Finalizing the installation of Zabbix Agent with Ansible

I wrote this blog post I while back for Zabbix itself to be posted on the Blog site, see: https://blog.zabbix.com/finalizing-the-installation-of-zabbix-agent-with-ansible/13321/ (There are a lot of interesting posts on there, so please check the blogposts often!)

In the previous blog posts, we created a Zabbix Server with a new user, a media type, and an action. In the 2nd blog post, we continued with creating and configuring a Zabbix Proxy. In the last part of this series of blog posts, we will install the Zabbix Agent on all of the 3 nodes we have running.

This blog post is the 3rd part of a 3 part series of blog posts where Werner Dijkerman gives us an example of how to set up your Zabbix infrastructure by using Ansible.
You can find part 1 of the blog post by clicking here.

To summarize, so far we have a Zabbix Server and a Zabbix Proxy. The Zabbix Server has a MySQL instance running on a separate node, the MySQL instance for the Zabbix Proxy runs on the same node. But we are missing one component right now, and that is something we will install with the help of this blog post. We will install the Zabbix Agent on the 3 nodes.

A git repository containing the code used in these blog posts is available on https://github.com/dj-wasabi/blog-installing-zabbix-with-ansible. Before we run Ansible, we need to make sure we have opened a shell on the “bastion” node. We can do that with the following command:

$ vagrant ssh bastion

Once we have opened the shell, go to the “/ansible” directory where we have all of our Ansible files present.

$ cd /ansible

In the previous blog post, we executed the “zabbix-proxy.yml” playbook. Now we are going to use the “zabbix-agent.yml” playbook. The playbook will install the Zabbix Agent on all nodes (“node-1”, “node-2” and “node-3”). Next up, on both the “node-1” and “node-3”, we will add a user parameters file specifically for MySQL. With this user parameters file, we are able to monitor the MySQL instances.

$ ansible-playbook -i hosts zabbix-agent.yml

This playbook will run for a few minutes installing the Zabbix Agent on the nodes. It will install the zabbix-agent package and add the configuration file, but it will also make a connection to the Zabbix Server API. We will automatically create a host with the correct IP information and the correct templates! When the Ansible playbook has finished running, the hosts can immediately be found in the Frontend. And better yet, it is automatically correctly configured, so the hosts will be monitored immediately!

We have several configurations spread over multiple files to make this work. We first start with the “all” file.

The file “/ansible/group_vars/all” contains the properties that will apply to all hosts. Here we have the majority of essential properties configured that are overriding the default properties of the Ansible Roles. Each role has some default configuration, which will work out of the box. But in our case, we need to override these, and we will discuss some of these properties next.

zabbix_url

This is the URL on which the Zabbix Frontend is available and thus also the API. This property is for example used when we create the hosts via the API as part of the Proxy and Agent installation.

zabbix_proxy

The Zabbix Agents will be monitored by the Zabbix Proxy unless the Agent runs on the Zabbix Server or the host running the database for the Zabbix Server. Like with the previous blog post, we will also use some Ansible notation to get the IP address of the host running the Zabbix Proxy to configure the Zabbix Agent.

zabbix_proxy: node-3
zabbix_agent_server: "{{ hostvars[zabbix_proxy]['ansible_host'] }}"
zabbix_agent_serveractive: "{{ hostvars[zabbix_proxy]['ansible_host'] }}"

With the above configuration, we configure both the Server and ServerActive in the Zabbix Agent’s configuration file to use the IP address of the host running the Zabbix Proxy. If you look at the files “/ansible/group_vars/zabbix_database” and “/ansible/group_vars/zabbix_server/generic” you would see that these contain the following:

zabbix_agent_server: "{{ hostvars['node-1']['ansible_host'] }}"
zabbix_agent_serveractive: "{{ hostvars['node-1']['ansible_host'] }}"

The Zabbix Agent on the Zabbix Server and on its database is using the IP address of the Zabbix Server to be used as the value for both the “Server” and “ActiveServer” configuration settings for the Zabbix Agent.

zabbix_api_user & zabbix_api_pass

These are the default in the roles, but I have added them here so it is clear that they exist. When you change the Admin user password, don’t forget to change them here as well.

zabbix_api_create_hosts & zabbix_api_create_hostgroups 

Because we automatically want to create the Zabbix Frontend hosts via the API, we need to set both these properties to true. Firstly, we create the host groups that can be found with the property named “zabbix_host_groups”. After that, as part of the Zabbix Agent installation, the hosts will be created via the API because of the property zabbix_api_create_hosts.

Now we need to know what kind of information we want these hosts created with. Let’s go through some of them.

zabbix_agent_interfaces

This property contains a list of all interfaces that are used to monitoring the host. This is relatively simple in our case, as the hosts only have 1 interface available. You can find some more information about what to use when you have other interfaces like IPMI or SNMP: https://github.com/ansible-collections/community.zabbix/blob/main/docs/ZABBIX_AGENT_ROLE.md#other-interfaces We use the interface with the value from property “ansible_host” for port 10050.

zabbix_host_groups

This property was also discussed before – we automatically assign our new host to these host groups. Again, we have a fundamental setup, and thus it is an effortless property.

zabbix_link_templates

We provide a list of all Zabbix Templates we will want to assign to the hosts with this property. This property seems a bit complicated, but no worries – let’s dive in!

zabbix_link_templates:
  - "{{ zabbix_link_templates_append if zabbix_link_templates_append is defined else [] }}"
  - "{{ zabbix_link_templates_default }}"

With the first line, we add the property’s value “zabbix_link_templates_append”, but we only do that if that property exists. If Ansible can not find that property, then we basically add an empty list. So where can we find this property? We can check the files in the other directories in the group_vars directory. If we check, for example “/ansible/group_vars/database/generic”, we will find the property:

zabbix_link_templates_append:
  - 'MySQL by Zabbix agent'

So on all nodes that are part of the database group, we add the value to the property “zabbix_link_templates”. All of the database servers will get this template attached to the host. If we would check the file “/ansible/group_vars/zabbix_server/generic”, then we will find the following:

zabbix_link_templates_append:
  - 'Zabbix Server'

As you probably understand now, when we create the Zabbix Server host, we will add the “Zabbix Server” template to the host, because this file is only used for the hosts that are part of the zabbix_server group.

With this setup, we can configure specific templates for the specific groups, but there is also at least 1 template that we always want to add. We don’t want to add the template to each file as that is a lot of configuration, so we use a new property for this named “zabbix_link_templates_default”. In our case, we only have Linux hosts, so we always want to add the templates:

zabbix_link_templates_default:
  - "Linux by Zabbix agent active"

On the Zabbix Server, we both assign the “Zabbix Server” template and the template “Linux by Zabbix agent active” to the host.

But what if we have Macros?

zabbix_macros

As part of some extra tasks in this playbook execution, we also need to provide a macro for some hosts. This macro is needed to make the Zabbix Template we assign to the hosts work. For the hosts running a MySQL database, we need to add a macro, which can be found with the property zabbix_macros_append in the file “/ansible/group_vars/database/generic”.

zabbix_macros_append:
  - macro_key: "MYSQL.HOST"
    macro_value: "{{ ansible_host }}"

We will create 1 macro with the key name “MYSQL.HOST” and assign a value that will be equal to the contents of the property ansible_host (For the “node-2” host, the host running the database for the Zabbix Server), which is “10.10.1.12”.

User parameters

The “problem” with assigning the MySQL template is that it also requires some UserParameter entries set. The Zabbix Agent role can deploy files containing UserParameters to the given hosts. In “/ansible/group_vars/database/generic” we can find the following properties:

zabbix_agent_userparameters_templates_src: "{{ inventory_dir }}/files/zabbix/mysql"
zabbix_agent_userparameters:
  - name: template_db_mysql.conf

The first property “zabbix_agent_userparameters_templates_src” will let Ansible know where to find the files. The “{{ inventory_dir }}” will be translated to “/ansible” and here you will find a directory named “files” (and you will find the group_vars directory as well) and further drilling down the directories, you will find the file “template_db_mysql.conf”.

With the second property “zabbix_agent_userparameters” we let Ansible know which file we want to deploy to the host. In this case, the only file found in the directory named “template_db_mysql.conf”.

When the Zabbix agent role is fully executed, we have everything set to monitor all the hosts automatically. Open the dashboard, and you will see something like the following:

It provides an overview, and on the right side, you will notice we have a total of 3 nodes of which 3 are available. Maybe you will see a “Problem” like in the screenshot above, but it will go away.

If we go to “Configuration” and “Hosts,” we will see that we have the 3 nodes, and they have the status “Enabled” and the “ZBX” icon is green, so we have a proper connection.

We should verify that we have some data, so go to “Monitoring” and click on “Latest data.” We select in the Host form field the “Zabbix database,” and we select “MySQL” as Application and click on “Apply.” If everything is right, it should provide us with some information and values, just like the following screenshot. If not, please wait a few minutes and try again.

Summary

This is the end of a 3 part blog post in creating a fully working Zabbix environment with a Zabbix Server, Proxy, and Agent. With these 3 blogposts you were able to see how you can install and configure a complete Zabbix environment with Ansible. Keep in mind that the code shown was for demo purposes and it is not something you can immediately use for the Production environment. We also used some of the available functionality of the Ansible collection for Zabbix, there are many more possibilities like creating a maintenance period or a discovery rule. Not everything is possible, if you do miss a task or functionality of a role that Ansible should do or configure, please create an issue on Github so we can make it happen.

Don’t forget to execute the following command:

$ vagrant destroy -f

With this, we clean up our environment and delete our 4 nodes, thus finishing with the task at hand!

