21 Nov 2014

How to create a simple vagrant plugin.

I have been searching all over the Internet to find how to create a vagrant plugin. Vagrant homepage has information on how to create a vagrant plugin, but I would like to give a real world example. The plugin I’m going to create is vagrant-ls which is inspired by vagrant-list.

How do you start

Vagrant that you installed already won’t work with local developing plugin. So, I recommend you to create a new gemset for your plugin. If you haven’t used RVM, I highly recommend you use it now. It’s awesome!.

Once you have RVM installed you can create a gemset using this command rvm gemset create vagrant-ls. Then rvm gemset use vagrant-ls (Just in case). I recommend you do this for each of your ruby project. It helps you separate your gems, and it won’t mess up with different versions of your gems. First thing that you have to install is Bundler gem install bundler. It’s because we will use Bundler to manage all of our dependencies. Then you can create Gemfile.

source "https://rubygems.org"

group :development do
  gem "vagrant", git: "https://github.com/mitchellh/vagrant.git"

group :plugins do
  gem "vagrant-ls", path: "."

This is the most basic you would need for your plugin development. If you wonder what is group :plugins . Vagrant plugin has already explained that. This will load your local plugin automatically without doing bundle exec vagrant install plugin vagrant-ls which will not quite work anyway.

Then you can create your gemspec file. I name it vagrant-ls.gemspec

require File.expand_path('../lib/vagrant-ls/version', __FILE__)

Gem::Specification.new do |s|
  s.name            = 'vagrant-ls'
  s.version         = Vagrant::Ls::VERSION
  s.date            = '2014-11-18'
  s.summary         = "List all vms"
  s.description     = "A simple vagrant plugin for listing all vms"
  s.authors         = ["Noppanit Charassinvichai"]
  s.email           = '[email protected]'
  s.files           = `git ls-files`.split($\)
  s.executables     = s.files.grep(%r{^bin/}).map{ |f| File.basename(f) }
  s.require_paths   = ['lib']
  s.homepage        = 'https://github.com/noppanit/vagrant-ls'
  s.license         = 'GNU'

Then you crate Rakefile

require 'rubygems'
require 'bundler/setup'

Then you move on to create your plugin using this pattern.

# lib/vagrant-ls.rb
require 'bundler'

  require 'vagrant'
rescue LoadError
  Bundler.require(:default, :development)

require 'vagrant-ls/plugin'
require 'vagrant-ls/command'

I almost forget you need to create VERSION file for gemspec to get your version number

# lib/vagrant-ls/version.rb
module Vagrant
    module Ls
        VERSION = '0.0.1'

Then you create your plugin class, this will be the place where vagrant finds information about your plugin.

# lib/vagrant-ls/plugin.rb
module Vagrant

    module Ls

        class Plugin < Vagrant.plugin('2')
          name "List"

          description <<-DESC
          This plugin 'ls' all of the vms running inside the machine

          command 'ls' do
            require_relative 'command'


This is where you will name your command.

command 'ls' do

Last one, this is where vagrant will know how to execute your plugin

# lib/vagrant-ls/command.rb
module Vagrant
    module Ls
        class Command < Vagrant.plugin('2', :command)
            def execute
                exec('VBoxManage list vms')


I just run VBoxManage command to list all of the vms. Once you are done, you are ready to test your plugin.

You can run this command

bundle exec vagrant ls

. If everything is correct, it should list all of your vms with the name of your vms, so you know where you are you running all those vms.

Publish your gem

Now, it’s time to spread the love of your gem. You need to build your gem first. Remember the Rakefile? You can just run rake build

It will pack your gem to .pkg folder. Then you can just run

gem push pkg/vagrant-ls-0.0.1.gem

. That’s it you have your gem published. If you look for documentation for publishing your gem.

You can find my repository here. The reason I create this post is that, the plugin might evolve but this blog stays and it will be a good starting point for other people.

Til next time,
noppanit at 00:00