Testing the Playbook with Vagrant

Instead of testing your playbook by applying it on your target deployment machine, you can test your playbook locally using Vagrant.

Vagrant includes an Ansible provisioner and will run the playbook when you first run vagrant up and again when you run vagrant provision.

While Vagrant knows about Ansible, and the playbook specification is in your VagrantFile, you still must have Ansible itself available.

If you’ve installed Ansible globally, no other steps are necessary. If you wish to use a virtual environment to contain your Ansible installation, it’s a little more work to get going:

cd ansible.playbook
virtualenv ./
bin/pip install ansible
vagrant up

If you wish to run ansible-playbook directly with the command:

bin/ansible-playbook -i vbox_host.cfg playbook.yml

vbox_host.cfg is automatically generated when vagrant provisions the host server.

Common errors

ssh stores host keys and checks them every time you try to reconnect to the same address. Since your Vagrant installs are always at the same host and port (, you will receive SSH Error: Host key verification failed while connecting to error messages each time you install and connect with a new virtual box.

To resolve these errors, use the command:

ssh-keygen -f "~/.ssh/known_hosts" -R []:2222

to remove the old host key, then try again.

This should not happen if you’re using the generated vbox_host.cfg, as it turns off Ansible’s host key checking.

Using the Vagrant

To use your Vagrant, you must use SSH.

Vagrant maps host ports into the guest VirtualBox OS.

The standard mapping takes host port 2222 to the guest’s SSH port, 22.

To SSH to your Vagrant:

vagrant ssh

Port Mapping

Vagrant maps host ports into the guest VirtualBox OS. The standard mapping takes host port 2222 to the guest’s SSH port, 22.

The Vagrantfile included with this kit maps several more ports. The general rule is to map each guest port to a host port 1000 higher:

config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 80, host: 1080
config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 1080, host: 2080
config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 4949, host: 5949
config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 6081, host: 7081
config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 8080, host: 9080

You can find these forwarded port settings by opening VirtualBox, selecting your Vagrant (will be called something like ansible-playbook), right-clicking, choosing Settings, clicking Network, expanding the Advanced widget, and clicking the button Port Forwarding.

Here is what the forwarded ports are used for and where they are defined:

  • 80, 443: nginx (roles/nginx/templates/host.j2)

  • 1080: haproxy (roles/haproxy/defaults/main.yml)

  • 4949: munin_node (roles/munin-node/defaults/main.yml)

  • 6081: varnish (roles/varnish/defaults/main.yml)

  • 8100: zeo_port (roles/plone.plone_server/defaults/main.yml)

  • 8081: client_base_port (roles/plone.plone_server/defaults/main.yml)

Note that when you use host port 1080 to connect to guest port 80, the virtual hosting will not work correctly. You’ll get the homepage, but links – including those to stylesheets and JavaScript resources, will be wrong. So, you can’t really test virtual host rewriting via Vagrant.