Installing and configuring the Zabbix Proxy

I wrote this blog post I while back for Zabbix itself to be posted on the Blog site, see: https://blog.zabbix.com/installing-and-configuring-the-zabbix-proxy/13319/ (There are a lot of interesting posts on there, so please check the blogposts often!)

In the previous blog post, we created a Zabbix Server setup, created several users, a media type, and an action. But today, we will install on a 3rd node the Zabbix Proxy. This Zabbix Proxy will have its database running on the same host, so the “node-3” host has both the MySQL and Zabbix Proxy running.

This blog post is the 2nd part of a 3 part series of blog posts where Werner Dijkerman gives us an example of how to set up your Zabbix infrastructure by using Ansible.
You can find part 1 of the blog post by clicking Here

A git repository containing the code of these blog posts is available, which can be found on https://github.com/dj-wasabi/blog-installing-zabbix-with-ansible. Before we run Ansible, we have opened a shell on the “bastion” node. We do that with the following command:

$ vagrant ssh bastion

Once we have opened the shell, go to the “/ansible” directory where we have all of our Ansible files present.

$ cd /ansible

With the previous blog post, we executed the “zabbix-server.yml” playbook. Now we use the “zabbix-proxy.yml” playbook. The playbook will deploy a MySQL database on “node-3” and also installs the Zabbix Proxy on the same host.

$ ansible-playbook -i hosts zabbix-proxy.yml

This playbook will run for a few minutes creating all services on the node. While it is running, we will explain some of the configuration options we have set.

The configuration which we will talk about can be found in “/ansible/group_vars/zabbix_proxy” directory. This is the directory that is only used when we deploy the Zabbix proxy and contains 2 files. 1 file called “secret”, and a file called “generic”. It doesn’t really matter what names the files have in this directory. I used a file called the “secret” for letting you know that this file contains secrets and should be encrypted with a tool like ansible-vault. As this is out of scope for this blog, I simply made sure the file is in plain text. So how do we know that this directory is used for the Zabbix Proxy node?

In the previous blog post, we mentioned that with the “-I” argument, we provided the location for the inventory file. This inventory file contains the hostnames and the groups that Ansible is using. If we open the inventory file “hosts”, we can see a group called “zabbix_proxy.” So Ansible uses the information in the “/ansible/group_vars/zabbix_proxy” directory as input for variables. But how does the “/ansible/zabbix-proxy.yml” file know which host or groups to use? At the beginning of this file, you will notice the following:

- hosts: zabbix_proxy
  become: true
  collections:
    - community.zabbix

Here you will see the that “hosts” key contains the value “zabbix_proxy”. All tasks and roles that we have configured in this play will be applied to all of the hosts that are part of the zabbix_proxy group. In our case, we have only 1 host part of the group. If you would have for example 4 different datacenters and within each datacenter you want to have a Zabbix Proxy running, executing this playbook will be done on these 4 hosts and at the end of the run you would have 4 Zabbix Proxy servers running.

Within the “/ansible/group_vars/zabbix_proxy/generic” the file, we have several options configured. Let’s discuss the following options:

  • zabbix_server_host
  • zabbix_proxy_name
  • zabbix_api_create_proxy
  • zabbix_proxy_configfrequency

zabbix_server_host

The first one, the “zabbix_server_host” property tells us where the Zabbix Proxy can find the Zabbix Server. This will allow the Zabbix Proxy and the Zabbix Server to communicate with each other. Normally you would have to configure the firewall (Iptables or Firewalld) as well to allow the traffic, but in this case, there is no need for that. Everything inside our environment which we have created with Vagrant has full access. When you are going to deploy a production-like environment, don’t forget to configure the firewall (Currently this configuration of the firewalls are not yet available as part of the Ansible Zabbix Collection for both the Zabbix Server and the Zabbix Proxy. So for now you should be creating a playbook in order to configure the local firewall to allow/deny traffic).

As you will notice, we didn’t configure the property with a value like an IP address or FQDN. We use some Ansible notation to do that for us, so we only have the Zabbix Server information in one place instead of multiple places. In this case, Ansible will get the information by reading the inventory file and looking for a host entry with the name “node-1” (Which is the hostname that is running the Zabbix Server), and we use the value found by the property named “ansible_host” (Which has a value “10.10.1.11”).

zabbix_proxy_name

This is the name of the Zabbix Proxy host, which will be shown in the Zabbix frontend. We will see this later in this blog when we will create a new host to be monitored. When you create a new host, you can configure if that new host should be monitored by a proxy and if so, you will see this name.

zabbix_api_create_proxy

When we deploy the Zabbix Proxy role, we will not only install the Zabbix Proxy package, the configuration file and start the service. We also perform an API call to the Zabbix Server to create a Zabbix Proxy entry. With this API call, we can configure hosts to be monitored via this new Zabbix Proxy.

zabbix_proxy_configfrequency

The last one is just for demonstration purposes. With a default installation/configuration of the Zabbix Proxy, it has a basic value of 3600. This means that the Zabbix Server sends the configuration every 3600 to the Zabbix Proxy. Because we are running a small demo here in this Vagrant setup, we have set this to 60 seconds.

Now the deployment of our Zabbix Proxy will be ready.

When we open the Zabbix Web interface again, we go to “Administration” and click on “Proxies”. Here we see the following:

We see an overview of all proxies available, and in our case, we only have 1. We have “node-3” configured, which has an “Active” mode. When you want to configure a “Passive” mode proxy, you’ll have to update the “/ansible/group_vars/zabbix_proxy” file and add somewhere in the file the following entry: “zabbix_proxy_status: passive”. Once you have updated and saved the file, you’ll have to rerun the “ansible-playbook -i hosts zabbix-proxy.yml” command. If you will then recheck the page, you will notice that it now has the “Passive” mode.

So let’s go to “Configuration” – “Hosts”. At the moment, you will only see 1 host, which is the “Zabbix server,” like in the following picture.

Let’s open the host creation page to demonstrate that you can now set the host to be monitored by a proxy. The actual creation of a host is something that we will do automatically when we deploy the Zabbix Agent with Ansible and not something we should do manually. 😉 As you will notice, you are able to click on the dropdown menu with the option “Monitored by proxy” and see the “node-3” appear. That is very good!

Summary

We have installed and configured both a Zabbix Server and a Zabbix Proxy, and we are all set now. With the Zabbix Proxy, we have installed both the MySQL database and the Zabbix Proxy on the same node. Whereas we did install them separately with the Zabbix Server. With the following blog post, we will go and install the Zabbix Agent on all nodes.

Installing the Zabbix Server with Ansible

I wrote this blog post I while back for Zabbix itself to be posted on the Blog site, see: https://blog.zabbix.com/installing-the-zabbix-server-with-ansible/13317/ (There are a lot of interesting posts on there, so please check the blogposts often!)

Today we are focusing more on the automation of installation and software configuration instead of using the manual approach. Installing and configuring software the manual way takes a lot more time, you can easily make more errors by forgetting steps or making typos, and it will probably be a bit boring when you need to do this for a large number of servers.

In this blog post, I will demonstrate how to install and configure a Zabbix environment with Ansible. Ansible has the potential to simplify many of your day-to-day tasks. As an alternative to Ansible, you may also opt in to use Puppet, Chef, and SaltStack to install and configure your Zabbix environment.

Ansible does not have any specific infrastructure requirements for it to do its job. We just need to make sure that the user exists on the target host, preferably configured with SSH keys. With tools like Puppet or Chef, you need to have a server running somewhere, and you will need to deploy an agent on your nodes. You can learn more about Ansible here:  https://docs.ansible.com/ansible/latest/index.html.

This post is the first in a series of three articles. We will set up a (MySQL) Database running on 1 node (“node-2”), Zabbix Server incl. Frontend, which will be running on a separate node (“node-1”). Once we have built this, we configure an action, media and we will create some users. In the following image you will see the environment we will create.

Our environment we will create.
The environment we will create.

In the 2nd blog post, we will set up a Zabbix Proxy and a MySQL database on a new but the same node (“node-3”). In the 3rd blog post, we will install the Zabbix Agent on all of the 3 nodes we were using so far and configure some user parameters. Where the Zabbix Agent on “node-3” is using the Zabbix Proxy, the Zabbix Agent on the nodes “node-1” and “node-2” will be monitored by the Zabbix Server.

Preparations

A git repository containing the code used in these blog posts is available, which can be found on https://github.com/dj-wasabi/blog-installing-zabbix-with-ansible. Before we can do anything, we have to install Vagrant (https://www.vagrantup.com/downloads.html) and Virtualbox (https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads). Once you have done that, please clone the earlier mentioned git repository somewhere on your host. For this demo, we will not run the Zabbix Frontend with TLS certificates.

We have to update the hosts file. With the following line, we need to make sure that we can access the Zabbix Frontend.

10.10.1.11 zabbix.example.com

In the “ROOT” directory of the git repository which you cloned some moments ago, where you can also find the Vagrantfile, This Vagrantfile contains the configuration of the virtual machine of our setup. We will create 4 Virtual Machine’s running Ubuntu 20.04, each with 1 CPU and 1 GB of Ram which you can see in the first “config” block. In the 2nd config block, we configure our “bastion” host, which we discuss later. This node will get the ip 10.10.1.3 and we also mount the ansible directory in this Virtual Machine on location “/ansible”. For installing and configuring this node we will use a playbook bastion.yml to do this. With this playbook, we will install some packages like Python, git and Ansible inside this bastion virtual machine.

The 3rd config block is part of a loop that will configure and it will create 3 Virtual Machines. Each virtual machine is also an Ubuntu node, had its own ip (respectively 10.10.1.11 for the first node, 10.10.1.12 for the second and 10.10.1.13 for the 3rd node) and just like the “bastion” node, they have each 1 CPU and 1 GB of RAM.

