Ultimate Ansible interview questions and answers

If you are preparing for a DevOps interview or for an Ansible administrator, consider this guide as your friend to practice ansible interview questions and answers and help you pass the exam or interview.

Without further delay, let’s get into this Ultimate Ansible interview questions and answers guide, where you will have three Papers to practice containing 20 questions of Ansible.

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PAPER-1

Q1. What is Ansible ?

Answer: Ansible is open source configuration tool written in python Language. Ansible is used to deploy or configure any software, tools or files on remote machines quickly using SSH Protocol.

Q2. What are advantages of Ansible.

Answer: Ansible is simple to manage, agent-less, has great performance as it is quick to deploy and doesn’t require much efforts to setup and no doubt it is reliable.

Q3. What are the things which Ansible can do ?

Answer: Deployment of apps such as apache tomcat, AWS EC2 instance, configuration Management such as configure multiple file in different remote nodes , Automates tasks and is used for IT orchestration.

Q4. Is it possible to have Ansible control node on windows ?

Answer: No, you can have Ansible controller host or node only on Linux based operating system however you can configure windows machine as your remote hosts.

Q5. What are requirements when the remote host is windows machine ?

Answer: Ansible needs Powershell 3.0 and at least .NET 4.0 to be installed on windows Host, winRM Listener should be created and activated before you actually deploy or configure remote node as windows machine.

Q6. Where are different components of Ansible ?

Answer: API’s, Modules, Host , Playbook , Cloud, Networking and Inventories.

Q7.What are Ansible adhoc commands ?

Answer: Ansible adhoc commands are the single line commands that are generally used for testing purpose or if you need to take an action which is not repeatable and rarely used such as restart service on a machine etc. Below is the example of ansible adhoc command.

The below command starts the apache service on the remote node.

ansible all -m ansible.builtin.service -a “name=apache2 state=started”

Q8. What is the ansible command to check uptime of all servers ?

Answer: Below is the ansible command to check uptime of the servers. This command will provide you an output stating since long the remote node is up.

ansible all -a /usr/bin/uptime 
Ansible ad hoc command to check the uptime of the server which is 33 days.
Ansible ad hoc command to check the server’s uptime, which is 33 days.

Q9. How to Install the Apache service using ansible command ?

Answer: To install apache service using ansible command you can use ansible adhoc command as shown below. In the below command b flag is to become root.

ansible all -m apt -a  "name=apache2 state=latest" -b  

Q10.What are the steps or commands to Install Ansible on Ubuntu Machine ?

Answer: The below commands you will need to execute to Install Ansible on Ubuntu Machine

# Update your system packages using apt update command
sudo apt update 
# Install below prerequisites package to work with PPA repository.
sudo apt install software-properties-common 
# Install Ansible PPA repository (Personal Package repository) 
sudo apt-add-repository –yes –update ppa:ansible/ansible
# Finally Install ansible
sudo apt install ansible

Q11. What is Ansible facts in Ansible ?

Answer: Ansible facts allows you to fetch or access the data or values such as hostname or Ip address from the remote hosts and stored.

Below is the example showing how you can run Ansible facts using ansible-playbook named main.yml.

# main.yml 
---
- name: Ansible demo
  hosts: web
  remote_user: ubuntu
  tasks:
    - name: Print all available facts
      ansible.builtin.debug:
        var: ansible_facts

 ansible-playbook main.yml
Output of the Ansible facts using ansible-playbook
The output of the Ansible facts using ansible-playbook

Q12. What are Ansible tasks ?

Answer: Ansible tasks are group of task which ansible playbook needs to perform such as copy , installing package , editing configurations on remote node and restarting services on remote node etc.

Let’s look at a basic Ansible task. In below code the Ansible task is to check if apache service is running on the remote node?

tasks:
  - name: make sure apache is running
    service:
      name: httpd
      state: started

Q13. What are Ansible Roles ?

Answer: Ansible roles is a way to structurally maintain your playbooks such that you can easily understand and work on it. Ansible role basically contains different folders for the simplicity such as it lets you load the files from files folder, variables from variable folder, handlers, tasks etc.

You can create different Ansible roles and reuse them as many times as you need.

Q14. Command to Create a user on linux machine using Ansible?

Answer: To create a user on linux machine using Ansible you can use ansible adhoc command as shown below.

ansible all -m ansible.builtin.user -a “name=name password=password” -b

Q15. What is Ansible Tower ?

Answer: Ansible tower is web based solution that makes Ansible even more to easy to use for IT teams. Ansible tower can be used for upto 10 nodes. It captures all recent activities like status of host . It integrates with notifications’ about all necessary updates. It also schedules Ansible Jobs very well.

Q16. How to connect with remote machines in Ansible?

