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Ansible Galaxy

Ansible Galaxy refers to the Galaxy website where users can share roles, and to a command line tool for installing, creating and managing roles.

The Website

Galaxy, is a free site for finding, downloading, and sharing community developed roles. Downloading roles from Galaxy is a great way to jumpstart your automation projects.

You can also use the site to share roles that you create. By authenticating with the site using your GitHub account, you’re able to import roles, making them available to the Ansible community. Imported roles become available in the Galaxy search index and visible on the site, allowing users to discover and download them.

Learn more by viewing the About page.

The command line tool

The ansible-galaxy command comes bundled with Ansible, and you can use it to install roles from Galaxy or directly from a git based SCM. You can also use it to create a new role, remove roles, or perform tasks on the Galaxy website.

The command line tool by default communicates with the Galaxy website API using the server address Since the Galaxy project is an open source project, you may be running your own internal Galaxy server and wish to override the default server address. You can do this using the –server option or by setting the Galaxy server value in your ansible.cfg file. For information on setting the value in ansible.cfg visit Galaxy Settings.

Installing Roles

Use the ansible-galaxy command to download roles from the Galaxy website

$ ansible-galaxy install username.role_name


By default Ansible downloads roles to the first writable directory in the default list of paths ~/.ansible/roles:/usr/share/ansible/roles:/etc/ansible/roles. This will install roles in the home directory of the user running ansible-galaxy.

You can override this by setting the environment variable ANSIBLE_ROLES_PATH in your session, defining roles_path in an ansible.cfg file, or by using the --roles-path option.

The following provides an example of using --roles-path to install the role into the current working directory:

$ ansible-galaxy install --roles-path . geerlingguy.apache

See also

Configuring Ansible
All about configuration files


You can install a specific version of a role from Galaxy by appending a comma and the value of a GitHub release tag. For example:

$ ansible-galaxy install geerlingguy.apache,v1.0.0

It’s also possible to point directly to the git repository and specify a branch name or commit hash as the version. For example, the following will install a specific commit:

$ ansible-galaxy install git+,0b7cd353c0250e87a26e0499e59e7fd265cc2f25

Installing multiple roles from a file

Beginning with Ansible 1.8 it is possible to install multiple roles by including the roles in a requirements.yml file. The format of the file is YAML, and the file extension must be either .yml or .yaml.

Use the following command to install roles included in requirements.yml:

$ ansible-galaxy install -r requirements.yml

Again, the extension is important. If the .yml extension is left off, the ansible-galaxy CLI assumes the file is in an older, now deprecated, “basic” format.

Each role in the file will have one or more of the following attributes:

The source of the role. Use the format username.role_name, if downloading from Galaxy; otherwise, provide a URL pointing to a repository within a git based SCM. See the examples below. This is a required attribute.
Specify the SCM. As of this writing only git or hg are supported. See the examples below. Defaults to git.
The version of the role to download. Provide a release tag value, commit hash, or branch name. Defaults to master.
Download the role to a specific name. Defaults to the Galaxy name when downloading from Galaxy, otherwise it defaults to the name of the repository.

Use the following example as a guide for specifying roles in requirements.yml:

# from galaxy
- src: yatesr.timezone

# from GitHub
- src:

# from GitHub, overriding the name and specifying a specific tag
- src:
  version: master
  name: nginx_role

# from a webserver, where the role is packaged in a tar.gz
- src:
  name: http-role

# from Bitbucket
- src: git+
  version: v1.4

# from Bitbucket, alternative syntax and caveats
- src:
  scm: hg

# from GitLab or other git-based scm
- src: [email protected]:mygroup/ansible-base.git
  scm: git
  version: "0.1"  # quoted, so YAML doesn't parse this as a floating-point value

Installing multiple roles from multiple files

At a basic level, including requirements files allows you to break up bits of roles into smaller files. Role includes pull in roles from other files.

