Windows, Vagrant and Git Bash: process_builder.rb encoding error
Under certain conditions, Vagrant triggers
process_builder.rb when accessed in Git Bash on Windows.
vagrant status in Git Bash on Windows is enough to trigger an error similar to this one:
The problem can also occur in the context of other commands such as
Inspecting the environment shows that the value of the environment variable
MYVAR contains an
In your case, the variable might be named different and might contain other non-ASCII characters. Other environment variables may contain non-ASCII characters, too.
Change the value of the environment variable
e.g. by executing
setx MYVAR "John Doe". After a restart of Git Bash the umlaut should be gone and
vagrant status should run without an error. This is a quick fix that doesn't change the root cause,
just treats the symptom. A permanent value change of environment variables could affect the behavior of the
Apply a fix to the vagrant code
The location where the error occurs is exactly specified in the error message:
process_builder.rbreveals the following code at line 44:
The error message tells us what is going wrong:
"\\xC3" to UTF-8 in conversion from ASCII-8BIT to UTF-8 to
UTF-16LE (Encoding::UndefinedConversionError). Assuming that the environment is read in ASCII-8BIT
encoding the error is easily reproduceable by executing this little test script:
The proposed solution follows two approaches:
- The selective replacement of known problematic characters at the ASCII-8BIT UTF-8 level using the
fallbackoption of the ruby method
- Global replacement of undefined characters with '
?' [1, 2]
The disadvantage of this solution is that this patch can be overwritten with every update of Vagrant. In addition, the effects of selective or global replacement are unclear. If in doubt, the proposed changes should not be applied. Otherwise apply at your own risk.
Wait for someone to fix that problem
This does not help in the short term but should be mentioned here for the sake of completeness. Who could be 'someone'? Vagrant 2.2.16 depends on Ruby 2.6.7 but the encoding problems were apparently only fixed with Ruby version 3 . Therefore, I think, no fix could be expected from Vagrant in the near future. This issue and others might be the reason migrating Vagrant to Go: A long-standing issue with some plugins and third-party distributions packaging Vagrant revolves around Vagrant shipping its own Ruby. This causes friction when you want to run Vagrant on the latest versions of Ruby or when Ruby plugins depend on packages that require specific libraries .
- Jesus Castello, Understanding Ruby: String Encoding, ASCII & Unicode, RubyGuides, May 27, 2019. Accessed on Jul 16, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.rubyguides.com/2019/05/ruby-ascii-unicode/
- José M. Gilgado, Troubleshooting encoding errors in Ruby, Honeybadger, Jun 24, 2020. Accessed on Jul 16, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.honeybadger.io/blog/troubleshooting-encoding-errors-in-ruby/
- Thomas Thomassen, ENV data yield ASCII-8BIT encoded strings under Windows with unicode username, Ruby Issue Tracking System, Feb 26, 2021. Accessed on Jul 20, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/9715
- Chris Roberts, Sophia Castellarin, Toward Vagrant 3.0, HashiCorp, Jun 11, 2021. Accessed on Jul 20, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.hashicorp.com/blog/toward-vagrant-3-0