Answer: After installing Ansible , configure Ansible inventory with the list of hosts or grouping them accordingly and finally connecting them using SSH protocol. After you configure the Ansible inventory you can test the connectivity between Ansible controller and remote nodes using ping module to ping all the nodes in your inventory

ansible all -m ping

You should see output for each host in your inventory, similar to this:

aserver.example.org | SUCCESS => {
    "ansible_facts": {
        "discovered_interpreter_python": "/usr/bin/python"
    },
    "changed": false,
    "ping": "pong"
}

Q17. Does Ansible support AWS?

Answer: Yes. There are lots of AWS modules that are present in Ansible and can be used to manage AWS resources. Refer Ansible collections in the Amazon Namespace.

Q18. Which Ansible module allows you to copy files from remote machine to control machine ?

Answer: Ansible fetch module. Ansible fetch module is used for fetching files from remote machines and storing them locally in a file tree, organized by hostname.

- name: Store file from remote node directory to host directory 
  ansible.builtin.fetch:
    src: /tmp/remote_node_file
    dest: /tmp/fetched_host_file

Q19. Where you can find Ansible inventory by default ?

Answer: The default location of Ansible inventory is /etc/ansible/hosts.

Q20. How can you check the Ansible version?

Answer: To check the ansible version, run the ansible –version command below.

ansible --version
Checking the ansible version by using ansible --version command.
Checking the ansible version by using the ansible –version command.

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PAPER-2

Q1. Is Ansible agentless ?

Answer: Yes, Ansible is an open source tool that is agentless. Agentless here means when you install Ansible on host controller and when you use to deploy or configure changes on remote nodes, the remote node doesn’t require any agent or softwares to be installed.

Q2. What is Primary use of Ansible ?

Answer: Ansible can be used in IT Infrastructure to manage and deploy software application on remote machines.

Q3. What are Ansible Hosts or remote nodes ?

Answer: Ansible hosts are machines or nodes on which Ansible controller host deploys the software’s. Ansible host could be Linux, RedHat, Windows, etc.

Q4. What is CI (Continuous Integration) ?

Answer: CI also known as Continuous integration is primarily used by developers. Successful Continuous integration means when developers code is built , tested and then pushed to Shared repository whenever there is a change in code.

Q5. What is the main purpose of role in Ansible ?

Answer: The main purpose of Ansible role is to reuse the content again by using the proper Ansible folder structure directory. These directory’s folder contains multiple configuration files or content accordingly that needs to be declared at various places and in various modules, to minimize the re-code work roles are used.

Q6. What is Control Node?

Answer: The Control node is the Ansible node on which Ansible is installed. Before you install control node make sure Python is already installed on machine prior to installing Ansible.

Q7. Can you have Windows machine as Controller node ?

Answer: No.

Q8. What is the other names of Ansible Hosts?

Answer: Ansible hosts can also be called as Managed nodes. Ansible is not installed on managed nodes.

Q9. What is host file in Ansible ?

Answer: Inventory file is also known as host file in Ansible which is by default stored in /etc/ansible/hosts directory.

Q10. What is collections in Ansible ?

Answer: Ansible collections is a distribution format that include playbooks, roles, modules, plugins.

Q11. What is Ansible module in Ansible.

Answer: Ansible contains various Ansible modules that have a specific purpose such as copying the data, adding a user and many more. You can invoke a single module within a task defined in playbooks or several different modules in a playbook.

Q12. What is task in Ansible ?

Answer: To perform any action you need a task. Similarly in Ansible you need a task to run modules. For Ansible ad hoc command you can execute task only once.

Q13. What is Ansible Playbook?

Answer: Ansible playbook is an ordered lists of tasks that you run and are designed to be human-readable and are developed in a basic text language. For example in the below ansible playbook there are two tasks first is to create a user named adam and other task is to create a user shanky in the remote node.

---
- name: Ansible Create user functionality module demo
  hosts: web # Defining the remote server
  tasks:

    - name: Add the user 'Adam' with a specific uid and a primary group of 'sudo'
      ansible.builtin.user:
        name: adam
        comment: Adam
        uid: 1095
        group: sudo
        createhome: yes        # Defaults to yes
        home: /home/adam   # Defaults to /home/<username>

    - name: Add the user 'Adam' with a specific uid and a primary group of 'sudo'
      ansible.builtin.user:
        name: shanky
        comment: shanky
        uid: 1089
        group: sudo
        createhome: yes        # Defaults to yes
        home: /home/shanky  # Defaults to /home/<username>

Creating two users using ansible playbook
Creating two users using ansible-playbook

Q14. Where do you create basic inventory in Ansible?

Answer: /etc/ansible/hosts

Q15. What is Ansible Tower ?

Answer: Ansible tower is web based solution that makes Ansible even more to easy to use for IT teams. Ansible tower can be used for upto 10 nodes. It captures all recent activities like status of host . It integrates with notification’s about all necessary updates. It also schedules Ansible Jobs very well.

