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How to Set up Ansible

Set up Ansible

If you’re new to Ansible, setting it up might seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry, with a little guidance, you can have it up and running in no time. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to to set up Ansible on your machine.

Step 1: Install Ansible

The first step in setting up Ansible is to install it on your machine. Ansible can be installed on Linux, Mac, or Windows machines. The installation process differs slightly depending on your operating system. You can find detailed installation instructions on the Ansible website. Here’s a brief overview:

  • On Linux: You can install Ansible using your distribution’s package manager. For example, on Ubuntu, you can run the following command to install Ansible:
sudo apt-get install ansible
  • On Mac: You can install Ansible using Homebrew, a package manager for macOS. You can run the following command to install Ansible:
brew install ansible
  • On Windows: You can install Ansible using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) or a virtual machine. You can find detailed instructions on the Ansible website.

Step 2: Set up your inventory

Once you have Ansible installed, the next step is to set up your inventory. An inventory is a list of hosts that Ansible will manage. You can set up your inventory in a file called “hosts” in the /etc/ansible/ directory. Here’s an example of what your hosts file might look like:

webserver1 ansible_host=
webserver2 ansible_host=

dbserver1 ansible_host=
dbserver2 ansible_host=

In this example, we have two groups of servers, “webservers” and “databases.” Each server is identified by a hostname or IP address.

Step 3: Set up your SSH keys

Ansible uses SSH to connect to remote servers, so you’ll need to set up SSH keys for authentication. If you don’t already have an SSH key, you can generate one using the ssh-keygen command:


This will create a public and private key pair in your home directory (~/.ssh/ and ~/.ssh/id_rsa).

Step 4: Test your connection

Now that you have your inventory set up and your SSH keys generated, it’s time to test your connection. You can do this using the ping module, which sends a ping command to each host in your inventory. Here’s an example:

ansible all -m ping

This command will ping all the hosts in your inventory and report back whether they are reachable.

Step 5: Write your first playbook

Congratulations, you’re now ready to start writing your first playbook! Playbooks are YAML files that define tasks that Ansible will run on your servers. Here’s a simple example:

- name: Install Apache web server
  hosts: webservers
  become: true
    - name: Install Apache
      apt: name=apache2 state=present

In this example, we have a playbook that installs the Apache web server on all the hosts in the “webservers” group. The “become” parameter tells Ansible to run the task as the root user.


Setting up Ansible might seem intimidating at first, but with a little guidance, it’s a straightforward process. You’ll need to install Ansible, set up your inventory, generate SSH keys, test your connection

and write your first playbook. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be well on your way to automating your server management tasks with Ansible.

In addition to the steps outlined in this article, there are many other features and capabilities of Ansible that you can explore as you become more familiar with the tool. For example, you can use Ansible to manage configuration files, install software packages, and even orchestrate complex multi-tier applications.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ansible, there are many resources available online. The official Ansible documentation is an excellent place to start, as it provides detailed information about the tool’s features and functionality. You can also find tutorials and examples on websites like GitHub and Stack Overflow, as well as in online communities like the Ansible subreddit and the Ansible user mailing list.

In conclusion, Ansible is a powerful tool for automating server management tasks, and with a little effort, you can set it up and start using it to streamline your workflows. So why not give it a try and see how it can help you save time and improve your efficiency?

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