You will have to execute the following command:

$ vagrant up

With this command, we will start our Virtual Machine’s. This might take a while, as it will download a VirtualBox image containing Ubuntu. The “vagrant up” command will start the “bastion” node and all other nodes as a part of this demo. Once that is done, we need to access a shell on the “bastion” node:

$ vagrant ssh bastion

This “bastion” node is a fundamental node on which we will execute Ansible, but we will not be installing anything on this host. We have opened a shell in the Virtual Machine we just created. You can compare it with creating an “ssh” connection. We have to go to the following directory before we can download the dependencies:

$ cd /ansible

As mentioned before, we have to download the Ansible dependencies. The installation depends on several Ansible Roles and an Ansible Collection. With the Ansible Roles and the Ansible Collection, we can install MySQL, Apache, and the Zabbix components. We have to execute the following command to download the dependencies:

$ ansible-galaxy install -r requirements.yml
Starting galaxy role install process
- downloading role 'mysql', owned by geerlingguy
- downloading role from https://github.com/geerlingguy/ansible-role-mysql/archive/3.3.0.tar.gz
- extracting geerlingguy.mysql to /home/vagrant/.ansible/roles/geerlingguy.mysql
- geerlingguy.mysql (3.3.0) was installed successfully
- downloading role 'apache', owned by geerlingguy
- downloading role from https://github.com/geerlingguy/ansible-role-apache/archive/3.1.4.tar.gz
- extracting geerlingguy.apache to /home/vagrant/.ansible/roles/geerlingguy.apache
- geerlingguy.apache (3.1.4) was installed successfully
- extracting wdijkerman.php to /home/vagrant/.ansible/roles/wdijkerman.php
- wdijkerman.php was installed successfully
Starting galaxy collection install process
Process install dependency map
Starting collection install process
Installing 'community.zabbix:1.2.0' to '/home/vagrant/.ansible/collections/ansible_collections/community/zabbix'
Created collection for community.zabbix at /home/vagrant/.ansible/collections/ansible_collections/community/zabbix
community.zabbix (1.2.0) was installed successfully

Your output may vary because of versions that might have been updated already since writing this blog post. We now have downloaded the dependencies and are ready to install the rest of our environment. But why do we need to download a role for MySQL, Apache and php? A role contains all the neccecerry tasks and files to configure that specific service. So in the case for the MySQL Ansible role, it will install the MySQL-server and all other packages that MySQL requires on the host, it will configure that the mysqld service is created and is running, but it will also create the databases, create and configure MySQL users and configure the root password. Using a role will help us install our environment and we don’t have to figure out ourselves on installing and configuring a MySQL server manually.

So what about the collection, the Ansible Community Zabbix Collection? Ansible has introduced this concept with Ansible 2.10 and is basically a “collection” of plugins, modules and roles for a specific service. In our case, with the Zabbix Collection, the collection contains the roles for installing the Zabbix Server, Proxy, Agent, Javagateway and the Frond-end. But it also contains a plugin to use a Zabbix environment as our inventory and contains modules for creating resources in Zabbix. All of these modules will work with the Zabbix API to configure these resources, like actions, triggers, groups. templates, proxies etc. Basically, everything we want to create and use can be done with a role or a collection.

Installing Zabbix Server

Now we can execute the following command, which will install the MySQL database on “node-2” and installs the Zabbix Server on “node-1”:

$ ansible-playbook -i hosts zabbix-server.yml

This might take a while, a minute, or 10 depending on the performance of your host. We execute the “ansible-playbook” command, and then “-i” we provide the location of the inventory file. Here you see the contents of the inventory file:

[zabbix_server]
node-1 ansible_host=10.10.1.11

[zabbix_database]
node-2 ansible_host=10.10.1.12

[zabbix_proxy]
node-3 ansible_host=10.10.1.13

[database:children]
zabbix_database zabbix_proxy

This inventory file contains basically all of our nodes and to which group the hosts belong. We can see in that file that there is a group called “zabbix_server” (The value between [] square brackets is the name for the group) and contains the “node-1” host. Because we have a group called “zabbix_server,” we also have a directory containing some files. These are all the properties (or variables) that will be used for all hosts (in our case, only the “node-1”) in the “zabbix_server” group.

Web Interface

Now you can open your favorite browser and open “zabbix.example.com”, and you will see the Zabbix login screen. Please enter the default credentials:

Username: Admin
Password: zabbix

On the Dashboard, you will probably notice that it complains that it can not connect to the Zabbix Agent running on the Zabbix Server, which is fine as we haven’t  installed it yet. We will do this in a later blog post.

Dashboard overview

When we go to “Administration” and click on “Media types,” we will see a media type called “A: Ops email.” That is the one we have created. We can open the “/ansible/zabbix-server.yml” file and go to line 33, where we have configured the creation of the Mediatype. In this case, we have configured multiple templates for sending emails via the “mail.example.com” SMTP server.

Now we have seen the media type, we will look at the trigger we just created. This trigger makes use of the media type we just saw. The trigger can be found in the “/ansible/zabbix-server.yml” file on line 69. When you go to “Configuration” and “Actions,” you will see our created trigger “A: Send alerts to Admin”. But we don’t want to run this in Production, and for demonstrating purposes, we have selected to be triggered when the severity is Information or higher.

And lastly, we are going to see that we have also created new internal users. Navigate to “Administration” – “Users,” and you will see that we have created a user called “wdijkerman”, which can be found in the “/ansible/zabbix-server.yml” file on line 95. This user will be part of a group created earlier called “ops,”. The user type is Zabbix super admin and we have configured the email media type to be used 24×7.

We have defined a default password for this user – “password”. When you have changed the password in the Zabbix Frontend UI, executing the playbook would not change the password back again to “password.” So don’t worry about it. But if you would have removed – let’s say – the “ops” group, then, when you execute the playbook again, the group will be re-added to the user.

Summary

As you see, it is effortless to create and configure a Zabbix environment with Ansible. We didn’t have to do anything manually, and all installations and configurations were applied automatically when we executed the ansible-playbook command. You can find more information on either the Ansible page https://docs.ansible.com/ansible/latest/collections/community/zabbix/ or on the Github page https://github.com/ansible-collections/community.zabbix.

In the next post, we will install and configure the Zabbix Proxy.

Continuous deployment of Ansible Roles

Ansible Logo

There are a lot of articles about Ansible with continuous deployment, but these are only about using Ansible as a tool to do continuous deployment. There is not much (Well, I can’t really find none) about continuous deployment on code changes in Ansible Roles/playbooks itself. But first: Why do you want to do that?

Well, it is very easy to make changes in a role or a playbook and deploy that to a (production) machine(s). I do hope that these changes are commited into the git repository (And pushed) so that changes on the host can be tracked back to the code. Hopefully you didn’t make any errors in the playbook or role so all will be fine during deployment and no unwanted downtime is caused, because nothing is tested.

When you are part of a team, this would be a downside of using Ansible. It is very easy to make changes to a playbook or a role locally and not commit it to the repository, deploy it to a production server and continue like it didn’t happen. You can make agreements on these kinds of procedures on when and how to execute playbooks, but you always have that coworker that don’t (or partly) want to follow procedures or just because of lack of time (“It has to be working this morning!” or just any other lame excuse to not test your code before deployment).

When the team/serverpark grows bigger and/or the company you work for matures and even has an SLA, you can’t just deploy any untested code anymore. You’ll have to make sure that changes you made to code is tested, like any other code. Application developers write unit tests on their code and the application is tested by either automated tests or by using test|qa team. Application development is not any different than writing software for your infrastructure, it all needs to be tested before you use it on production.

What I will describe in this blogpost is just a suggestion on how to do this. This might not be foolproof or maybe there are other or better ways on how todo this or … (Fill in some something other reason). As this is something that works for me, it might help you to create your own pipeline. YMMV.

I haven’t looked at all at Ansible Tower or the open sourced version, so it might be that parts or maybe all of what I am describing here can be done by Tower.

Before we do anyting, I’ll first describe how my Ansible setup looks like so we have some background before we do anything. All of my roles has their own git repository, including documentation and Jenkinsfiles. A Jenkinsfile is the Jenkins job configuration file that contains all steps that Jenkins will execute. Its the .travis.yml (Of Travis CI) file equivalent of Jenkins and we will come back later to this. I also have 1 git repository that contains all ansible data, like host_vars, group_vars and the inventory file.

I have a Jenkins running with the Docker plugin and once a job is started, a Docker container will be started and the job will be executed from this container. Once the Job is done (Succeeded or Failed doesn’t matter which), the container and all data in this container is removed.

Jenkins Jobs

All my Ansible roles has 3 jenkinsfiles stored in the git repository for the following actions:

  1. Molecule Tests
  2. Staging deployment
  3. Production deployment

Molecule Tests

The first job is that the role is tested with Molecule. With Molecule we create 1 or more Docker containers and the role is deployed to these containers. Once that is done, we do an idempotent check and with TestInfra we verify if installation/configuration is done correctly. We can also execute some commands to verify that the deployed service is running correctly. Once these tests are completed, we can successfully deploy the ansible role without any problems. (On this page I have described some information on Molecule.)

