3. General Installation Notes

  • Ansible Tower on RHEL 8 requires Ansible 2.8 or greater. Older versions of Ansible will not work on RHEL 8.
  • If you need to access a HTTP proxy to install software from your OS vendor, ensure that the environment variable “HTTP_PROXY” is set accordingly before running
  • The Tower installer creates a self-signed SSL certificate and keyfile at /etc/tower/tower.cert and /etc/tower/tower.key for HTTPS communication. These can be replaced after install with your own custom SSL certificates if you desire, but the filenames are required to be the same.
  • Installing Ansible Tower 3.6 automatically installs the necessary versions of Node.js to run the Tower User Interface.
  • If using Ansible version 1.8 or later, ensure that fact caching using Redis is not enabled in ansible.cfg on the Tower machine.
  • Note that the Tower installation must be run from an internet connected machine that can install software from trusted 3rd-party places such as Ansible’s software repository, and your OS vendor’s software repositories. In some cases, access to the Python Package Index (PyPI) is necessary as well. If you need to be able to install in a disconnected environment and the bundled installation program is not a solution for you (refer to Using the Bundled Tower Installation Program), please contact Ansible via the Red Hat Customer portal at
  • If installing Tower on OpenShift, refer to OpenShift Deployment and Configuration.

3.1. Flags and extra vars passed with Tower

Flags and/or extra variables that you can use with the Ansible Tower installer include (but are not limited to) the following:

Usage: [Options] [-- Ansible Options]
        -i INVENTORY_FILE     Path to ansible inventory file (default: ${INVENTORY_FILE})
        -e EXTRA_VARS         Set additional ansible variables as key=value or YAML/JSON
                                i.e. -e bundle_install=false will force an online install
        -b                    Perform a database backup in lieu of installing.
        -r                    Perform a database restore in lieu of installing.
        -h                    Show this help message and exit
Ansible Options:
        Additional options to be passed to ansible-playbook can be added following the -- separator.

Use the -- separator to add any Ansible arguments you wish to apply. For example: ./ -i my_awesome_inventory.yml -e matburt_is_country_gold=True -- -K

The following table shows some extra variables that can be used during the installation of Tower.

Variable Description Default
upgrade_ansible_with_tower When installing Tower make sure Ansible is also up to date False
create_preload_data When installing Tower also create the Demo Org, project, credential, Job Template, etc. True
bundle_install_folder When installing from a bundle where to put the bundled repos /var/lib/tower-bundle
nginx_disable_https Disable HTTPS traffic through nginx, this is useful if offloading HTTPS to a load balancer False
nginx_http_port Port to configure nginx to listen to for HTTP 80
nginx_https_port Port to configure nginx to listen to for HTTPS 443
rabbitmq_enable_manager Install a plugin into nginx to enable a RabbitMQ manager, this should not be enabled unless needed. If enabled, appropriate security needs to be applied. False
backup_dest Where to place the backup from -b {{ playbook_dir }}
backup_dir A temp location to use when backing up /var/backups/tower/
restore_backup_file Specify an alternative backup file to restore from (None)
required_ram The minimum RAM required to install Tower (should only be changed for test installation) 3750
min_open_fds The minimum open file descriptions (should only be changed for test installations) 4096
ignore_preflight_errors Ignore preflight checks, useful when installing into a template or other non-system image (overrides required_ram and min_open_fds) False

3.1.1. Examples

The following are examples of common scenarios - be sure to supply your own values appropriate to your specific case.

  • To upgrade core:

    ./ -e upgrade_ansible_with_tower=1
  • To disable https handling at nginx:

    ./ -e nginx_disable_https=true
  • To specify a non-default path when restoring from a backup file:

    ./ -e 'restore_backup_file=/path/to/nondefault/location' -r
  • To override an inventory file used by passing it as an argument to the setup script: -i <inventory file>

3.2. Additional Installation Tips

3.2.1. Platform-specific Installation Notes Installing Tower on Systems with FIPS Mode Enabled

Tower can run on systems where FIPS mode is enabled, though there are a few limitations to keep in mind:

  • Only Enterprise Linux 7+ is supported. The standard python that ships with RHEL must be used for Ansible Tower to work in FIPS mode. Using any non-standard, non-system python for Tower is therefore, unsupported.

  • By default, Tower configures PostgreSQL using password-based authentication, and this process relies on the usage of md5 when CREATE USER is run at install time. To run the Tower installer from a FIPS-enabled system, specify pg_password in your inventory file:


    For further detail, see Setting up the Inventory File.

    If you supply a password in the inventory file for the installer (pg_password), that password will be SCRAM-SHA-256 hashed by PostgreSQL as part of the installation process.

  • The ssh-keygen command generates keys in a format (RFC4716) which uses the md5 digest algorithm at some point in the process (as part of a transformation performed on the input passphrase). On a FIPS-enforcing system, md5 is completely disabled, so these types of encrypted SSH keys (RFC4716 private keys protected by a passphrase) will not be usable. When FIPS mode is enabled, any encrypted SSH key you import into Ansible Tower must be a PKCS8-formatted key. Existing AES128 keys can be converted to PKCS8 by running the following openssl command:

    $ openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -v2 aes128 -in <INPUT_KEY> -out <NEW_OUTPUT_KEY>
  • Use of Ansible features that use the paramiko library will not be FIPS compliant. This includes setting ansible_connection=paramiko as a transport and using network modules that utilize the ncclient NETCONF library.
  • The TACACS+ protocol uses md5 to obfuscate the content of authorization packets; TACACS+ Authentication is not supported for systems where FIPS mode is enabled.
  • The RADIUS protocol uses md5 to encrypt passwords in Access-Request queries; RADIUS Authentication is not supported for systems where FIPS mode is enabled. Notes for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS setups

  • In order for Ansible Tower to run on RHEL 8, Ansible 2.8 or greater must be installed. Ansible 2.8 and greater are supported versions for RHEL 8.
  • Starting with Ansible Tower 3.5, Tower runs with Python 3, which is automatically installed on RHEL 8 when installing Tower.
  • PackageKit can frequently interfere with the installation/update mechanism. Consider disabling or removing PackageKit if installed prior to running the setup process.
  • Only the “targeted” SELinux policy is supported. The targeted policy can be set to disabled, permissive, or enforcing.
  • When performing a bundled install, refer to Using the Bundled Tower Installation Program for more information.
  • When installing Ansible Tower, you only need to run, any repositories needed by Tower are installed automatically.
  • The latest version of Ansible is installed automatically during the setup process. No additional installation or configuration is required. Notes for Ubuntu setups

Ansible Tower no longer supports Ubuntu. Refer to previous versions of the Ansible Tower Installation and Reference Guide for details on Ubuntu. Configuration and Installation on OpenShift

For OpenShift-based deployments, refer to OpenShift Deployment and Configuration.