remove a box that is in use, Vagrant will give you a warning. You can also force remove it, but this will corrupt any environments using that box.

Snapshots

A new command vagrant snapshot

$ vagrant ssh ...

$ vagrant snapshot pop ...

For more advanced users, you can also take multiple snapshots and name them. This lets you restore back to any arbitrary snapshot at any time:

$ vagrant snapshot restore pre-db ...

Snapshots are very easy to use and we believe will greatly improve workflows surrounding Vagrant.

Other Improvements and Smaller Features

In addition to the above two features, dozens of major improvements have been introduced in Vagrant 1.8. We outline some of these below but for the full list see the CHANGELOG.

  • New command: powershell - If your Vagrant environment is a Windows machine with WinRM enabled, the vagrant powershell command will drop you into a PowerShell prompt.

  • New command: port - This will display a list of forwarded ports to the guest machine. This is especially useful if Vagrant is auto-correcting ports in the case of collisions.

  • New provisioner: ansible_local - This executes Ansible on the guest machine rather than on the host machine.

  • Vagrant now automatically installs VirtualBox for a smoother getting started experience on Mac OS X and Windows.

  • Performance improvements all around that should result in Vagrant being slightly faster overall.

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