Use the following command to install roles includes in requirements.yml + webserver.yml

ansible-galaxy install -r requirements.yml

Content of the requirements.yml file:

# from galaxy
- src: yatesr.timezone

- include: <path_to_requirements>/webserver.yml

Content of the webserver.yml file:

# from github
- src:

# from Bitbucket
- src: git+
  version: v1.4


Roles can also be dependent on other roles, and when you install a role that has dependencies, those dependencies will automatically be installed.

You specify role dependencies in the meta/main.yml file by providing a list of roles. If the source of a role is Galaxy, you can simply specify the role in the format username.role_name. The more complex format used in requirements.yml is also supported, allowing you to provide src, scm, version, and name.

Tags are inherited down the dependency chain. In order for tags to be applied to a role and all its dependencies, the tag should be applied to the role, not to all the tasks within a role.

Roles listed as dependencies are subject to conditionals and tag filtering, and may not execute fully depeneding on what tags and conditinoals are applied.

Dependencies found in Galaxy can be specified as follows:

  - geerlingguy.apache
  - geerlingguy.ansible

The complex form can also be used as follows:

  - src: geerlingguy.ansible
  - src: git+
    version: 775396299f2da1f519f0d8885022ca2d6ee80ee8
    name: composer

When dependencies are encountered by ansible-galaxy, it will automatically install each dependency to the roles_path. To understand how dependencies are handled during play execution, see Roles.


At the time of this writing, the Galaxy website expects all role dependencies to exist in Galaxy, and therefore dependencies to be specified in the username.role_name format. If you import a role with a dependency where the src value is a URL, the import process will fail.

Create roles

Use the init command to initialize the base structure of a new role, saving time on creating the various directories and main.yml files a role requires

$ ansible-galaxy init role_name

The above will create the following directory structure in the current working directory:


If a directory matching the name of the role already exists in the current working directory, the init command will result in an error. To ignore the error use the –force option. Force will create the above subdirectories and files, replacing anything that matches.

Container Enabled

If you are creating a Container Enabled role, use the –container-enabled option. This will create the same directory structure as above, but populate it with default files appropriate for a Container Enabled role. For instance, the has a slightly different structure, the .travis.yml file tests the role using Ansible Container, and the meta directory includes a container.yml file.

Using a Custom Role Skeleton

A custom role skeleton directory can be supplied as follows:

$ ansible-galaxy init --role-skeleton=/path/to/skeleton role_name

When a skeleton is provided, init will:

  • copy all files and directories from the skeleton to the new role
  • any .j2 files found outside of a templates folder will be rendered as templates. The only useful variable at the moment is role_name
  • The .git folder and any .git_keep files will not be copied

Alternatively, the role_skeleton and ignoring of files can be configured via ansible.cfg

role_skeleton = /path/to/skeleton
role_skeleton_ignore = ^.git$,^.*/.git_keep$

Search for Roles

Search the Galaxy database by tags, platforms, author and multiple keywords. For example:

$ ansible-galaxy search elasticsearch --author geerlingguy

The search command will return a list of the first 1000 results matching your search:

Found 2 roles matching your search:

Name                              Description
----                              -----------
geerlingguy.elasticsearch         Elasticsearch for Linux.
geerlingguy.elasticsearch-curator Elasticsearch curator for Linux.

Get more information about a role

Use the info command to view more detail about a specific role:

$ ansible-galaxy info username.role_name

This returns everything found in Galaxy for the role:

Role: username.role_name
    description: Installs and configures a thing, a distributed, highly available NoSQL thing.
    active: True
    commit: c01947b7bc89ebc0b8a2e298b87ab416aed9dd57
    commit_message: Adding travis
    company: My Company, Inc.
    created: 2015-12-08T14:17:52.773Z
    download_count: 1
    forks_count: 0
    github_repo: repo_name
    github_user: username
    id: 6381
    is_valid: True
    license: Apache
    min_ansible_version: 1.4
    modified: 2015-12-08T18:43:49.085Z
    namespace: username
    open_issues_count: 0
    path: /Users/username/projects/roles
    scm: None
    src: username.repo_name
    stargazers_count: 0
    watchers_count: 1

List installed roles

Use list to show the name and version of each role installed in the roles_path.

