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Get started with Ansible

Book Description

Ansible is a great tool for handling deployment as well as configuration management, providing a lot more functionality than shell scripts. It doesn't require that one learn a new set of abstractions to hide the differences between operating systems. That makes its surface area smaller; there's less you need to know before you get started.

Why is it important?

We're all slowly turning into system engineers. Using a single tool for both configuration management and deployment makes life simpler for the folks responsible for operations. Project goals include a consistent, secure, highly reliable tool that's minimal in nature and has a low learning curve.

What you'll learn—and how you can apply it

Covers the basic concepts of Ansible at a high level, including how it communicates with remote servers and how it differs from other configuration-management tools. You'll learn how to use the Ansible command-line tool to perform simple tasks on a single host

This lesson is for you because…

  • You're a developer deploying your code to production
  • You're a systems administrator looking for a better way to automate
  • You need a quick introduction to leveraging an idempotent resource model for immutable infrastructure


  • Be familiar with at least one Linux distribution (e.g., Ubuntu, RHEL/CentOS, SUSE)
  • Be familiar with basic Linux system administration tasks, e.g., know how to:
    • Connect to a remote machine using SSH
    • Interact with the bash command-line shell (pipes and redirection)
    • Install packages
    • Use the sudo command
    • Check and set file permissions
    • Start and stop services
    • Set environment variables
    • Write scripts (any language)
  • Learn some YAML and Jinja2

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • Have a Linux server with which to practice

This Lesson is taken from Ansible: Up and Running by Lorin Hochstein.