10 Ansible Interview Questions and Answers in 2023

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As the use of automation tools continues to grow, so does the demand for professionals with expertise in Ansible. As a result, many companies are now including Ansible-related questions in their job interviews. To help you prepare for your next Ansible interview, we've compiled a list of 10 of the most common Ansible interview questions and answers for 2023. We'll cover topics such as Ansible architecture, modules, playbooks, and more. With this information, you'll be well-prepared to answer any Ansible-related questions that come your way.

1. Describe the process of creating an Ansible playbook.

Creating an Ansible playbook involves several steps.

1. Define the scope of the playbook: The first step is to define the scope of the playbook. This includes deciding what tasks the playbook should accomplish, what hosts it should run on, and what roles it should have.

2. Create the inventory file: The inventory file is a list of hosts that the playbook will run on. This file should include the IP addresses or hostnames of the hosts, as well as any variables that need to be set for each host.

3. Create the playbook file: The playbook file is the main file that contains the tasks that the playbook will execute. This file should be written in YAML format and should include the tasks, variables, and roles that the playbook will use.

4. Create the roles: Roles are collections of tasks that can be reused in multiple playbooks. Each role should be written in its own directory and should include tasks, variables, and files that are specific to that role.

5. Test the playbook: Once the playbook is written, it should be tested to ensure that it works as expected. This can be done by running the playbook on a test system or by using a tool such as Ansible Tower to run the playbook in a simulated environment.

6. Deploy the playbook: Once the playbook has been tested and is ready to be deployed, it can be run on the target hosts. This can be done manually or by using a tool such as Ansible Tower to automate the process.


2. What is the difference between an Ansible role and a playbook?

Ansible roles and playbooks are both used to automate tasks in Ansible. However, they are used for different purposes.

Ansible roles are pre-defined sets of tasks, which can be reused and shared among multiple playbooks. They are designed to be portable and can be used in different environments. Roles are organized into a directory structure that contains tasks, handlers, files, templates, and variables.

Ansible playbooks are written in YAML and are used to define a series of tasks that need to be executed. They are used to define the desired state of a system, and can be used to deploy applications, configure systems, and manage services. Playbooks can include multiple roles, and can be used to orchestrate complex tasks.


3. How do you debug an Ansible playbook?

Debugging an Ansible playbook can be done in several ways.

The first way is to use the ‘-vvv’ flag when running the playbook. This will provide verbose output which can be used to identify any errors or issues.

The second way is to use the ‘--step’ flag when running the playbook. This will allow you to step through each task in the playbook and see the output of each task. This can be useful for identifying any issues with specific tasks.

The third way is to use the ‘--syntax-check’ flag when running the playbook. This will check the syntax of the playbook and identify any errors or issues.

The fourth way is to use the ‘--list-tasks’ flag when running the playbook. This will list all of the tasks in the playbook and can be used to identify any tasks that may be missing or incorrect.

The fifth way is to use the ‘--list-hosts’ flag when running the playbook. This will list all of the hosts that the playbook is targeting and can be used to identify any hosts that may be missing or incorrect.

The sixth way is to use the ‘--check’ flag when running the playbook. This will perform a ‘dry run’ of the playbook and will not actually execute any tasks. This can be used to identify any issues with the playbook before actually running it.

Finally, the seventh way is to use the ‘--diff’ flag when running the playbook. This will show the differences between the current state of the system and the desired state of the system. This can be used to identify any issues with the playbook before actually running it.


4. What is the purpose of Ansible Tower?

Ansible Tower is a powerful and enterprise-ready automation platform that provides centralized control, access, and visibility for IT operations. It is designed to help organizations manage their IT infrastructure more efficiently and securely. Ansible Tower provides a web-based user interface, REST API, and a command-line interface that can be used to manage and automate the deployment, configuration, and management of applications and systems. It also provides role-based access control, job scheduling, integrated notifications, and graphical inventory management. Ansible Tower allows organizations to easily and securely manage their IT infrastructure, automate tasks, and deploy applications. It also provides a centralized platform for managing and monitoring all of an organization's Ansible-based automation tasks. Ansible Tower helps organizations to reduce the complexity of managing their IT infrastructure, increase efficiency, and improve security.


5. How do you use Ansible to manage multiple servers?

Ansible is an open source automation platform that can be used to manage multiple servers. It is designed to make it easy to deploy and manage applications across multiple servers.

To use Ansible to manage multiple servers, you first need to create an inventory file that contains the list of servers you want to manage. This inventory file can be in either a static or dynamic format. Once the inventory file is created, you can use Ansible commands to deploy and manage applications on the servers.

Ansible uses playbooks to define the tasks that need to be performed on the servers. Playbooks are written in YAML and contain a list of tasks that need to be performed. These tasks can include installing packages, configuring services, and deploying applications.

Once the playbooks are written, you can use the Ansible command line tool to execute the playbooks on the servers. This will execute the tasks defined in the playbooks on the servers.

Ansible also provides a web-based user interface called Ansible Tower. This user interface allows you to manage multiple servers from a single interface. It also provides features such as role-based access control, job scheduling, and reporting.

