November 12, 2013

Set the default Vagrant provider from your Vagrantfile

There are times that you might need / want to use a specific provider for your Vagrant boxes that differs from VirtualBox or whatever provider you have set on your VAGRANT_DEFAULT_PROVIDER environmental variable.

For experienced Ruby users this might seem something trivial to do but since Vagrant’s community is made of people from many different programming languages background, I thought it would be nice to share this little trick I find useful when I need to make sure the VMs goes up with the right provider.

I personally have my VAGRANT_DEFAULT_PROVIDER set to lxc by default but there are times that I really don’t want to use Vagrant with lxc. For instance, when someone opens up a bug report on GitHub what I usually do in case I’m not able to reproduce on my laptop is to bring up one of the Vagrant VirtualBox VMs available at vagrant-lxc-vbox-hosts from scratch and run vagrant-lxc from there as an attempt to reproduce the issue on a clean and shared working environment that can be booted on any VirtualBox / Vagrant supported OS (this helps a lot if you are not sitting next to the user that reported the bug ;)

Because I have forgotten to pass in --provider=virtualbox way too many times and because other users might have VAGRANT_DEFAULT_PROVIDER set to something else (like digitalocean or aws) I ended up adding the line below to the project’s Vagrantfile:


With that in place I can guarantee that anyone that tries to bring one of those VMs up (myself included) will end up using VirtualBox unless explicitly specified.

UPDATE: This is wrong!

Vagrant 1.7+ has a smart mechanism to handle default providers, please see the Default Provider section of the documentation at: for more

© Fabio Rehm 2013-2022

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