Setup a Linux VM on Virtual Box with Vagrant

January 20, 2021

A common method of installing Linux is with an installation DVD, or DVD ISO file for virtual enviorments. However, vagrant is a powerful tool for managing virtual machines which you can use to boot and manage a Linux VM on your local computer.


  • Setup a Linux VM on Oracle Vitual Box using Vagrant
  • SSH access into the Linux VM to administer the VM

Table of Contents


Setup the VM with Vagrant

Create a project directory for a vagrant configuration file (vagrantfile). Vagrant has a catalog of base images available (e.i: centos/8). vagrant init centos/8 to create a base CentOS 8 vagrantfile and vagrant up to start and provision the enviorment.

$ mkdir vagrant
$ cd vagrant
$ vagrant init centos/8
$ vagrant up


vagrant ssh to start an SSH session into the enviorment. exit to exit the SSH session.

$ vagrant ssh
Last login: Thu Jan 21 05:05:05 2021 from
Last login: Thu Jan 21 05:05:05 2021 from
[vagrant@localhost ~]$

This approach allows access to the shell, but more SSH configuration information might be needed to access the shell through a regular SSH client like so:

$ vagrant ssh-config
Host default
  User vagrant
  Port 2222
  UserKnownHostsFile /dev/null
  StrictHostKeyChecking no
  PasswordAuthentication no
  IdentityFile C:/Users/steva/centos-7-vagrant/.vagrant/machines/default/virtualbox/private_key
  IdentitiesOnly yes
  LogLevel FATAL

Confirm these settings can start an SSH session:

$ ssh vagrant@ -p 2222 -i C:/Users/steva/centos-7-vagrant/.vagrant/machines/default/virtualbox/private_key

Vagrant usage and commands

vagrant --help displays usage and commands. Most people might need a hanful of these commands to simply suspend, resume, and destroy the VM.

Profile picture

Written by Stevan Lohja , a developer relations specialist, and full-stack technical writer from the USA. You should follow them on Twitter

Disclaimer: Not advice or recommendation. Views are my own and not a reflection of my employer.