In What is this "Linux", anyhow? we mention using Vagrant as a way to quickly configure a Linux virtual machine, and the Raspberry Pi Kernel-o-Matic uses Vagrant to set up a VM for cross-compiling a custom Raspberry Pi kernel.

Vagrant is a software package designed to let you easily create disposable VMs from a library of freely-downloadable images and connect to them, all with a few simple commands in a terminal. The idea is that you can continue to run your desktop OS like Mac OS X or Windows 7 or whatever, but then make a tiny new Linux computer in a window that you can connect to whenever you need to run Linux software

Unfortunately this isn't quite as seamless on Windows machines as on GNU/Linux or OS X systems, but with a few minutes of effort you should be able to do this any time you feel like it:

This is a brief guide to installing the three moving pieces needed to make this work well on a Windows machine:

  1. Vagrant itself
  2. VirtualBox to run virtual machines
  3. msysGit, a Windows distribution of Git and some other Unix tools, for cloning git repositories containing Vagrant configurations and connecting to your new VM with SSH

This guide was first published on Feb 25, 2015. It was last updated on Feb 25, 2015.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Feb 24, 2015.

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