Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server (and Desktop) VirtualBox Vagrant

Download and install VirtualBox and Vagrant.

Native installers are available for OSX, Windows and Linux.

At the moment of the writing the versions were:

  • VirtualBox 4.3.20
  • Vagrant 1.6.3

Grap a copy of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS server iso image.

Ready-made Base Boxes

The boxes are available in HashiCorp Atlas:

Installing Vagrant compatible Ubuntu Server

VirtualBox settings

  • Base memory: 256MB
  • Hard drive: VDI, dynamically allocated, 100GB
  • Boot order: remove floppy
  • Audio: disable
  • USB controller: disable
  • Network: paravirtualized (?)

Ubuntu installation

  • In the beginning press F4 and select: Install a minimal virtual machine
  • username/password: vagrant/vagrant
  • Partition disks: use entire disk
  • No automatic updates
  • Software selection: OpenSSH server
  • Reboot at the end of the installation
  • Login with ssh and configure the system

Password-less sudo for vagrant user

$ cat /etc/sudoers.d/vagrant

Update packages

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y upgrade
sudo apt-get clean

Vagrant insecure keypair

mkdir -m 0700 ~/.ssh
wget --no-check-certificate \ \
  -O ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 0600 .ssh/authorized_keys

VirtualBox additions

sudo apt-get -y install dkms build-essential
sudo apt-get clean
# mount additions iso-image with VB GUI
sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom/
sudo sh /media/cdrom/

Compact disk

On guest:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/EMPTY bs=1M; sudo rm -f /EMPTY
sudo shutdown -P now

On host:

VBoxManage modifyhd /path/to/ubuntu-server-1404/ubuntu-server-1404.vdi --compact

Compacting is only supported by the VDI-file format. Size reduction was from 1555MB to 1074MB.

The workaround for non-VDI formats is to clone the disk after it has been zeroed out:

VBoxManage clonehd ec9c2a4a-cdae-4e86-b671-6a7e914e0359 box-disk2.vmdk

Hard disk uuid can be found with:

VBoxManage showhdinfo /path/to/box-disk2.vmdk

And then attach the cloned disk to virtual machine:

VBoxManage storageattach <VMNAME> \
                     --storagectl "SATA" \
                     --device 0 \
                     --port 0 \
                     --type hdd \
                     --medium box-disk2.vmdk

Package Vagrant box

vagrant package --base ubuntu-1404-server --output

Note the exported virtual disk image format will be VMDK.

Update Ubuntu Server

Update packages

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y upgrade
sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get clean
sudo reboot

Remove old kernels

# current kernel - don't remove
uname -r
# all installed kernels
dpkg --list | grep linux-image
# remove old kernels
sudo apt-get purge linux-image-x.x.x-x-generic
sudo reboot

Update VirtualBox additions

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom/
sudo sh /media/cdrom/
sudo reboot

Installing Vagrant compatible Ubuntu Desktop

Clone the previously create virtual machine with VirtualBox GUI. Make sure to tick Reinitialize the MAC addresses of all network cards.

clone type: full clone

VirtualBox settings

Base memory: 1024 MB

Update Packages

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y upgrade
sudo apt-get clean


You can select other desktops too. I prefer lubuntu.

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get clean
# reboot
sudo shutdown -r now

VirtualBox additions

# mount additions iso-image with VB GUI
sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom/
sudo sh /media/cdrom/

Set hostname

sudo vi /etc/hostname
sudo vi /etc/hosts
sudo hostname <HOSTNAME>

Compact disk

See above. Size reduction was from 3.8GB to 2.9GB.

Package Vagrant box

See above.

Vagrant configuration

Configure Vagrant to show the desktop before vagrant up:

config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |vb|
  vb.gui = true

Update Ubuntu Desktop

See Update Ubuntu Server.