Ansible Playbook Setup: Step by Step Procedure

Step 1: Creating a Test Playbook

To try out the examples described in this guide, you’ll need an Ansible playbook. We’ll set up a testing playbook that installs Nginx and sets up an index.html page on the remote server. This file will be copied from the Ansible control node to the remote nodes in your inventory file.

Create a new file called playbook.yml in the same directory as your inventory file. If you followed our guide on how to create inventory files, this should be a folder called ansible inside your home directory:

cd ~/ansible
nano playbook.yml

The following playbook has a single play and runs on all hosts from your inventory file, by default. This is defined by the hosts: all directive at the beginning of the file. The become directive is then used to indicate that the following tasks must be executed by a super user (root by default).

It defines two tasks: one to install required system packages, and the other one to copy an index.html file to the remote host, and save it in Nginx’s default document root location, /var/www/html. Each task has tags, which can be used to control the playbook’s execution.

Copy the following content to your playbook.yml file:


- hosts: all
  become: true
    - name: Install Packages
      apt: name={{ item }} update_cache=yes state=latest
      loop: [ 'nginx', 'vim' ]
      tags: [ 'setup' ]

    - name: Copy index page
        src: index.html
        dest: /var/www/html/index.html
        owner: www-data
        group: www-data
        mode: '0644'
      tags: [ 'update', 'sync' ]

Save and close the file when you’re done. Then, create a new index.html file in the same directory, and place the following content in it:


		<title>Testing Ansible Playbooks</title>
		<h1>Testing Ansible Playbooks</h1>
		<p>This server was set up using an Nginx playbook.</p>

Don’t forget to save and close the file.

Executing a Playbook

To execute the testing playbook on all servers listed within your inventory file, which we’ll refer to as inventory throughout this guide, you may use the following command:

ansible-playbook -i inventory playbook.yml

This will use the current system user as remote SSH user, and the current system user’s SSH key to authenticate to the nodes. In case those aren’t the correct credentials to access the server, you’ll need to include a few other parameters in the command, such as -u to define the remote user or --private-key to define the correct SSH keypair you want to use to connect. If your remote user requires a password for running commands with sudo, you’ll need to provide the -K option so that Ansible prompts you for the sudo password.

Leave a Comment

MFH IT Solutions (Regd No -LIN : AP-03-46-003-03147775)

Consultation & project support organization.


MFH IT Solutions (Regd)
NAD Kotha Road, Opp Bashyam School, Butchurajupalem, Jaya Prakash Nagar Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh – 530027