Running adhoc commands on multiple servers
Example host file
Using the following
[app] 192.168.60.4 192.168.60.5 [db] 192.168.60.6 #Group `multi` with all servers [multi:children] app db #Variables that will be applied to all servers [multi:vars] ansible_ssh_user=vagrant ansible_ssh_private_key_file=~/.vagrant.d/insecure_private_key
By default ansible will run your commands in parallel using multiple process forks. To check the host name
ansible multi -a "hostname"
To Run Commands in sequence (A single process fork)
ansible multi -a "hostname" -f 1
It is rare that you will need to do that the number of forks will usually be around
-f 10 or
ansible [group-name] -m ping -u [username]
Show all facts:
ansible [host/group] -m setup -u [username] -i [inventory file]
ansible multi -a "df -h"
ansible multi -a "free -m"
Date and Time:
ansible multi -a "date"
ansible multi -a setup
Make sure a package is installed
-s means run as
## yum ansible multi -s -m yum -a "name=ntp state=installed" ## apt ansible multi -s -m apt -a "name=ntp state=installed"
Make sure a package is enabled on boot and currently running
ansible multi -s -m service -a "name=ntpd state=started enabled=yes"
Make Sure time is synced closely to official time:
ansible multi -s -a "service ntpd stop" ansible multi -s -a "ntpdate -q 0.rhel.pool.ntp.org" ansible multi -s -a "service ntpd start"
It is best to use the powers of ansible (abstraction and idempotency) when running commands
ansible -m shell -a "date" multi
Although there is usually no need for a module when running adhoc.
Configuring Appication Servers
For this example we will use
django is not in many official repos so we can use pythons easy_install which comes as an ansible module
## Yum ansible app -s -m yum -a "name=MySQL-python state=present" # Apt ansible app -s -m apt -a "name=MySQL-python state=present" ansible app -s -m yum -a "name=python-setuptools state=present" ansible app -s -m easy_install -a "name=django"
easy_install doesn’t allow uninstall like
pip does. So you could have used
Make sure django is installed and working
ansible app -a "python -c 'import django; print django.get_version()'"
Configuring the Database Server
MariaDB, start it and configure the firewall to allow access on port
ansible db -s -m yum -a "name=mariadb-server state=present" ansible db -s -m service -a "name=mariadb state=started enabled=yes" ansible db -s -a "iptables -F" ansible db -s -a "iptables -A INPUT -s 192.168.60.0/24 -p tcp \ -m tcp --dport 3306 -j ACCEPT"
We still need to secure the install what about
ansible db -s -m yum -a "name=MySQL-python state=present" ansible db -s -m mysql_user -a "name=django host=% password=12345 \ priv=*.*:ALL state=present"
So at this point we can create a django application and poiint the db to the database server with:
The MySQL configuration used here is for example/development purposes only! There are a few other things you should do to secure a production MySQL server, including removing the test database, adding a password for the root user account, restricting the IP addresses allowed to access port 3306 more closely, and some other minor cleanups
Make changes to just one server
ansible app -s -a "service ntpd restart" --limit "192.168.60.4" # with a blob ansible app -s -a "service ntpd restart" --limit "*.4" # withregex ansible app -s -a "service ntpd restart" --limit ~".*\.4"
Try to limit the usage of limit, if you find yourself using them alot it may be better to add a group in the
Manage Users and Groups
Add an admin group
ansible app -s -m group -a "name=admin state=present"
remove a group:
set the group id:
indicate group is a system user:
Add a new user to a group and add a home folder:
ansible app -s -m user -a "name=johndoe group=admin createhome=yes"
set the user id:
set the user’s shell:
set the password:
Delete an account:
ansible app -s -m user -a "name=johndoe state=absent remove=yes"
Manage Files and Directories
Check info about a file:
ansible multi -m stat -a "path=/etc/environment"
Copy files to servers:
ansible multi -m copy -a "src=/etc/hosts dest=/tmp/hosts"
The src can be a file or a directory. If you include a trailing slash, only the contents of the directory will be copied into the dest . If you omit the trailing slash, the contents and the directory itself will be copied into the dest .
For many files use Ansibles
Retrieve a file from the servers
ansible multi -s -m fetch -a "src=/etc/hosts dest=/tmp"
Copying from a single host use
Create a directory
ansible multi -m file -a "dest=/tmp/test mode644 state=directory"
Create a Symlink
ansible multi -m file -a "src=/src/symlink dest=/dest/symlink owner=root group=root state=link"
Delete Directories or Files
ansible multi -m file -a "dest=/tmp/test state=absent"
Running Commands Asynchronously
apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
Ansible will poll when the status is complete
-B <seconds>: the maximum amount of time in seconds to let the job run
-P <seconds>: amount of time to wait between polling servers
Example of Aynchronous:
# yum ansible multi -s -B 3600 -m yum -a "name=* state=latest" #apt ansible <group> -s -B 3600 -m apt -a "upgrade=dist"
Fire and Forget tasks
ansible multi -B 3600 -P 0 -a "/path/to/fire-and-forget-script.sh"
Checking log files
tail, cat, grep, less, etc
Continuously monitoring operations like
tail -f won’t as ansible only displays output after an operation is complete.
Ctrl-C won’t be able to send.
if you want to filter the messages log with something like grep , you can’t use Ansible’s default command module, but instead, shell
ansible multi -s -m shell -a "tail /var/log/messages | \
grep ansible-command | wc -l"
Managing Cron Jobs
Periodic tasks run via cron are managed by a system’s crontab. Normally, to change cron job settings on a server, you would log into the server, use crontab -e under the account where the cron jobs reside, and type in an entry with the interval and job.
Ansible apparently makes it easier, if you want to run a cronjob everyday at 4.
ansible multi -s -m cron -a "name='daily-cron-all-servers' \ hour=4 job='/path/to/daily-script.sh'"
Ansible will assume * for all values you don’t specify (valid values are day , hour , minute , month , and weekday ). You could also specify special time values like reboot , yearly , or monthly using special_time=[value] .
Deleting a cronjob
ansible multi -s -m cron -a "name='daily-cron-all-servers' state=absent"
Deploy a Version-Controlled Application
Seems like you need to install git first:
# yum ansible app -s -m yum -a "name=git state=installed" #apt ansible app -s -m apt -a "name=git state=installed"
The theory is you can specify a version which is a tag or branch.
To force an update use
ansible app -s -m git -a "repo=git://example.com/path/to/repo.git \ dest=/opt/myapp update=yes version=1.2.4"
Ansible and SSH connection History
Ansible use no extra daemons or apps, nor does it use any proprietary protocol. It uses SSH.
The process is:
ansible transfers a few files or plays to the server, tuns them and the deletes the files.
Ansible used to use
paramiko an open source SSH2 implementation for python. The problems were is didn’t keep pace with
openSSH and performance is slightly worse.
OpenSSH is now the standard for all servers supporting
ControlPersist allows SSH connections to persist so frequent commands run over SSH don’t have to go through the initial handshake over and over again
Also there is something called
Accelerated Mode, which connects with
SSH initially then uses the
AES key (on port
5099) for future transfers.
There is an extra package required to use the accelerated mode called
There are 2 exceptions:
must disable sudo passwords by setting
NOPASSWDin sudoers file
- hosts: all accelerate: true […]
Need a port (default of
5099) open or port specified by
Another improvement sends commands directly over ssh, only available in
ansible 1.5+ by setting: