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Deploying Ansible

Hands-On Lab


Photo of Stosh Oldham

Stosh Oldham

Course Development Director in Content





Ansible is a powerful automation tool that can be used for managing configuration state or even performing coordinated multi-system deployments. This activity is intended to provide the steps to get started with a simple Ansible configuration.

What are Hands-On Labs?

Hands-On Labs are scenario-based learning environments where learners can practice without consequences. Don't compromise a system or waste money on expensive downloads. Practice real-world skills without the real-world risk, no assembly required.

Deploying Ansible

We have been tasked with putting together a presentation to demonstrate how Ansible may be used to install software on remote hosts automatically.

Install Ansible on the Control Host

Log in to the Control Host server using ssh, cloud_user, and the provided Public IP address and password:

ssh cloud_user@<PUBLIC IP>

Install epel-release and enter y when prompted:

sudo yum install epel-release

Install Ansible and enter y when prompted:

sudo yum install ansible

Create an ansible User

Now, we need to create the ansible user on both the control host and workstation host.

On the control node:

sudo useradd ansible

Connect to the workstation node using the provided password:

ssh workstation

Add the ansible user to the workstation and set a password for the ansible user. We need to make sure it is something we will remember:

sudo useradd ansible
sudo passwd ansible

Configure a Pre-Shared Key for Ansible

With our user created, we need to create a pre-shared key that allows the user to log in from control to workstation without a password.

Change to the ansible user:

sudo su - ansible

Generate a new SSH key, accepting the default settings when prompted:


Copy the SSH key to workstation, providing the password we created earlier:

ssh-copy-id workstation

Test that we no longer need a password to log in to the workstation:

ssh workstation

Once we succeed at logging in, log out of workstation:


Configure the Ansible User on the Workstation Host

Our next job is to configure the ansible user on the workstation host so that that they may sudo without a password.

Log in to the workstation host as cloud_user using the password provided by the lab:

ssh cloud_user@workstation

Edit the sudoers file:

sudo visudo

Add this line at the end of the file:

ansible       ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: ALL

Save the file:


Log out of workstation:


Create a Simple Inventory

Next, we need to create a simple inventory, /home/ansible/inventory, consisting of only the workstation host.

On the control host, as the ansible user, run the following commands:

vim /home/ansible/inventory

Add the text "workstation" to the file and save using :wq in vim.

Write an Ansible Playbook

We need to write an Ansible playbook into /home/ansible/git-setup.yml on the control node that installs git on workstation, then executes the playbook.

On the control host, as the ansible user, create an Ansible playbook:

vim /home/ansible/git-setup.yml

Add the following text to the file:

--- # install git on target host
- hosts: workstation
  become: yes
  - name: install git
      name: git
      state: latest

Save and exit the file (:wq in vim).

Run the playbook:

ansible-playbook -i /home/ansible/inventory /home/ansible/git-setup.yml

Verify that the playbook ran successfully:

ssh workstation
which git


By completing this lab, we now have a better understanding of how to deploy Ansible, create a connection between two nodes, create a simple inventory, and how to write an Ansible playbook. Congratulations on completing this lab!