Rambo’s CLI is the expected normal way people interact with Rambo. At it’s core, Rambo is an interface to Vagrant. Rambo duplicates several commands from Vagrant, that are either commonly used, or Rambo needs to do some preemptive work for before passing the reigns to Vagrant. For most other Vagrant commands, you can call Vagrant through Rambo. Many commands have various options that have defaults that are used when the option is not specified, e.g. rambo up defaults using VirtualBox as the provider.

This is a short list of Rambo’s commands, followed by a more detailed explanation of each:


  • createproject: Create a Rambo project dir with basic setup.
  • destroy: Destroy a VM / container and all its metadata. Default leaves logs.
  • export-vagrant-conf: Get Vagrant configuration.
  • halt: Halt VM.
  • install-plugins: Install Vagrant plugins.
  • scp: Transfer files with scp.
  • ssh: Connect with vagrant ssh
  • up: Start a VM / container with vagrant up.
  • vagrant: Run a Vagrant command through Rambo.


Create project takes an arguement for the name to give to the project it creates. It will create a directory in the CWD for this project. Upon creation, this project directory will contain a rambo.conf file, an auth directory, and a saltstack directory.

  • rambo.conf is the config file that is required to be present in your project to run rambo up, and is described later in
  • auth contains some sample scripts that will aid in setting up keys / tokens for the cloud providers. It is not required. How to use that is described in the cloud provider specific documentation.
  • saltstack is a basic set of SaltStack configuration code that Rambo offers. It can be modified for custom configuration.


Destroy a VM / container. This will tell vagrant to forcibly destroy a VM, and to also destroy its Rambo metadata (provider and random_tag), and Vagrant metadata (.vagrant dir).


Places the default Vagrantfile and its resources (vagrant dir, settings.json) in the CWD for customizing.


Tells Vagrant to ‘halt’ the VM. Useful to free the Host’s resources without destroying the VM.


Install passed args as Vagrant plugins. all or no args installs all default Vagrant plugins from host platform specific list.


Transfer files or directories with scp. Accepts two args in one of the following forms:

<local_path> <remote_path>

<local_path> :<remote_path>

:<remote_path> <local_path>

<local_path> [vm_name]:<remote_path>

[vm_name]:<remote_path> <local_path>

For example: rambo scp localfile.txt remotefile.txt


Connect to the VM / container over SSH. With -c / --command, will executed an SSH command directly.


Start a VM or container. Will create one and begin provisioning it if it did not already exist. Accepts many options to set aspects of your VM. Precedence is CLI > Config > Env Var > defaults.


Accepts any args and forwards them to Vagrant directly, allowing you to run any Vagrant command. Rambo has first-class duplicates or wrappers for the most common Vagrant commands, but for less common commands or commands that are not customized, they don’t need to be duplicated, so we call them directly.


The rambo.conf file is used to add options to various Rambo commands without having to pass them to the CLI. This is encouraged and has a few benefits. See the following quick example:

provider = digitalocean
guest_os = centos-7

is equivalent to:

rambo up --provider digitalocean --guest-os centos-7

An optional my_rambo.conf is also used, so you can have personallized and untracked configuration.

For a more detailed description, see the separate rambo.conf docs.

Environment Variables

RAMBO_ env vars

Like the config file, options can also be specified as environment variables. All CLI options that you can pass to Rambo are available to set by environment variables. They take the form of the CLI option, but are all upper-cased, use underscores instead of dashes, and are prefixed with RAMBO_. E.g. RAMBO_GUEST_OS is the environment variable for the CLI option --guest-os.

VAGRANT_ env vars

This is strongly discouraged.

Rambo uses Vagrant, so Vagrant specific environment variables can be used. Rambo itself sets some of these after its CLI invocation, so these may be overridden by Rambo. We do not support using these env vars manually with Rambo.