“The box ‘bento/ubuntu-16.04’ could not be found” error when spinning up a new Trellis project

The box 'bento/ubuntu-16.04' could not be found or could not be accessed in the remote catalog.

I was spinning up a new website using one of my favorite WordPress stacks built on Trellis and Vagrant, when I encountered the following error: The box ‘bento/ubuntu-16.04’ could not be found or could not be accessed in the remote catalog.

I had recently updated Vagrant from 1.8.5 to 1.8.7, and had also recently started using Ubuntu 16.04 for my new projects, updating from the previous LTS version 14.04 I had relied on for years.  So that gave me two avenues to go down – was it the newer Vagrant version or the updated Ubuntu version that was breaking things?

Troubleshooting

The Trellis docs say that “Vagrant >= 1.8.5” is required, so my new version 1.8.7 should work just fine.  On the Roots.io discussion forum, many users found that rolling back to Vagrant 1.8.5 worked for them.  But I typically want to use the latest version of software, so I didn’t stop there.

Then I came across this issue on Vagrant’s GitHub page, detailing how Vagrant’s embedded version of curl was causing a conflict with macOS Sierra on my laptop, and many folks have found that removing or linking that embedded version to my Mac’s version was a good solution.

The Solution(s)

To work around this error, you’ll want to either remove that embedded curl file, or re-link it to your Mac’s version.  Here’s how to do that …

Remove Vagrant’s embedded curl

This simply removes the embedded curl library, and seems to cause Vagrant to fall back to the macOS version.

or …

Link Vagrant’s embedded curl to the Mac host

This more specifically forces Vagrant to call the macOS version of curl directly using a symlink.

Either of these workarounds should fix your issue.  However, if you continue to have problems starting up a new Vagrant/Trellis box, please leave a comment below!

Author: Grant Norwood

Designer of things you click. Vegetable rights activist. Volunteer with tiny humans. Austin-ish, Texas.

People describe me as a rad web developer, product manager, solutions architect, public speaker, volunteer, and non-profit board member.

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