Commonly Used Ansible Modules

Ansible is an open-source automation tool that provides a wide range of modules to simplify IT infrastructure management. These modules offer ready-to-use functionality for various tasks, making it easier to automate system configuration and administration. In this tutorial, we will explore some commonly used Ansible modules and their usage.

Introduction to Commonly Used Ansible Modules

Ansible provides an extensive collection of modules that cover different domains such as package management, file manipulation, user management, system configuration, and more. These modules are designed to streamline common administrative tasks, allowing you to manage infrastructure efficiently.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: Using the 'yum' module to install packages

ansible localhost -m yum -a 'name=httpd state=present'

In the above command, we use the yum module to install the httpd package on the localhost host.

Example 2: Using the 'copy' module to transfer files

ansible localhost -m copy -a 'src=/path/to/source/file dest=/path/to/destination/file'

In this command, we utilize the copy module to transfer a file from a source location to a destination location on the localhost host.

Working with Commonly Used Ansible Modules

Here are the steps to work with commonly used Ansible modules:

Step 1: Identify the Task

Determine the task you want to accomplish. Whether it's installing packages, managing users, configuring services, or any other administrative task, identify the specific goal.

Step 2: Choose the Relevant Module

Browse through the Ansible documentation or use the ansible-doc -l command to find the module that best suits your task. Consider the parameters and options available for each module.

Step 3: Create an Ansible Playbook

Create an Ansible playbook, which is a YAML file defining the desired state of the system. In the playbook, specify the target hosts, the module to execute, and any additional parameters required. Playbooks allow you to automate complex tasks and orchestrate multiple modules.

Step 4: Execute the Playbook

Run the Ansible playbook using the ansible-playbook command. Ansible will connect to the specified hosts, transfer the necessary files, and execute the defined tasks using the selected module. Monitor the execution and review the output for any errors or changes made.

Step 5: Refine and Troubleshoot

If needed, refine your playbook by adjusting the module parameters or introducing conditional logic. Use Ansible's debugging and logging features to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Leverage community resources and consult the module documentation for additional guidance.

Common Mistakes with Commonly Used Ansible Modules

  • Not understanding the available parameters and options of the module.
  • Providing incorrect values for module parameters, leading to unexpected results.
  • Using outdated module versions that lack new features or bug fixes.
  • Not testing the playbook on a smaller scale before applying it to a production environment.
  • Not utilizing idempotent features of modules, resulting in unnecessary or repetitive changes.

FAQs about Commonly Used Ansible Modules

  1. Q: Can I use multiple modules in a single Ansible playbook?

    A: Yes, Ansible playbooks allow you to execute multiple modules sequentially or conditionally based on your requirements. You can define a series of tasks within a playbook to accomplish complex automation workflows.

  2. Q: How do I pass variables to Ansible modules?

    A: Ansible allows you to define variables within playbooks or as inventory variables. These variables can be passed to modules using the vars parameter or by referencing them directly in the module arguments.

  3. Q: Can I extend or customize existing Ansible modules?

    A: While it's not possible to directly modify Ansible's built-in modules, you can create custom modules using Python. These modules can leverage existing functionality and add additional features to suit your specific needs.


Commonly used Ansible modules provide a powerful way to automate various administrative tasks and streamline infrastructure management. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can effectively work with Ansible modules, choose the appropriate module for your tasks, and automate your system configuration and administration processes.