How does the Jenkinsfile looks like:

node() {
    try {
        stage ("Get Latest Code") {
            checkout scm
            sh 'git rev-parse HEAD > .git/commit-id'
        }
        stage ("Install Application Dependencies") {
            sh 'sudo pip install --upgrade ansible==${ANSIBLE_VERSION} molecule==${MOLECULE_VERSION} docker'
        }
        stage ("Executing Molecule lint") {
            sh 'molecule lint'
        }
        stage ("Executing Molecule create") {
            sh 'molecule create'
        }
        stage ("Executing Molecule converge") {
            sh 'molecule converge'
        }
        stage ("Executing Molecule idemotence") {
            sh 'molecule idempotence'
        }
        stage ("Executing Molecule verify") {
            sh 'molecule verify'
        }
        stage('Tag git'){
            def commit_id = readFile('.git/commit-id').trim()
            withEnv(["COMMIT_ID=${commit_id}"]){
                sh '''#!/bin/bash
                if [[ $(git tag | grep ${COMMIT_ID} | wc -l) -eq 1 ]]
                    then    echo "Tag already exists"
                    else    echo "Tag will be created"
                            git config user.name "jenkins"
                            git config user.email "jenkins@localhost"
                            git tag -a $COMMIT_ID -m "Added tagging"
                            git push --tags
                fi
                '''
            }
        }
        stage('Start Staging Job') {
            def commit_id = readFile('.git/commit-id').trim()
            withEnv(["COMMIT_ID=${commit_id}"]){
                build job: 'ansible-access-2-staging', wait: false, parameters: [string(name: 'COMMIT_ID', value: "${COMMIT_ID}") ]
            }
        }
    } catch(all) {
        currentBuild.result = "FAILURE"
        throw err
    }
}

First stage of the Job is the checkout of the sourcecode of the git repository, so that we have data in the container. We get the latest git commit id, because I use this id to create a tag in git once the Molecule Tests succeeds.

First Molecule action is the lint. First we do some linting on the role and test files to make sure it is compliant. If it find some errors, it fails quickly and we can fix it. Then it proceeds with the Molecule actions create, converge, idemptence and verify. For those who are familiar with Molecule will notice that I use different stages for each action and not 1 stage which executes molecule test.

Stages overview of Jenkins job.

I use separate stages with single commands so I can quickly see on which part the job fails and focus on that immediately without going to the console output and scrolling down to see where it fails. After the Molecule verify stage, the Tag git stage is executed. This will use the latest commit id as a tag, so I know that this tag was triggered by Jenkins to run a build and was successful.

Last stage in the job is to start the 2nd job in Jenkins. This stage will start the job ansible-access-2-staging with the COMMIT_ID as parameter to the job and in the background (wait: false).

Currently, the Molecule configuration only has 1 “default” scenario. If I had more scenarios than the Jenkinsfile had probably a lot more stages or maybe more Jenkinsfiles.

Staging deployment

The first job was executed correctly and now this job is triggered. As mentioned before, the commit id of the previous job is passed into this job. The goal for this job is to deploy the role to an staging server and validate if everything is still working correctly. In this case we will execute the same tests on the staging staging as we did with Molecule, but we can also create an other test file and use that. In my case, there is only one staging server but it could also be a group of servers.

The Jenkinsfile for this job looks like this:

node() {
    try {
        stage ("Get the Code") {
            checkout scm: [$class: 'GitSCM', branches: [[name: "refs/tags/${params.COMMIT_ID}"]], extensions: [[$class: 'RelativeTargetDirectory', relativeTargetDir: 'ansible-access']], userRemoteConfigs: [[url: 'ssh://git@192.168.1.206:2222/ansible/access.git']]]
            checkout scm: [$class: 'GitSCM', branches: [[name: '*/master']], extensions: [[$class: 'RelativeTargetDirectory', relativeTargetDir: 'environment']], doGenerateSubmoduleConfigurations: false, userRemoteConfigs: [[url: 'ssh://git@192.168.1.206:2222/ansible/environment.git']]]
            sh 'pwd > workspace'
        }
        stage ("Install Application Dependencies") {
            sh 'sudo pip install --upgrade ansible==${ANSIBLE_VERSION} testinfra docker'
        }
        stage ("Execute role on host(s)") {
            dir("environment") {
                sh "ansible-playbook -i hosts -l staging playbooks/ansible-access.yml"
            }
        }
        stage ("Test Role execution") {
            workspace = readFile('workspace').trim()
            withEnv(["WORKSPACE_DIR=${workspace}", "MOLECULE_INVENTORY_FILE=${workspace}/environment/hosts"]){
                dir("environment/") {
                    sh "testinfra --connection=ansible --ansible-inventory=hosts --hosts=staging ${WORKSPACE_DIR}/ansible-access/molecule/default/tests/test_default.py --verbose"
                }
            }
        }
        stage('Tag git'){
            withEnv(["COMMIT_ID=${params.COMMIT_ID}_staging"]){
                dir("ansible-access/") {
                    sh '''#!/bin/bash
                    if [[ $(git tag | grep "${COMMIT_ID}" | wc -l) -eq 1 ]]
                        then    echo "Tag already exists"
                        else    echo "Tag will be created"
                                git config user.name "jenkins"
                                git config user.email "jenkins@localhost"
                                git tag -a $COMMIT_ID -m "Added tagging"
                                git push --tags
                    fi
                    '''
                }
            }
        }
        stage('Start Production Job') {
            build job: 'ansible-access-3-production', wait: false, parameters: [string(name: 'COMMIT_ID', value: "${params.COMMIT_ID}") ]
        }
    } catch(all) {
        currentBuild.result = "FAILURE"
        throw err
    }
}

The first stage is to checkout 2 git repositories: The Ansible Role and the 2nd is my “environment” repository that contains all Ansible data and both are stored in their own sub directory. With the Ansible role we checkout the provided tag refs/tags/${params.COMMIT_ID}. I also had to configure the url for the git repositories. Last step is to create a file that holds the output of the pwd file. We need this location in a later stage.

The 2nd Stage is to install the required applications, so not very interesting. The 3rd stage is to execute the playbook. In my “environment” repository (That holds all Ansible data) there is a playbooks directory and in that directory contains the playbooks for the roles. For deploying the ansible-access role, a playbook named ansible-access.yml is present and will be use to install the role on the host:

---
- hosts: all:!localhost
  become: True
  roles:
    - role: ansible-access

Very basic/simple. The 4th stage is to execute the Testinfra test script from the molecule directory to the staging server to verify the correct installation/configuration. In this case I used the same tests as Molecule, but I could also create a seperate file with some extra or other tests to verify the correct behaviour of the host.

And when all tests are complete, we create a new tag. In this job we create a new tag ${params.COMMIT_ID}_staging and push it so we know that the provided tag is deployed to our staging server.

With the last stage, we start the 3rd and last job, the job to deploy the role on the rest of the servers.

Production deployment

This is the job that deploys the Ansible role to the rest of the servers. This Jenkinsfile looks almost the same as the previous one, but with a few exceptions.

node() {
    try {
        stage ("Get the Code") {
            checkout scm: [$class: 'GitSCM', branches: [[name: "refs/tags/${params.COMMIT_ID}"]], extensions: [[$class: 'RelativeTargetDirectory', relativeTargetDir: 'ansible-access']], userRemoteConfigs: [[url: 'ssh://git@192.168.1.206:2222/ansible/access.git']]]
            checkout scm: [$class: 'GitSCM', branches: [[name: '*/master']], extensions: [[$class: 'RelativeTargetDirectory', relativeTargetDir: 'environment']], doGenerateSubmoduleConfigurations: false, userRemoteConfigs: [[url: 'ssh://git@192.168.1.206:2222/ansible/environment.git']]]
            sh 'pwd > workspace'
        }
        stage ("Install Application Dependencies") {
            sh 'sudo pip install --upgrade ansible==${ANSIBLE_VERSION} testinfra docker'
        }
        stage ("Execute role on host(s)") {
            dir("environment") {
                sh "ansible-playbook -i hosts -l 'all:!localhost:!staging' playbooks/ansible-access.yml"
            }
        }
        stage ("Test Role execution") {
            workspace = readFile('workspace').trim()
            withEnv(["WORKSPACE_DIR=${workspace}", "MOLECULE_INVENTORY_FILE=${workspace}/environment/hosts"]){
                dir("environment") {
                    sh "testinfra --connection=ansible --ansible-inventory=hosts --hosts='all:!localhost:!staging' ${WORKSPACE_DIR}/ansible-access/molecule/default/tests/test_default.py --verbose"
                }
            }
        }
        stage('Tag git'){
            withEnv(["COMMIT_ID=${params.COMMIT_ID}_production"]){
                dir("ansible-access") {
                    sh '''#!/bin/bash
                    if [[ $(git tag | grep "${COMMIT_ID}" | wc -l) -eq 1 ]]
                        then    echo "Tag already exists"
                        else    echo "Tag will be created"
                                git config user.name "jenkins"
                                git config user.email "jenkins@localhost"
                                git tag -a $COMMIT_ID -m "Added tagging"
                                git push --tags
                    fi
                    '''
                }
            }
        }
    } catch(all) {
        currentBuild.result = "FAILURE"
        throw err
    }
}

With the 3rd stage “Execute role on host(s)” we use an different limit. We now use all:!localhost:!staging to deploy to all hosts, but not to localhost and staging. Same is for the 4th stage, for executing the tests. As the last stage in the job, we create a tag ${params.COMMIT_ID}_production and we push it. Once we see this tag in our repository, we know that the changes is installed correctly on all servers.

Keep in mind that this can only be successful if you use proper and correct tests. You’ll really need to be sure that your tests is covering all of the components that is changed by your role. This deployment will fail or succeed with the quality of your tests.

Good luck and if you have suggestions please let me know.

Using Molecule V2 to test Ansible Roles

Its been a few weeks now since Molecule V2 was released. So lets go into some details with Molecule V2 and lets upgrade my dj-wasabi.zabbix-agent role to Molecule V2 during this blogpost.

