FixMyStreet using Vagrant

Vagrant provides an easy method to set up virtual development environments — for further information see the Vagrant website. We bundle an example Vagrantfile in the repository, which runs the install script for you.

Note that this is just one of many ways to install FixMyStreet.

Vagrant is only suitable for use as a development server — do not use it in production!

This pages describes how to use Vagrant to create a development environment where you can run the test suite and the development server, and make changes to the codebase.

The advantage of using Vagrant is that it lets you run FixMyStreet within a virtual machine (VM), with its own system software and environment set up entirely independently of the actual machine it’s running on. This means you don’t have to worry about it interfering with your own machine’s operating system. The main disadvantage is that the virtual machine runs somewhat slower, and makes more demands on the processor, than FixMyStreet running natively.

The basic process is to create a base virtual machine, and then provision it with the software packages and setup needed. There are several ways to do this, including Chef, Puppet, or the existing FixMyStreet install script (which is the method used in the example below). The supplied scripts will create a Vagrant VM based on the server edition of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. This contains everything you need to work on FixMyStreet.

  1. Clone the repository, cd into it and run vagrant. This will provision the system and can take some time.

     git clone --recursive
     cd fixmystreet
     vagrant up --no-color

Working with the Vagrant box

You’ve now got a local FixMyStreet development server to work with. You can edit the files locally (which means you can use your favourite text editor, for example) and the changes will be reflected on the virtual machine.

To start the dev server:

vagrant ssh

# You are now in a terminal on the virtual machine
cd fixmystreet

# run the dev server

The server will now be running and you can visit it at the address

The username and password to access the admin (at address will have been shown at the end of the vagrant up output.

If you need to run the server under HTTPS, to e.g. develop the service worker or geolocation, then you can run script/server --listen :3000:ssl --ssl-cert=my.crt --ssl-key=my.key --Reload perllib,conf where my.crt and my.key point to a key and self-signed certificate you have generated using something like openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -sha256 -nodes -keyout my.key -out my.crt -subj "/CN=My local CA" -days 3650.

Editing a cobrand

If you’re working on a cobrand in an external repository, you will want that cobrand available inside the virtual machine as well. To do this, you will need to add a line to the Vagrantfile in the FixMyStreet repository, along the lines of:

config.vm.synced_folder “../your-cobrand”, “/home/vagrant/your-cobrand”, :owner => “vagrant”, :group => “vagrant”

Then restart your vagrant box. Once that is done, you can set up symlinks inside Vagrant, linking the various components of your cobrand into the right places in the core repository. For example, if your filesystem has a layout like this:

    fixmystreet/  # The checkout of the fixmystreet repository

Then within the fixmystreet repository, you could run:

ln -s -f -v ../my-cobrand-repo/perllib/FixMyStreet/Cobrand/( perllib/FixMyStreet/Cobrand/
ln -s -f -v ../my-cobrand-repo/templates/web/(cobrand) templates/web/
ln -s -f -v ../my-cobrand-repo/templates/email/(cobrand) templates/email/
ln -s -f -v ../my-cobrand-repo/web/cobrands/(cobrand) web/cobrands/

Restart the development server and your cobrand should be accessible.