Monday, March 23, 2015

Building a Windows Vagrant VM to use WinRM

You basically have two options for talking to windows vagrant VMs. WinRM or SSH. For ssh you'll need to install cygwin's openssh server, or another ssh server. If you use cygwin you'll end up ssh'ed into the cygwin environment, which may confuse scripts you use that are expecting regular windows command shell. If that's the case, you need winrm. I followed these instructions, which also have some great tips for reducing the box size.

But I still had some trouble setting up WinRM. As a quick and dirty check before you go to the effort of creating the box, add a port forward in virtualbox for the winrm port 5985:
And try hitting this URL:
$ wget http://localhost:5985/wsman
--2015-03-23 13:25:00--  http://localhost:5985/wsman
Resolving localhost (localhost)... ::1,
Connecting to localhost (localhost)|::1|:5985... failed: Connection refused.
Connecting to localhost (localhost)||:5985... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 405 
2015-03-23 13:25:00 ERROR 405: (no description).
You should get a successful connection, but an error as above because this isn't a valid winrm call. If that doesn't work make sure you followed the vagrant instructions for enabling winrm. Try running this inside the VM:
winrm quickconfig -q
In my case quickconfig complained that:
WinRM firewall exception will not work since one of the network connection types on this machine is set to Public. Change the network connection type to either Domain or Private and try again.
But when I looked at network connections in the network connection manager I couldn't change the VirtualBox host networking adapter type as advised. This is a known problem where Windows 7 network connections get stuck in public, I fixed it with this tool from Microsoft. You can verify your winrm configuration is functioning correctly by installing pywinrm and running a command:
In [33]: import winrm

In [34]: s = winrm.Session('', auth=('vagrant', 'vagrant'))

In [35]: s.run_cmd('ver').std_out
Out[35]: '\r\nMicrosoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]\r\n'

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