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Ansible for DevOps: The Ultimate Guide to Server and Configuration Management for Humans

Ansible for DevOps: Server and Configuration Management for Humans Book Pdf

If you are looking for a simple, but powerful, server and configuration management tool that can help you automate your DevOps workflow, you might want to check out Ansible for DevOps: Server and Configuration Management for Humans by Jeff Geerling. This book is a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about using Ansible effectively, whether you manage one server or thousands. The book is now in its 2nd edition, updated with the latest version of Ansible and new chapters on Docker orchestration, testing, debugging, performance optimization, and more.

Ansible For DevOps: Server And Configuration Management For Humans Book Pdf

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In this article, we will give you an overview of what the book offers, what you will learn from it, and how you can get a copy of it in pdf format.

What is Ansible and why use it for DevOps?

Ansible is an open-source tool that automates server provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, orchestration, and other IT tasks. It uses a simple syntax called YAML (Yet Another Markup Language) to define the desired state of your infrastructure and the tasks to achieve it. It also uses SSH (Secure Shell) to communicate with your servers without requiring any agents or daemons installed on them.

Ansible is designed to be easy to use, flexible, scalable, reliable, secure, and fast. Some of the benefits of using Ansible for DevOps are:

  • It reduces manual work and human errors by automating repetitive tasks.

  • It improves consistency and quality by enforcing the same configuration across all servers.

  • It increases efficiency and productivity by speeding up deployments and updates.

  • It enhances collaboration and communication by using a common language and source control.

  • It supports multiple platforms and environments by integrating with various cloud providers, virtualization tools, operating systems, applications, etc.

How to install and configure Ansible

The first step to use Ansible is to install it on your control node, which is the machine that runs Ansible commands and playbooks. You can install Ansible on Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows, either from the official repositories, from source, or using a package manager like pip, brew, or chocolatey. The book provides detailed instructions on how to install Ansible on different platforms and how to verify that it works.

The next step is to configure Ansible to connect to your managed nodes, which are the servers that you want to manage with Ansible. You can do this by creating an inventory file, which is a text file that lists the hosts and groups that you want to manage. You can also specify variables, aliases, credentials, and other parameters for each host or group. The book shows you how to create a basic inventory file and how to use dynamic inventory scripts to generate inventory data from external sources.

How to use Ansible for ad-hoc commands and playbooks

Once you have Ansible installed and configured, you can start using it to run commands and tasks on your remote servers. There are two ways to do this: using ad-hoc commands and using playbooks.

Ad-hoc commands

Ad-hoc commands are one-liners that you can use to perform simple tasks on one or more hosts. For example, you can use ad-hoc commands to ping a host, check its uptime, copy a file, install a package, restart a service, etc. You can run ad-hoc commands using the ansible command-line tool and specifying the host or group name, the module name, and the module arguments. The book gives you examples of common ad-hoc commands using different Ansible modules.


Playbooks are YAML files that define a set of tasks to be executed on one or more hosts. Playbooks are more powerful and flexible than ad-hoc commands because they allow you to orchestrate complex workflows, use variables and templates, handle errors and failures, loop over items, conditionally execute tasks, etc. You can run playbooks using the ansible-playbook command-line tool and specifying the playbook name and any extra options. The book gives you examples of basic and advanced playbooks using different Ansible features.

How to use Ansible for application deployments

One of the main use cases of Ansible is to deploy applications on your servers. Ansible can help you automate the entire process of installing dependencies, configuring settings, copying files, running scripts, etc. You can also use Ansible to update your applications with minimal downtime and rollback in case of errors.

The book demonstrates how to deploy a web application using Ansible roles, variables, templates, handlers, and vault. Roles are reusable collections of tasks that can be applied to different hosts or environments. Variables are values that can be used in playbooks or templates to customize the behavior of tasks. Templates are files that can contain variables or expressions that are evaluated by Ansible before copying them to the destination. Handlers are tasks that are triggered by other tasks when a change occurs. Vault is a feature that allows you to encrypt sensitive data such as passwords or keys.

How to use Ansible for server provisioning

Another use case of Ansible is to provision servers on different platforms and environments. Ansible can help you create and manage servers with various providers and methods such as cloud providers, virtualization providers, Docker orchestration, etc.

Cloud providers

Ansible can integrate with various cloud providers such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure (Microsoft Azure), DigitalOcean (Digital Ocean), etc. You can use Ansible modules or roles to create and configure cloud resources such as instances, networks, security groups, load balancers, etc. The book shows you how to use Ansible with AWS EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), Azure VM (Virtual Machine), DigitalOcean Droplet (Droplet), etc.

Virtualization providers

Ansible can also integrate with various virtualization providers such as Vagrant (Vagrant), VirtualBox (Oracle VM VirtualBox), VMware (VMware), etc. You can use Ansible modules or roles to create and configure virtual machines or containers on your local machine or remote server. The book shows you how to use Ansible with Vagrant Box (Box), VirtualBox VM (Virtual Machine), VMware VM (Virtual Machine), etc.

Docker orchestration

Docker is a tool that allows you to build, run, and share applications using containers. Containers are isolated environments that contain everything an application needs to run: code, libraries, dependencies, etc. Ansible can help you orchestrate Docker containers using modules or exercises, and tips that will help you master Ansible and apply it to your own DevOps projects.

If you want to get a copy of the book in pdf format, you can buy it from Amazon, LeanPub, or iTunes. You can also get a free sample of the book from Ansible's website. The book is well worth the price and will save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Ansible and the book:

  • What are the prerequisites for reading the book?

The book assumes that you have some basic knowledge of Linux command line and shell scripting. You don't need to have any prior experience with Ansible or DevOps, but it would be helpful if you are familiar with some common DevOps tools and concepts such as Git, SSH, YAML, etc.

  • What version of Ansible does the book cover?

The book covers Ansible 2.10, which is the latest version as of this writing. The book is updated regularly to reflect the changes and new features of Ansible.

  • How can I get support or provide feedback for the book?

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or issues with the book, you can contact the author directly via email ( or Twitter (@geerlingguy). You can also report any errors or typos on the book's GitHub repository (

  • Where can I find more resources on Ansible and DevOps?

There are many resources available online to learn more about Ansible and DevOps. Some of them are:

  • How can I learn more from the author?

The author, Jeff Geerling, is a prolific developer and blogger who has written many books and articles on various topics related to DevOps, automation, web development, etc. You can follow him on his website (, his blog (, his GitHub profile (, his Twitter account (, his YouTube channel (, his podcast (, and his newsletter (



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