Provisioning Laptop(s) With Ansible

Setting up a new laptop manually takes a lot of time and there is a good chance of forgetting tweaks made to configuration files. It is good idea to automate it via a shell script or using configuration management tools like Ansible. It also makes easy to sync configuration across multiple systems.

Why Ansible?

Ansible is lightweight and provides only a thin layer of abstraction. It connects to hosts via ssh and pushes changes. So, there is no need to setup anything on remote hosts.

Writing A Playbook

You should check out Ansible documentation to get familiar with ansible and writing playbooks. Ansible uses yaml format for playbooks and it's human readable. Here is a simple playbook to install redis on ubuntu server.

hosts: all
sudo: True

  - name: install redis
    apt: name=redis-server update_cache=yes

Here is a playbook which I use to configure my laptop. As the playbook needs to run locally, just run

ansible-playbook laptop-setup.yml -i localhost, -c local

Bootstrap Script

To automate provisioning, a bootstrap script is required to make sure python, ansible are installed, to download and execute playbook on the system.

sudo apt update --yes
sudo apt install --yes python python-pip

sudo apt install --yes libssl-dev
sudo -H pip install ansible

wget -c https://path/to/playbook.yml

sudo ansible-playbook setup.yml -i localhost, -c local

Now, to provision a laptop, just run the bootstrap script.

sh -c "$(wget https://path/to/"

You can use a git repo to track changes in playbook and bootstrap script. If you are using multiple laptops, running bootstrap script on them will make sure everything is synced across them.


Comments powered by Disqus