Setting up a Development System with Vagrant

Setting up a development system using Vagrant is by far the easiest way to start developing on openATTIC. However, we also provide instructions for setting up a classical development environment in Setting up a Development System.

Vagrant Installation

Our Vagrant setup uses either a VirtualBox or a KVM/libvirt VM as base image. You will need to install at least one of them.

For example, KVM/libvirt can be installed on Ubuntu by running:

sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm

Please follow the official documentation for installing Vagrant.

After installing Vagrant, install the vagrant-cachier plugin for caching packages that are downloaded while setting up the development environment:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-cachier

The vagrant-libvirt plugin is required when using KVM on Linux:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt

If you’re using VirtualBox on your host operating system, the vagrant-vbguest plugin enables guest support for some VirtualBox features like shared folders:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbguest


If you experience an error while trying to install vagrant-libvirt, you might need to install the libvirt-dev and gcc package.

Network preparation

In order to enable internet access for your Vagrant box you need to enable IP forwarding and NAT on your host system:

echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s \! -d -j MASQUERADE

Starting the Virtual Machine

The openATTIC source code repository contains a Vagrant configuration file that performs the necessary steps to get you started. Follow the instructions outlined in Create Your own openATTIC git Fork on BitBucket on how to create your own fork and local git repository.

Navigate to the vagrant subdirectory of your local git clone and run this command to start your VM:

vagrant up

or, in case you are using KVM/libvirt, you need to specify the libvirt provider:

vagrant up --provider libvirt

This command will perform all steps to provide a running VM for developing openATTIC. After the completion of vagrant up, ssh into the VM:

vagrant ssh

In your VM, start openATTIC by running these commands. Notice, your local repository is available in the virtual machine at ~/openattic:

. env/bin/activate
python openattic/backend/ runserver

Then, start your browser an open the URL as shown in the last lines of the log output of vagrant up.


If you experience an error while trying to run vagrant up --provider libvirt, you might need to restart libvirtd service.

Choosing a different Linux distribution

Per default, the VM is based on OpenSUSE, but developing openATTIC based on an other Vagrant box is also possible by setting the environment variable DISTRO. These distributions are available:

  • DISTRO=jessie (for Debian 8 “Jessie”)
  • DISTRO=trusty (for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “Trusty Thar”)
  • DISTRO=xenial (for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS “Xenial Xerus”)
  • DISTRO=malachite (for openSUSE 42.1 “Malachite”)

For example, to run a Xenial VM, run:

DISTRO=xenial vagrant up

or using KVM/libvirt:

DISTRO=xenial vagrant up --provider libvirt


On a Windows host system using Windows Powershell, the environment variable can be defined as follows:

vagrant up

Debugging openATTIC with PyCharm Professional

With a running Vagrant VM, you can now debug the openATTIC Python backend using PyCharm.

First, configure a Vagrant Remote Interpreter pointing to /home/vagrant/env/bin/python on your VM. Then, add /home/vagrant/openattic/backend to the Python interpreter paths. You will be asked to activate a few PyCharm extensions, like a Django support or the remote interpreter tools.

Finally, add the openATTIC Django Server as a Pycharm Django server in the Run Configurations using your configured remote interpreter and host

Debugging openATTIC with PyCharm Community

Please follow the instructions from the official documentation

Perform an openATTIC Base Configuration

It is not possible to execute oaconfig install in a Vagrant VM, you have to execute the following commands instead.

. env/bin/activate
cd openattic/backend
which systemctl && sudo systemctl reload dbus || sudo service dbus reload
sudo /home/vagrant/env/bin/python /home/vagrant/openattic/backend/ runsystemd &
python pre_install
python migrate
python loaddata */fixtures/initial_data.json
python createcachetable status_cache
python add-host
python makedefaultadmin
python post_install


openATTIC systemd

If the openATTIC systemd is not running on your VM, you can start it by executing:

sudo env/bin/python openattic/backend/ runsystemd

in your VM.

`vagrant destroy` fails due to a permission problem

To fix this error:

/home/<user>/.vagrant.d/gems/gems/fog-libvirt-0.0.3/lib/fog/libvirt/requests/compute/volume_action.rb:6:in `delete': Call to virStorageVolDelete failed: Cannot delete '/var/lib/libvirt/images/vagrant_default.img': Insufficient permissions (Libvirt::Error)

Run this command or change the owner of /var/lib/libvirt/images:

chmod 777 /var/lib/libvirt/images

`vagrant destroy` fails due to wrong provider

You may also encounter the error that Vagrant tells you to vagrant destroy, but it doesn’t seem to work. In that case you may be experiencing this issue.

A workaround for this is to specify your provider as default provider in the Vagrantfile like so:


`vagrant up` fails on “Waiting for domain to get an IP address...”

It looks like this problem has something to do with the libvirt library and specific mainboards. We haven’t found the cause of this problem, but using a different libvirt driver at least works around it.

Using qemu instead of kvm as driver does the trick. But kvm is and will be enabled by default, because qemu runs slower than kvm. You have to adapt the driver yourself in the Vagrantfile like so:

Vagrant.configure(2) do |config|
    config.vm.provider :libvirt do |lv|
        lv.driver = 'qemu'

If you want to know more about this problem or even want to contribute to it, visit our bug tracker on issue OP-1455.