Introduction

This is the first part of a three part series on Ansible Tower. In this series we will download, install, and configure Ansible Tower with user, groups and to execute jobs.

Code versions used for this lab

  • Python - 2.7.5
  • Ansible - 2.2.1
  • Centos 7 - minimal 1511
  • Ansible Tower - 3.1.1

Ansible Tower Components

Tower is the GUI based management system for Ansible. Installing it can be quite simple, in fact Tower can be installed in only a few steps.

  • Download and extract the tar file
  • Run the setup script
  • Apply the license

Get Ansible Tower

Go to https://www.ansible.com/tower-trial and enter your details to download the .tar installation file. There are a number of methods to start a trial with Ansible, we will use the tower for linux method.

download-tower.png

Note

The file will be named ansible-tower-setup-latest.tar.gz.

License

Go to https://www.ansible.com/license and order a trial license. Fill in your details and the license key will get sent to you in an email.

tower-license.png

Install

There are three installation methods for Ansible Tower

  • Single host internal database
  • Single host external database
  • Multiple host in HA with a shared external database

For this tutorial we will use the install on a single server with internal database method.

There are some requirements on the server that tower will be installed on:

  • Anisble is installed via distributions package managaer
  • User executing the setup script has root/sudo privileges
cmd

# Ansible is in the epel-release repository on yum distributions
sudo yum -y install epel-release
sudo yum -y install ansible

# Assuming ansible-tower-setup-latest.tar.gz is in ~/ directory
# extract the .tar file
cd ~/
tar -xvf ansible-tower-setup-latest.tar.gz

# change to ansible-tower-setup-3.1.1 directory
cd ansible-tower-setup-3.1.1
    

Edit the inventory file and add the required passwords.

  • admin_password
  • pg_password
  • rabbitmq_password

I have used redhat for all three.

file

# ~/ansible-tower-setup-3.1.1/inventory
[tower]
localhost ansible_connection=local

[database]

[all:vars]
admin_password='redhat'

pg_host=''
pg_port=''

pg_database='awx'
pg_username='awx'
pg_password='redhat'

rabbitmq_port=5672
rabbitmq_vhost=tower
rabbitmq_username=tower
rabbitmq_password='redhat'
rabbitmq_cookie=cookiemonster

# Needs to be true for fqdns and ip addresses
rabbitmq_use_long_name=false
    

Edit the /etc/ansible/ansible.cfg file and uncomment ask_sudo_pass = True.

file

# Snippet from /etc/ansible/ansible.cfg
[defaults]
#inventory      = /etc/ansible/hosts
#library        = /usr/share/my_modules/
#remote_tmp     = ~/.ansible/tmp
#local_tmp      = ~/.ansible/tmp
#forks          = 5
#poll_interval  = 15
#sudo_user      = root
ask_sudo_pass = True
#ask_pass      = True
#transport      = smart
#remote_port    = 22
#module_lang    = C
#module_set_locale = False
    

To install Tower, execute the setup.sh as a sudo user. This will kickoff the playbook install.yml.

cmd

# Start Tower install
sudo ./setup.sh
[sudo] password for admin:
Using /etc/ansible/ansible.cfg as config file
SUDO password:

# output
PLAY [tower:database] **********************************************************

TASK [check_config_static : Ensure expected variables are defined] *************
skipping: [localhost] => (item=tower_package_name)  => {"changed": false, "item": "tower_package_name", "skip_reason": "Conditional check failed", "skipped": true}
skipping: [localhost] => (item=tower_package_version)  => {"changed": false, "item": "tower_package_version", "skip_reason": "Conditional check failed", "skipped": true}
skipping: [localhost] => (item=tower_package_release)  => {"changed": false, "item": "tower_package_release", "skip_reason": "Conditional check failed", "skipped": true}

TASK [check_config_static : Ensure at least one tower host is defined] *********
skipping: [localhost] => {"changed": false, "skip_reason": "Conditional check failed", "skipped": true}

TASK [check_config_static : Ensure only one database host exists] **************
skipping: [localhost] => {"changed": false, "skip_reason": "Conditional check failed", "skipped": true}

.
.
.
Many, Many, Many, Many Tasks Later
.
.
.

PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************
localhost                  : ok=115  changed=56   unreachable=0    failed=1

The setup process completed successfully.
Setup log saved to /var/log/tower/setup-2017-03-11-17:45:09.log
    

Browse to the tower url https://<tower-hostname-or-ip> and login with the username admin and the admin_password previously set in the inventory file.

tower-login.png

Remember the license file we requested earlier? By now it should have been emailed to you. Upload it via the browse button.

tower-add-license.png

The license is in JSON format and looks like this.

file

{
    "company_name": "company.abc",
    "contact_email": "your@email.com",
    "contact_name": "your name",
    "hostname": "giberish-string",
    "instance_count": 10,
    "license_date": 2120361496,
    "license_key": "license-key",
    "license_type": "basic",
    "subscription_name": "Ansible Tower by Red Hat, Self-Support (10 Managed Nodes)"
}
    

Once the license file is uploaded you will be redirected to the Tower home screen.

tower-home-screen.png

Summary

There you have it, Ansible Tower is now installed and ready to be configured. In part 2 of this series we will configure Ansible Tower with users and groups.

ansible