Troubleshooting and Creating an Ansible Playbook

Troubleshooting and Creating an Ansible Playbook


3 min read

Ansible is a powerful automation tool used by IT professionals to manage and configure systems at scale. Whether you're setting up servers, deploying applications, or orchestrating complex workflows, Ansible provides a streamlined, efficient approach to automation. In this post, we'll walk through the process of troubleshooting and creating a simple Ansible playbook on a jump host, where a team member left off.

Step 1: Updating the Inventory File

The inventory file in Ansible is crucial as it defines the hosts and groups of hosts upon which commands, modules, and tasks in your playbook will operate. In our scenario, the inventory file is located at /home/thor/ansible/inventory and needs adjustments to ensure the playbook runs on App Server 2 in the Stratos DC.

Here’s how you can update your inventory file:

  • Open the inventory file with a text editor:

    •     vi /home/thor/ansible/inventory
  • Add or update the following line to specify App Server 2 (stapp02):

    •     stapp02 ansible_user=user ansible_password=password ansible_ssh_common_args='-o StrictHostKeyChecking=no'
  • This line defines:

    • stapp02 as the host.

    • The connection details: host address, user credentials, and SSH options.

Step 2: Creating the Playbook

A playbook is a YAML file that describes a series of tasks to be executed on specified hosts. Our objective is to create a playbook at /home/thor/ansible/playbook.yml that includes a task to create an empty file (/tmp/file.txt) on App Server 2.

Follow these steps to create the playbook:

  • Open a new file in a text editor:

    •     vi /home/thor/ansible/playbook.yml
  • Insert the following content:

        - name: Create an empty file
          hosts: stapp02
          remote_user: root
          - name: Touch a file
              path: /tmp/file.txt
              state: touch
              mode: u=rw,g=r,o=r
  • This playbook contains:

    • hosts: stapp02: Specifies that the playbook should run on App Server 2.

    • remote_user: root: Executes the tasks with root privileges.

    • A task named `Touch a file` that uses the Ansible file module to create an empty file at /tmp/file.txt with specific permissions.

Step 3: Running the Playbook

Once the inventory file and playbook are set up, you can validate the playbook by running it with the following command:

ansible-playbook -i /home/thor/ansible/inventory /home/thor/ansible/playbook.yml

Ensure that you run this command from the directory where the inventory and playbook files are located or specify the correct paths.


In this tutorial, we've successfully updated an Ansible inventory file and created a playbook to perform a simple task on a specified server. Ansible's flexibility and power make it an invaluable tool for IT automation, and getting comfortable with basic tasks like these is a great step towards mastering it.

By following the outlined steps, you should be able to troubleshoot and create Ansible playbooks with confidence. Happy automating!