For those who are unfamiliar with Molecule: Molecule allows you to development and test Ansible Roles. With Molecule, 1 or more Docker containers are created and the Ansible role is executed on these Docker containers (You can also configure Vagrant and some other providers). You can then verify if the role is installed/configured correctly in the container. Is the package installed by Ansible, is the service running, is the configuration file correctly placed with the correct information etc etc.

This would allow you to increase reliability and stability of your Role. For almost all of my publicly available Ansible Roles, I have tests configured. If someone makes an Pull Request on Github with a change, these tests will help me to see if the change won’t break anything and thus the Pull Request can easily been merged. If not, some more attention to the change is needed.

This might be obvious, but if you do not have Molecule installed or already have something installed lets update it to the latest version (As moment of writing 2.0.3):

pip install —upgrade molecule

When we execute the –version:

$ molecule --version
molecule, version 2.0.3

We see the version: 2.0.3

Porting

The people behind Molecule have created a page for porting a role that is already configured with Molecule V1 to port it to Molecule V2. As the page mentions about a python script and doing it manually, we use the manually option for migrating the role to Molecule V2.

I have created a git branch (port_molecule_v2) on my mac and will execute the first command that is described on the porting guide:

(environment) wdijkerman@Werners-MacBook-Pro [ ~/git/ansible/ansible-zabbix-agent -- Tue Sep 05 13:16:00 ]
(port_molecule_v2) $ molecule init scenario -r ansible-zabbix-agent -s default -d docker
--> Initializing new scenario default...
Initialized scenario in /Users/wdijkerman/git/ansible/zabbix-agent/molecule/default successfully.
(environment) wdijkerman@Werners-MacBook-Pro [ ~/git/ansible/ansible-zabbix-agent -- Tue Sep 05 13:16:02 ]
(port_molecule_v2) $

This command will create a “default” scenario. The biggest improvement of using Molecule V2 is using scenarios. You can use 1 “default” scenario or you might want to use 5 scenario’s. Its completely up to you on how you want to test your role.

The init command has created a new directory called “molecule”. This directory will contain all scenario’s:

(environment) wdijkerman@Werners-MacBook-Pro [ ~/git/ansible/ansible-zabbix-agent -- Tue Sep 05 13:22:22 ] (port_molecule_v2) $ tree molecule
molecule
└── default
    ├── Dockerfile.j2
    ├── INSTALL.rst
    ├── create.yml
    ├── destroy.yml
    ├── molecule.yml
    ├── playbook.yml
    └── tests
        └── test_default.py

2 directories, 7 files

Here you see the “default” scenario we just created earlier. This scenario contains several files. We will discuss some files later on this post.

Back to the porting guide. The 2nd option on the porting guide is to move the current testinfra tests to the file molecule/default/tests/test_default.py. So lets move all the tests (And I mean only the tests and not the other testinfra specific code) from one file to the other. Keep the contents of the new test_default.yml in place, as this is needed for Molecule.

The 3rd option on the porting guide is for ServerSpec, as we don’t use this we will skip this and continue with the 4th option. The 4th option on the porting guide is to port the old molecule.yml file to the new one. Now its get interesting.

The current default molecule.yml file in the scenario/default directory:

---
dependency:
  name: galaxy
driver:
  name: docker
lint:
  name: yamllint
platforms:
  - name: instance
    image: centos:7
provisioner:
  name: ansible
  lint:
    name: ansible-lint
scenario:
  name: default
verifier:
  name: testinfra
  lint:
    name: flake8

It will end like this:

---
dependency:
  name: galaxy
driver:
  name: docker
lint:
  name: yamllint

platforms:
  - name: zabbix-agent-centos
    image: milcom/centos7-systemd:latest
    groups:
      - group1
    privileged: True
  - name: zabbix-agent-debian
    image: maint/debian-systemd:latest
    groups:
      - group1
    privileged: True
  - name: zabbix-agent-ubuntu
    image: solita/ubuntu-systemd:latest
    groups:
      - group1
    privileged: True
  - name: zabbix-agent-mint
    image: vcatechnology/linux-mint
    groups:
      - group1
    privileged: True
provisioner:
  name: ansible
  lint:
    name: ansible-lint
scenario:
  name: default
verifier:
  name: testinfra
  lint:
    name: flake8

platforms

The platforms is a generic configuration approach to configure the instances in Molecule V2. With Molecule V1, you’ll had a docker configuration, a vagrant configuration etc etc for configuring the instances, but with V2 you only have platforms.

In the above example I have configured 4 instances, named zabbix-agent-centos, zabbix-agent-debian, zabbix-agent-ubuntu and zabbix-agent-mint. The all have an image configured and I have placed them in the group1 group. I don’t do anything with the groups with this Role, but lets add them anyways. I also added the “privileged: True”, because the role does use systemd and needs a privileged container to execute successfully. Later in this blog post we do something with dependencies and some Ansible configuration, so don’t run away just yet. 😉

The 5th option in the porting guide is to port the existing playbook.yml to the new playbook.yml in the default directory. So I’ll move the contents from one file to an other file.

As 6th and last option in the porting guide is to cleanup the old stuff. So remove the old files and directories and we can continue with the molecule test command.

Lets execute it.

(port_molecule_v2) $ molecule test
--> Test matrix
    
└── default
    ├── destroy
    ├── dependency
    ├── syntax
    ├── create
    ├── converge
    ├── idempotence
    ├── lint
    ├── side_effect
    ├── verify
    └── destroy
--> Scenario: 'default'
--> Action: 'destroy'
    
    PLAY [Destroy] *****************************************************************
    
    TASK [Destroy molecule instance(s)] ********************************************
    changed: [localhost] => (item=(censored due to no_log))
    
    PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************
    localhost                  : ok=1    changed=1    unreachable=0    failed=0
    
    
--> Scenario: 'default'
--> Action: 'dependency'
Skipping, missing the requirements file.
--> Scenario: 'default'
--> Action: 'syntax'
    
    playbook: /Users/wdijkerman/git/ansible/zabbix-agent/molecule/default/playbook.yml
    
--> Scenario: 'default'
--> Action: 'create'

There is a lot of output now which I won’t add now, but just take a look at the beginning which I pasted above this line. During the output it shows which scenario is executing and which task. You can see that the line begins with “–> Scenario: ” and with “–> Action: “.

This is why Molecule V2 is awesome:

Molecule V2 uses Ansible itself to create the instances on which we want to install/test our Ansible role. You can see that by opening the create.yml file in the default directory. If we just place the last task in this blogpost

- name: Create molecule instance(s)
  docker_container:
    name: "{{ item.name }}"
    hostname: "{{ item.name }}"
    image: "molecule_local/{{ item.image }}"
    state: started
    recreate: False
    log_driver: syslog
    command: "{{ item.command | default('sleep infinity') }}"
    privileged: "{{ item.privileged | default(omit) }}"
    volumes: "{{ item.volumes | default(omit) }}"
    capabilities: "{{ item.capabilities | default(omit) }}"
  with_items: "{{ molecule_yml.platforms }}"

This last task in the create.yml file will create the actual Docker instance which we have configured in the molecule.yml file in the “platforms” section, which you can see at the “with_items” option. This is very cool, this means that you can configure the docker container with all the settings that Ansible allows you to use and Molecule will not limit this for you.

You can easily add for example the “oom_killer” option to the create.yml playbook and add it to the platform configuration in molecule.yml, without adding an feature request at Molecule and waiting when the feature is implemented.  Not that the waiting was long, the people behind Molecule are very fast fixing issues and adding features, so kuddo’s to them!

As you have guessed already, the create.yml file is for creating the instanced and destroy.yml will destroy those instances. You can override this if you don’t like the names.

This is an example if you really want to use other names for the playbooks (Or if you want to share playbooks when you have multiple scenario’s):

provisioner:
  name: ansible
  options:
    vvv: True
  playbooks:
    create: ../playbook/create-instances.yml
    converge: playbook.yml
    destroy:../playbook/destroy-instances.yml

Back to the molecule test command. The molecule test command fails on my first run during the lint action. (I will not show all output, as the list is very long!)

--> Scenario: 'default'
--> Action: 'lint'
--> Executing Yamllint on files found in /Users/wdijkerman/git/ansible/zabbix-agent/...
    /Users/wdijkerman/git/ansible/zabbix-agent/defaults/main.yml
      7:37      warning  too few spaces before comment  (comments)
      10:17     warning  truthy value is not quoted  (truthy)
      15:81     error    line too long (120 > 80 characters)  (line-length)
      21:81     error    line too long (106 > 80 characters)  (line-length)
      30:30     warning  truthy value is not quoted  (truthy)
      31:26     warning  truthy value is not quoted  (truthy)
    
    /Users/wdijkerman/git/ansible/zabbix-agent/handlers/main.yml
      8:11      warning  truthy value is not quoted  (truthy)
      8:14      error    no new line character at the end of file  (new-line-at-end-of-file)

Some of these messages is something I can work with, some I actually do not care. The output shows you every “failing” rule with the file. So the first file, defaults/main.yml has 6 failing rules. Per rule it shows you the following:

  • which line and character position
  • Type of error (warning or error)
  • The message

In my output of the lint actions, I see a lot of “line too long” messages. Personally I find the 80 characters limit a little bit to small these days, so lets update it to something higher. We first have to update the molecule.yml file and we have to update the lint section. First the lint section looked like this:

lint:
  name: yamllint

Now configure it like so it looks like this:

lint:
  name: yamllint
  options:
    config-file: molecule/default/yaml-lint.yml

We specify the yamllint by configuring a configuration file. Lets create the file yaml-lint.yml in the default directory and add something like this:

---

extends: default

rules:
  line-length:
    max: 120
    level: warning

We extend the current yaml-lint configuration by adding some of our own rules to overwrite the defaults. In this case, we overwrite the “line-length” rule to set the max to 120 characters and we set the level to warning (It was error). Every rule that results in an error will fail the lint action and in this case I don’t want to fail the tests because the line length was 122 characters.