$ ansible-galaxy list

- chouseknecht.role-install_mongod, master
- chouseknecht.test-role-1, v1.0.2
- chrismeyersfsu.role-iptables, master
- chrismeyersfsu.role-required_vars, master

Remove an installed role

Use remove to delete a role from roles_path:

$ ansible-galaxy remove username.role_name

Authenticate with Galaxy

Using the import, delete and setup commands to manage your roles on the Galaxy website requires authentication, and the login command can be used to do just that. Before you can use the login command, you must create an account on the Galaxy website.

The login command requires using your GitHub credentials. You can use your username and password, or you can create a personal access token. If you choose to create a token, grant minimal access to the token, as it is used just to verify identify.

The following shows authenticating with the Galaxy website using a GitHub username and password:

$ ansible-galaxy login

We need your GitHub login to identify you.
This information will not be sent to Galaxy, only to
The password will not be displayed.

Use --github-token if you do not want to enter your password.

Github Username: dsmith
Password for dsmith:
Successfully logged into Galaxy as dsmith

When you choose to use your username and password, your password is not sent to Galaxy. It is used to authenticates with GitHub and create a personal access token. It then sends the token to Galaxy, which in turn verifies that your identity and returns a Galaxy access token. After authentication completes the GitHub token is destroyed.

If you do not wish to use your GitHub password, or if you have two-factor authentication enabled with GitHub, use the –github-token option to pass a personal access token that you create.

Import a role

The import command requires that you first authenticate using the login command. Once authenticated you can import any GitHub repository that you own or have been granted access.

Use the following to import to role:

$ ansible-galaxy import github_user github_repo

By default the command will wait for Galaxy to complete the import process, displaying the results as the import progresses:

Successfully submitted import request 41
Starting import 41: role_name=myrole repo=githubuser/ansible-role-repo ref=
Retrieving GitHub repo githubuser/ansible-role-repo
Accessing branch: master
Parsing and validating meta/main.yml
Parsing galaxy_tags
Parsing platforms
Adding dependencies
Parsing and validating
Adding repo tags as role versions
Import completed
Status SUCCESS : warnings=0 errors=0


Use the –branch option to import a specific branch. If not specified, the default branch for the repo will be used.

Role name

By default the name given to the role will be derived from the GitHub repository name. However, you can use the –role-name option to override this and set the name.

No wait

If the –no-wait option is present, the command will not wait for results. Results of the most recent import for any of your roles is available on the Galaxy web site by visiting My Imports.

Delete a role

The delete command requires that you first authenticate using the login command. Once authenticated you can remove a role from the Galaxy web site. You are only allowed to remove roles where you have access to the repository in GitHub.

Use the following to delete a role:

$ ansible-galaxy delete github_user github_repo

This only removes the role from Galaxy. It does not remove or alter the actual GitHub repository.

Travis integrations

You can create an integration or connection between a role in Galaxy and Travis. Once the connection is established, a build in Travis will automatically trigger an import in Galaxy, updating the search index with the latest information about the role.

You create the integration using the setup command, but before an integration can be created, you must first authenticate using the login command; you will also need an account in Travis, and your Travis token. Once you’re ready, use the following command to create the integration:

$ ansible-galaxy setup travis github_user github_repo xxx-travis-token-xxx

The setup command requires your Travis token, however the token is not stored in Galaxy. It is used along with the GitHub username and repo to create a hash as described in the Travis documentation. The hash is stored in Galaxy and used to verify notifications received from Travis.

The setup command enables Galaxy to respond to notifications. To configure Travis to run a build on your repository and send a notification, follow the Travis getting started guide.

To instruct Travis to notify Galaxy when a build completes, add the following to your .travis.yml file:


List Travis integrations

Use the –list option to display your Travis integrations:

$ ansible-galaxy setup --list

ID         Source     Repo
---------- ---------- ----------
2          travis     github_user/github_repo
1          travis     github_user/github_repo

Remove Travis integrations

Use the –remove option to disable and remove a Travis integration:

$ ansible-galaxy setup --remove ID

Provide the ID of the integration to be disabled. You can find the ID by using the –list option.

See also

All about ansible roles
Mailing List
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