DevOps Classroom Series – 11/Aug/2020

Ansible Behavior Inventory Parameters

  • Refer Here for official docs
  • Some Inventory Parameters
    • ansible_host: This will be host name or ipaddress which ypu can set to the host
      • Consider this inventory file
      myfavoriteserver ansible_host="" ansible_host="localhost"
      • Now lets run simple ansible ping adhoc command ansible -i hosts -m ping all Preview
    • ansible_port: Specifies the port number that Ansible will use to connect to inventory host, Sample inventory
    localhost ansible_port=8922
    • ansible_user: Specifies the username that ansible will connect to the inventory host.
    • ansible_ssh_pass: Used to provide the ssh password to authenticate with inventory host. ansible_user="admin" ansible_ssh_pass="admin123"
    • ansible_ssh_private_key_file: Used to specify the SSH private key file to connect to inventory host ansible_user="ec2_user" ansible_ssh_private_key_file="./ansible.pem"
    • ansible_ssh_common_args: This defines ssh arguments to append to default arguments for ssh, sftp and scp
    • ansible_sftp_extra_args: Used to specify additional sftp arguments
    • ansible_scp_extra_args: Used to specify additional scp arguments
    • ansible_ssh_extra_args: Used to specify additional ssh arguments
    • ansible_ssh_executable:
    • ansible_become: This defines whether privilege escalation(sudo or otherwise) should be with this host
    • ansible_become_method: Which method to use for privilege and can be one of sudo, su, pfexec,doas,dzdo,pbrun or ksu
    • ansible_become_user: This is user to become through privilege escalation
    • ansible_become_pass: This is password for become user.
    • ansible_sudo_pass: This is sudo password to use
    • ansible_connection: This is the connection type of the host. values are one of ssh,local,smart,docker, paramiko or winrm. Default is smart
    • ansible_docker_extra_args:
    • ansible_shell_type: Default shell of the inventory host
    • ansible_shell_executable: Default shell types executable
    • ansible_python_interpreter: This is used to manually set the path of python interpreter on a given host in the inventory
      • Consider the below inventory
      [python3] ansible_python_interpreter="/usr/bin/python3"
      • Now run simple adhoc command “`ansible -i diffpythonhosts -m ping all Preview

Inventory Limiting

  • Consider the following inventory
[webserver] ansible_python_interpreter="/usr/bin/python3"

  • Now we have written a playbook or adhoc command for
ansible -m ping all
  • Playbook is
- name: just fun
  hosts: all
    - name: ping host
    - name: print host
        var: inventory_host
  • Now executing this playbook will result as shown below Preview
  • Now we can supply –limit as shown below Preview Preview

Ansible Variables in separate files

  • Rather than writing variable data in inventory, it is a best practice to write them separately in a file, for that we need to understand how to create files for group variables and host variables
  • Lets assume this inventory and create it in a file called as hosts


  • Now the following playbook is created
- name: just fun
  hosts: all
    - name: ping host
    - name: print host
        var: inventory_hostname
    - name: print variable
        var: from_where
  • Lets add the following entries in group_vars/webservers.yaml
from_where: group_webservers
  • In group_vars/dbservers.yaml
from_where: group_dbservers

  • In host_vars/
ansible_python_interpreter: "/usr/bin/python3"
from_where: hosts_172.31.3.192

  • Lets look at folder structure Preview
  • The convention is in the folder wherever you have inventory in the same folder create folder named "group_vars" and the file name will be group_vars/<groupname>.yaml. Similarly for host variable the file names will be host_vars/<hostname>.yaml
  • lets execute playbook Preview

Next Steps

  • Steps while parsing playbooks
  • Order of operations
  • Play behavior directives
  • Execution strategies

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