When we run it again (I have fixed some other linting issues now, so output is a little different)

--> Scenario: 'default'
--> Action: 'lint'
--> Executing Yamllint on files found in /Users/wdijkerman/git/ansible/zabbix-agent/...
    /Users/wdijkerman/git/ansible/zabbix-agent/defaults/main.yml
      15:81     warning  line too long (120 > 80 characters)  (line-length)
      21:81     warning  line too long (106 > 80 characters)  (line-length)
    
    /Users/wdijkerman/git/ansible/zabbix-agent/molecule/default/create.yml
      9:81      warning  line too long (87 > 80 characters)  (line-length)
      10:81     warning  line too long (85 > 80 characters)  (line-length)
      16:81     warning  line too long (116 > 80 characters)  (line-length)
      30:81     warning  line too long (92 > 80 characters)  (line-length)
      33:81     warning  line too long (124 > 80 characters)  (line-length)

It keeps showing the “line too long”,  but as a warning and the lint action continues working. After this, the verify works too and the test is done!

Well, now I can commit my changes and push them to GitHub and lets Travis verify that it works. (Will not discuss that here).

group_vars

The zabbix-agent role doesn’t have any group_vars configured, but some of my other roles have group_vars configured in Molecule. Lets give a basic example of configuring the pizza property in the group_vars.

We have to update the provisioner section in molecule.yml:

provisioner:
  name: ansible
  lint:
    name: ansible-lint
  inventory:
    group_vars:
      group1:
        pizza: "Yes Please"

Here we “add” a property named pizza for all hosts that are in the group “group1”. If we had configured this with earlier on with the zabbix-agent role, all of the configured instances had access to the pizza property.

What if we have multiple scenarios and all use the same group_vars? We can create in the git_root directory of the role a directory named inventory and this has 1 or 2 subdirectories: group_vars and host_vars (if needed). To make the pizza property work, we create a file inventory/group_vars/group1 and add

---
pizza: "Yes Please"

Then we update the provisioner section in molecule.yml:

provisioner:
  name: ansible
  inventory:
    links:
      group_vars: ../../../inventory/group_vars/
      host_vars: ../../../inventory/host_vars/

Is this awesome or not?

Dependencies

This is almost the same as with Molecule V1, but with Molecule V2 the file should be present in the specific scenario directory (In my case molecule/default/) and should have the name requirement.yml.

The file requirement.yml is still in the same format as how it was (As this is specific to Ansible and not Molecule ;-))

---
- src: geerlingguy.apache
- src: geerlingguy.mysql
- src: geerlingguy.postgresql

If you want to add some options, you can do that by changing the dependency section of molecule.yml:

dependency:
  name: galaxy
  options:
    ignore-certs: True
    ignore-errors: True

With Molecule V1, there was a possibility to point to a requirements file, with Molecule V2 not.

ansible.cfg

This file is not needed anymore, we can all do this with the provisioner section in molecule.yml. So we don’t have to store the ansible.cfg and point it to the molecule.yml file like how it was with Molecule V1.

Lets say we have an ansible.cfg with the following contents:

[defaults]
library = Library

[ssh_connection]
scp_if_ssh = True

We can easily do this by updating the provisioner section to this:

provisioner:
  name: ansible
  config_options:
    defaults:
      library: Library
    ssh_connection:
      scp_if_ssh: True

TL;DR

Just upgrade to Molecule V2 and have fun! This is just awesome.

@Molecule coders: Thank you for this awesome version!

Testing Ansible roles in a cluster setup with Docker and Molecule

ansible_logo_black_square

This page is updated on 2017-05-01.

This is a follow up on the previous 2 blog posts. With the first blog we discussed some steps to test your Ansible role with some basic steps. With the 2nd blog we added some features to extend our test by using CI tooling and group vars. With this post however, we might be configuring Molecule that will not occur very common with testing Ansible roles.

This time we configure Molecule for a role that is installing and configuring a cluster on Docker, like MySQL or MongoDB. We don’t go into a specific role (as there are so many), I only give some information on how to do this. We are only configuring Molecule for this setup, I’m still busy with running some specific TestInfra tests on a specific container.

Keep in mind these actions are only needed when using the {{ ansible_eth0.ipv4.address }} isn’t enough and you need a list with all ips.

For configuring Molecule, we’ll have to change 2 files:

  1. molecule.yml
  2. playbook.yml

molecule.yml

First we update the ‘molecule.yml’ file by configuring 3 (Or more, depends on what you need) docker containers. See the following example:

docker:
  containers:
  - name: node1
    ansible_groups:
      - cluster_service
    image: milcom/centos7-systemd
    image_version: latest
    privileged: True
    port_bindings:
      3306: 3306,
      4444: 4444
  - name: node2
    ansible_groups:
      - cluster_service
    image: milcom/centos7-systemd
    image_version: latest
    privileged: True
    port_bindings:
      3307: 3306,
      4445: 4444
  - name: node3
    ansible_groups:
      - cluster_service
    image: milcom/centos7-systemd
    image_version: latest
    privileged: True
    port_bindings:
      3308: 3306,
      4446: 4444

As you see, I have added the ‘port_bindings’ configuration to the instances, which is different with the examples in the previous blog posts. With the containers, we open the ports on the host (Before the ‘:’) and proxy them to the ports to the docker container (After the ‘:’ ).

In the above example, this ports configuration is used for configuring a MySQL (Or MariaDB) Galera cluster setup. You’ll have to update the ports configuration to your needs.

playbook.yml

Before we specify the roles in the ‘playbook.yml’, we add an ‘pre_tasks’. We add 2 blocks of code and will discuss them one by one. First we add the following in the ‘pre_tasks’ part:

    - name: "Get ip node 1"
      local_action: shell docker inspect --format \{\{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress\}\} node1
      register: node_ip_1
      changed_when: False
    - name: "Get ip node 2"
      local_action: shell docker inspect --format \{\{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress\}\}  node2
      register: node_ip_2
      changed_when: False
    - name: "Get ip node 3"
      local_action: shell docker inspect --format \{\{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress\}\}  node3
      register: node_ip_3
      changed_when: False

We have added 3 tasks, that do the same command but for each container. We execute a ‘docker inspect’ command to get the ip address of the docker container. As the docker inspect command used the ‘{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}’ format, Ansible will try to replace it because it thinks it is a variable. Luckily, we can make use of ‘{{ raw }} {{ endraw }}’ for this and Ansible will not use this as a variable anymore.

We register a variable, because we need to use the output, because the ‘docker inspect’ outputs the ip address. We also have to add the property ‘changed_when: False’.

What do you mean with the last one?

We have to fool Ansible with the ‘changed_when’ command for the ‘idempotence’ check. As this task will run every time, the ‘idempotence’ check will fail because of it (because it sees that there are tasks with state “Changed”).

Now we add the 2nd block of tasks to the ‘pre_tasks’, just after the first block of code we added earlier:

    - name: "Set fact"
      set_fact:
        node_ip: "{{ node_ip_1.stdout }}"
      when: inventory_hostname  == 'node1'
    - name: "Set fact"
      set_fact:
        node_ip: "{{ node_ip_2.stdout }}"
      when: inventory_hostname  == 'node2'
    - name: "Set fact"
      set_fact:
        node_ip: "{{ node_ip_3.stdout }}"
      when: inventory_hostname  == 'node3'

With this block we add 3 tasks again, 1 task for each container, to create a fact. In this case, I used to create the fact with the name ‘node_ip’, but you may name it differently. In my case when I use the ‘node_ip’ in my Ansible role, it get the actual IP of the host.

You can also create a list with all the ips if you need this in your role:

cluster_host_ips:
  - "{{ node_ip_1.stdout }}"
  - "{{ node_ip_2.stdout }}"
  - "{{ node_ip_3.stdout }}"

(You have to use the corrent name for the list of course 😉 )

I don’t know if this is the correct way, but it works in my case. I have a Jenkins job that validates a role that is configured to run a 3 node setup (Elasticsearch, MariaDB and some others).

If you have a other or a better way for doing this, please let me know!

Testing Ansible roles with Molecule, Testinfra and Docker

ansible_logo_black_square

“On 2017-05-01 I’ve updated this post to the current situation. Some things where outdated and where removed.”

In some earlier posts I’ve described how you can use Test Kitchen for testing Ansible Roles (This one and the one extending it.). Test Kitchen was created for testing Chef Cookbooks and like Chef, Test Kitchen is a Ruby application. On this page we describe an other tool for the same purpose. This tool is what you might see as a Python clone of Test Kitchen, but more specific to Ansible: Molecule (Github)

Molecule isn’t that old, only few years and when I browse the internet it is not yet really known in the community. Unlike Test kitchen with the many different drivers, Molecule supports several backends, like Vagrant, Docker, and OpenStack. With Molecule you can make use of Serverspec (Like Test Kitchen), but you can also make use of ‘Testinfra’. Testinfra is like Serverspec a tool for writing unit tests, but it is written in Python.

Lets dive into Molecule and create some tests for Molecule. On this page, we make use of the Docker backend and if you following this page please install docker.

Installing Molecule is really simple:

pip install molecule docker

Voila, it is installed. With the installation of Molecule, Testinfra is installed to. We had to provide the docker module as well, otherwise molecule doesn’t know how to connect to the docker daemon. We can configure a Ansible Role. I used my ‘zabbix-agent’ role as test case for the Test Kitchen setup, so I will use it again for Molecule.

When you haven’t created an Ansible role yet, instead of using the ansible-galaxy command you can use the following command:

molecule init --driver docker --role role_name

This will create just like the ‘ansible-galaxy’ some default directories and files, but also gives us a starting point with a few extra files for testing this role with Molecule.

When you already have a working module and want to make use of Molecule, please execute the following command:

molecule init --driver docker

This will install several files specific for Molecule. No worries, we can recreate these files manually. Lets do that in a role and see what the files do.

File: <root>/molecule.yml

---
ansible:
  playbook: playbook.yml

driver:
  docker
docker:
  containers:
    - name: zabbix-01
      ansible_groups:
        - group1
      image: debian
      image_version: latest
      privileged: True

verifier:
  name: testinfra

This is the configuration file for Molecule. We specify which playbook Molecule will execute, in this case playbook.yml.
We specify that we want to make use of the Docker driver and that we have a docker container configuration. In this case, we only have 1 docker container specified. We use a Debian docker container with the ‘latest’ tag. We name the container ‘test-01’ and is in the group ‘group1’. And at last we configure molecule to use testinfra as the testtool.

File: <root>/playbook.yml

---
- hosts: all
  roles:
    - role: ansible-zabbix-agent

The playbook that is executed in the Docker container. This is a very basic one, we only have to specify the correct .

File: <root>/tests/inventory

localhost
[group1]
zabbix-01 ansible_connection=docker

The Ansible inventory file. Should be a known file to you 😉

File: <root>/tests/test_default.py


from testinfra.utils.ansible_runner import AnsibleRunner
testinfra_hosts = AnsibleRunner('.molecule/ansible_inventory').get_hosts('all')

def test_hosts_file(File):
    hosts = File('/etc/hosts')
    assert hosts.user == 'root'
    assert hosts.group == 'root' 

(Edit 2016-09-14: As of release 1.9, the first 2 lines should be present in the TestInfra script.)

This is the test infra python file, containing the tests. After the init command, we have 1 test that will check if there is a hosts file, and the user and group of the file belongs to user ‘root’. We discuss this file later on by adding some more tests.

File: <root>/tests/test.yml

---
- hosts: localhost
  remote_user: root
  roles:
    - zabbix-agent-role

Now we have discussed the files.

We add some infra test checks in the ‘test_default.py’ file. We add the following 2 tests:

def test_zabbix_package(Package):
    zabbixagent = Package('zabbix-agent')
    assert zabbixagent.is_installed
    assert zabbixagent.version.startswith("1:3.0")

def test_zabbixagent_running_and_enabled(Service):
    zabbixagent = Service("zabbix-agent")
    # assert zabbixagent.is_running
    assert zabbixagent.is_enabled

These are 2 Python function which are executed with Testinfra. With the first function, we validate if the package ‘zabbix-agent’ is installed. Also we check if the version starts with: 1:3.0. If you have some experience with testing Python code, this might be familiar to you. Test Infra uses ‘PyTest‘ to execute the tests and validate the.

The 2nd function we validate the ‘zabbix-agent’ service. We make sure the service is enabled. As you see, I’ve commented the check if the service is running. When it is enabled, I get this error message:

Failed to get D-Bus connection: Unknown error -1

Strange, because I’ve configured the privileged mode on the docker container. So maybe this is a bug or misconfiguration on my part, but for now I leave it commented and need to find a solution for this.

Within the molecule.yml we have to update the docker container configuration by adding the following property for all the docker containers:

    required: True

Now we added it, we have to do a “molecule destroy” and start again. The container will be recreated and we won’t get an error message about the dbus.

Now we are ready to move on (I’m well aware that these 2 tests that I added will not be enough, I’ll add these myself later on).

Molecule has several subcommands, let run molecule -h and see what is available:

No handlers could be found for logger "vagrant"
Usage:
    molecule [-hv] &amp;amp;lt;command&amp;amp;gt; [&amp;amp;lt;args&amp;amp;gt;...]

Commands:
    check         check playbook syntax
    create        create instances
    converge      create and provision instances
    idempotence   converge and check the output for changes
    test          run a full test cycle: destroy, create, converge, idempotency-check, verify and destroy instances
    verify        create, provision and test instances
    destroy       destroy instances
    status        show status of instances
    list          show available platforms, providers
    login         connects to instance via SSH
    init          creates the directory structure and files for a new Ansible role compatible with molecule

Options:
    -h --help     shows this screen
    -v --version  shows the version

We first start with the ‘check’ command:

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$ molecule check
No handlers could be found for logger "vagrant"

playbook: playbook.yml
[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$ echo $?
0

Seems very well, the check commands validate if the playbook.yml doesn’t have any problems/syntax errors.
We can continue with the next command: create.

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$ molecule create
No handlers could be found for logger "vagrant"
 Building ansible compatible image ...
 Step 1 : FROM debian:latest

  ---&amp;amp;gt; 1b088884749b

 Step 2 : RUN bash -c 'if [ -x "$(command -v apt-get)" ]; then apt-get update &amp;amp;amp;&amp;amp;amp; apt-get install -y python sudo; fi'

  ---&amp;amp;gt; Using cache

  ---&amp;amp;gt; 8ef54383599a

 Step 3 : RUN bash -c 'if [ -x "$(command -v yum)" ]; then yum makecache fast &amp;amp;amp;&amp;amp;amp; yum update -y &amp;amp;amp;&amp;amp;amp; yum install -y python sudo; fi'

  ---&amp;amp;gt; Running in 6d3142fa72aa

...
 Finished building molecule_local/debian:latest
 Creating container zabbix-01 with base image debian:latest ...
 Container created.

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$

Now we have created a docker container where we can install our Ansible role on to, we do that with the ‘converge’ subcommand.

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$ molecule converge
No handlers could be found for logger "vagrant"

PLAY [all] *********************************************************************

TASK [setup] *******************************************************************
ok: [zabbix-01]

TASK [ansible-zabbix-agent : Include OS-specific variables] ********************
ok: [zabbix-01]

TASK [ansible-zabbix-agent : Install the correct repository] *******************
skipping: [zabbix-01]

...
RUNNING HANDLER [ansible-zabbix-agent : restart zabbix-agent] ******************
changed: [zabbix-01]

PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************
zabbix-01                  : ok=12  changed=7    unreachable=0    failed=0

Nice, the role is installed correctly without any issues on the container. With Test Kitchen we had to use BATS to validate if the Role is idempotent, but luckily molecule has just a simple sub command for it: idempotence

Well, it seems that the Role has passed the idempotence test:

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$ molecule idempotence
No handlers could be found for logger "vagrant"
Idempotence test in progress (can take a few minutes)...
Idempotence test passed.

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$

Testing the role is nicely going on right now, but we are not there yet. Now we need to use the ‘verify’ command to actually validate our role on the Docker container:

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$ molecule verify
No handlers could be found for logger "vagrant"
Trailing whitespace found in ./defaults/main.yml on lines: 35
Trailing newline found at the end of ./handlers/main.yml
Trailing whitespace found in ./library/zabbix_host.py on lines: 29
Trailing newline found at the end of ./library/zabbix_hostmacro.py
[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$

Whoops, it seems it has found some issues. Let me fix that first, probably need to run the verify again after fixing it.

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$ molecule verify
No handlers could be found for logger "vagrant"

Executing testinfra tests found in tests/.
============================= test session starts ==============================
platform linux2 -- Python 2.7.5, pytest-2.9.2, py-1.4.31, pluggy-0.3.1
rootdir: /git/ansible/ansible-zabbix-agent/tests, inifile:
plugins: xdist-1.14, testinfra-1.4.0
collected 3 itemss

tests/test_default.py ...

=========================== 3 passed in 0.63 seconds ===========================

No serverspec tests found in spec/.

[vagrant@localhost ansible-zabbix-agent]$

After fixing it, everything seems to work fine. Nice!

Now we are done with the container, so we can execute molecule again, but with the delete sub command and the container will be deleted.

These were the basics for testing an Ansible role with Molecule, Docker and Test Infra. This page uses the ‘Debian’ Docker image, whereas I normally use CentOS for this. I have some issues (Get the same error message when I enable the Test Infra test to validate if the service is running) to make this work on CentOS. So maybe Molecule isn’t mature enough yet, but it is getting there.

I’ll update my Ansible roles so it will use Molecule instead of Test Kitchen (No hard feelings ;-))

Extending the Ansible Test Kitchen tests with BATS tests

ansible_logo_black_square

In one of the previous blog posts (This one) I described how you can test your Ansible roles with Test Kitchen and Serverspec. With this setup we were able to execute an Ansible Role in an docker container and validate this installation with Serverspec. Server spec is a little bit limited, as we only tested the installation in an sort of technical way: Process is running, port is open, file is created and owner by user x etc. Sometimes this isn’t enough to validate your setup, BATS is the answer.

“Bats is a TAP-compliant testing framework for Bash. It provides a simple way to verify that the UNIX programs you write behave as expected.
A Bats test file is a Bash script with special syntax for defining test cases. Under the hood, each test case is just a function with a description.”
So how does this look like? Let dive in this example:
#!/usr/bin/env bats

@test "Validate status code for login page" {
  run curl -s -o /dev/null -w "%{http_code}" http://zabbix.example.com/index.php
  [[ $output = "200" ]]
}

First we let the script now this is an bats script. The 2nd line is the start of an test and this line starts with the @ sign. Each test has an description and in this case: Validate status code for login page.  Next line is the actual test, we run the curl command. The command needs to start with run, so it will know that an actual command should be executed. In this case, the output of the curl command is the http status code and this will be checked in the 4th line. The $output variable contains the output of the command and in this case, it will contain 200 (or something else, but then the test fails.)

