How to deploy a container with Ansible


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Learn the way to deploy a Docker container utilizing an Ansible playbook.


Picture: TechRepublic/Jack Wallen

There are such a lot of methods to deploy containers. You need to use Docker, Kubernetes, MicroK8s, AWS, Google Cloud Platform…. the record goes on and on. However in the event you’re an Ansible admin, you may have one more methodology. That is proper, with an Ansible playbook, you’ll be able to deploy a Docker container. 

And that, my pals, is precisely what I’ll present you do. I will be demonstrating with solely two servers, each of which can run Ubuntu Server 18.04. You’ll be able to take a look at this with as many servers as you want, however I want to maintain it easy at this degree.

SEE: Hybrid cloud: A information for IT professionals (TechRepublic obtain)

What you may want

To make this work, you may want the next:

  • Not less than two servers (certainly one of which has Ansible), put in and operating
  • A person with sudo privileges

It’s important that you just first undergo the
Methods to Set up Ansible on Ubuntu Server 18.04
information, in any other case this is not going to work. And be sure to comply with the steps for establishing SSH key authentication. 

Methods to set up Docker

As a result of we will be deploying a Docker container, we’d like Docker put in on each machine. This may be executed by opening a terminal window and issuing the next command:

sudo apt-get set up python3-docker -y

As soon as the set up is full, begin and allow the docker service with the instructions:

sudo systemctl begin docker
sudo systemctl allow docker

Lastly, add your person to the docker group with the command:

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Sign off and log again in so the modifications will take impact.

Methods to create the listing construction and recordsdata

On the Ansible server, create a brand new listing with the next command:

mkdir docker_project

Become the docker_project listing with the command cd docker_project and create a hosts file with the command:

nano hosts

In that file, add the next contents:



The place SERVER_IP is the IP deal with of the opposite server(s). Save and shut the file.

We’ll create a playbook that may do the next:

  • Set up aptitude
  • Set up quite a lot of dependencies
  • Add a docker repository
  • Set up docker-ce
  • Set up the docker Python module
  • Pull the official Ubuntu picture
  • Create 4 containers based mostly on the Ubuntu picture 

Situation the command nano ubuntu_playbook.yml. In that new file, paste the next (ensuring the formatting follows the usual YAML format):

- hosts: all
  grow to be: true
    create_containers: four
    default_container_name: docker
    default_container_image: ubuntu
    default_container_command: sleep 1d

    - title: Set up aptitude utilizing apt
      apt: title=aptitude state=newest update_cache=sure force_apt_get=sure

    - title: Set up required system packages
      apt: title= state=newest update_cache=sure
      loop: [ 'apt-transport-https', 'ca-certificates', 'curl', 'software-properties-common', 'python3-pip', 'virtualenv', 'python3-setuptools']

    - title: Add Docker GPG apt Key
        state: current

    - title: Add Docker Repository
        repo: deb xenial steady
        state: current

    - title: Replace apt and set up docker-ce
      apt: update_cache=sure title=docker-ce state=newest

    - title: Set up Docker Module for Python
        title: docker

    - title: Pull default Docker picture
        title: ""
        supply: pull

    - title: Create default containers
        title: ""
        picture: ""
        command: ""
        state: current
      with_sequence: depend=

Save and shut the file. After you have a really feel for the way this playbook works, you too can modify it to suit your wants. Contemplate this a stable template for which to deploy containers from Ansible.

Methods to run the Ansible playbook

We will now run our Ansible playbook. To do that, difficulty the command:

ansible-playbook -i hosts ubuntu_playbook.yml --ask-become-pass

You may be prompted for the sudo password for the distant person. Sort that and hit Enter. The playbook ought to then execute with out fail. When the playbook completes, it’s best to see the output signifies success (Determine A).

Determine A


Our playbook has succeeded.

If you happen to go over to certainly one of your distant servers and difficulty the command docker ps -a, it’s best to see all 4 ubuntu containers operating (Determine B).

Determine B


Our containers are operating.

And that is it. You now know deploy a Docker container by means of an Ansible playbook. That is actually not the best route, however it does make it doable so that you can get actually inventive with each your containers and Ansible.

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