Overview of Ansible Modules

Ansible is an open-source automation tool that simplifies IT infrastructure management. It allows you to automate the deployment and configuration of systems, making it easier to manage large-scale environments. One of the key components of Ansible is its modular architecture, which provides a wide range of functionality through pre-built modules.

Introduction to Ansible Modules

Ansible modules are standalone scripts that perform specific tasks, such as managing packages, configuring services, or interacting with cloud providers. They are written in Python and follow a simple interface that allows them to be easily executed and controlled by Ansible. Modules can be executed locally on the control machine or on remote hosts.

Here's an example of using the yum module to install a package:

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

In the above command, we use the ansible command-line tool to execute the yum module on the localhost host. The -m flag specifies the module to use, and the -a flag passes arguments to the module. In this case, we're installing the httpd package.

Working with Ansible Modules

Here are the steps to work with Ansible modules:

Step 1: Understand Module Documentation

Before using a module, it's essential to read its documentation. Ansible provides detailed documentation for each module, including usage examples, available parameters, and return values. Understanding the module's capabilities and requirements will help you leverage it effectively.

Step 2: Choose the Appropriate Module

Based on the task you want to accomplish, select the most suitable module. Ansible offers a vast collection of modules, covering various domains like system administration, network management, cloud provisioning, and more. Choose the module that aligns with your requirements.

Step 3: Write the Ansible Playbook

Create an Ansible playbook, which is a YAML file defining the desired state of the system. In the playbook, you specify the target hosts, the module to execute, and any additional parameters required. Playbooks allow you to define complex orchestration and configuration management workflows.

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. The output will provide details on the execution status and any changes made.

Step 5: Monitor and Troubleshoot

If any issues arise during the playbook execution, you can monitor and troubleshoot the process. Ansible provides various debugging and logging options to help identify and resolve problems. Additionally, reviewing the module's documentation and community resources can provide valuable insights.

Common Mistakes with Ansible Modules

  • Not reading the module documentation thoroughly.
  • Using an outdated version of the module, which may lack certain features or bug fixes.
  • Providing incorrect or insufficient module arguments, leading to unexpected behavior.
  • Forgetting to specify the target hosts or specifying the incorrect hosts in the playbook.
  • Not considering idempotence and re-running a playbook unnecessarily, causing unintended changes.

FAQs about Ansible Modules

  1. Q: Can I create my own Ansible modules?

    A: Yes, Ansible allows you to create custom modules using Python. You can define the desired functionality and use it in your playbooks.

  2. Q: How can I find available modules in Ansible?

    A: You can browse the Ansible documentation, which lists all available modules categorized by topic. Additionally, you can use the ansible-doc -l command to get a list of installed modules.

  3. Q: Can Ansible modules work with cloud providers?

    A: Yes, Ansible provides modules for various cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and more. These modules allow you to provision and manage resources in the cloud.


Ansible modules are powerful tools that enable automation and configuration management across a wide range of systems. They provide a vast array of functionality, allowing you to perform diverse tasks efficiently. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can effectively work with Ansible modules and leverage their capabilities to streamline your infrastructure management.