Saturday, January 31, 2015

Recreate Vagrant box when original .box is gone from vagrantcloud


Suppose you've setup a cool Vagrant image based upon a box from the Vagrant Hashicorp cloud. But suddenly one day the URL is gone! So the original box is gone. E.g this one, which gives a 404 page:
Your 'vagrant up' still works, vagrant will just complain it can't find the box anymore, but the VirtualBox image will start up fine.

But you are still getting new team-members on board, and you want them to use the Vagrant setup you created; but the URL is gone so the base box can't be downloaded anymore. What to do?
Well, it turns out you can recreate the .box file which the above URL is pointing to.
This post describes how.


  1. Locate where the Vagrant box from the URL is stored on your local machine. On Windows 7 it is C:/Users/ttlnews/.vagrant.d/boxes 
    At this location are all the base Vagrant boxes downloaded. So without any changes/provisioning made to them. The exact directory of the above ubuntu1404-desktop URL is: C:/Users/ttlnews/.vagrant.d/boxes/box-cutter-VAGRANTSLASH-ubuntu1404-desktop

  2. Create a zip of the deepest directory in there. In my case it I 7zipped all the files in C:/Users/ttlnews/.vagrant.d/boxes/box-cutter-VAGRANTSLASH-ubuntu1404-desktop/1.0.11/virtualbox So not the directory, just the files, like the box.ovf, metadata.json, *.vmdk, Vagrantfile. The resulting file was:

    This is what it should look like in the .7z file:

  3. Rename the file to

  4. Put it in c:/tmp or wherever you want; make sure to change accordingly in the below steps.

  5. In the directory where you have your (already existing because you have created it successfully before from the now-defunct box URL) Vagrantfile add the following line below

    config.vm.box_url = "file:///c:/tmp/"

    Tip 1: when testing this out, it's safer to copy your Vagrantfile + whatever else you had to a new directory, so you won't mess up your working Vagrant setup.

    Tip 2: in that new setup from tip 1, also change the value of in the Vagrantfile, so you can clearly identify this new image.

  6. Run 'vagrant up' and you should see it copy (extract) the files, start a VirtualBox and start provisioning the box!
Main source for this solution: