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Javier Vidal
Javier Vidal

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Test Ansible playbooks with Vagrant

We normally use Ansible playbooks to configure servers in a cloud provider. When we develop those playbooks we need to test them locally. Thanks to Vagrant it is quite easy to start a virtual machine and run our playbooks against it.

There are two ways to achieve this:

I'm going to explain the second option here.

First, let's create a virtual machine called, for example, tau. The Vagrantfile could be:

Vagrant.configure('2') do |config|
  config.vm.define 'tau' do |debian| = 'debian/buster64' :private_network, ip: ''
    debian.vm.hostname = 'tau'
    debian.vm.provider 'virtualbox' do |vb|
      vb.memory = '2048'
      vb.cpus = 2
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We can start the server with:

vagrant up
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Now we have to add it to Ansible's inventory, but we need to know the ssh key Vagrant is using when we connect using vagrant ssh:

$ vagrant ssh-config
Host tau
  User vagrant
  Port 2200
  UserKnownHostsFile /dev/null
  StrictHostKeyChecking no
  PasswordAuthentication no
  IdentityFile /Users/javiervidal/test/.vagrant/machines/tau/virtualbox/private_key
  IdentitiesOnly yes
  LogLevel FATAL
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Interesting, we can use /Users/javiervidal/test/.vagrant/machines/tau/virtualbox/private_key in the inventory. We need to add a line like this:

tau ansible_host= ansible_port=22 ansible_ssh_user=vagrant ansible_ssh_private_key_file=/Users/javiervidal/test/.vagrant/machines/tau/virtualbox/private_key ansible_python_interpreter=/usr/bin/python3
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And finally we can test that Ansible can connect to tau:

$ ansible tau -m ping   
tau | SUCCESS => {
    "changed": false,
    "ping": "pong"
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