Vagrant LXC error, mount.nfs: mount to NFS server ‘’ failed: timed out, giving up

Vagrant-LXC is a plugin that provides integration of Vagrant with LXC containers, a modern virtualisation technology native to Linux. To share files between the host and the container, NFS can be used. The Vagrant NFS plugin ensures that a NFS server runs at the host that exports predefined locations of the host’s filesystem. Sometimes, an error pops up when starting a Vagrant box, indicating that a timeout occurred and that starting the box failed. 

A typical error is as follows:

Which means that the connection is blocked, often due to the firewall. Another error might be something like:

This practically means that the container is not allowed to reach the NFS server of the host, often due to AppArmor policy. I experienced this issue some time ago and discussed it in an issue at Github.

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Configuring MySQL with .my.cnf file

Connecting to a MySQL server often involves providing hostnames, usernames and passwords. Use a .my.cnf configuration file to provide defaults that simplify working with a MySQL server. 

Providing a default password reduces security. Take effort to make sure that the password cannot be read by other users on the system. If the server runs locally, use credentials that are only allowed to connect locally.

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Random values from PHP array one-liner

PHP provides the array_rand( $arr, $num )  function which returns an integer or array containing the keys of the array.

To obtain an array of values the following one-liner can be used:

This picks $num random keys from $arr (array_rand), flips keys with values (array_flip), intersects the picked keys with those of $arr (array_intersect_keys) and returns the corresponding elements of $arr.

Getting random values from an array.

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