Ansible commands – Ansible Tutorials

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Ansible commands

Still now we seen Ansible installation and basic configuration. Let see more ansible ad-hoc command.

# ansible <group> -m <module> -a <arguments>

Here, we can also use a single host or all in place of <group> & <arguments> are optional to provide. Now let’s look at some basic commands to use with ansible,

Check connectivity of hosts

We have used this command in our previous tutorial also. The command to check connectivity of hosts is

# ansible <group> -m ping

Rebooting hosts

# ansible <group> -a “/sbin/reboot”

Checking host’s system information

Ansible collects the system’s information for all the hosts connected to it. To display the information of hosts, run

# ansible <group> -m setup | less

Secondly, to check a particular info from the collected information by passing an argument,

# ansible <group> -m setup -a “filter=ansible_distribution”

Transferring files

For transferring files, we use a module ‘copy’ & complete command that is used is

# ansible <group> -m copy -a “src=/home/ansible dest=/tmp/home”

Managing users

So to manage the users on the connected hosts, we use a module named ‘user’ & commands to use it are as follows,

Creating a new user

# ansible <group> -m user -a “name=ansible password=<encrypted password>”

Deleting a user

# ansible <group> -m user -a “name=ansible state=absent”

Note: – To create an encrypted password, use the ‘mkpasswd –method=sha-512’ command.

Changing permissions & ownership

So for changing ownership of files of connected hosts, we use module named ‘file’ & commands used are

Changing permission of a file

# ansible <group> -m file -a “dest=/home/ansible/file1.txt mode=777”

Changing ownership of a file

# ansible <group> -m file -a “dest=/home/ansible/file1.txt mode=777 owner=ansible group=ansible”

Managing Packages

So, we can manage the packages installed on all the hosts connected to ansible by using ‘yum’ & ‘apt’ modules & the complete commands used are

Check if package is installed & update it

# ansible <group> -m yum -a “name=httpd state=latest”

Check if package is installed & don’t update it

# ansible <group> -m yum -a “name= httpd state=present”

Check if package is at a specific version

# ansible <group> -m yum -a “name= httpd-1.8 state=present”

Check if package is not installed

# ansible <group> -m yum -a “name= httpd state=absent”

Managing services

So to manage services with ansible, we use modules ‘service’ & complete commands that are used are,

Starting a service

# ansible <group> -m service -a “name=httpd state=started”

Stopping a service

# ansible <group> -m service -a “name=httpd state=stopped”

Restarting a service

# ansible <group> -m service -a “name=httpd state=restarted”

Dry Run

Ansible supports running a playbook in dry run mode (also called Check Mode), in this mode, Ansible will not make any changes to your host, but simply report what changes would have been made if the playbook was run without this flag.

# ansible-playbook --check playbook.yml

Ansible Vault

If one of your tasks requires sensitive information (let’s say the database user and password), it’s a good practice to keep this information encrypted, instead of storing it in plain text.

Ansible ships with a command line tool called ansible-vault, that allows you to create and manage encrypted files. This way you can commit the encrypted file to your source control and only users with the decryption password will be able to read it.

# Encrypt an existing file. You'll need to create an encryption password.
ansible-vault encrypt secrets.yml 
# Creates a new, encrypted file. You'll need to create an encryption password.
ansible-vault create secrets.yml 
# Decrypt a file. You'll have to enter password used for encryption.
# Use it with caution! Don't leave your files unecrypted.
ansible-vault decrypt secrets.yml 
# Edit an encrypted file (uses vim by default, can be overriden by the environment variable $EDITOR)
ansible-vault edit secrets.yml 
# Print the contents of the encrypted file
ansible-vault edit secrets.yml

If you import the vars_file secrets.yml in your playbook, Ansible will fail, as it will not know how to read the encrypted file. You’ll have to specify the command line argument –ask-vault-pass, which will make Ansible prompt you the password of the encrypted file.

# ansible-playbook playbook.yml -i hosts --ask-vault-password

Another way is to store the password in a file (which should not be committed) and specify the path to the file using the –vault-password-file argument. If this file is marked as executable, Ansible will run it and use the output as the password.

Read More: Ansible Tutorial

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