Installing Arches on a Vagrant Development Machine

This chapter summarizes the installation steps a Software Developer should follow for installing Arches on a Vagrant development machine. Developers may wish to install Arches using Vagrant. Vagrant ensures that all developers can work on the same platform. And if you decide to use a local Mercurial client (like SourceTree), Vagrant will allow you to quickly test your code in a virtual environment.

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Step 1: Clone Arches

Start by getting a copy of the Arches code using a local Mercurial client:

hg clone ~/projects/arches

Then, (assuming you want to develop using the CDS package) clone the CDS repo into your packages folder:

hg clone ~/projects/arches/archesproject/packages/cds

And create a settings local file as described in “Loading the CDS Package”, if you’re using linux, you can run the following commands: touch ~/projects/arches/ echo “INSTALLED_PACKAGES = (‘cds’,)” >> ~/projects/arches/

Step 2: Install Vagrant

Navigate to; download and install the Vagrant software for your operating system (OS).

Step 3: Install VirtualBox

VirtualBox is an open source Virtual Machine application.

Navigate to; download and install VirtualBox for your OS.

Step 4: Download Virtual Machine File

Open a command prompt and type the following command to download an empty Ubuntu server (version 12.04, 32-bit) VM file

vagrant box add precise32 \

You can consult the Vagrant website if you prefer to use an alternate base OS for your Arches VM.


Pro Tip: Windows Installation

For some versions of Windows you may get an error when running the vagrant box add command. Try running the command again, this time WITHOUT the “/” after the “precise32”. Check the latest vagrant documentation for additional troubleshooting help.

Step 5: Build Arches

Open a command prompt and navigate to folder where you’ve cloned arches and run:

vagrant up


Pro Tip

Making Arches run with less than 2 GB of RAM I>Before you “vagrant up”, open this file: arches/Vagrantfile with a text editor. Scroll down to vb.customize [“modifyvm”, :id, “–memory”, “2048”]. Replace the 2048 with 1024, and Arches will only request 1GB of RAM.

Vagrant will create a Virtual Machine with a complete Arches install, including all required software dependencies, as well as a sample dataset ready for you to test Arches with.


How long will it take to build Arches?

Depending on your computer, it may take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or two to build Arches.You’ll know that Arches is ready when the command prompt returns.

Step 6: Start Arches

At the command prompt type:

vagrant ssh

This command will log you onto your virtual Linux server. To start Arches, run the following commands:

cd /vagrant ./


Windows Users: Get an ssh client

Because Windows doesn’t usually come with ssh, you’ll need to install a ssh client like PuTTY. See the Vagrant documentation ( for more information.

Arches will start and be ready for use in just a moment or two. To access Arches, open a browser (note: Arches works with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer 10 or higher), and type:


You should see the following screen:

Arches Default Screen: Simple Search

Arches Default Screen: Simple Search

If you want to test adding or editing cultural heritage data in Arches, you’ll need to sign in. Click “Map” in the upper right corner of the screen, then click

Arches Sign In

Arches Sign In

The Username and Password are both “admin” (omit the quotes when entering the username and password).

For more help in understanding the Arches app, check out the Arches User Guide to learn how to work with Arches.


Using the test data-set

All test data supplied is for experimentation in Arches only. The records are not certified for accuracy or completeness.

A Note on Vagrant

The Vagrant install is only intended for developer use and is not intended for use in production. Users should not store production data in a Vagrant generated virtual machine. Developers should familiarize themselves with the vagrant command line tools as outlined in the Vagrant documentation: