Systems Development Life Cycle Implementation & Testing Stage

How To Install VirtualBox, Vagrant and Ubuntu for Local Development

This post is part 5 of 11 in the series: Simple Guide To Planning & Developing A Website Project

Local Development Environment Setup, Part 1

The Implementation & Testing Stage is where all the coding happens. It is also important to note that if we really wanted to simplify development, we could just go with a setup like XAMPP for our local development environment and for production, a shared hosting provider like (disclosure: I own a stake in this company) for one-click WordPress installations. Although the method we choose to use now may be unnecessary for a blogging type of site, this method will provide an introduction to programming steps that will be used as a basis for future web application development that requires root level access to your server that shared hosting can’t provide.

1. Download the necessary tools (all are FREE & open source)

1.1 Download and install VirtualBox here VirtualBox allows you to run multiple operating systems (inside multiple virtual machines) at the same time.

1.2 Download and install Vagrant for your operating system here Vagrant is the command line utility for managing the lifecycle of virtual machines. For more information about Vagrant, click here
The installer will automatically add vagrant to your system path so that it is available in terminals.

1.3 Install Git Bash (Git) here Git is a version control system that is used for software development and other version control tasks.

1.4 (Optional, but recommended for use later) Download Putty here PuTTY is an SSH and telnet client. You can ssh into vagrant using as the Host Name/IP address, and 2222 as the Port.

1.5 (Optional, but recommended for use later) Download WinSCP (You may find this tool to be very useful later) WinSCP is an open source free SFTP client, FTP client, WebDAV client and SCP client for Windows. Its main function is file transfer between a local and a remote computer. Beyond this, WinSCP offers scripting and basic file manager functionality.

Once you have these installed, we will be using Git Bash (Git) as our command line interface (CLI).

2. Setup the project with Vagrant

We will be using Ubuntu 14.04 as our local operating system (OS) because at the time of this tutorial there seems to be too many issues setting up Ubuntu 16.04 with Vagrant. Regardless, our local Ubuntu 14.04 environment creates no issues with the Ubuntu 16.04 OS that we will use for our production environment.

2.1 Start Git Bash.

2.2 Using Git, replace project with any name you wish:

$ mkdir project
$ cd project
$ vagrant init ubuntu/trusty64

2.3 In text editor – ‘Vagrantfile' located within the ‘project' folder, uncomment (by deleting the ‘#') and change “forwarded_port”, guest: 80, host: 8080 to: "forwarded_port", guest: 80, host: 80

This will allow you to later access your local server at

Or you can use the below settings which means that you will access your local server at

Change "forwarded_port", guest: 80, host: 8080

2.4 By using synced folders, Vagrant will automatically sync your files to and from the guest machine. Uncomment and change the line in ‘Vagrantfile' from:

# config.vm.synced_folder "../data", "/vagrant_data"


config.vm.synced_folder "sites", "/var/www/html"

where “sites” can be any name of a folder that you can now create inside your ‘project' folder. Now whatever folders/files you place inside “sites” will be processed by the Ubuntu/Vagrant local server.

2.5 From the Git command line, we start Vagrant:

$ vagrant up

2.6 Then, SSH into Ubuntu:

$ vagrant ssh
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo atp-get upgrade

If you are using Putty you can ssh into vagrant using as the Host Name/IP address, and 2222 as the Port. Once logged in, run the code above

login: vagrant
password: vagrant


In the next part of this series, we will walk through Part 2 of our local development environment setup where we install the LAMP stack.


Series Navigation<< Organization and The Need For Information ArchitectureHow to Install LAMP Stack on Ubuntu >>

Ken Favors is an engineering and technology professional with interests in investment research, history, music, arts and design. Ken has professional experience that spans from working within large and small organizations to entrepreneurial ventures and the founding of small business enterprises. Ken's roles have spanned sales, business development, operations, IT consultancy and trading in global financial markets, among others. Ken holds a BSc from the University of South Carolina as well as a MSc in Information Systems and Technology from City University of London. Ken currently lives in London.

All Comments:

  1. Jayson

    August 24, 2017

    Ken, can you provide a working way to use ubuntu 16.04 or 16.10 with vagrant?

    • There were problems with vagrant ubuntu 16.04 boxes in the past but it installs well now. In section 2.2 above, just replace with the line below to use the bento box. This is for ubuntu 16.04 (LTS):
      $ vagrant init bento/ubuntu-16.04

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