Installing Ansible

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.

Control node requirements

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.

Managed node requirements

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.

Note

Network modules are an exception and do not require Python on the managed device. See Network modules.

Node requirement summary

The table below lists the current and historical versions of Python required on control and managed nodes.

ansible-core Version

Control node Python

Managed node Python

2.11

Python 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.9 [†]

Python 2.6 - 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.9

2.12

Python 3.8 - 3.10

Python 2.6 - 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.10

2.13

Python 3.8 - 3.10

Python 2.7, Python 3.5 - 3.10

2.14

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

Selecting an Ansible package and version to install

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 or 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 pip.

Installing and upgrading Ansible

Locating Python

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 python3.

Ensuring pip is available

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)

If so, 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.

Installing Ansible

Use 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

Upgrading Ansible

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

Confirming your installation

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

Installing for development

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.

Note

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.

For more information on getting involved in the Ansible project, see the Ansible Community Guide. For more information on creating Ansible modules and Collections, see the Developer Guide.

Installing devel from GitHub with pip

You can install the devel branch of ansible-core directly from GitHub with pip:

$ 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.

Running the devel branch from a clone

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.

  1. Clone the ansible-core repository

    $ git clone https://github.com/ansible/ansible.git
    $ cd ./ansible
    
  2. Setup the Ansible environment

    • Using Bash

      $ source ./hacking/env-setup
      
    • Using Fish

      $ source ./hacking/env-setup.fish
      
    • To suppress spurious warnings/errors, use -q

      $ source ./hacking/env-setup -q
      
  3. Install Python dependencies

    $ python3 -m pip install --user -r ./requirements.txt
    
  4. Update the devel branch of ansible-core on your local machine

    Use pull-with-rebase so any local changes are replayed.

    $ git pull --rebase
    

Adding Ansible command shell completion

You can add shell completion of the Ansible command line utilities by installing an optional dependency called argcomplete. argcomplete supports bash, and has limited support for zsh and tcsh.

For more information about installation and configuration, see the argcomplete documentation.

Installing argcomplete

$ python3 -m pip install --user argcomplete

Configuring argcomplete

There are 2 ways to configure argcomplete to allow shell completion of the Ansible command line utilities: globally or per command.

Global configuration

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.

Per command configuration

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 ~/.profile or ~/.bash_profile.

Using argcomplete with zsh or tcsh

See the argcomplete documentation.

See also

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