How to Install and Configure ‘Ansible’ Automation Tool for IT Management – Part 1

Ansible is an open source, powerful automation software for configuring, managing and deploying software applications on the nodes without any downtime just by using SSH. Today, most of the IT Automation tools runs as a agent in remote host, but ansible just need a SSH connection and Python (2.4 or later) to be installed on the remote nodes to perform it’s action.

Install Ansible in Linux
Install Ansible in Linux

How Ansible Works?

There are many similar automation tools available like Puppet, Capistrano, Chef, Salt, Space Walk etc, but Ansible categorize into two types of server: controlling machines and nodes.

The controlling machine, where Ansible is installed and Nodes are managed by this controlling machine over SSH. The location of nodes are specified by controlling machine through its inventory.

The controlling machine (Ansible) deploys modules to nodes using SSH protocol and these modules are stored temporarily on remote nodes and communicate with the Ansible machine through a JSON connection over the standard output.

Ansible is agent-less, that means no need of any agent installation on remote nodes, so it means there are no any background daemons or programs are executing for Ansible, when it’s not managing any nodes.

Ansible can handle 100’s of nodes from a single system over SSH connection and the entire operation can be handled and executed by one single command ‘ansible’. But, in some cases, where you required to execute multiple commands for a deployment, here we can build playbooks.

Playbooks are bunch of commands which can perform multiple tasks and each playbooks are in YAML file format.

What’s the Use of Ansible

Ansible can be used in IT infrastructure to manage and deploy software applications to remote nodes. For example, let’s say you need to deploy a single software or multiple software to 100’s of nodes by a single command, here ansible comes into picture, with the help of Ansible you can deploy as many as applications to many nodes with one single command, but you must have a little programming knowledge for understanding the ansible scripts.

We’ve compiled a series on Ansible, title ‘Preparation for the Deployment of your IT Infrastructure with Ansible IT Automation Tool‘, through parts 1-4 and covers the following topics.

Part 1: How to Install and Configure Ansible for IT Management in Linux
Part 4: Managing Encrypted YAMAL data with Ansible-Vault

In this article, we will show you how to install ‘Ansible’ on RHEL/CentOS 7/6, Fedora 21-19, Ubuntu 14.10-13.04 and Debian 7/6 systems and also we will go through some basics on how how to manage a server by installing packages, applying updates and much more from basic to pro.


  1. Operating System: RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint
  2. Jinja2: A modern, fast and easy to use stand-alone template engine for Python.
  3. PyYAML: A YAML parser and emitter for the Python programming language.
  4. parmiko: A native Python SSHv2 channel library.
  5. httplib2: A comprehensive HTTP client library.
  6. sshpass: A non-interactive ssh password authentication.

My Environment Setup

Controlling Machine – Ansible
Operating System :	Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca
IP Address	 :
Host-name	 :
User		 :	tecmint
Remote Nodes
Node 1:
Node 2:
Node 3:

Step 1: Installing Controlling Machine – Ansible

1. Before installing ‘Ansible‘ on the server, let’s first verify the details of the server like hostname and IP Address. Login into server as a root user and execute the below command to confirm system settings that we’re going to use for this setup.

# sudo ifconfig | grep inet
Verify System Details
Verify System Details

2. Once you confirm your system settings, it’s time to install ‘Ansible’ software on the system.

On Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint

Here we are going to use official Ansible PPA repository on the system, just run the below commands to add the repository.

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ansible/ansible -y
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ansible -y
Add Ansible PPA
Add Ansible PPA
Install Ansible in Ubuntu
Install Ansible in Ubuntu
On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora

Unfortunately, there are no official Ansible repository for RedHat based clones, but we can install Ansible by enabling epel repository under RHEL/CentOS 6, 7 and currently supported fedora distributions.

Fedora users can directly install Ansible through default repository, but if you are using RHEL/CentOS 6, 7, you have to enable EPEL repo.

After configuring epel repository, you can install Ansible using following command.

$ sudo yum install ansible -y

After installed successfully, you can verify the version by executing below command.

# ansible --version
Verify Ansible Version
Verify Ansible Version

Step 2: Preparing SSH Keys to Remote Hosts

4. To perform any deployment or management from the localhost to remote host first we need to create and copy the ssh keys to the remote host. In every remote host there will be a user account tecmint (in your case may be different user).

First let we create a SSH key using below command and copy the key to remote hosts.

# ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "[email protected]"
Create SSH Key
Create SSH Key

5. After creating SSH Key successfully, now copy the created key to all three remote server’s.

# ssh-copy-id [email protected]
# ssh-copy-id [email protected]
# ssh-copy-id [email protected]
Copy SSH Key Remote Server
Copy SSH Key Remote Server
Copy SSH Key Second Remote Host
Copy SSH Key Second Remote Host

6. After copying all SSH Keys to remote host, now perform a ssh key authentication on all remote hosts to check whether authentication working or not.

$ ssh [email protected]
$ ssh [email protected]
$ ssh [email protected]
SSH Key Authentication
SSH Key Authentication

Hey TecMint readers,

Exciting news! Every month, our top blog commenters will have the chance to win fantastic rewards, like free Linux eBooks such as RHCE, RHCSA, LFCS, Learn Linux, and Awk, each worth $20!

Learn more about the contest and stand a chance to win by sharing your thoughts below!

Babin Lonston
I'm Working as a System Administrator for last 10 year's with 4 years experience with Linux Distributions, fall in love with text based operating systems.

Each tutorial at TecMint is created by a team of experienced Linux system administrators so that it meets our high-quality standards.

Join the TecMint Weekly Newsletter (More Than 156,129 Linux Enthusiasts Have Subscribed)
Was this article helpful? Please add a comment or buy me a coffee to show your appreciation.


Leave a Reply
  1. I don’t want to use ssh-key for ansible, what I need is I always need to use passwords for each and every commands

    how to configure that?

  2. Hi, I am getting below error when I try to install ansible on Linux.

    Error: Package: python-paramiko-2.1.1-0.4.el7.noarch (epel)
               Requires: python2-pyasn1
    Error: Package: python-paramiko-2.1.1-0.4.el7.noarch (epel)
               Requires: python-cryptography

    Can someone please help..

  3. Error: Package: ansible- (epel)
    Requires: python-jinja2

    Ansible installation issue
    Error: Package: python-paramiko-2.1.1-0.2.el7.noarch (epel)
    Requires: python-cryptography
    You could try using –skip-broken to work around the problem
    You could try running: rpm -Va –nofiles –nodigest

    when I have tried to install the ansible, after enable the repo also I am getting the following error

    • @Manikandan,

      I think you first install python-cryptography manually using PIP tool as shown.

      $ sudo pip install pycrypto
  4. Faced some issues while installing Ansible in linux. Got resolved by installing below packages.

    error: Failed dependencies:
    python-httplib2 is needed by ansible-
    python-jinja2-26 is needed by ansible-
    python-keyczar is needed by ansible-
    python-setuptools is needed by ansible-
    python-six is needed by ansible-
    sshpass is needed by ansible-

    Downloaded separately all the rpms from and installed.

  5. Issue got resolved by below command after keygen in host1


    then run the ansible
    ansible -m command -a “df -h ” webservers

  6. I was not able to install ansible in my REDHAT 7, after running the below commands;

    $ sudo yum install ansible -y
    $ wget
    $ sudo rpm -ivh epel-release-7-10.noarch.rpm

    Return output

    Loaded plugins: amazon-id, rhui-lb, search-disabled-repos
    epel/x86_64/metalink                                                                                                                                                                      |  18 kB  00:00:00
    epel                                                                                                                                                                                      | 4.3 kB  00:00:00
    (1/3): epel/x86_64/group_gz                                                                                                                                                               | 170 kB  00:00:00
    (2/3): epel/x86_64/updateinfo                                                                                                                                                             | 840 kB  00:00:00
    (3/3): epel/x86_64/primary_db                                                                                                                                                             | 4.8 MB  00:00:00
    No package ansible available.
  7. Hello Team,

    On Production server, We can’t provide internet access to server. I have download ansible.tar file. Can you suggest me the steps to install ?

    Rajesh kathar

  8. | UNREACHABLE! => {
    “changed”: false,
    “msg”: “Failed to connect to the host via ssh: Permission denied (publickey,password).\r\n”,
    “unreachable”: true
    } | UNREACHABLE! => {
    “changed”: false,
    “msg”: “Failed to connect to the host via ssh: ssh: connect to host port 22: Connection timed out\r\n”,
    “unreachable”: true

    • I got the same error. I fixed it by
      1) installing python on remote servers
      2) Adding the following line to /etc/ansible/hosts ( my user is shivaji )

    • my be your network (server )is not reachable or you havent copy ssh-key for password less login or defined user havent any key to that server.

