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Carlos Mendible
Carlos Mendible

Posted on • Originally published at on

Visual Studio Code Remote Containers: Azure Ansible

Last year I was working on a project for deploying Azure services using Ansible, and let me tell you something: Back then a feature like Visual Studio Remote Containers would have helped us so much!

Why? Because just installing Visual Studio Code, the Remote Development Extension Pack, and Docker you have a killer combo that makes it possible to create a Development environment in a snap and share it with your source code.

When I learned about this feature I tought I should create a Developer Container for those who need to work with Azure and Ansible so I went hands on and after collaborating with Chuck Lantz the container definition resulted in the following two files:

1. devcontainer.json

This file configures the remote container with the specified extensions

    "name": "Azure Ansible",
    "dockerFile": "Dockerfile",
    "runArgs": [
        // Uncomment the next line if you will use a ptrace-based debugger like C++, Go, and Rust.
        // "--cap-add=SYS_PTRACE", "--security-opt", "seccomp=unconfined",
        "-v", "/var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock"

    // Uncomment the next line if you want to publish any ports.
    // "appPort": [],

    // Uncomment the next line if you want to add in default container specific settings.json values
    // "settings": { "workbench.colorTheme": "Quiet Light" },

    // Uncomment the next line to run commands after the container is created.
    // "postCreateCommand": "ansible --version",

    "extensions": [
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2. Dockerfile

This is the Dockerfile with all the tooling for the Development environment.

# Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
# Licensed under the MIT License. See for license information.

# Pick any base image, but if you select node, skip installing node. 😊
FROM debian:9

# Avoid warnings by switching to noninteractive
ENV DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive

# Configure apt and install packages
RUN apt-get update \
    && apt-get -y install --no-install-recommends apt-utils 2>&1 \
    # Verify git, required tools installed
    && apt-get install -y \
        git \
        curl \
        procps \
        unzip \
        apt-transport-https \
        ca-certificates \
        gnupg-agent \
        software-properties-common \
        lsb-release 2>&1 \
    # [Optional] Install Node.js for Azure Cloud Shell support 
    # Change the "lts/*" in the two lines below to pick a different version
    && curl -so- | bash 2>&1 \
    && /bin/bash -c "source $HOME/.nvm/ \
        && nvm install lts/* \
        && nvm alias default lts/*" 2>&1 \
    # [Optional] For local testing instead of cloud shell
    # Install Docker CE CLI.
    && curl -fsSL$(lsb_release -is | tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]')/gpg | apt-key add - 2>/dev/null \
    && add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64]$(lsb_release -is | tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]') $(lsb_release -cs) stable" \
    && apt-get update \
    && apt-get install -y docker-ce-cli \
    # [Optional] For local testing instead of cloud shell
    # Install the Azure CLI
    && echo "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/azure-cli.list \
    && curl -sL | apt-key add - 2>/dev/null \
    && apt-get update \
    && apt-get install -y azure-cli \
    # Install Ansible
    && apt-get install -y libssl-dev libffi-dev python-dev python-pip \
    && pip install ansible[azure] \
    # Clean up
    && apt-get autoremove -y \
    && apt-get clean -y \
    && rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

# Switch back to dialog for any ad-hoc use of apt-get
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To learn more about the Azure Ansible Remote Container please check here.

Hope it helps!

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