PyCharm 2016.2 Help

Using the Advanced Vagrant Features in PyCharm

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What this tutorial is about

This tutorial describes how to use the advanced features of Vagrant integration in PyCharm.

The details of using Vagrant and Oracle VirtualBox are out of scope of this tutorial. Refer to the respective documentation for more information.


Pay attention to prerequisites mentioned in the Vagrant: Working with Reproducible Development Environments page. Also make sure that a Vagrant box is created and initialized.

It is highly recommended to read the PyCharm documentation.

Using the built-in SSH terminal to connect to a Vagrant machine

PyCharm features a built-in SSH terminal which can be used to connect to a remote machine.

Starting connection

To connect to a Vagrant machine, choose Tools | Start SSH session... on the main menu. This opens a list of hosts we can connect to.

The configured Vagrant machine is added to this list automatically. Clicking it opens connection to the SSH endpoint exposed by this Vagrant machine. The Edit credentials... menu item allows entering connection information manually. However, we'll confine here to using the virtual box.


Working with SSH

So, after choosing Vagrant, PyCharm connects to the Vagrant machine using SSH server and shows a terminal to work with:


In the SSH terminal you can do the following:

  • Scroll through the history of commands using up and down arrow keys
  • Perform clipboard operations

Working with shared folders

Vagrant allows sharing folders between the host machine and the Vagrant machine. You can use these folders, for example, to automatically map web root contents from the current PyCharm project to the Apache virtual host directory on the Vagrant machine.

Adding a path mapping

Open Vagrantfile for editing (F4, and add a configuration entry for path mapping:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config| config.vm.synced_folder "src/", "/srv/website" end

Reloading Vagrant

Reload Vagrantfile by choosing Tools | Vagrant | Reload on the main menu:


The results of command execution show up in the Run tool window:


Once the Vagrant machine is reloaded, a new path mapping becomes available. For example, when connecting to the Vagrant machine using the built-in SSH terminal, we see the contents of the /vagrant folder that maps to the PyCharm local project folder. Be careful: deleting files from this folder will delete files on both ends!


Specifying Vagrant instance folder

By default, the Vagrantfile and all other Vagrant specifics (like Puppet manifests) are placed in the root of a PyCharm project. Since this is not always desirable, the instance folder where PyCharm should look for Vagrantfile can be configured through the Vagrant page of the settings/preferences:


Managing Vagrant plugins through settings

In the Vagrant page of the settings/preferences, you can also manage Vagrant plugins. In the tab Plugins, use the toolbar buttons to install, uninstall and update plugins.


You can also install licenses, for example, for the VMWare Fusion Provider which allows running Vagrant machines on VMWare.

Providers support

Vagrant works with Oracle VirtualBox as the virtualization platform by default. However, you can change the virtualization platform using providers, so the virtual machines can be run by a system other than VirtualBox, for example, VMWare or Amazon EC2. Find available providers at the Vagrant plugins list.

For each command, you should pass the provider to be used to Vagrant. To simplify this process and have PyCharm automatically add the provider name to every Vagrant command, specify the provider in the Vagrant page of the settings/preferences. All providers installed on your machine, are available from the settings. Once selected, a provider will be used to execute all Vagrant commands in PyCharm:


(Re-)provisioning a Vagrant machine

A Vagrantfile can contain a series of provisioners which can launch installation and configuration routines once a virtual machine is running.

The Tools | Vagrant | Provision main menu command invokes the configured provisioners on an already running Vagrant machine, without having to first destroy the virtual machine.

Refer to the provisioning documentation for details.

Working with Environment variables

Environment variables in Vagrantfile are useful for:

  • the Puppet node
  • Puppet environment
  • custom facts
  • AWS keys
  • ...

In the Vagrant page of the Settings/Preferences dialog box, specify project-specific environment variables to be passed to Vagrantfile:


Once set, these environment variables are referred to in a Vagrantfile, using the syntax #{ENV['name_of_variable']}:


See Also

Last modified: 23 November 2016