Quick Start Guide

This document will show you how to get up and running with this multi node Vagrant environment. If you are not familiar with Vagrant, then you should read the Vagrant Documentation too.


This setup was tested under Windows 10 with the following components:

and under Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) with:



This document does not explain how to install these components. You have to do it yourself by reading the installation guides of these components.

Get the Vagrant Environment

For the next steps open a bash (under Windows a cygwin bash) on the virtual host system.

Download Vagrant box configuration

git clone https://gitlab.com/cogline_vagrant/ansible-development.git
cd ansible-development

Get Ansible roles for provisioning

Now install Ansible roles defined under provisioning/requirements.yml:

ansible-galaxy install -r provisioning/requirements.yml -p provisioning/roles

Install vagrant plugins

Before using this Vagrant environment, you still need to install the following plugins.

vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbguest
vagrant plugin install vagrant-hostmanager

If you use Vagrant with libvirt under Linux, you also need to install the following plugins

vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt
vagrant plugin install vagrant-mutate
and the NFS kernel server:
# on Debian/Ubuntu systems
sudo apt install -y nfs-kernel-server
# on Enterprise Linux (CentOS/RedHat)
sudo yum -y install nfs-utils

Define Ansible Client(s)

Your Ansible development environment requires at least one virtual machine (Vagrant box) with a supported operating system. Open the file boxes.yml and enter your Ansible clients here, e.g.:


- image: generic/centos8
  start: true
  hostname: el8-node
  vbox_name: 'EL8 - Node'
  nodes: 3
- image: generic/debian10
  start: true
  hostname: debian-buster-node
  vbox_name: 'Debian (Buster) - Node'
  nodes: 1

This will start three nodes with CentOS 8 and one node with Debian Buster. See section "Define Vagrant Boxes" for more details on configuring the boxes.yml file.

Initial Provisioning

The next step will start all Ansible Clients and the Ansible management node. While starting the first time Vagrant will be run any configured provisioners against the running managed machines.

This will take a few minutes

The first time this step takes a while. All required Vagrant Boxes will be downloaded from the Vagrant Cloud. Depending on the speed of your internet connection, this will take a few minutes. Subsequently, the individual systems are started and provisioned in sequence. Then the environment is ready for the development and testing of new Ansible playbooks and roles.

Provisioning with provider VirtualBox

The Vagrant environment can be started with the provider VirtualBox as follows.

vagrant up

Provisioning with provider libvirt

If you want to use vagrant with libvirt instead of VirtualBox, use

VAGRANT_DEFAULT_PROVIDER=libvirt vagrant up --no-parallel

libvirt: Switch off the parallel installation the first time

The provider libvirt usually performs the installation of virtual machines in parallel. It happens that Ansible Provisioner is running on the master node before all Ansible clients are up and running. Therefore, the Ansible Provisioner sometimes can not reach all clients through SSH from the master node, and Ansible fails for the affected clients. That's why when starting the environment for the first time, the parallel installation should be suppressed using the vagrant option --no-parallel.

If you have not turned off the parallel installation and the Ansible provisioner fails, then the provisioning on the master node can be re-executed with the following command after all clients are up and running.

VAGRANT_DEFAULT_PROVIDER=libvirt vagrant provision master