How to Create EC2 instances using Ansible

Welcome, In this article, you will learn to launch an EC2 instance using Ansible from the local machine. Before starting, you can understand Ansible as a radically simple IT automation engine that automates cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and for many other IT needs.
So if you are using Ansible to launch EC2 instance you can set this up with CI/CD, dynamic creation on the instance. There are many use cases you can implement using Ansible.
So let’s get started.
For working on Ansible we need to first set up a few things,
  • AWS user account
  • Ansible
  • Python
  • Boto
For creating the AWS account just go to the Amazon AWS server and follow the signup process.
Once the AWS account gets created you need to create the IAM user (As we will need a secret key and secret ID).
Open the AWS Console, search for IAM (Identity and Access Management) and follow these steps to create a user and take note of the Access Key and Secret Key that will be used by Ansible to set up the instances. (For account access just give Programmatic access as of now.)
Once you are done with the AWS account and the User creation, you can move forward and install the required things.
  1. Ansible:
    1. Install Ansible on a RHEL/CentOS Linux based system
      1. $ sudo yum install Ansible
    2. Install Ansible on a Debian/Ubuntu Linux based system
      1. $ sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
      2. $ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:Ansible/Ansible
      3. $ sudo apt-get update
      4. $ sudo apt-get install Ansible
    3. Install Ansible using pip
      1. $ sudo pip install Ansible
      2. Once installed you can verify by Ansible –version this command.
  2. Python:
    1. $ sudo apt-get update
    2. $ sudo apt-get install python3.6
    3. You can follow this link for more details.
  3. Boto: (Boto is a Python package which provides an interface to AWS.)
    1. First, install pip
      1. $ sudo apt install python3-pip or
      2. $ yum install python-pip
    2. Now install boto
      1. $ pip install boto
Now, we are done with the package installation, we can move ahead and start writing our Ansible playbook.
Note: There are multiple ways you can install the above packages. I have added the ones that I followed but you can install as per your knowledge.
Now open a terminal and create a file with the extension .yml or .ymal, add below script and save it.
# Basic provisioning example
- name: Ansible test
hosts: localhost
- name: launching AWS instance using Ansible
key_name: aws_instance_Ansible
instance_type: t2.micro
image: ami-0dacb0c129b49f529
region: us-east-2
wait: yes
group: Ansible
count: 1
vpc_subnet_id: default
assign_public_ip: yes
aws_access_key: ***********xxxxxxxx
Aws_secret_key: ***********xxxxxxxx
Hosts: add [webserver] localhost in /etc/Ansible/hosts file as my internet is running on the local server. If the file does not exist create one at the same location then add.
Key_name: Go to EC2 dashboard -> Key pairs -> Create key pair -> Copy key pair name
Instance_type: You can select the instance type whichever you want to launch. Go to EC2 dashboard -> Launch instance -> Check instance type.
Image: Go to EC2 dashboard -> Launch instance -> ami id (Image id)
Vpc_subnet_id: I made it default as I don’t any VPC configuration.
Add your aws_access_key and aws_secret_key which you got from IAM user creation. The rest are the basic details. If you want more details you can visit the Ansible official website.
Now our Ansible file is ready.
Run below command to check whether Ansible is ready to launch EC2 or not.
Ansible-playbook -C filename.yml
Where -C will check if everything is ready or not.
Once everything looks good, run below command and within a minute your EC2 server will be launched.
Ansible-playbook filename.yml
Now if you go to Amazon console you will see the server is launched successfully.
So, we are done with creating a basic EC2 server using Ansible. I hope this will help you to use Ansible in your upcoming projects.

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About Author

Deepak Kumbhar

Deepak is a Full-stack developer with around 3 years of experience. He is an expert in building Java integrated web applications, Creating REST APIs with well designed, testable and efficient and optimized code. He is having experience in web technologies like AngularJS, Angular6, JavaScript, etc. He is a Lead developer at Codegrip. He loves to solve technical problems and helping others.
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Showing 5 comments
  • Finneus

    $ ansible-playbook -C playbook-deploy-ec2-ami.yml
    PLAY [ec2bastion] ****************************************************************************************************************

    TASK [Gathering Facts] ***********************************************************************************************************
    fatal: [localhost]: UNREACHABLE! => {“changed”: false, “msg”: “Failed to connect to the host via ssh: Permission denied (publickey,password).”, “unreachable”: true}

    PLAY RECAP ***********************************************************************************************************************
    localhost : ok=0 changed=0 unreachable=1 failed=0 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0

  • Finneus

    why does it try to connect to any ssh host?
    “Failed to connect to the host via ssh:”

  • Deepak Kumbhar

    @Finneus Seems like that you have localhost listed explicitly in your inventory without a definition of ansible_connection=local.

    If you omit localhost from your inventory, and utilize the implicit localhost, you will automatically receive ansible_connection=local for localhost.
    Basically your webserver name should be from your internet is running. You can check in detail from below links:

  • diksha

    TASK [Provision instance] ***********************************************************************************************************************************
    fatal: [localhost]: FAILED! => {“changed”: false, “msg”: “Region es-west-1 does not seem to be available for aws module boto.ec2. If the region definitely exists, you may need to upgrade boto or extend with endpoints_path”}
    I installed latest boto (upgraded version ) .
    still getting same error .

    • Deepak

      Please check whether the region is supported or not. Seems like the error is related to region.

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