Ansible Interview Questions

Ansible Interview Questions

Ansible Beginner

Describe each of the following components in Ansible, including the relationship between them: * Task * Module * Play * Playbook * Role
Task – a call to a specific Ansible module
Module – the actual unit of code executed by Ansible on your own host or a remote host. Modules are indexed by category (database, file, network, …) and also referred as task plugins.

Play – One or more tasks executed on a given host(s)

Playbook – One or more plays. Each play can be executed on the same or different hosts

Role – Ansible roles allows you to group resources based on certain functionality/service such that they can be easily reused. In a role, you have directories for variables, defaults, files, templates, handlers, tasks, and metadata. You can then use the role by simply specifying it in your playbook.

Which Ansible best practices are you familiar with?. Name at least three

What is an inventory file and how you define one?
An inventory file defines hosts and/or groups of hosts on which Ansible tasks executed upon.

An example of inventory file:


What is a dynamic inventory file? When you would use one?

A dynamic inventory file tracks hosts from one or more sources like cloud providers and CMDB systems.

You should use one when using external sources and especially when the hosts in your environment are being automatically
spun up and shut down, without you tracking every change in these sources.

You want to run Ansible playbook only on specific minor version of your OS, how would you achieve that?

Write a task to create the directory ‘/tmp/new_directory’

- name: Create a new directory
      path: "/tmp/new_directory"
      state: directory

What would be the result of the following play?

- name: Print information about my host
  hosts: localhost
  gather_facts: 'no'                                                                                                                                                                           
      - name: Print hostname
            msg: "It's me, \{\{ ansible_hostname \}\}"

When given a written code, always inspect it thoroughly. If your answer is “this will fail” then you are 
right. We are using a fact (ansible_hostname), which is a gathered piece of information from the host we are running on. But in this
case, we disabled facts gathering (gather_facts: no) so the variable would be undefined which will result in failure.

Write a playbook to install ‘zlib’ and ‘vim’ on all hosts if the file ‘/tmp/mario’ exists on the system.

- hosts: all
      mario_file: /tmp/mario
          - 'zlib' 
          - 'vim'
      - name: Check for mario file
            path: ""
        register: mario_f

      - name: Install zlib and vim if mario file exists
        become: "yes"
            name: ""
            state: present
        with_items: ""
        when: mario_f.stat.exists


Write a playbook to deploy the file ‘/tmp/system_info’ on all hosts except for controllers group, with the following content I'm [HOSTNAME] and my operating system is [OS] Replace [HOSTNAME] and [OS] with the actual data for the specific host you are running on
The playbook to deploy the system_info file

- name: Deploy /tmp/system_info file
  hosts: all:!controllers
      - name: Deploy /tmp/system_info
            src: system_info.j2 
            dest: /tmp/system_info

The content of the system_info.j2 template

# \{\{ ansible_managed \}\}
I'm \{\{ ansible_hostname \}\} and my operating system is \{\{ ansible_distribution \}\}

The variable 'whoami' defined in the following places: * role defaults -> whoami: mario * extra vars (variables you pass to Ansible CLI with -e) -> whoami: toad * host facts -> whoami: luigi * inventory variables (doesn’t matter which type) -> whoami: browser According to variable precedence, which one will be used?

The right answer is ‘toad’.

Variable precedence is about how variables override each other when they set in different locations. If you didn’t experience it so far I’m sure at some point you will, which makes it a useful topic to be aware of.

In the context of our question, the order will be extra vars (always override any other variable) -> host facts -> inventory variables -> role defaults (the weakest).

A full list can be found at the link above. Also, note there is a significant difference between Ansible 1.x and 2.x.

For each of the following statements determine if it's true or false: * A module is a collection of tasks * It’s better to use shell or command instead of a specific module * Host facts override play variables * A role might include the following: vars, meta, and handlers * Dynamic inventory is generated by extracting information from external sources * It’s a best practice to use indention of 2 spaces instead of 4 * ‘notify’ used to trigger handlers * This “hosts: all:!controllers” means ‘run only on controllers group hosts

What is ansible-pull? How it’s different compared to ansible-playbook?

What are filters? Do you have experience with writing filters?

Write a filter to capitalize a string

def cap(self, string):
    return string.capitalize()


How do you test your Ansible based projects?

What are callback plugins? What can you achieve by using callback plugins?