Ansible is an agentless automation tool that you install on a single host (referred to as the control node). From the control node, Ansible can manage an entire fleet of machines and other devices (referred to as managed nodes) remotely with SSH, Powershell remoting, and numerous other transports, all from a simple command-line interface with no databases or daemons required.
For your control node (the machine that runs Ansible), you can use nearly any UNIX-like machine with Python 3.9 or newer installed. This includes Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, macOS, BSDs, and Windows under a Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) distribution. Windows without WSL is not natively supported as a control node; see Matt Davis’ blog post for more information.
The managed node (the machine that Ansible is managing) does not require Ansible to be installed, but requires Python 2.7, or Python 3.5 - 3.11 to run Ansible library code. The managed node also needs a user account that can SSH to the node with an interactive POSIX shell.
Network modules are an exception and do not require Python on the managed device. See Network modules.
The table below lists the current and historical versions of Python required on control and managed nodes.
Control node Python
Managed node Python
Python 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.9 [†]
Python 2.6 - 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.9
Python 3.8 - 3.10
Python 2.6 - 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.10
Python 3.8 - 3.10
Python 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.10
Python 3.9 - 3.11
Python 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.11
[†]: Has a soft requirement of Python 3.8 as not packaged for older versions
Ansible’s community packages are distributed in two ways: a minimalist language and runtime package called
ansible-core, and a much larger “batteries included” package called
ansible, which adds a community-curated selection of Ansible Collections for automating a wide variety of devices. Choose the package that fits your needs; The following instructions use
ansible, but you can substitute
ansible-core if you prefer to start with a more minimal package and separately install only the Ansible Collections you require. The
ansible-core packages may be available in your operating systems package manager, and you are free to install these packages with your preferred method. These installation instructions only cover the officially supported means of installing the python package with
Locate and remember the path to the Python interpreter you wish to use to run Ansible. The following instructions refer to this Python as
python3. For example, if you’ve determined that you want the Python at
/usr/bin/python3.9 to be the one that you’ll install Ansible under, specify that instead of
To verify whether
pip is already installed for your preferred Python:
$ python3 -m pip -V
If all is well, you should see something like the following:
$ python3 -m pip -V
pip 21.0.1 from /usr/lib/python3.9/site-packages/pip (python 3.9)
pip is available, and you can move on to the next step.
If you see an error like
No module named pip, you’ll need to install
pip under your chosen Python interpreter before proceeding. This may mean installing an additional OS package (for example,
python3-pip), or installing the latest
pip directly from the Python Packaging Authority by running the following:
$ curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py
$ python3 get-pip.py --user
You may need to perform some additional configuration before you are able to run Ansible. See the Python documentation on installing to the user site for more information.
pip in your selected Python environment to install the Ansible package of your choice for the current user:
$ python3 -m pip install --user ansible
Alternately, you can install a specific version of
ansible-core in this Python environment:
$ python3 -m pip install --user ansible-core==2.12.3
To upgrade an existing Ansible installation in this Python environment to the latest released version, simply add
--upgrade to the command above:
$ python3 -m pip install --upgrade --user ansible
You can test that Ansible is installed correctly by checking the version:
$ ansible --version
The version displayed by this command is for the associated
ansible-core package that has been installed.
To check the version of the
ansible package that has been installed:
$ python3 -m pip show ansible
If you are testing new features, fixing bugs, or otherwise working with the development team on changes to the core code, you can install and run the source from GitHub.
You should only install and run the
devel branch if you are modifying
ansible-core or trying out features under development. This is a rapidly changing source of code and can become unstable at any point.
You can install the
devel branch of
ansible-core directly from GitHub with
$ python3 -m pip install --user https://github.com/ansible/ansible/archive/devel.tar.gz
You can replace
devel in the URL mentioned above, with any other branch or tag on GitHub to install older versions of Ansible, tagged alpha or beta versions, and release candidates.
ansible-core is easy to run from source. You do not need
root permissions to use it and there is no software to actually install. No daemons or database setup are required.
$ git clone https://github.com/ansible/ansible.git $ cd ./ansible
Setup the Ansible environment
$ source ./hacking/env-setup
$ source ./hacking/env-setup.fish
To suppress spurious warnings/errors, use
$ source ./hacking/env-setup -q
Install Python dependencies
$ python3 -m pip install --user -r ./requirements.txt
ansible-coreon your local machine
Use pull-with-rebase so any local changes are replayed.
$ git pull --rebase
You can add shell completion of the Ansible command line utilities by installing an optional dependency called
argcomplete supports bash, and has limited support for zsh and tcsh.
For more information about installation and configuration, see the argcomplete documentation.
$ python3 -m pip install --user argcomplete
There are 2 ways to configure
argcomplete to allow shell completion of the Ansible command line utilities: globally or per command.
Global completion requires bash 4.2.
$ activate-global-python-argcomplete --user
This will write a bash completion file to a user location. Use
--dest to change the location or
sudo to set up the completion globally.
If you do not have bash 4.2, you must register each script independently.
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible)
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible-config)
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible-console)
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible-doc)
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible-galaxy)
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible-inventory)
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible-playbook)
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible-pull)
$ eval $(register-python-argcomplete ansible-vault)
You should place the above commands into your shells profile file such as
See the argcomplete documentation.
- Introduction to ad hoc commands
Examples of basic commands
- Working with playbooks
Learning ansible’s configuration management language
- How do I handle the package dependencies required by Ansible package dependencies during Ansible installation ?
Ansible Installation related to FAQs
- Mailing List
Questions? Help? Ideas? Stop by the list on Google Groups
- Real-time chat
How to join Ansible chat channels