Ansible is a powerful tool for managing multiple servers. It is easy to use and provides a lot of features that make it easy to deploy and manage applications across multiple servers.


6. What is the difference between Ansible and Chef?

Ansible and Chef are both configuration management tools used to automate the process of configuring and managing servers. However, they differ in several ways.

Ansible is an agentless configuration management tool, meaning it does not require any software to be installed on the managed nodes. It uses SSH to connect to the nodes and execute tasks. Ansible is also an idempotent tool, meaning it can be run multiple times without causing any changes. This makes it easy to maintain and update configurations.

Chef, on the other hand, is an agent-based configuration management tool. It requires the installation of an agent on the managed nodes, which is used to communicate with the Chef server. Chef is also not idempotent, meaning it can cause changes if run multiple times.

Ansible is also easier to use than Chef, as it uses a simple, human-readable language called YAML to define tasks. Chef, on the other hand, uses a more complex language called Ruby.

Overall, Ansible is a simpler and more efficient tool than Chef, making it the preferred choice for many developers.


7. How do you use Ansible to deploy applications?

Ansible is an open source automation platform that can be used to deploy applications. It is a powerful tool that can be used to automate the deployment of applications across multiple servers.

To deploy an application using Ansible, the first step is to create an Ansible playbook. A playbook is a YAML file that contains a set of instructions for Ansible to follow. The playbook should include the tasks that need to be performed to deploy the application, such as installing packages, configuring services, and running scripts.

Once the playbook is created, it can be executed using the ansible-playbook command. This command will execute the tasks in the playbook in the order they are specified.

Ansible can also be used to manage the configuration of the application once it is deployed. This can be done by using Ansible roles. Roles are collections of tasks that can be used to configure an application. They can be used to install packages, configure services, and deploy configuration files.

Finally, Ansible can be used to monitor the application once it is deployed. This can be done by using Ansible's built-in monitoring capabilities. Ansible can be used to check the status of services, check for errors, and take corrective action if necessary.

Overall, Ansible is a powerful tool that can be used to automate the deployment of applications. It can be used to create playbooks, manage configurations, and monitor applications.


8. What is the best way to secure an Ansible playbook?

The best way to secure an Ansible playbook is to use a combination of best practices and security measures.

First, it is important to ensure that all of the systems that the playbook will be running on are secure. This includes making sure that all systems are up to date with the latest security patches, that all user accounts have strong passwords, and that all services are configured securely.

Second, it is important to use secure authentication methods when connecting to remote systems. This includes using SSH keys instead of passwords, and using a secure protocol such as SFTP or SCP.

Third, it is important to use secure variables when writing the playbook. This includes using encrypted variables, using environment variables, and using secure storage for sensitive data.

Fourth, it is important to use secure permissions when running the playbook. This includes using the least privilege principle, using sudo or other privilege escalation tools, and using secure file permissions.

Finally, it is important to use secure logging and monitoring when running the playbook. This includes using secure logging tools such as syslog, using secure monitoring tools such as Nagios, and using secure auditing tools such as Splunk.

By following these best practices and security measures, you can ensure that your Ansible playbook is secure and that any potential security issues are identified and addressed quickly.


9. How do you use Ansible to automate system administration tasks?

Ansible is an open source automation platform that can be used to automate system administration tasks. It is a powerful tool that can be used to manage and configure systems, deploy applications, and orchestrate complex workflows.

Ansible works by connecting to nodes and pushing out small programs called "Ansible modules" to them. These modules can be used to perform a variety of tasks, such as installing packages, configuring services, and running scripts. Ansible also provides a number of built-in modules that can be used to automate common system administration tasks, such as creating users, managing groups, and setting up firewalls.

Ansible also provides a number of features that make it easier to manage complex systems. For example, it can be used to create and manage inventories of hosts, which can be used to group hosts together for easier management. It also provides a number of features for managing variables, which can be used to customize the behavior of modules.

Ansible also provides a number of features for managing complex workflows. It can be used to create playbooks, which are collections of tasks that can be run in sequence or in parallel. It also provides a number of features for managing roles, which are collections of tasks that can be used to configure a system.

Finally, Ansible provides a number of features for managing security. It can be used to create secure connections between nodes, and it can be used to manage access control lists and other security settings.

In summary, Ansible is a powerful tool that can be used to automate system administration tasks. It provides a number of features that make it easier to manage complex systems, and it provides a number of features for managing security.


10. What is the most challenging problem you have faced while developing an Ansible playbook?

The most challenging problem I have faced while developing an Ansible playbook was dealing with complex dependencies. In particular, I had to create a playbook that would install and configure a web application that had a lot of dependencies. This included installing and configuring a web server, database server, and other components. I had to ensure that all of the components were installed and configured in the correct order, and that any changes to one component did not affect the others. Additionally, I had to ensure that the playbook was idempotent, meaning that it could be run multiple times without causing any errors. To do this, I had to carefully plan out the order of tasks and use conditionals to check for existing components before attempting to install or configure them. It was a challenging problem, but I was able to successfully create a playbook that met all of the requirements.


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