New Joomlatools Vagrant released

We are happy to announce the 1.4 release of our popular Joomlatools Vagrant box. It brings support for Zend Z-Ray, HHVM, Varnish and a lot more.

Zend Z-Ray support

Z-Ray is a revolutionary new addition to a PHP developer's toolkit. It displays all the under-the-hood details of a page request in your browser, across all the PHP scripts involved in building the page.

We also installed Yireo's awesome Z-Ray Joomla plugin. This plugin adds an extra Joomla panel to the Z-Ray debug bar. This gives you insight into your Joomla configuration, loaded modules and triggered plugin events on every page load. This combination makes it a powerful tool for any Joomla developer.

Z-Ray screenshot

HHVM support

HHVM is an open-source virtual machine designed for executing programs written in Hack and PHP. HHVM uses a just-in-time (JIT) compilation approach to achieve superior performance while maintaining the development flexibility that PHP provides.

By default the box still runs on PHP 5.6, but you can switch to HHVM right away using the box php:engine hhvm command.

Varnish Cache

Varnish Cache is a powerful web application accelerator. Varnish Cache is really, really fast. It typically speeds up delivery with a factor of 300 - 1000x! We installed it in front of the web server but it is disabled by default.

Once enabled, it will cache all Joomla front-end pages automatically. Take a look at the documentation to learn how to use it.

Backup and restore

From now on the box will automatically backup and restore when you upgrade to a new version. Your current version cannot do this yet of course. Run this script on your box to create a backup:

vagrant ssh
bash <(curl -s

This will create a joomla-box-backup.tar in the directory where you launch the box from.

Then upgrade as usual:

vagrant destroy
vagrant box update
vagrant up

It will ask you to restore the backup afterwards.

Check the changelog on GitHub for a complete overview of all the changes.

Note: The version of Z-Ray we include is a technology preview and will only work until the beginning of December. (source)

Written by

Tom Janssens & Steven Rombauts

12 Nov 2015

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