Tool for command line virtual machines

vagrant, vmware, vmrun, tool, virtualization, fusion, mech, virtualbox
pip install mikemech==0.9.3



Python package codecov PyPI - Downloads

Newly added virtualbox functionality. Please test and provide any feedback/issues. By default, the provider will be vmware.

There is --help on every operation.

mech --help

Usage: mech [options] <command> [<args>...]

    -v, --version                    Print the version and exit.
    -h, --help                       Print this help.
    --debug                          Show debug messages.

Common commands:
        box               manages boxes: add, list remove, etc.
        destroy           stops and deletes all traces of the instances
        (down|stop|halt)  stops the instances
        global-status     outputs status of all virutal machines on this host
        init              initializes a new Mech environment by creating a Mechfile
        ip                outputs ip of an instance
        (list|ls)         lists all available boxes
        pause             pauses the instances
        port              displays information about guest port mappings
        provision         provisions the Mech machine
        ps                list running processes for an instance
        reload            restarts Mech machine, loads new Mechfile configuration
        resume            resume a paused/suspended Mech machine
        scp               copies files to/from the machine via SCP
        snapshot          manages snapshots: save, list, remove, etc.
        ssh               connects to an instance via SSH
        ssh-config        outputs OpenSSH valid configuration to connect to the instances
        status            outputs status of the instances
        suspend           suspends the instances
        (up|start)        starts instances (aka virtual machines)
        upgrade           upgrade the instances

For help on any individual command run `mech <command> -h`


    mech up --help

mech up --help

% mech up --help
Starts and provisions the mech environment.

Usage: mech up [options] [<instance>]

   - If no instance is specified, all instances will be started.
   - The options (memsize, numvcpus, and no-nat) will only be applied
     upon first run of the 'up' command.
   - The 'no-nat' option will only be applied if there is no network
     interface supplied in the box file.
   - Unless 'disable-shared-folders' is used, a default read/write
     share called "mech" will be mounted from the current directory.
     (ex: '/mnt/hgfs/mech' on guest will have the file "Mechfile".)
     To change shared folders, modify the Mechfile directly.
   - The 'remove-vagrant' option will remove the vagrant account from the
     guest VM which is what 'mech' uses to communicate with the VM.
     Be sure you can connect/admin the instance before using this option.

        --disable-provisioning       Do not provision
        --disable-shared-folders     Do not share folders with VM
        --gui                        Start GUI
        --memsize 1024               Specify the size of memory for VM
        --no-cache                   Do not save the downloaded box
        --no-nat                     Do not use NAT network (i.e., bridged)
        --numvcpus 1                 Specify the number of vcpus for VM
    -h, --help                       Print this help
    -r, --remove-vagrant             Remove vagrant user

Example using mech

Initializing and using a machine from HashiCorp's Vagrant Cloud:

    mech init bento/ubuntu-18.04
    mech up
    mech ssh

mech init can be used to pull a box file which will be installed and generate a Mechfile in the current directory. You can also pull boxes from Vagrant Cloud with mech init freebsd/FreeBSD-11.1-RELEASE. See the mech up -h page for more information.

Can have multiple instances of the same box. The default instance name is 'first'.

Here is the help info for adding a new instance:

mech add --help

% mech add -h
Add instance to the Mechfile.

Usage: mech add [options] <name> <location>

Example box: bento/ubuntu-18.04

- The 'add-me' option will add the currently logged in user to the guest,
  add the same user to sudoers, and add the key to the authorized_hosts file
  for that user.

    -a, --add-me                     Add the current host user/pubkey to guest
        --box BOXNAME                Name of the box (ex: bento/ubuntu-18.04)
        --box-version VERSION        Constrain version of the added box
    -h, --help                       Print this help
    -p, --provider PROVIDER          Provider ('vmware' or 'virtualbox')
    -u, --use-me                     Use the current user for mech interactions

mech list

Here is what it would look like having multiple instance with different providers:

% mech list
                NAME	        ADDRESS	                                BOX	     VERSION	    PROVIDER
               fifth	     notcreated	                 bento/ubuntu-18.04	 202002.04.0	  virtualbox
               first	                 bento/ubuntu-18.04	 201912.04.0	      vmware
              fourth	                 bento/ubuntu-18.04	 202002.04.0	  virtualbox
              second	     notcreated	              mrlesmithjr/alpine311	  1578437753	      vmware
               third	     notcreated	                 bento/ubuntu-18.04	 201912.04.0	      vmware


To install:

pip install -U mikemech

or for the latest:

pip install -U git+

Shared Folders

If the box you init was created properly, you will be able to access the host's current working directory in /mnt/hgfs/mech. If you are having trouble try running:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) open-vm-tools

followed by



vmhgfs-fuse .host:/mech /mnt/hgfs

Changing vcpus and/or memory size (vmware only)

If you do not specify how many vcpus or memory, then the values in the .box file will be used. To override, use appropriate settings:

mech up --numvcpus 2 --memsize 1024

Want zsh completion for commands/options (aka "tab completion")?

  1. add these lines to ~/.zshrc
# folder of all of your autocomplete functions
fpath=($HOME/.zsh-completions $fpath)
# enable autocomplete function
autoload -U compinit
  1. Copy script to something in fpath (Note: Run echo $fpath to show value.)
cp _mech ~/.zsh-completions/
  1. Reload zsh
exec zsh
  1. Try it out by typing mech <tab>. It should show the options available.

Want bash completion for commands/options (aka "tab completion")?

  1. add these lines to ~/.bash_profile
[ -f /usr/local/etc/bash_completion ] && . /usr/local/etc/bash_completion
  1. Copy script to path above
cp /usr/local/etc/bash_completion/
  1. Reload .bash_profile
source ~/.bash_profile
  1. Try it out by typing mech <tab>. It should show the options available.


One of the authors made this because they don't like VirtualBox and wanted to use vagrant with VMmare Fusion but was too cheap to buy the Vagrant plugin.