Vagrant has been around for a few years. If you develop open source web applications, there is good chance know of it or use it. If you have yet to try it out, I highly recommend it as a great introduction into Linux.
What Is Vagrant?
Vagrant is a wrapper for VirtualBox or VMware to allow the creation of independent virtual machines. These machines can be provisioned to automatically build a web stack environment. This allows developers to share the same environment without using their own custom setup for a project. What is the best thing about Vagrant? If you screw up, you can always rebuild the machine with one command.
When I Found Vagrant
When I was first introduced to Vagrant a few years back, I was working strictly on Microsoft web applications. Everything I used was managed through a graphical installer. I had always wanted to learn linux and was always impressed with bash scripting.
I was lucky enough that Vagrant had worked on Windows which would allow me try it out. I immediately became frustrated with the scary command line. I walked away only to return a few days later. I probably rebuilt my machine a few times a day, but I learned a great deal from my mistakes.
Here I Am Today
Right now I am typing this on my Linux desktop. It is typical for me to have three or more terminal windows open during the day. Where I used to feel inefficient with the command line, it has now become my comfort zone for development. Linux may have a steep learning curve in the beginning, but tools like Vagrant can accelerate your progress.