Five tips for Ansible newbies

175 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.