Setting Vagrant with Yii PHP


As everyone is talking about start using Vagrant, I’m writing this post about how you can use it for Yii and customize it for other projects written in PHP.

I’m not going to tell you why are we using Vagrant, bit far point less, if some of you is interested why we need it than please look at their offical site,
Here we just want a standard development environment every team developer can use and work with it.

Have a look at what we are going to do today! it will just take few minutes 🙂

1. Installing Vagrant
2. Installing VirtualBox
3. Setting up Vagrant with my favorite box
4. Provisioning with Vagrant
5. Setting up Apache, PHP 5.X, Mysql 5.X and othe things

last but not least we need a working copy of yii framework, where you are developing your app!

1. Installing Vagrant
I’m using Ubuntu 12, I’m not going to run through how to do this in every operating system because it is out of the scope of this tutorial.
So the first thing to do is to head over to the downloads page of Vagrant and install the version fits for your operating system.
Once fully installed, the command vagrant is now available to use in your favorite terminal.

2. Installing VirtualBox
Another requirement to use Vagrant is that you have a Virtual Machine provider. This is basically just software that runs the virtual machine. I’m going to be using VirtualBox because it’s free and easy to set up. After installation you don’t need to check as much. Lets proceed!

3. Setting up Vagrant with my favorite box
Now the fun part has arrived! Vagrant is basically just a configuration file (Vagrantfile) that tells the VirtualMachine what to set up and in the end what to run. The Vagrantfile should be kept in the root of your project and should be added to Git so that anyone else who is working on the project can use the same configuration file.
Lets open our favorite terminal and move to the working directory where your project is setup.

cd /var/www/project/stowitt/front-panel/

now do:

vagrant init

Now if you open your project in a text editor, you will see the new Vagrantfile into your project.

Next thing is your need is box. When you are setting up a Virtual Machine, you need the operating system and all of that junk before you even begin. Operating system is the Vagrant box here, Vagrant provides base images of those operating system.
To download an Ubuntu box, run the following command:

vagrant box add precise32

Once done add the following lines to your Vagrantfile: = "base" = "precise32"

Now it knows which box to use and your machine is just ready?? wanna try! run the command in terminal:

vagrant up

You should see a load of output to the terminal. Vagrant doesn’t actually have a user interface so you will see only the output of every command. Now to see what is going on you can do SSH, similar to your production environment.
While it’s up do:

vagrant ssh

You are not into the virtual machine! You can do anything you want but lets type “exit” and return for now.

After ended up working on machine, we can shut it down by using the following command:

vagrant destroy

Now lets do this back:

$ vagrant up
$ vagrant ssh
$ cd /vagrant
$ ls -l

You should see a list of all the files from your project. Vagrant will automatically sync all of the files from the root of the project. Pretty cool!

4. Provisioning with Vagrant

If you have ever set up a fresh installation of Ubuntu, you will know that you have to install a load of things before you are good to go. Now that you can SSH into your machine, you can happily go about installing whatever you want to set up the machine exactly how you want it.

To set up provisioning, all we have to do is to create a shell script that will automatically be loaded when we boot up Vagrant.

Create a new file called in the root of your project (the same location where you saved Vagrantfile).

Next we need to tell Vagrant to run this file when it starts up. Open your Vagrantfile and add the following line under where you set the box: = "precise32"
config.vm.provision :shell, :path => ""

Now that we have provisioning set up, we can start adding a list of instructions for what should be provisioned whenever Vagrant is set up.

5. Setting up Apache, PHP 5.X, Mysql 5.X and othe things

Now we are ready to install anything we want on our virtual development machine. To be specific about PHP and specially Yii we are going to install these items one by one.

Open up your file and add the following:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

Now lets update Ubuntu:

apt-get update

You need to add these lines in as we go!!!

Install Vim:

apt-get install -y vim

Set up Apache:

apt-get install -y apache2
# Remove /var/www default
rm -rf /var/www
# Symlink /vagrant to /var/www
ln -fs /vagrant /var/www
# Add ServerName to httpd.conf
echo "ServerName localhost" > /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
# Setup hosts file
VHOST=$(cat <<EOF
<VirtualHost *:80>
  DocumentRoot "/vagrant/public"
  ServerName localhost
  <Directory "/vagrant/public">
    AllowOverride All
echo "${VHOST}" > /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default
# Enable mod_rewrite
a2enmod rewrite
# Restart apache
service apache2 restart

Install PHP 5.X:

apt-get install -y libapache2-mod-php5
apt-get install -y python-software-properties
add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php5
apt-get update

Set up other PHP stuff:

# Need sudo to run the following, adding root password as "Crazy007Fox"
sudo passwd
apt-get install -y php5-cli
apt-get install -y php5-mysql
apt-get install -y php5-curl
apt-get install -y php5-mcrypt

Install cURL:

apt-get install -y curl

Install MySQL:

export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive
apt-get -q -y install mysql-server-5.5

Install Git:

apt-get install git-core

Set up Yii:

# setup database:
echo "CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS yii_app" | mysql
echo "CREATE USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY ''" | mysql
echo "GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON yii_app.* TO 'yii_app'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY ''" | mysql
# run migration
cd /var/www/
yiic migrate
# give write permission to some directories
sudo chmod -R 777 /var/www/assets/
sudo chmod -R 777 /var/www/protected/runtime/


Final Run

Now everything got setup, but hey! how do I run the project from virtual machine. Well Vagrant makes this really easy with it’s port forwarding feature. This simply allows you to specify ports on the guest machine to share via a port on the host machine.

Add the following line to your Vagrantfile: :forwarded_port, host: 8090, guest: 80

now start your machine with vagrant up
vagrant up

Once done, on your local machine try:

http://localhost:8090 in your browser to see your project.

Checkmate you are done with your virtual machine setup and your site is running 🙂


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