Vagrant - NFS shared folders for Mac/Linux hosts, Samba shares for Windows

[Edit: I'm not using rsync shared folders (a new feature in 1.5+) instead of SMB/NFS - please see this post for more info: rsync in Vagrant 1.5 improves file performance and Windows usage].

[Edit 2: Some people have reported success using the vagrant-winnfsd plugin to use NFS in Windows.]

I've been using Vagrant to provision local development and testing VMs for a couple years, and on my Mac, NFS shared folders (which are supported natively by VirtualBox) work great; they're many, many times faster than native shared folders. To set up an NFS share in your Vagrantfile, just make sure the nfs-utils package is installed on the managed VM, and add the following:

<br />
    config.vm.synced_folder "~/Sites/shared", "/shared",<br />
      :nfs =&gt; !is_windows,<br />
      id: "shared"<br />

VirtualBox, Vagrant, and Ansible: local development environment prowess

I recently gave a presentation titled Local Development Environments - Vagrant, VirtualBox, and Ansible. The presentation explains the importance and efficacy of using (and how to use) local Virtual Machines under VirtualBox, managed with Vagrant, and provisioned with Ansible, especially in comparison to using more traditional tools like WAMP, MAMP, or other prepackaged server solutions.

Local Development Environments

By the end of the presentation, you'll hopefully see how easy—and powerful—it is to create virtual machines for local web and application development.

Running Vagrant + VirtualBox from an External Drive

I have a MacBook Air with a 128 GB SSD, so I'm always in a bit of a crunch for space on my hard drive. Developing with local VMs provisioned by Vagrant and VirtualBox makes my Drupal (and other) development experience great, but it also quickly fills up the (tiny amount of) remaining space on my SSD!

Here's how you can move your Vagrant files and VirtualBox VMs out of your home folder onto an external hard drive: