Ansible is Simple IT Automation. It can finish similar tasks like Fabric, but more.
Fabric is like a library, which provides some functions.
While ansible is like a framework, which provides a workflow.
Both Ansibel and Fabric are based on paramiko, a Python ssh library.


  • No client installation required on target machine
  • Target machine can be windows, with PowerShell
  • Only supports Python2 so far
  • Control machine can not be windows
  • Use YAML


Python dependencies:

sudo pip install paramiko PyYAML Jinja2 httplib2 six

Install by pip:

sudo pip install ansible

Run from source:

git clone git://github.com/ansible/ansible.git --recursive
cd ./ansible
source ./hacking/env-setup  # for bash
source ./hacking/env-setup.fish # for fish

Update from source:

git pull --rebase
git submodule update --init --recursive

Key Points

Conf files are called inventory, default is /etc/ansible/hosts.

In inventory, you can group servers like ini:

localhost ansible_connection=local

foo.example.com ansible_connection=ssh

one.example.com ansible_ssh_user=joe


The above example also shows:

  • specify connection(default to ssh)
  • specify ssh port(default to 22)
  • specify user name(default to current user)
  • specify hosts range with numbers and letters

Group vars:



Run ad-hoc command:

ansible atlanta -a "/sbin/reboot" -f 10

This use the default command module, so it equals to:

ansible atlanta -m command -a "/sbin/reboot" -f 10

Use shell module:

ansible raleigh -m shell -a 'echo $TERM'

Note the single quote, if you use double one, it will get value for current system, not the remote one.

Copy files:

ansible atlanta -m copy -a "src=/etc/hosts dest=/tmp/hosts"

Question: copy from localhost to remote machines?

Change file meta:

ansible webservers -m file -a "dest=/srv/foo/a.txt mode=600"
ansible webservers -m file -a "dest=/srv/foo/b.txt mode=600 owner=mdehaan group=mdehaan"

Create dir:

ansible webservers -m file -a "dest=/path/to/c mode=755 owner=mdehaan group=mdehaan state=directory"

Delete dir:

ansible webservers -m file -a "dest=/path/to/c state=absent"

cfg file load order

  • ANSIBLE_CONFIG (一个环境变量)
  • ansible.cfg (位于当前目录中)
  • .ansible.cfg (位于家目录中)
  • /etc/ansible/ansible.cfg