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Daniel Westermann

Getting Ansible up and running on a SLES 12 SP1 host

Recently at a customer we had to setup Ansible on a SLES 12 SP1 host. In comparison to RedHat or Ubuntu based distributions there are some more steps to do as Ansible is not included in the standard SLES repositories. Here we go …

Start with the user, group, directories and permissions:

host:~ # groupadd ansible
host:~ # useradd -g ansible -m ansible
host:~ # passwd ansible
host:~ # mkdir /opt/ansible
host:~ # chown ansible:ansible /opt/ansible
host:~ # mkdir /etc/ansible
host:~ # chown ansible:ansible /etc/ansible
host:~ # touch /etc/ansible/hosts
host:~ # chown ansible:ansible /etc/ansible/hosts
host:~ # chmod 600 /etc/ansible/hosts

In our case we wanted to install Ansible directly from the git repository on github so we needed to install git:

host:~ # zypper install git

As pip was not available in the os repositories we had to install manually:

host:~ # cd /var/tmp
host:~ # export http_proxy=proxy:port    # if a proxy is used
host:~ # export https_proxy=proxy:port   # if a proxy is used
host:~ # wget
host:~ # python
host:~ # pip install paramiko PyYAML Jinja2 httplib2 six

Installing Ansible from here on is straight forward:

host:/var/tmp # su - ansible
ansible@host:~> cd /opt/ansible/
ansible@host:/opt/ansible> export
ansible@host:/opt/ansible> export
ansible@host:/opt/ansible> git config --global http.proxy $http_proxy
ansible@host:/opt/ansible> git config --global https.proxy $http_proxy
ansible@host:/opt/ansible>git clone --recursive
ansible@host:/opt/ansible>cd ansible
ansible@host:/opt/ansible/ansible> git pull --rebase
Current branch devel is up to date.
ansible@host:/opt/ansible/ansible> ansible@s1100tap460:/opt/ansible/ansible> git submodule update --init --recursive

Ansible provides a script which makes it easy to setup the environment:

ansible@host:/opt/ansible/ansible>cd ansible
ansible@host:/opt/ansible/ansible>. hacking/env-setup

This does the initial stuff required for running Ansible out of a git repository and does set all the environment variables. It is good idea to do this automatically once you login as ansible user:

ansible@host:/opt/ansible/ansible> echo ". /opt/ansible/ansible/hacking/env-setup -q" >> ~/.bash_profile

Now you can execute ansible without adjusting your environment or switching to the installation directory:

ansible@host:/opt/ansible/ansible> which ansible
ansible@host:/opt/ansible/ansible> ansible --version
ansible 2.2.0 (devel 4cc4dc6793) last updated 2016/07/19 13:51:23 (GMT +200)
  lib/ansible/modules/core: (detached HEAD 7de287237f) last updated 2016/07/19 13:51:40 (GMT +200)
  lib/ansible/modules/extras: (detached HEAD 68ca157f3b) last updated 2016/07/19 13:51:53 (GMT +200)
  config file =

To test we can add the localhost to the Ansible inventory:

ansible@host:/opt/ansible/ansible> echo "" >> /etc/ansible/hosts

… and then exchange the public ssh key of the ansible user:

ansible@host:~> ssh-keygen -t dsa
ansible@host:~> ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/ ansible@

Do a functional test:

ansible@s1100tap460:~>  ansible all -m ping | SUCCESS => {
    "changed": false,
    "ping": "pong"

… and your done. Happy deploying …


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Daniel Westermann
Daniel Westermann

Senior Consultant and Technology Leader Open Infrastructure