We can also do an check to find if some string is found in the output of the test command, see the following example:

@test "Validate login page and search for \"Username\"" {
  run curl -s http://zabbix.example.com/index.php
  [[ $output =~ ">Username<" ]]
}

With this test, we do an curl of an page and checks if we can find the string “>Username<“ in the output. If this is found, this test is executed correctly, otherwise it will fail.

Just to be clear, you don’t have to use this output check for each check. You can also rely on the exit codes of the command. See this paragraph:

“Test cases consist of standard shell commands. Bats makes use of Bash’s errexit (set -e) option when running test cases. If every command in the test case exits with a 0 status code (success), the test passes. In this way, each line is an assertion of truth.”

(Source: https://github.com/sstephenson/bats)

Please check the github page, there are some nice examples on how to write your tests. But the goal for this blog post is that we have to use it with our Test Kitchen setup, so how do we continue?

As you might recall from the earlier mentioned blog post, we created the directory structure: test/integrations/default. And in this directory we created an directory named serverspec. In this “default” directory we also create an directory named bats. After this we create the file with the extension .bats.

Now we are all set. 😃Now we can execute “kitchen test” and when the Ansible role is installed, the bats suits will begin:

-----> Running bats test suite
        ✓ Validate status code for login page
        ✓ Validate login page and search for "Username"
        ✓ Validate if we can login with default credentials via API

Above example shows 3 tests and each test is executed correctly, as you can see with the checks in front of it. (Otherwise we would see an ‘x’) Right after this, the server spec will be executed.

Have fun! 😃

Installing zabbix-server with ansible

ansible_logo_black_squarezabbix_logo

Not only I have an puppet module which can be freely used from the forge, I also have some Ansible roles for Zabbix. This page will describe installing the zabbix-server with the dj-wasabi.zabbix-server role. If you want to know how you install the zabbix-agent, please check this page.

You can find the role and some information on this page: https://galaxy.ansible.com/list#/roles/2070

This role works on the 3 main Linux operating systems:

  • RedHat
  • Debian
  • Ubuntu

So, if your server has one of these operating system, you can continue. If you have however an other operating system and have some Ansible knowledge, please add some improvements and create an Pull Request on Github. I always accept Pull Requests related to the Ansible roles.

When you want to install this role, you only have to execute the following command:

ansible-galaxy install dj-wasabi.zabbix-server

Now we need to setup everything, but before we do anything we need to know what kind of database server is going to be used. Zabbix Server can work with several different databases as backend. This Ansible role only works with the following databases:

  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL

Before we see the examples, there is one main parameter which is always needed: zabbix_url

This is the url on which the zabbix interface is available and should be an fqdn. Default it will create an Apache Virtual Host configuration file with this FQDN as ServerName. If you set this parameter as this:

zabbix_url: zabbix.example.com

the web interface will be available at: http://zabbix.example.com

PostgreSQL

Default the PostgreSQL is used as backend and before we can use this role, we need to find and download an Ansible role for PostgreSQL which can be used on your operating system. In this example we are using the following role: ‘galaxyprojectdotorg.postgresql’

The following is an example of an playbook for installing the ‘zabbix-server’ with an PostgreSQL database:

--- 
- hosts: zabbix-server
  roles: 
    - role: galaxyprojectdotorg.postgresql
      postgresql_pg_hba_conf: 
        - "host all all 127.0.0.1/32 trust"
        - "host all all ::1/128 trust"
      postgresql_pg_hba_local_ipv4: false
      postgresql_pg_hba_local_ipv6: false
    - role: dj-wasabi.zabbix-server
      zabbix_url: zabbix.example.com
      zabbix_version: 2.4
      server_dbuser: zabbix-server
      server_dbpassword: zabbix-server

This is the minimum configuration to use for this role with an PostgreSQL as database. What might help to secure everything is to use an more difficult to guess password for the ‘server_dbuser’ 😉

MySQL

Lets use MySQL as backend now. The following example is used with the following role: ‘geerlingguy.mysql’:

---
- hosts: localhost
  roles:
    - role: geerlingguy.mysql
    - role: ansible-zabbix-server
      zabbix_url: zabbix.example.com
      zabbix_version: 2.4
      database_type: mysql
      database_type_long: mysql
      server_dbuser: zabbix-server
      server_dbpassword: zabbix-server

Same as for the example with PostgreSQL, use an different value for the server_dbpassword.

Other configurations

Don’t think that what you just saw with configuring this role is everything. There are a lot of other configuration parameters that can be set. Keep in mind, that all configuration options you’ll normally find in the ‘zabbix_server.conf’ configuration file, can also be set with this role.

Lets give an example:

When we need to set the StartPollers to value 10, we can update the MySQL playbook to look like this:

---
- hosts: localhost
  roles:
    - role: geerlingguy.mysql
    - role: ansible-zabbix-server
      zabbix_url: zabbix.example.com
      zabbix_version: 2.4
      database_type: mysql
      database_type_long: mysql
      server_dbuser: zabbix-server
      server_dbpassword: zabbix-server
      server_startpollers: 10

When the role is executed on the ‘zabbix-server’, we see the following in the configuration file:

### option: startpollers
#	number of pre-forked instances of pollers.
#
StartPollers=10

Keep in mind to lower the property setting and prefix it with ‘server_’ and you’ll have the property for this Ansible role.

As this Ansible role isn’t perfect, please let me know if you encounter any issues by creating an issue. Pull Request for bugs or new features are always welcome!

Using Librarian-Ansible to install Ansible roles from Gitlab

ansible_logo_black_square

I have some Ansible roles which I try to keep up2date and these are on Github and on my personal Gitlab instance. Sometimes this takes a little bit longer that I want to, but other projects needs some attention to.

For my own personal environment, I use Ansible too and this is in an seperate git repository of my Gitlab server (Repository: environment/ansible.git). There is one thing that buggers me: My Ansible roles differs from the one used in my personal Ansible setup. At moment of writing, the ‘dj-wasabi.zabbix-agent’ role is at tag 0.2.1, but I use ‘0.0.2’ in my own Ansible setup (Oh, really that old?? 🙂 ).

There should be an solution for this. But before we continue, the solution should met my goals:

  • All Ansible roles should have their own git repository in Gitlab,
  • All Ansible roles have their own Jenkins job, documentation and test cases,
  • I want to make use of tags or versions.

With this I can create specific tags/version of the role and we can run some tests via Jenkins like ‘testkitchen’. With ‘testkitchen’ we run the role on an vagrant/docker and see if everything runs fine. But for know, ‘testkitchen’ is out of scope for this.

I first looked at ‘ansible-galaxy’. It has the possibility for using an ‘requirements.yml’ file which holds all information. Like location and even an version, so we can specify the correct role. After some testing it only work when you have the repository at Github.com.
Also the repository should exists on the Galaxy itself. So for the Zabbix roles this could work, but I also have some roles created just for my own environment. These are specific and there is no need to upload them to the Galaxy or github, so the ‘ansible-galaxy’ will not work for me.

I found “librarian-ansible’. This could be something which might work for me, but didn’t found information on the web. Yes, I did found something that the Ansible creator Michael DeHaan isn’t an very big fan of this (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/ansible-project/TawjChwaV08/3p6Zv24rMWgJ). So lets try it anyways, maybe it creates a fan out of me ;-).

Installation is very simple, we have to install 1 gem:

wdijkerman@curiosity [ ~/git/environment/ansible ] (14:03:56 - Sat Aug 15)
 (master) > sudo gem install librarian-ansible
Successfully installed librarian-ansible-1.0.6
1 gem installed

Now we have to create the Ansiblefile. The Ansiblefile is used for declaring the roles and where these roles can be found. We can do this with the following command:

wdijkerman@curiosity [ ~/git/environment/ansible ] (14:24:19 - Sat Aug 15)
 (master) > librarian-ansible init
      create  Ansiblefile

It creates the “Ansiblefile” in the current directory. It already has some basic roles specified, but I don’t use them.

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
#^syntax detection

site "https://galaxy.ansible.com/api/v1";

role "kunik.deploy-upstart-scripts";

role "pgolm.ansible-playbook-monit",
  github: "pgolm/ansible-playbook-monit";

With the default Ansiblefile it shows you, that you also can make use of the Ansible Galaxy. The site is configured to use Ansible Galaxy API and when you only have specified the “role” (In this case kunik.deploy-upstart-scripts”, it will be downloaded from the Galaxy.

2nd example is downloding the git repository “pgolm/ansible-playbook-monit”, which will be installed with the role name “pgolm.ansible-playbook-monit”. Nice, but I only need to make use of the “git” option. I start with the following:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
#^syntax detection

role "zabbix-javagateway",
    git: "git@gitlab.dj-wasabi.local:ansible/zabbix-javagateway.git",
    ref: "0.1.0"

When I run “librarian-ansible install’ it will clone the git repository and checkouts the tag “0.1.0”. The role is now installed in the ‘ librarian_roles/’ directory with the name “zabbix-javagateway”. But I want it in my roles directory, so I have to run the ‘librarian-ansible’ command again, but with the config option:

librarian-ansible config path roles --global

This sets the path to my “roles” directory. This is specified in my ansible.cfg and I want them in this directory. So running again the ‘librarian-ansible install’ command and the role is installed again. But, what I didn’t know (or didn’t read in the very few sites that exists about librarian-ansible) is it will delete the content of the directory. So all my roles which were in the ‘roles/’ directory are deleted. So, ‘git checkout roles/’ and moving all roles to their own git repository and start again! 🙂

Maybe add the “roles” directory in my .Gitignore file. We don’t want to store all the roles in this repository too.

I think I’m going to be an fan for librarian-ansible. 🙂