Setting up a complete Largo dev environment

This recipe will walk you through setting up a fresh WordPress install on a Vagrant Virtualbox machine with INN’s deploy tools and Largo installed.

We’ll walk you through the overall setup of the WordPress directory, and then we’ll walk you through setting up Largo and its development requirements.

Software to install first

From INN’s computer setup guide, install the following software:

  • git
  • wget
  • curl
  • phpunit
  • virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper
  • an SSH key
  • VirtualBox
  • Vagrant
  • npm and grunt-cli
  • xgettext (only needed for rebuilding translation files and releasing)

If you’re on OSX, you will also want to install Homebrew, to assist in the installation of the above.

Once you have all that set up, you’re ready to install Largo and WordPress inside a virtual machine!

Setting up Largo and WordPress

  1. First, create a new directory. This will be version-controlled with git, to make it easier to update Largo and the deploy tools. If you’re hosting WordPress someplace that allows SFTP access, our deploy tools will help you version-control your deploy, for fun and profit.

    mkdir umbrella
    cd umbrella
    git init
  2. Add the deploy-tools and Largo repositories.

    git submodule add tools
    git submodule add wp-content/themes/largo-dev
  3. Update all the submodules

    git submodule update --init --recursive
  4. While you’re at it, copy some configuration files from the deploy-toools folders to the project root:

    cp -r tools/examples/ .
  5. Now, on to Largo.

    cd wp-content/themes/largo-dev
  6. You’re going to have to install some things first.

  7. First, install the Python dependencies.

    We use a few Python libraries for this project, including Fabric which powers the INN deploy-tools to elegantly run many common but complex tasks. In the OS X setup guide, you should have installed Python virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper.

    Make sure you tell virtualenvwrapper where the umbrella is.

    export WORKON_HOME=~/largo-umbrella
    mkdir -p $WORKON_HOME
    source /usr/local/bin/

    You should add that last line to your .bashrc or your .bash_profile.

    Now we can create a virtual environment and install the required Python libraries:

    mkvirtualenv largo-umbrella --no-site-packages
    workon largo-umbrella
    pip install -r requirements.txt
  8. Now, the NodeJS dependencies.

    If this command fails, make sure you’re in the largo-dev directory.

    npm install
  9. Our API docs/function reference uses doxphp to generate documentation based on the comments embedded in Largo’s source code. You’ll need to install doxphp to generate API docs.

    • Installation process with PEAR:

      pear channel-discover
      pear install avalanche123/doxphp-beta
    • Installation process with git. This requires you to know where your bin directory is

      git clone
      cd doxphp/bin
      mv doxph* /path/to/bin/

    The last step may require you to use sudo.

  10. Make sure that you have the necessary prerequisites for these next steps.

    From the top level of the project, run the setup routine as described in the deploy-tools documentation

    fab wp.verify_prerequisites

    If the script returns any errors, it will also include (hopefully) helpful information on how to rectify the problems. You may need to reinstall curl.

    If the above command fails to run, make sure you have run the workon and pip install commands listed above in step 7.

  11. Time to install WordPress.

    INN’s deploy tools have a handy utility that will install any tagged release of WordPress for you.

    1. cd to the top level of your project, on the same level as the tools/ directory where INN/deploy-tools was installed.

    2. Find the version number of the latest release of WordPress and use its number in the folloiwing command

      fab wp.install:4.2.2
    3. In the computer setup section above, you installed Vagrant. Now, create the virtual machine:

      vagrant up
    1. While you’re waiting, why not stand up, stretch, and make a cup of tea? Downloading the virtual machine disk image and provisioning it will take a while.In that time, it downloads the image of a Ubuntu Linux system, installs the MySQL and PHP servers, along with all of the most recent updates, and configures it just so that all the Fabric commands work.

    2. When it’s done, edit your /etc/hosts file:

      sudo nano /etc/hosts

    Enter your password, use the arrow keys to position the cursor at the end of the file and add the following line:

    Then use Ctrl-O to save your changes and Ctrl-X to exit the editor.

    This tells your system that whenever you use the address, you really mean the IP address of the virtual machine. If you’re working on a multisite instance of WordPress, you can add the subdomains such as at the end of the line, separated by a space from

  12. Now that the vagrant box is up and running, you can create a database for it to use:

    Without any arguments, this command will read the defaults from the in the root of your project directory.

    fab vagrant.create_db
  13. Now, let’s take a snapshot of the virtual machine in its new, provisioned, freshly-deployed state.

    You can name the snapshot anything you want, and I would recommend describing it in a short way that describes what that state would give you if you were to revert.

    vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbox-snapshot
    vagrant snapshot take default snapshot_name_goes_here
  14. Now you’re going to set up WordPress on Vagrant. Open a browser and point it at You should automatically be redirected to Choose your language, then enter the details below as they are entered in your

    * Database Name: `largoproject`
    * User Name: `root`
    * Password: `root`
    * Database Host: `localhost`
    * Table Prefix: `wp_`
  15. If you are working on a multisite install, you will want to add these settings to wp-config.php at the bottom, before “Do not edit below this line.”

    /* Make this a multisite install. */
    define('MULTISITE', true);
    define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', true);
    define('DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', '');
    define('PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/');
    define('SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);
    define('BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);

    All done? Log into WordPress and start poking around. Remember to take Vagrant snapshots when you get things working how you like the. You’ll probably want to take one after you add some posts and configure your menus for testing purposes. If you want to log into the vagrant box, it’s as easy as vagrant ssh.

You have installed:

  • INN’s deploy tools
  • the Largo theme
  • Grunt and the nodejs packages we use to handle a bunch of things
  • pip, virtualenv, a largo-docs virtualenv, sphinx, and everything needed to rebuild the documentation
  • doxphp and dpxphp2sphinx
  • WordPress on a Vagrant virtual machine

Some notes about Vagrant

You can work on files without booting Vagrant, but if you want to view the effects of changing the files, you’ll want to run vagrant up from the root folder of your project, the one that contains the Vagrantfile.

If you want to turn vagrant off for a while, run vagrant suspend. Suspended vagrant boxes can be brough back to life with vagrant up.

When you want to shut down Vagrant, run vagrant halt.

If you want to poke around in the Vagrant box, run vagrant ssh. You don’t have to enter any passwords or unlock any ssh keys - Vagrant controls those itself.

If you’re unable to log in, try powering the Vagrant machine off through the Virtualbox graphical user interface, or by finding the VM name in VBoxManage list runningvms and using it in VBoxManage controlvm <name|uuid> acpipowerbutton

Some notes about deploy-tools and Fabric

The full list of supported commands can be found in the deploy-tools documentation.

Most fabric commands take the form of

fab <environment> <branch> <action>
fab <action that defines its own environment>:arguments

Every command in the list of commands is prefixed with fab.

If you recieve an error when running your command, make sure that you have run workon largo-umbrella, or the name of the Python virtualenv you are using. When run, workon will prefix your prompt:

you@computer:~$ workon largo

To exit the virtualenv, you can use the command deactivate.