Creating Ansible Playbooks - Ansible Tutorial

Welcome to the tutorial on creating Ansible playbooks. Ansible playbooks are powerful tools for automating configuration management tasks. In this tutorial, we will explore how to create Ansible playbooks and use them to automate various operations on your infrastructure.

Introduction to Ansible Playbooks

Ansible playbooks are written in YAML (Yet Another Markup Language) and allow you to define a series of tasks to be executed on remote hosts. Playbooks provide a way to express the desired state of your infrastructure and automate complex configurations, deployments, and orchestration.

With Ansible playbooks, you can define tasks, configure hosts, handle variables, manage files, install software, and perform many other operations. Playbooks are highly flexible and can be used to automate a wide range of tasks.

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to create an Ansible playbook:

Step 1: Define the Playbook Structure

Create a new file with a `.yml` extension and define the basic structure of the playbook. The playbook typically includes a list of hosts, variables, and a series of tasks to be executed.

Step 2: Define the Hosts

Specify the hosts or groups of hosts on which the playbook tasks should be executed. You can define hosts in the playbook itself or reference an inventory file.

Step 3: Define Variables

Declare any necessary variables that will be used in the playbook. Variables can be defined globally, per host, or per task.

Step 4: Define Tasks

Define the tasks to be executed on the hosts. Each task consists of a module and its parameters. Modules provide the functionality to perform various operations such as package installation, file management, or service configuration.

Step 5: Execute the Playbook

Run the playbook using the `ansible-playbook` command followed by the name of the playbook file. Ansible will connect to the specified hosts, execute the tasks defined in the playbook, and display the results.

Common Mistakes

  • Incorrect YAML syntax in the playbook.
  • Mismatched indentation in the playbook.
  • Not using idempotent tasks, leading to unexpected changes on the target hosts.
  • Missing or misconfigured variables.
  • Not handling errors or failures gracefully in the playbook.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: Can I run multiple playbooks in a single command?
    A: Yes, you can run multiple playbooks by specifying them as separate arguments to the `ansible-playbook` command.
  2. Q: How can I include other playbooks within a playbook?
    A: You can use the `include` directive to include other playbooks within a playbook. This allows you to reuse common tasks across multiple playbooks.
  3. Q: Can I run a playbook on a subset of hosts?
    A: Yes, you can use the `--limit` option followed by a pattern to limit the playbook execution to a specific subset of hosts.


Ansible playbooks provide a powerful way to automate configuration management tasks. In this tutorial, we discussed the concept of Ansible playbooks and their benefits. We covered the step-by-step process of creating a playbook, including defining the playbook structure, hosts, variables, and tasks. We also highlighted common mistakes to avoid and provided answers to frequently asked questions. With Ansible playbooks, you can automate and streamline your infrastructure management tasks effectively.