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Redbrick uses ansible to manage its infrastructure. This document describes the procedures and some tips to get the most out of it.

Getting started

Installing ansible

Ansible is a python package, so you'll need to install python first. On Debian/Ubuntu, you can do this with:

pip install ansible

Add an SSH key

Ansible uses ssh to connect to the remote hosts. You'll need to set up your ssh key so that you can connect to the hosts without constant prompts for passwords.

Create a hosts file

This is used a phonebook of sorts for ansible. It tells ansible which hosts to connect to, and what user to use.


ansible_user= <your username>

Test it out

ansible all -m ping

This should connect to all the hosts in the aperture group, and run the ping module. If it works, you're good to go!


Ansible playbooks are a set of instructions for ansible to run. They're written in YAML, and are usually stored in a file called playbook.yml.

Writing a playbook

Ansible playbooks are written in YAML. The basic structure is:

- hosts: <group name>
    - name: <task name>
      <module name>:
        <module options>


- hosts: aperture
    - name: Install curl
        name: curl
        state: present

This playbook will connect to all the hosts in the aperture group, and run the apt module with the name and state options.

Running a playbook

ansible-playbook playbook.yml -i hosts

More Information

Redbrick's ansible configuration is stored in the ansible repository. There's some more documentation there on each playbook.

Ansible's documentation is available here.

Last update: 2022-11-10