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We know that one of the biggest pain points in hybrid development with Ionic, Cordova, and Android is just getting everything installed and configured on your machine. It hurts us to watch new developers fumble with the dependencies required for doing mobile development.

It’s especially bad for Windows users that often have very diverse installations and inconsistent access to a Unix-style command line where tools like Node.js (used by Ionic and Cordova) thrive.

So today we are relieved to announce we’ve created a solution to the nightmare that is dependency installation: Ionic Box, an all-in-one project for setting up hybrid development environments more quickly and easily.

The first version of Ionic Box uses Vagrant to set up a virtual machine for you to develop through. If you aren’t familiar with Vagrant, it’s a tool to create reusable development environments through the use of virtual machines, most commonly through VirtualBox. That means you can configure a Virtual Machine complete with all the tools you need to start building hybrid or native-only apps with Android and Cordova.

To use this project, download the most recent release of the code, unzip it, and then open up your command prompt or terminal and cd into the extracted folder.

Assuming you have Vagrant and VirtualBox installed, all you need to do us run vagrant up and the machine will download and configure itself. It takes a bit of time at first, but it’s all automated and only needs to be done once.

Once the image is built and running, you can run vagrant ssh to connect to the image where you have a full development environment ready to go, including support for testing on a USB connected Android device! Configure shared directories to share code from your host computer to the vagrant guest, and it’ll feel just like home.

So give this project a try, and let us know what you think! This is the first release and we will be evolving this over time as we learn how people use it in the wild.

Ionic Box

  • Arun Kumar

    Really Good initiative .. It’s always hard to configure dev env.

    But, i am not able to emulate android application.

    I’m getting below error no avd’s found.

  • Ian Ebstein

    I love this too. I like to reformat every once and a while to keep fresh, but setting up dev environments gives me pause every time.
    BUT! Like Arun, I haven’t been able to emulate at all! I haven’t been able to run through Genymotion or adb to my phone despite thousands of tabs worth of research.
    More support for this would be beyond amazing!

  • Cyberspy

    Don’t forget to also install Putty on Windows, as it doesn’t come with a default SSH client. Use this instead of ‘vagrant ssh’
    Having said that, I’m building an Ionic app on Windows (to control a raspberry pi robot running python flask to control it) without any problems and without vagrant.
    Just install nodeJ’s and then use npm to install ionic and Cordova. Simples!

  • jarrett jordaan

    This project does not seem to be maintained anymore? Is it still worth using though?