When I first started trying to learn Ruby on Rails, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of steps, apt-gets, and other hoops and obstacles I had to tackle prior to getting my first “rails server” command to successfully fire up localhost:3000 with my rails application. I remember thinking to myself, if this is how hard it is to set up a workstation to run rails, then I’m not too sure it’s going to be all that pleasant to work with.
In particular, I realized that in a team setting, having to configure multiple workstations for each developer would be less than awesome. Yuck!
Enter VirtualBox and Vagrant. VirtualBox is a free Oracle product that allows developers to add virtual machine instances to their local operating system install. Vagrant is essentially a way to download an instance of an operating system, such as Precise32, and fire up a VirtualBox virtual machine on the fly in accordance to a specified config file.