Created: 2014-05-19 09:33
Updated: 2019-02-07 14:40

Vagrant files for Couchbase Server VMS

System for quickly and painlessly provisioning Couchbase Server virtual machines across multiple Couchbase versions and OS's.

Starting a Couchbase cluster

If vagrant and VirtualBox are installed, it is very easy to get started with a 4 node cluster.

See this blog post for more info:

Just change into the appropriate directory and call vagrant up. Everything else will be done for you, but you need internet access.

Additionally, you can specify the number of nodes to provision from the command line by using the environment variable VAGRANT_NODES. For example: VAGRANT_NODES=3 vagrant up will provision a 3 node cluster. If you do not specify a number a 4 node cluster will be created by default. VAGRANT_CPUS and VAGRANT_RAM are also available.

IP Addresses

Base where xxx and yyy are based on the Operating System and Couchbase Server versions, and n is the node number:

OS xxx
centos5 110
centos6 111
centos7 112
centos6u4 113
debian7 120
debian8 121
opensuse11 130
opensuse12 131
ubuntu10 140
ubuntu12 141
ubuntu14 142
windows 150
Couchbase yyy
1.8.1 51
2.0.1 56
2.1.1 61
2.2.0 65
2.5.0 70
2.5.1 71
2.5.2 72
3.0.0 80
3.0.1 81
3.0.2 82
3.0.3 83
3.1.0 90
3.1.1 91
4.0.0 100
4.1.0 110
4.1.1 111
4.5.0-DP1 150
4.5.0-testing 151
cbdev 200

Thus the first Ubuntu12 box running 3.0.3 will have the IP Address, and the second Centos6 box running version 4.0.0 will have


The hostname of the VM will be set based on the version of Couchbase Server and of the OS selected, e.g.:



If the user has the landrush plugin installed, the TLD will be set to .vagrants. This allows the hostname to be queried from both the host and the guests. For more details see the landrush README.

Per-box Caching

If the user has the vagrant-cachier plugin installed, a per-box cache (for e.g. APT, RPM), will be maintained in ~/.vagrant.d/cache/<BOX_NAME>/. For more details see the vagrant-cachier README.

Building Couchbase

The subdirectory cbdev_ubuntu_1204 contains a Vagrant configuration for building Couchbase from source; for Ubuntu 12.04. With this you should be able to build the master branch with the following:

outside on host:

cd cbdev_ubuntu_1204
vagrant up; vagrant ssh

inside vagrant VM:

mkdir couchbase; cd couchbase
repo init -u git:// -m branch-master.xml
repo sync
sudo make
cd ns_server; ./cluster_run --nodes=1

To build a specific release, change the branch-master.xml file to be one of the release files from the manifests repository. Look for filenames of the form rel-X.x.x.xml. e.g. to build 2.5.1 from source you would change the above repo init command to be:

repo init -u git:// -m rel-2.5.1.xml

See more information on building Couchbase from source.

Vagrant and KVM

Vagrant by default uses Virtualbox as the VM hypervisor. This is a good general-purpose solution, but is not as performant compared to KVM, particulary for SMP, network-heavy workloads.

Vagrant can instead be configured to use KVM as it backend, using the vagrant-libvirt plugin.

Note: KVM and Virtualbox VMs cannot both run at the same time - if you try to start a KVM VM when a Virtualbox VM is running, the KVM VM will not start (and vice versa).

This requires:

  1. A one-off configuration of the KVM plugin into Vagrant.
  2. For each VM: a. Ensuring the base-box is available for libvirt b. Any backend-specific settings (CPUs, memory) are also set for libvirt.

Installing vagrant-libvirt

Follow the installation instructions at the plugin's homepage

Updating a VM for use in KVM

Most of the Vagrant settings for a VM will work unchanged between Virtualbox and KVM, however there are two exceptions. Firstly a base box supporting libvirt is needed - the easiest method is to convert an existing (non-libvirt) basebox to libvirt format.

Convert a base-box to libvirt format.

The Vagrant-Mutate plugin is the simplest method, as it can directly convert an existing base-box to libvirt.

  1. Install vagrant-mutate with:

    $ vagrant plugin install vagrant-mutate
  2. Determine the box which needs converting. This is a one-off process for each box you wish to use. The easiest way to do this is to attempt to start the (non-libvirt) VM you wish to use, and note the name of the box in the Vagrant error message - for example:

    $ vagrant up --provider=libvirt node1
    The box you're attempting to add doesn't support the provider
    you requested. Please find an alternate box or use an alternate
    provider. Double-check your requested provider to verify you didn't
    simply misspell it.
    Name: centos-6.5-64
    Requested provider: [:libvirt]

    Make a note of the box name (centos-6.5-64 here).

  3. If you have not yet downloaded the box then the vagrant-mutate plugin will fail to find the box to convert. In this case you will want to manually download the box as covered in the boxes section of the vagrant documentation. For example:

    $ vagrant box add centos-6.5-64
  4. Use vagrant mutate to create a libvirt version of the box.

    $ vagrant mutate centos-6.5-64 libvirt

Update any provider-specific settings

If you have set hardware-level settings (memory, CPU count) in the Vagrantfile for virtualbox then these need an equivilent setting for libvirt. For example, the virtualbox settings:

config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |vb|
  vb.memory = 2048
  vb.cpus = 2

Will require an equivilent, additional stanza for libvirt adding to the Vagrantfile:

config.vm.provider :libvirt do |libvirt|
  libvirt.memory = 2048
  libvirt.cpus = 2

See the Domain Specific Options in the vagrant-libvirt documentation for a complete list of possible options.

Running with KVM

You should now be able to bring up the VM using libvirt (KVM):

$ vagrant up --provider=libvirt node1

Note that most (all?) normal vagrant commands should work as before (vagrant ssh, vagrant halt, etc), the only important different is to specify --provider=libvirt to the vagrant up command. Alternatively you can make this the default by setting


Repo Maintenance

To reduce code duplication and ease maintenance faffery this repo makes heavy use of vagrants ability to join multiple vagrant files together. As such you should only ever have to change the top level Vagrant file and puppet.pp.

Add a new Couchbase Version:

Clone any of the existing directories and add any required values to the ip_addresses and couchbase_download_links hashes in the top level Vagrant file.

Add a new OS

Clone any of the existing directories and add an entry in the vagrant_boxes hash in the top level Vagrant file. You may also have to adjust the startup routine in puppet.pp.

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