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Beaker is a puppetlabs tool for automating acceptance testing of puppet modules; in most common use cases, it uses a Vagrant/ virtualbox VM to run the tests.

This week, I was writing tests for a module that configures my desktop and laptop, including installing and setting up Xorg and KDE and the SDDM display manager. I wanted to be able to test that they not only got installed, but actually ran without dieing - which required a graphincal environment (ideally, I’d visually confirm this as well).

To do this in Vagrant, you’d just add a gui = true option to the virtualbox provider in your Vagrantfile.

It isn’t documented anywhere, but I found that Beaker has support for this as well; all you need to do is add vb_gui: true in your node definition YAML.

--- before.yaml 2015-09-19 11:20:47.772523116 -0400
+++ after.yaml  2015-09-19 11:20:20.768867546 -0400
@@ -1,11 +1,12 @@
       - master
     platform: archlinux-2015.09.01-amd64
     box: jantman/packer-arch-workstation
     hypervisor: vagrant
+    vb_gui: true

   log_level: verbose
   type: foss

Once that’s done, the VirtualBox VM will run with a graphical display enabled. This is probably only useful on a local machine or if you’re running on a remote host have you have access to and have vrdp enabled, but in some edge cases like my module, it’s useful.


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