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 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 to run Ansible-generated Python code. The managed node also needs a user account that can connect through SSH to the node with an interactive POSIX shell.


There can be exceptions in module requirements. For example, network modules do not require Python on the managed device. See documentation for the modules you use.

Node requirement summary

You can find details about control and managed node requirements, including Python versions, for each Ansible version in the ansible-core control node Python support and ansible-core support matrix sections.

Selecting an Ansible package and version to install

Ansible’s community packages are distributed in two ways:

  • ansible-core: a minimalist language and runtime package containing a set of Ansible.Builtin.

  • ansible: a much larger “batteries included” package, 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 as a package name, but you can substitute ansible-core if you prefer to start with the 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. For more information, see the Installing Ansible on specific operating systems guide. These installation instructions only cover the officially supported means of installing the python packages with pip.

See the Ansible package release status table for the ansible-core version included in the package.

Installing and upgrading Ansible with pipx

On some systems, it may not be possible to install Ansible with pip, due to decisions made by the operating system developers. In such cases, pipx is a widely available alternative.

These instructions will not go over the steps to install pipx; if those instructions are needed, please continue to the pipx installation instructions for more information.

Installing Ansible

Use pipx in your environment to install the full Ansible package:

$ pipx install --include-deps ansible

You can install the minimal ansible-core package:

$ pipx install ansible-core

Alternately, you can install a specific version of ansible-core:

$ pipx install ansible-core==2.12.3

Upgrading Ansible

To upgrade an existing Ansible installation to the latest released version:

$ pipx upgrade --include-injected ansible

Installing Extra Python Dependencies

To install additional python dependencies that may be needed, with the example of installing the argcomplete python package as described below:

$ pipx inject ansible argcomplete

Include the --include-apps option to make apps in the additional python dependency available on your PATH. This allows you to execute commands for those apps from the shell.

$ pipx inject --include-apps ansible argcomplete

Installing and upgrading Ansible with pip

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 have determined that you want the Python at /usr/bin/python3.9 to be the one that you will 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 will 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 -o
$ python3 --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 full Ansible package for the current user:

$ python3 -m pip install --user ansible

You can install the minimal ansible-core package for the current user:

$ python3 -m pip install --user ansible-core

Alternately, you can install a specific version of ansible-core:

$ 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

Installing Ansible to containers

Instead of installing Ansible content manually, you can simply build an execution environment container image or use one of the available community images as your control node. See the Getting started with Execution Environments guide for details.

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.


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

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
    $ cd ./ansible
  2. Setup the Ansible environment

    • Using Bash

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

      $ source ./hacking/
    • 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

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:

$ ansible-community --version

Adding Ansible command shell completion

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

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

Installing argcomplete

If you chose the pipx installation instructions:

$ pipx inject --include-apps ansible argcomplete

If you chose the pip installation instructions:

$ 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 shell’s 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


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