Five tips for Ansible newbies

169 words, 1 minutes.

So you’ve decided to do some infrastructure automation as part of your DevOps workflow huh? And after reading lots of Ansible versus Puppet, Chef, Saltstack etc posts, you’ve settled on Ansible. But where to start? What tips will help you get on, faster? Here are my top five things you can do to help yourself…

  1. View the quickstart video. It’s 20 minutes well spent.
  2. Read the best practices. No, really, read them properly!
  3. Every time you’re unsure about how to do something, look at the modules list first (ansible-doc -l in a terminal is actually easier than browsing the web page).
  4. When the poop hits the fan, –verbose is your first step (-vvv then -vvvv for more information).
  5. When that doesn’t help, get really deep with ANSIBLE_KEEP_REMOTE_FILES and Python.

Really you should make sure you’ve been through these things before approaching the IRC channel, or the excellent mailing list.

In a follow up post I’ll suggest an inventory and group_vars layout for a dev -> test -> prod workflow.