WP Engine Open Sources Mercury Vagrant for Running WordPress on HHVM and PHP-FPM


WP Engine Labs, in collaboration with the VVV creators at 10up, released Mercury Vagrant (HGV) today. The new open source Vagrant configuration uses HHVM to serve PHP code. It also includes the ability to run your development site using standard PHP to test against for comparison.

Mercury Vagrant is useful for any WordPress developer who wants to develop on top of HHVM. Last year, WP Engine partnered with 10up to launch Mercury, its new enterprise HHVM WordPress hosting platform. Mercury Vagrant was commissioned to help WP Engine customers with local development, but it was not designed to be specific to the host’s infrastructure. It is GPL-licensed and meant to be used with any host.

After provisioning your VM, Mercury Vagrant includes the following:

HGV creates four different sites, with built-in documentation, for running code with either HHVM or PHP-FPM:

  • hgv.dev — General documentation and links for all of the tools
  • hhvm.hgv.dev — A new WordPress installation running on HHVM
  • php.hgv.dev — A new WordPress installation running on PHP-FPM (PHP 5.5)
  • admin.hgv.dev — Useful administrative tools (phpMyAdmin, etc.)

It also includes URLs for testing Varnish caching:


WP Engine labs is committed to supporting and improving Mercury Vagrant for the foreseeable future. The team has collaborated with Facebook to resolve many of the previous issues of using HHVM with WordPress sites. Even if you’re using different host that offers HHVM, this open source Vagrant configuration is a solid, professionally-supported tool for local testing. If you need help getting started, WP Engine created a visual walk through and tutorial videos to help you set up your local machine with HHVM with Vagrant.

Mercury Vagrant is a community tool that will go a long way towards helping developers become more familiar with running sites on HHVM. Benchmarks comparing WordPress sites on HHVM vs PHP-FPM indicate a 600% performance increase with HHVM. Dramatic performance increases in this range should have more hosts looking to add support for HHVM in the near future.

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    1. If its anything like their hosting, it will suck. Their copy from staging to live is a joke. And, no option to start over on staging with a clean site? Come on…


  1. Interesting stuff and thanks for open sourcing it. I am wondering have you played with PHP NG and if so do you plan to include it in the release?


    1. Hi Vladimir,

      We haven’t played too much with PHP-NG but I believe it is merging into master next release anyways? Feel free to file an issue in github and we can discuss it further with the team.


  2. 10up and WPE sounds like an awesome partnership and this is incredibly exciting news! I’ve been following WP+HHVM for a while now and the only thing that’s holding me back is the BP-compatibility, which I’ve heard isn’t 100% yet.


    1. J-trip is working on the BuddyPress stuff I know. It does get a little unstable under load but we’re working with Facebook on it.


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