Q16. What is the command for running the Ansible playbook?

Answer: The below is the command to run or execute the ansible-playbook.

ansible-playbook my_playbook

Q17. On which protocol does Ansible communicate to remote node?

Answer: SSH

Q18. How to use ping module to ping all the nodes?

Answer: Below is the command which you can use to ping all the remote nodes.

ansible all -m ping

Q19. Provide an example to run a live command on all of your nodes?

Answer:

ansible all -a "/bin/echo hello"
Printing hello on remote node using ansible command.
Printing hello on remote node using ansible command.

Q20. How to run ansible command with privilege escalation (sudo and similar) ?

Answer: Below command executes the ansible command with root access by using --become flag.

ansible all -m ping -u adam --become

PAPER-3

Q1. Which module allows you to create a directory?

Answer: Ansible file module allows you to create a directory.

Q2. How to define number of parallel processes while communicating to hosts .

Answer: By setting the forks in ansible and to set the forks you need to edit ansible.cfg file.

Q3. Is Ansible agentless configuration management Tool ?

Answer: Yes

Q4. What is Ansible Inventory ?

Answer: Ansible works against managed nodes or hosts to create or manage the infrastructure . We list down these hosts or nodes in a file known as Inventory. Inventory can be of two types one is ini and other is YAML format

Q5. How to create a Ansible inventory in the ini format ?

Answer:

automate2.mylabserver.com
[httpd]
automate3.mylabserver.com
automate4.mylabserver.com
[labserver]
automate[2:6].mylabserver.com

Q6. How to create a Ansible inventory in the YAML format?

Answer:

all:
  hosts:
     automate2.mylabserver.com
  children:
      httpd:
        hosts:
          automate3.mylabserver.com
          automate4.mylabserver.com
      labserver:
         hosts:
          automate[2:6].mylabserver.com

Q7.What is Ansible TAG ?

Answer: When you need to add tags with Ansible then you can use Ansible Tags to do this. You can apply Ansible Tags on block level , playbook level, individual task level or role level.

tasks:
- name: Install the servers
  ansible.builtin.yum:
    name:
    - httpd
    - memcached
    state: present
  tags:
  - packages
  - webservers

Q8. What are key things required for Playbook ?

Answer: Hosts should be configured in inventory, Tasks should be declared in ansible playbook and Ansible should already be installed.

Q9. How to use existing Ansible tasks ?

Answer: We can use by importing the tasks import_tasks. Ansible import_tasks imports a list of tasks to be added to the current playbook for subsequent execution.

Q10. How can you secure the data in Ansible-playbook ?

Answer: You can secure the data using ansible-vault to encrypt the data and later decrypt it. Ansible Vault is a feature of ansible that allows you to keep sensitive data such as passwords or keys in encrypted files, rather than as plaintext in playbooks or roles.

Q11. What is Ansible Galaxy?

Answer: Ansible Galaxy is a repository for Ansible Roles that are available to drop directly into your Playbooks to streamline your automation projects.

Q12. How can you download roles from Ansible Galaxy ?

Answer: Below code allows you to download roles from Ansible Galaxy.

ansible-galaxy install username.role_name

Q13. What are Variables in ansible?

Answer: Ansible variables are assigned with values which are further used for commuting. After you create variables, either by defining them in a file, passing them at the command line, or registering the return value or values of a task as a new variable

Q14. Command to generate a SSH key-pair for connecting with remote machines?

Answer: ssh-keygen

Q15. What is Ansible Tower ?

Answer: Ansible tower is web based solution that makes Ansible even more to easy to use for IT teams. Ansible tower can be used for upto 10 nodes. It captures all recent activities like status of host . It integrates with notification’s about all necessary updates. It also schedules Ansible Jobs very well.

Q16. What is the command for running a playbook?

Answer:

ansible-playbook my_playbook

Q17. Does Ansible support AWS?

Answer: Yes.There are lots of modules that are present in Ansible.

Q18. How to create encrypted files using Ansible?

Answer: By using the below ansible-vault command.

ansible-vault create file.yml 

Q19. What are some key features of Ansible Tower?

Answer:

With Ansible Tower, you can view dashboards and see whatever is going on in real-time, job updates, who ran the playbook or ansible commands, Integrated notifications, schedule ansible jobs, run ansible remote commands, and perform.

Q20. What is the first-line syntax of any Ansible playbook?

Answer: First line syntax of ansible-playbook is – – –

---   # The first Line Syntax of ansible playbook

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Conclusion

In this ultimate guide, you had a chance to revise everything you needed to pass the interview with Ansible interview questions and answers.

Now that you have sound knowledge of Ansible and various components, modules, and features, and are ready for your upcoming interview.

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