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How to Install Ansible on Ubuntu

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Welcome to our step-by-step guide on installing Ansible on Ubuntu. If you’re looking to automate your IT infrastructure and streamline your workflows, Ansible is a powerful tool that can help you achieve just that. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of installing Ansible on your Ubuntu system, ensuring that you have all the necessary dependencies and configurations in place. Whether you’re a system administrator or a developer, following these steps will enable you to harness the full potential of Ansible, empowering you to efficiently manage your servers and applications. So, let’s get started and unlock the possibilities that Ansible brings to your Ubuntu environment.

Understanding the prerequisites for installing Ansible on Ubuntu

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Before we dive into the installation process, it’s important to ensure that your Ubuntu system meets the necessary prerequisites. First, make sure that your system is running a supported version of Ubuntu. Ansible is compatible with Ubuntu 16.04 and later versions. Additionally, ensure that you have administrative privileges on your Ubuntu system, as the installation requires root access.

Step 1: Updating and upgrading the Ubuntu system

To begin the installation process, it’s crucial to update and upgrade your Ubuntu system. Open a terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

The first command (sudo apt update) updates the package lists for upgrades and new package installations. The second command (sudo apt upgrade) upgrades the installed packages to their latest versions. This step ensures that your system is up to date with the latest security patches and bug fixes.

Step 2: Installing Ansible using the apt package manager

Once you update your system, you can proceed with installing Ansible. Ubuntu provides the Ansible package in its official repositories, making the installation process straightforward. Run the following command in the terminal to install Ansible:

sudo apt install ansible

The apt install command retrieves the Ansible package and its dependencies from the official repositories and installs them on your system. Depending on your internet connection speed, this process may take a few minutes.

Step 3: Verifying the installation and checking Ansible version

After completing the installation, it’s important to verify that you have correctly installed Ansible. You can do this by checking the version of Ansible installed on your system. Run the following command in the terminal:

ansible –version

This command will display the version of Ansible installed on your system. Make sure that the output matches the version you intended to install. If the command doesn’t display any errors and shows the correct version, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Configuring Ansible hosts file for managing remote systems

Ansible uses a hosts file to define the remote systems it will manage. By default, this file is located at /etc/ansible/hosts. Open the hosts file using a text editor:

sudo nano /etc/ansible/hosts

Within the hosts file, you can define the IP addresses or hostnames of the remote systems you want to manage. You can also group the systems based on their roles or functions. Save the file and exit the text editor.

Step 5: Setting up SSH keys for secure communication between Ansible and remote systems

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To establish secure communication between Ansible and the remote systems it manages, we need to set up SSH key-based authentication. This eliminates the need for passwords and allows for seamless automation.

First, generate an SSH key pair on your Ansible control machine by running the following command:


Follow the prompts to generate the key pair. After generating the key pair, copy the public key to the remote systems by running the following command:

ssh-copy-id remote_user@remote_system

Replace remote_user with the username on the remote system and remote_system with the IP address or hostname of the remote system. You will be prompted to enter the password for the remote user. Once the public key is copied, you can now establish passwordless SSH access between Ansible and the remote systems.

Step 6: Writing your first Ansible playbook

Now that Ansible is installed, configured, and ready to go, it’s time to write your first Ansible playbook. Playbooks are files that describe the desired state of your systems and the tasks needed to achieve that state. They are written in YAML format and can be as simple or as complex as your requirements dictate.

A basic Ansible playbook consists of two main sections: the hosts section, which specifies the remote systems the playbook will target, and the tasks section, which defines the tasks to be executed on those systems. Here’s an example of a simple Ansible playbook:


-host: webservers
– name: Ensure Apache is installed
name: apache2
state: present

This playbook targets the systems in the webservers group and ensures that Apache is installed on those systems. You can run the playbook using the following command:

ansible-playbook playbook.yml

Replace playbook.yml with the filename of your playbook. Ansible will execute the tasks defined in the playbook on the targeted systems.

Troubleshooting common installation issues

While the installation process for Ansible on Ubuntu is generally straightforward, you may encounter some common issues. One common issue is the unavailability of the Ansible package in the official repositories. In such cases, you can try enabling the universe repository by running the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository universe

Another common issue is the presence of conflicting packages. If you encounter dependency conflicts during the installation, you can try removing conflicting packages using the apt remove command before installing Ansible.

If you face any other issues during the installation process, refer to the Ansible documentation or seek assistance from the Ansible community for further troubleshooting.

Conclusion: Streamlining automation with Ansible on Ubuntu

In conclusion, installing Ansible on Ubuntu provides a powerful platform for automating complex IT tasks. By following this step-by-step guide, you have learned how to install Ansible, configure the necessary files, and write your first Ansible playbook. With Ansible, you can streamline your automation efforts, reduce manual intervention, and focus on more strategic initiatives. Embrace the power of Ansible and unlock the full potential of automation on Ubuntu.

Now that you have a solid foundation in Ansible installation and configuration, it’s time to explore the vast capabilities and features that Ansible offers. Get creative, automate with confidence, and enjoy the benefits of streamlined automation with Ansible on Ubuntu.

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