VirtualHostX 8. - One Week In

Monday, September 10, 2018

Last week I released version 8.0 of VirtualHostX. I've been overwhelmed with the feedback I've gotten from my amazing customers. Everyone is happy to see the app alive again and under active development. Since version 8's first release last week, I've pushed out nine updates to the app. I've been squashing bugs and adding new features aimed and streamlining and smoothing out all the rough edges that were present in version 7. I'd like to highlight two of the biggest improvements below...

First off, is a new install wizard. When running VHX for the first time, the app no longer sends you away to a 3rd party web page to download and install VirtualBox and Vagrant. Instead, I've built in a new download manager that automatically downloads all the neccessary support files and launches their install scripts. For new users, this means all they have to do is click "Next" inside the VirtualBox and Vagrant install apps when they appear. This new way is much, much faster and most importantly fool-proof. Also, as a minor addition, I've added three new menu items under the "Help" menu that let you re-install VHX's two supporting apps or uninstall them from your system completely.

Second, I've migrated VHX off of Ubuntu's official Vagrant box and onto a custom 3rd party one. You shouldn't notice any differences with the way your virtual machine behaves. However, this fixes a long standing bug where VirtualBox was trying to write the virtual machine's serial port log to an invalid directory. It may sound like a small bug, but this could prevent your web server from launching. As VHX's longest outstanding bug, I'm very happy to finally say it's been squashed.

In addition to the two bigger changes above, I've thrown in over thirty smaller fixes and improvements throughout the app that serve to make the whole experience a whole lot better. If you were a fan of VHX during the version 6.0 and earlier days, who may have had a bad experience with the changes I made in version 7 two years ago, I highly encourage you to download this new version and give it a try again. I think you'll love it :-)

Finally, here's a quick screencast I recorded that walks through the first-time setup process. It goes from zero to a fully baked Wordpress installation in two minutes.