Vagrant vs Docker: Which One Fits You Best? (Either or both)

DevOps teams are under more and more pressure to provide clients with greater features rapidly. Through scalable platforms with great CLI and API interaction, cloud providers provide solutions. Sadly, there is a chance that the APIs that cloud providers offer are incompatible. However, a few cloud-native technologies assist DevOps teams in creating unique solutions for any cloud provider.

Rogue and Docker are two examples of these tools. Getting the most out of your cloud environment requires a thorough understanding of what each one does and how they interact.

Virtual machine (VM) environments may be created and managed using Vagrant in a single process. Vagrant offers a uniform configuration format, a single CLI, and common provisioning for installing software and updating configurations whether you’re creating a local VM to operate with a hypervisor or merely a cloud VM.

The ability to bundle software and support settings into images that operate continuously across several platforms is provided by Docker. Docker gives DevOps teams the assurance that software will function just as well on a personal computer as it would on a controlled cloud environment.

Despite having the same objective of building repeatable environments, Vagrant and Docker approach this task in distinct but complementary ways. The aims of Vagrant and Docker are examined in this article.

What is Docker?

the postal employee is a free and open platform for creating, distributing, and executing software. In order to create a self-contained artifact known as an image, DevOps teams can bundle bespoke software, supporting applications, libraries, instructions for networking, file mounts, health checks, and start scripts.

The photos are then run in a container, which is a compact, isolated environment. Containers are far more flexible than virtual machines (VMs), which generally reserve a fixed amount of memory and severely restrict CPU consumption. They just use the memory and CPU that they require.

As a result, numerous containers may operate concurrently and effectively, cutting costs and expanding scalability. Containers are not the best option for executing untrusted programs since they are not seen to be as safe as virtual machines (VMs).

Screenshot: Docker Website - Vagrant vs Docker.
postal worker

Why use Docker (vs Vagrant)?

Cloud-native apps that are either integrated with message queues or function as a function that reacts to cloud-based triggers and events are generally delivered and run by DevOps teams using Docker. A platform that is hosted as a service (FaaS).

Because Docker is the foundation of many platforms, including Kubernetes, containers may be deployed widely. Additionally, all cloud service providers enable the use of Docker containers in their Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions. A PaaS that doesn’t support Docker is uncommon.

All of the well-known cloud-native products provide Docker images on which to embed their CLI, demonstrating that Docker can also distribute and run CLI-based functionality.

What are the benefits of Docker?

By addressing the issue that bespoke programs might provide different outcomes when executed on a developer’s desktop workstation and in a production environment, Docker addresses a prevalent issue with traditional software distribution procedures. These discrepancies are frequently the consequence of developers using different versions of programming languages, different web server setups, or whole different operating systems than what is used in the production environment. These discrepancies cause support issues, such as “it works on my machine,” to be sent back and forth between teams.

Images executed in containers produce more consistent results regardless of the location since Docker images contain the code for all supported apps, custom applications, and libraries.

DevOps teams can swiftly exchange images among themselves and deploy images utilizing various hosting platforms thanks to the ease with which Docker images can be distributed through registries like Docker Hub. For instance, Docker powers Kin sta’s DevKinsta WordPress development toolkit.

When deploying more complicated application stacks, such as a group of connected microservices or a database with a backend application, Docker Compose gives users the option to create and link numerous Docker containers with a single command. One YAML file contains definitions for all containers, related parameters, and networking configurations. After reading this file, Docker Compose builds and oversees several containers together.

What is a Vagrant?

For dividing and provisioning computer resources, virtual machines (VMs) have long been demonstrated to be a dependable and safe alternative. The most common service offered by cloud providers is virtual machines (VMs), and organizations seeking to host VMs locally can choose from a wide range of commercial and open-source alternatives.

For DevOps teams, this variability presents a difficulty. Consistency across on-premises development environments and cloud-based platforms is challenging to maintain since each solution offers a separate CLI and API for building and maintaining VMs.

