Ansible - Getting Started with the ansible-playbook command

The ansible-playbook command can can be used to perform a number of different tasks. The which command can be used to determine where the ansible-playbook command is located.

~]$ which ansible


The -v or --version option can be used to list the version of Ansible Playbook, the location of the Ansible configuration file, and the version of Python.

ansible-playbook --version

  config file = /etc/ansible/ansible.cfg
  configured module search path = [u'/home/your_username/.ansible/plugins/modules', u'/usr/share/ansible/plugins/modules']
  ansible playbook module location = /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/ansible
  executable location = /usr/bin/ansible-playbook
  python version = 2.7.5 (default, mm dd yyyy, hh:mm:ss) [GCC 4.8.5 yyyymmdd (Red Hat 4.8.5-39)]



The ansible-playbook command uses a .yml or .yaml file to perform a series of tasks, thus you'll need to create the .yml or .yaml file before issuing the ansible-playbook command. Check out our article on creating your first playbook .yml or .yaml file.

A playbook can be executed using this command.

ansible-playbook playbook.yml


The following should be returned.

PLAY [all]

TASK [Gathering Facts]
ok: []
ok: []
ok: []
ok: []

TASK [ping test]
ok: []
ok: []
ok: []
ok: []

PLAY RECAP : ok=2  changed=0  unreachable=0  failed=0 : ok=2  changed=0  unreachable=0  failed=0 : ok=0  changed=0  unreachable=1  failed=0 : ok=2  changed=0  unreachable=0  failed=0


Indentation matters in playbooks. For example, this will not work, as it does not have the expected indentation.

- hosts: all
 - debug: msg="improper indentation"


This will work, as it has the proper indentation.

- hosts: all
    - debug: msg="proper indentation"


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