Vagrant is a tool which installs and configures virtual development environments. It allows development teams to easily specify and share consistent virtual machine configurations.

The dev tools directory (path ‘’sawtooth-core/tools’‘) of the sawtooth-core repository contains a Vagrant configuration which is specifically tailored to Sawtooth development. A new developer with installed copies of Vagrant and VirtualBox can clone the sawtooth-core repository and have a functional VM which can run validators within a few minutes.

A quick introduction to using dev tools is available as a quickstart in this Developer’s Guide.

Layout of the sawtooth-dev-tools git Repository

The dev tools directory is structured as follows:

Vagrantfile is the main configuration file for Vagrant. It is ruby code executed by Vagrant and is executed every ime a vagrant command is executed.
The bootstrap.d directory contains a set of bash scripts which are executed in order during the provisioning step of ‘vagrant up’. These scripts are always executed.

The guest-files directory contains configuration files which are used by the bootstrap.d scripts.

There is also a script which contains environment specific variables for Sawtooth development, such as PYTHONPATH.

The plugins directory contains bash scripts which can be easily configured to execute during the provisioning step of ‘vagrant up’. These scripts run after bootstrap.d scripts.
This scripts directory contains scripts which are sometimes useful to the developer after provisioning has been completed and the developer has a shell in the virtual machine. For example, there are scripts which help build Ubuntu packages.
The tests directory includes tests run within the Vagrant environment. These are in addition to the unit and integration tests found in the tests directory of sawtooth-core, sawtooth-validator and sawtooth-mktplace.
The win-bin directory includes scripts for running Sawtooth natively under Windows and is not used in the Vagrant environment.

Layout in the Virtual Machine

A convenient feature of Vagrant is the easy sharing of directories between the host machine and the guest virtual machine. By default the Vagrant configuration directory is mounted under /vagrant in the virtual machine.

In the dev tools configuration a /project mount point is also defined which provides access to the Sawtooth repositories.

Configuration Options

There is a rudimentary configuration system in place which can impact how the Vagrant environment is provisioned.

The files involved are:

The file, which is not checked into the git repository, is the one that should be modified locally. This file can be initialized by copying to

The file defines the defaults for configuration values which are not set.

The valid config values are:


By default, this is set to ‘none’. It can be set to one of:

  • none - do not install anything by default
  • - build and install sawtooth-core, sawtooth-validator, sawtooth-mktplace from the git repositories using ‘python install’
  • deb - build and install sawtooth-core, sawtooth-validator, sawtooth-mktplace from the git repositories by first creating deb packages and then installing those deb packages.
By default, this is set to ‘no’. If set to ‘yes’, then txnvalidator will be started with upstart or systemd. For this option to work, INSTALL_TYPE must be set to ‘deb’.
By default, set to “build_ubuntu_deps install_ubuntu_deps install_sphinx”. Specify a space-separated list of plugins to run. The plugins are contained in the plugins directory.

The following plugins are available:

This plugin builds the debian packages for cbor, colorlog, and pybitcointools. They are placed in /project/build/packages/.
This plugin installs Latex, which is required for building a PDF of the documentation. This is disabled by default because it takes a fairly long time to download.
This plugin installs the debian packages built by build_ubuntu_deps.
This plugin installs sphinx, which is required for building the sawtooth documentation.