By abstracting the inherent inconsistencies across VM platforms, Vagrant offers a remedy and enables DevOps teams to create new VMs using a single CLI and standardized configuration vocabulary. Teams that use Vagrant may simply swap between environments and generate consistent virtual machines (VMs) whether they operate on-premises or in the cloud. Vagrant may replace MAMP (for macOS, Apache, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP, Perl, or Python) and has many more uses as well.

Screenshot: Vagrant Website - Vagrant vs Docker.

Why use Vagrant (vs Docker)?

By manually installing software and altering configuration files, it is possible to launch a virtual machine and manually customize the operating system. This is not ideal because the procedure cannot be repeated, necessitating the manual creation of VMs for various OS systems and providers. Additionally, it makes it virtually hard to determine how the VM was set up in the future.

Automating the procedure needed to configure a virtual machine is a better practice. Vagrant is a tool to automate the creation of virtual machines (VMs) for various providers. Additionally, Vagrant provides a huge variety of excellent VMs and stray clouds. which DevOps teams may utilize to launch their own VMs.

What are the benefits of Vagrant?

The same learning resources are available to DevOps teams using Vagrant whether they are creating virtual machines for on-premises platforms, cloud platforms, or both. To better understand how the VM is created, you may quickly modify Vagrant configuration files and replay or examine them afterward.

DevOps teams may move between cloud providers or clouds using Vagrant without needing to change how VMs are created.

Vagrant-created virtual machines offer a high level of isolation and frequently make use of the specific virtualization features integrated into contemporary CPUs. This makes virtual machines (VMs) and the software used to construct them, like Vagrant, the ideal choice in situations where security and isolation are crucial.

Numerous Linux distributions, including Fedora and Ubuntu, also offer official Vagrant boxes that DevOps teams may use for development. As a result, creating a custom VM takes less time.

Vagrant vs Docker: A Closer Look

Vagrant and Docker both increase the productivity of DevOps teams by automating the development, deployment, and use of the software.

Docker does this by using containers as a lightweight execution environment and a special packing format called images. Containers operate consistently across platforms, boosting the confidence of DevOps teams that their program performs as intended. DevOps teams can pick the appropriate cloud platform for their needs thanks to PaaS and FaaS platforms’ strong support for Docker.

On the same host, many containers can coexist while sharing the same pool of resources and being mostly, but not entirely, isolated from one another. As a result, containers can scale well.

Vagrant does this by offering a reliable method for creating VMs using already-existing providers. Teams who have already invested in virtual machines and rely on its high levels of isolation, security, control, and customization are the best candidates for it.

The greatest option for executing dependable programs while lowering processing expenses is Docker. The containers have extremely minimal overhead and are well insulated from one another. This implies that many containers may operate concurrently on a single OS. When organizations need a high level of security and isolation or the flexibility to run several different operating systems concurrently with Vagrant VMs in an automated and repeatable manner, virtual machines (VMs) offer the ideal answer. provides the building with a practical answer.

Both Vagrant and Docker may be used simultaneously since they are not mutually exclusive technologies. For instance, DevOps teams can use Vagrant to replicate a specific environment to reproduce issues while utilizing Docker to develop and execute apps. In order to test new Docker versions or software supplied as Docker images in a controlled environment, Docker may also be run within a VM generated using Vagrant.


When it comes to creating, distributing, and executing apps, DevOps teams have a wide range of alternatives.

PaaS and FaaS platforms embrace Docker, which offers a unique image format and container execution environment that enable extensive and effective resource use.

Vagrant eliminates many of the discrepancies to offer a single CLI and standard configuration syntax for instantiating VMs across providers, enabling VMs to provide safe and isolated execution environments from a variety of clouds and on-premises VM providers.

Examine how Kinsta’s application hosting service may use Dockerfiles to handle the deployment of your code before you begin creating your next project.

Related Articles

Scroll to Top