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 Installing Ansible 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 1.8 and above.
# Older versions of Vagrant put less info in the inventory they generate.
Vagrant.require_version ">= 1.8.0"
Vagrant.configure(2) do |config|
config.vm.box = "ubuntu/bionic64"
config.vm.provision "ansible" do |ansible|
ansible.verbose = "v"
ansible.playbook = "playbook.yml"
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 IdentitiesOnly=yes -o ControlMaster=auto -o ControlPersist=60s' ansible-playbook --connection=ssh --timeout=30 --limit="default" --inventory-file=/home/someone/coding-in-a-project/.vagrant/provisioners/ansible/inventory -v 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.
Running Ansible Manually
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_host=127.0.0.1 ansible_port=2222 ansible_user='vagrant' ansible_ssh_private_key_file='/home/someone/coding-in-a-project/.vagrant/machines/default/virtualbox/private_key'
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 inventory.
$ ansible-playbook -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 execute a playbook in parallel within a multi-machine environment
how to integrate a local
- Vagrant Home
The Vagrant homepage with downloads
- Vagrant Documentation
- Ansible Provisioner
The Vagrant documentation for the Ansible provisioner
- Vagrant Issue Tracker
The open issues for the Ansible provisioner in the Vagrant project
- Working with playbooks
An introduction to playbooks