Automating system configuration with Ansible AWX

Playbook Pal

User Management

You can grant other people access to AWX. To do this, select Users in the menu on the left, click on Add , and fill out the form. The User Type setting defines which actions the person is allowed to perform. A system administrator, like you, can change all settings, and a normal user can only perform the actions you specify. After you click on Save , the new user appears in the list at the bottom of the page. You can change a user's data by clicking on the name in the list below. Users are usually only allowed to maintain the computers of their own organization. To let AWX know which user belongs to which organization, go to Organizations and then click on Users in the box. AWX now displays all users assigned to this organization in the area at the top. To add another user, click on Add and check the person's name. In the lower part of the form, assign one or more roles to the user. The roles determine what the person is allowed to do. If you click on Key on the right above the input field, AWX will show you which role allows which actions: While an Auditor can only see the current settings, the Admin can also change them. Member is only a member of the organization.

Creating and Starting Jobs

All the individual parts saved up to this point now need be glued together. Select Templates in the main menu on the left side of the page. Use Add to create a new job template (Figure 4). All the following settings can be changed by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. To execute a playbook, click the Run item below Job Type . Then select the desired inventory and project, and finally choose the playbook you wish to run. You'll need to select the credential that Ansible will use to log into the hosts.

Figure 4: Creating a new job template.

To start the playbook, select Templates in the main menu and click on the job you wish to start in the line of the job template on the right side. In the background, Ansible now logs into the hosts and runs the selected playbook. AWX opens a new page with all the details and the output from Ansible. Select Jobs in the main menu to list all the jobs currently running.

If you want to execute a job automatically, switch to Templates in the main menu and click on the calendar symbol on the right side of a job template. Then schedule a new appointment with Add .


As a freely available counterpart to Ansible Tower, AWX not only offers a GUI, but also more options for organized and structured approach to Ansible, with user management, reporting, and workflows. As an open source project, AWX is less smooth than its commercial counterpart, but it is free of charge.

For additional information, see the official documentation for Ansible Tower, which also applies to AWX for the most part [2]. You can access the Ansible Tower documentation by clicking on the book symbol in the top right corner of AWX. Newcomers should first consult the Tower User Guide [3]. Even though AWX looks a little different from Ansible Tower, the settings shown in the Tower User Guide should be easy to find.

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