  9. Hi ,

    I am trying to create /etc/ansible/hosts file but it is not allowing me to either touch this file or save this file

    [root@localhost ~]# ansible –version
    config file =
    configured module search path = Default w/o overrides
    [root@localhost ~]# touch /etc/ansible/hosts
    touch: cannot touch ‘/etc/ansible/hosts’: No such file or directory

    when i am doing vim /etc/ansible/hosts it is giving below error whien i am trying to save
    “/etc/ansible/hosts” E212: Can’t open file for writing

    Is this file created by default or we need to create manually

  10. Thanks for this post., I am looking for installation of ansible from the servers which is not exposed to internet. I downloaded the ansible tar.gz from git hub and ran make command but getting error as below
    ansible –version
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/home/jboss/Ansible/ansible-”, line 44, in
    import ansible.constants as C

    I tried adding the env variables like below but again seeing exception
    export PATH=$PATH:$ANSIBLE/bin
    export PYTHONPATH=$ANSIBLE/lib
    export ANSIBLE_LIBRARY=$ANSIBLE/library

    ansible:85: DeprecationWarning: BaseException.message has been deprecated as of Python 2.6
    if e.message.endswith(‘ %s’ % sub):
    ERROR! Unexpected Exception: No module named yaml
    the full traceback was:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/home/jboss/Ansible/ansible-”, line 81, in
    from ansible.cli.adhoc import AdHocCLI as mycli
    File “/home/jboss/Ansible/ansible-”, line 27, in
    import yaml
    ImportError: No module named yaml

    Kindly suggest to prepare install the prerequisites and ansible in my situation

  11. Noticed a possible typo – shouldn’t the prerequisite “parmiko” be “paramiko”? As in python-paramiko package (or pip install paramiko)?

  12. Hi,
    When i tried to copy remote server to ssh, then i got below error.

    ]$ ssh-copy-id
    /usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: attempting to log in with the new key(s), to filter out any that are already installed
    /usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: 1 key(s) remain to be installed — if you are prompted now it is to install the new keys
    [email protected]‘s password:

    Could not chdir to home directory /export/home/akumar3: No such file or directory

    Please suggest.

  13. hi, excellent post, just having a doubt here, I’m getting the same error sampada does, I already tried with the user the ssh keys generated, any idea what might be happening? thanks

    • @Erick Bazan,

      Please run the ansbile from (user) were you create SSH keygen for remote servers. It will resolve this issue.


  14. Hi I am trying to set up a ansible lab on azure cloud and trying to get hand on to replace puppet actually.
    But when I m trying to run : [ ansible -m ping web-servers ]
    I am getting a error as : as mentioned below in-between [ ]

    [ | UNREACHABLE! => {
    “changed”: false,
    “msg”: “Failed to connect to the host via ssh.”,
    “unreachable”: true


    So I tried command : [ ansible -m ping web-servers:2222 ]
    But i am still getting the error as : [ [WARNING]: provided hosts list is empty, only localhost is available ]

    Can somebody help me please

    Thank you

  15. Hello. I am trying to setup ansible on my home network for testing and mabey replace puttet if i like anisble.
    BUT! I have copied the key from my anisble host to my test vm, added the ip for my test vm in sudo vim /etc/ansible/hosts under [web-servers]
    but when i am trying to ping the test vm from anisble then i get this message ?

    # ansible -m ping web-servers
    # No hosts matched

  16. I am getting error after executing
    ansible -m ping ‘webservers’
    SUDO password: | FAILED => SSH Error: Permission denied (publickey,password).
    while connecting to
    It is sometimes useful to re-run the command using -vvvv, which prints SSH debug output to help diagnose the issue.

    But ssh [email protected] is working fine. Can you please help.

  17. I love to read articles. …

    Knowledge. ..

    Waiting for 2nd & 3rd part…..
    Please upload soon…..

  18. i configured ansible server but i have some proble. When i ma using “sudo ansible -m ping web-servers” this command
    , i got the error “No hosts matched”
    I am configured “/etc/ansible/hosts” file properly.


Got Something to Say? Join the Discussion...

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We appreciate your decision to leave a comment and value your contribution to the discussion. It's important to note that we moderate all comments in accordance with our comment policy to ensure a respectful and constructive conversation.

Rest assured that your email address will remain private and will not be published or shared with anyone. We prioritize the privacy and security of our users.