Your Own, Personal, Ansible

Me. Us. Them.

The story I tell when I explain the various offereings that Red Hat has based on Ansible follow is based on the progression of Me. Us. Them.

Me: Get my playbook working for me on my workstation. For this, I use Ansible Engine.

Us: Share my playbook with my larger team. For this, I use Ansible Tower.

Them: Make a Self service catalog for the larger organization to consume. This is where Ansible integration into other products comes in to play. I typically talk about CloudForms integration here, but Satellite and OpenShift are also capable of making use of Ansible here.

Here is how I have my local setup for doing Ansible based development. This is organized roughly around how Tower will later consume the roles and playbooks I design here.

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Remotely Provisioning a Virtual Machine using Ansible and Libvirt

Ansible exists to help automate the time consuming repeated tasks that technologist depend upon. One very common jobs is to create and tear down a virtual machine. While cloud technologies have made this possible to perform remotely, there are many times when I’ve needed to setup and tear down virtual machines on systems that were stand alone Linux servers. In this case, the main interfaces to the machine are ssh and libvirt. I recently worked through an Ansible role to setup and tear down an virtual machine via libvirt, and I’d like to walk through it, and record my reasons for some of the decisions I made.
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Launching a VM From the virt-install command line interface

I do this infrequently enough that I want to record a reminder how I do it:

sudo cp ~/Downloads/rhel-server-7.6-x86_64-kvm.qcow2 /var/lib/libvirt/images/tower.qcow2
sudo virt-install --vcpus=2  --name tower  --ram 4096  --import  --disk /var/lib/libvirt/images/tower.qcow2

Manually Adding SSH Keys to a Cloud Image

Not all of my virtual machines run on OpenStack; I have to run a fair number of virtual machines on my personal workstation via libvirt. However, I like using the cloud versions of RHEL, as they most closely match what I do run in OpenStack. The disconnect is that the Cloud images are designed to accept cloud-init, which pulls the ssh public keys from a metadata web server. Without that, there are no public keys added to the cloud-user account, and the VM is unaccessable. Here is how I add the ssh keys manually.
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Using an Ansible Tower Inventory from Command Line Ansible

In an earlier post, I wrote about using the OpenStack Ansible inventory helper when calling and Ansible command line tools. However, When developing an playbook, often there is more information pulled from the inventory than just the set of hosts. Often, the inventory also collects variables that are used in common across multiple playbooks. For this reason, and many more, I want to be able to call an Ansible playbook or Ad-Hoc command from the command line, but use the inventory as defined by an Ansible Tower instance. It turns out this is fairly simple to do, using the REST API.

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