What is Ansible?

Welcome to the tutorial on Ansible, a powerful open-source automation tool that simplifies the management and configuration of IT infrastructure. Ansible allows you to automate tasks, deploy applications, and orchestrate complex workflows with ease. In this tutorial, we will explore what Ansible is, its benefits, and how you can get started with it.

Introduction to Ansible

Ansible is a popular infrastructure automation tool that provides a simple, agentless approach to automation. It uses a declarative language, called YAML, to define the desired state of your infrastructure and performs the necessary tasks to achieve that state. Here are a few key points to understand about Ansible:

  • Agentless: Ansible does not require any agents or additional software to be installed on managed nodes, making it lightweight and easy to set up.
  • Playbooks: Ansible uses playbooks to describe automation tasks and workflows. Playbooks are written in YAML and can be version controlled, shared, and reused.
  • Idempotent: Ansible performs tasks in a way that is idempotent, meaning the same playbook can be executed multiple times without causing unintended side effects.
  • Inventory: Ansible uses an inventory file to define the hosts and groups it manages. The inventory can be static or dynamic, allowing flexibility in managing infrastructure.

Example Ansible Commands

Let's look at a couple of examples of Ansible commands:

  • Running a playbook: To run an Ansible playbook, you can use the command: ansible-playbook playbook.yml
  • Gathering facts: Ansible can gather facts about managed hosts, such as system information, using the command: ansible all -m setup

Common Mistakes

  • Not properly organizing and structuring playbooks, leading to complex and difficult-to-maintain automation code.
  • Not leveraging Ansible roles and reusing code, resulting in duplicated effort and increased maintenance overhead.
  • Overlooking the importance of testing playbooks and workflows before applying them to production environments, leading to unforeseen issues and outages.
  • Using insecure practices, such as hardcoding sensitive information in playbooks or not properly securing Ansible communication channels.
  • Not using version control systems to manage and track changes to playbooks, making it difficult to collaborate and revert to previous working states.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: Is Ansible only used for server automation?
    A: No, Ansible can be used to automate a wide range of tasks, including server provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, and more.
  2. Q: How does Ansible differ from other configuration management tools?
    A: Ansible distinguishes itself by its simplicity, agentless architecture, and ease of use. It has a shallow learning curve and is known for its focus on human-readable syntax.
  3. Q: Can Ansible manage Windows systems?
    A: Yes, Ansible can manage Windows systems along with various other operating systems. However, some Windows-specific tasks may require additional configuration and dependencies.


Ansible is a powerful automation tool that simplifies the management and configuration of IT infrastructure. With its agentless approach, declarative language, and extensive capabilities, Ansible enables efficient and scalable automation workflows. In this tutorial, we introduced Ansible, explored its features, provided examples of commands, discussed common mistakes to avoid, and answered frequently asked questions. Use this knowledge to harness the power of Ansible and automate your IT tasks effectively.