Vagrant is a tool to manage virtual machine environments, and allows you to configure and use reproducible work environments on top of various virtualization and cloud platforms. It also has integration with Ansible as a provisioner for these virtual machines, and the two tools work together well.
This guide will describe how to use Vagrant 1.7+ and Ansible together.
If you’re not familiar with Vagrant, you should visit the documentation.
This guide assumes that you already have Ansible installed and working. Running from a Git checkout is fine. Follow the Installation guide for more information.
The first step once you’ve installed Vagrant is to create a
and customize it to suit your needs. This is covered in detail in the Vagrant
documentation, but here is a quick example that includes a section to use the
Ansible provisioner to manage a single machine:
# This guide is optimized for Vagrant 1.7 and above. # Although versions 1.6.x should behave very similarly, it is recommended # to upgrade instead of disabling the requirement below. Vagrant.require_version ">= 1.7.0" Vagrant.configure(2) do |config| config.vm.box = "ubuntu/trusty64" # Disable the new default behavior introduced in Vagrant 1.7, to # ensure that all Vagrant machines will use the same SSH key pair. # See https://github.com/mitchellh/vagrant/issues/5005 config.ssh.insert_key = false config.vm.provision "ansible" do |ansible| ansible.verbose = "v" ansible.playbook = "playbook.yml" end end
config.vm.provision section that refers to an Ansible playbook
playbook.yml in the same directory as the
runs the provisioner once the virtual machine has booted and is ready for SSH
There are a lot of Ansible options you can configure in your
Visit the Ansible Provisioner documentation for more
$ vagrant up
This will start the VM, and run the provisioning playbook (on the first VM startup).
To re-run a playbook on an existing VM, just run:
$ vagrant provision
This will re-run the playbook against the existing VM.
Note that having the
ansible.verbose option enabled will instruct Vagrant
to show the full
ansible-playbook command used behind the scene, as
illustrated by this example:
$ PYTHONUNBUFFERED=1 ANSIBLE_FORCE_COLOR=true ANSIBLE_HOST_KEY_CHECKING=false ANSIBLE_SSH_ARGS='-o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null -o ControlMaster=auto -o ControlPersist=60s' ansible-playbook --private-key=/home/someone/.vagrant.d/insecure_private_key --user=vagrant --connection=ssh --limit='machine1' --inventory-file=/home/someone/coding-in-a-project/.vagrant/provisioners/ansible/inventory/vagrant_ansible_inventory playbook.yml
This information can be quite useful to debug integration issues and can also be used to manually execute Ansible from a shell, as explained in the next section.
Sometimes you may want to run Ansible manually against the machines. This is
faster than kicking
vagrant provision and pretty easy to do.
Vagrantfile example, Vagrant automatically creates an Ansible
inventory file in
This inventory is configured according to the SSH tunnel that Vagrant
automatically creates. A typical automatically-created inventory file for a
single machine environment may look something like this:
# Generated by Vagrant default ansible_ssh_host=127.0.0.1 ansible_ssh_port=2222
If you want to run Ansible manually, you will want to make sure to pass
ansible-playbook commands the correct arguments, at least
for the username, the SSH private key, and the inventory.
Here is an example using the Vagrant global insecure key (
must be set to
false in your
$ ansible-playbook --private-key=~/.vagrant.d/insecure_private_key -u vagrant -i .vagrant/provisioners/ansible/inventory/vagrant_ansible_inventory playbook.yml
Here is a second example using the random private key that Vagrant 1.7+
automatically configures for each new VM (each key is stored in a path like
$ ansible-playbook --private-key=.vagrant/machines/default/virtualbox/private_key -u vagrant -i .vagrant/provisioners/ansible/inventory/vagrant_ansible_inventory playbook.yml
The “Tips and Tricks” chapter of the Ansible Provisioner documentation provides detailed information about more advanced Ansible features like:
- how to parallely execute a playbook in a multi-machine environment
- how to integrate a local