January 4, 2021

A vagrant WordPress

Time is running out

When time is short and you need to test something WordPress in a hurry on a clean virtual environment running locally, nothing quite beats Vagrant+VirtualBox. To this day, it's hard to beat the speedy setup that the (virtually defunct) Scotch Box provides: you could have a functional server up and running in less than 5 minutes, with no configuration necessary.

Of course, this zero-config setup is far from ideal for most serious applications. However, when the conditions are ripe, still to this day the Scotch Box approach works out of the box and it gets the job done at the speed of light. Testing a new WordPress beta or a minor plugin variation? Spin up a new box, run and tweak the code, then shut it down and trash the box.

At the time of this writing, it has been nearly 3 years since the official Scotch Box release was updated. All the system software that the box fetches has moved on, and the same could be said -- I suspect -- for most of its users. Those who still use it have long since spun their own box configurations and no longer rely on the base version. You can find some of these newer boxes here.

There are 99 technically superior alternatives to Scotch Box available to professional developers. Yet few if any of those solutions require such little technical knowledge or focus; still to this day none that I know of can get the job done as quickly.

The closest competitor to Scotch Box is VVV (Varying-Vagrant-Vagrants). VVV has similar requirements, is actively maintained, and is 100% WordPress-focused -- whereas Scotch Box is a generic LAMP virtual server setup.

References: Scotch Box, Vagrant Boxes, VVV

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