Installing Vumi with VirtualBox and Vagrant

The easiest way to try out Vumi is by using VirtualBox and Vagrant:

  1. Install VirtualBox

  2. Install Vagrant, make sure you follow the OS specific instructions.

  3. Clone Vumi with git clone

  4. Execute cd vumi

  5. Execute vagrant up, this will take some time to complete as it:
    1. Downloads a 480MB Ubuntu 10.04 server VM
    2. Downloads ~ 40MB worth of Python packages
    3. Downloads ~ 100MB worth of packages with apt-get
  6. Shell into the machine via vagrant ssh, you’ll find the Vumi installation in /var/praekelt/vumi.

  7. Follow the instructions at Forwarding SMSs from an SMPP bind to a URL to setup your first Vumi application.


Ubuntu 10.04 only provides version 1.3.5 of RubyGems while Vagrant requires version 1.3.6. You’ll need to get an upstream version or install from source as per the OS specific instructions.


Ubuntu doesn’t put vagrant on your $PATH, you’ll need to manually symlink it with sudo ln -s /var/lib/gems/1.8/bin/vagrant /usr/bin/

Installation on a Debian/Ubuntu system

If you don’t have/want Vagrant for some reason (or perhaps are doing a production deployment), you can follow the instructions below:

  1. Install protobuf-compiler python-dev build-essential python-pip libffi-dev. You can do this with apt-get or aptitude.
  2. If you’re installing vumi as an unprivileged user, run the command pip install –user vumi. Alternatively run pip install vumi to do a system/virtualenv install (as is appropriate in your environment).

These instructions were tested on an Ubuntu 12.04 instance as well as a Debian 7 instance.