Getting Started with Developer Sandbox (beta)

Watch the getting started video which demonstrates how easy it is to get started with the Developer Sandbox. This video uses Virtual Box in Windows, but it is just as easy for other VMs including VMware and QEMU.


  1. Install a supported virtual machine: Virtual Box, VMware, or QEMU
  2. Download the Developer Sanbox (beta) image
  3. Instantiate the image within your virtual machine

Once you boot the image you can login as root without a password. You will need to set the password with the passwd command if you wish to SSH into the instance. It is recommended that you SSH into the virtual machine so you can use a better terminal program.

Installing Applications on your Developer Sandbox (beta) Instance

To install applications you use the we-dist command. Some examples:

If you want to install a copy of the latest instance of Drupal then you would type the following while logged in as root:

$ we-dist drup5 myinstance

This will result in an instance of Drupal 5.x that is accessible under http://myinstance.localdomain on your local machine only.

For each application installation it is necessary to modify your machine's host file if you wish to view your application in your browser. Learn more about hosts files:

For more help with we-dist type:

$ we-dist -h

Known Issues

There are some presently known issues with the Developer Sanbox (beta):

  • The LILO menu is visible, with a timeout of 5 seconds. To pass kernel options, type: "Linux type-options-here". ("Linux" is the label for the only kernel image.)
  • Virtual Box - Switching between the VM and the host computer sporadically causes the keyboard to not work in the VM.
  • PHP mhash and mcrypt are not installed and may be required by the applications in certain cases.
  • Making the virtual machine available in the host's routing table requires privileges on the host OS. Meaning that if you are not running as a root user on the machine which the virtual machine is running then you may not be able to access the applications running on the virtual machine. If you are working in Windows or Mac OSX then you are probably not going to run into this issue.