I run VirtualBox on my machine to test Ansible playbooks and to run (my legal copy of) Windows 7. I’ve received noticed from VirtualBox that there was a new version of VirtualBox available. (I run 5.1.28. The notice says 5.1.30.) After several weeks of delay, I decide to check it out.
I go to the VirtualBox website and discover that VB is now up to version 5.2.2. This is interesting. I wonder what they fixed? I like that it’s on minor version x.x.2, so they’ve tracked down the errors. I like it. I’ll download it and test it.
It looks good. It starts up as usual. The Windows 7 VM starts as expected. OK, let’s check out ansible. (Record scratch!!!) It won’t run any more. Vagrant 1.9.7 insists that it needs a copy of VirtualBox to run. I have VB installed. This can’t be right. I’ll force it and try again. Still not go with vagrant.
Let me run a Google search. It turns out that vagrant 2 won’t run VirtualBox 5.2 until the next minor update. What’s the newest version of vagrant available? 2.0.1. That’s it. I download it and attach the machine to a good internet pipe to handle the playbook.yml file. It starts up finally. A wasted afternoon on a machine that was not fixed until 9 pm.
I’ve mentioned that I decided to use Ansible for my server configuration management. This installation has finally bubbled up as the first item on my to-do list. I looked around to see how to install it. Since I already have Homebrew installed on my mac, I saw two options:
- > brew install ansible
- > pip3 install ansible
I did not know any reason why these would be different, so I went ahead and ran ‘> brew install ansible’. That was a mistake. Ansible lists Python 2 as a dependency, which is not included in my Homebrew installation. Homebrew installs Python 2.7.13. I also have Python 3 running (3.6.2). I also found out there’s a third version of Python (2.7.10) which is part of the default installation in my laptop. 3 versions of Python on one machine. Wonderful!
I created a /etc/ansible/hosts file and did a test ping, which returns UNREACHABLE. That makes no sense, but I think I have to use some command line options to use the correct account.
Also, I don’t know which version of ansible is running. I may want to remove the Homebrew version and figure out how to use the python3 version. What a mess.
After a day of thought, I decided to check a few things:
> ansible —version
> ansible 126.96.36.199 (good)
… python version = 3.6.2 (what? Why not 2.7.13 or 2.7.10? Interesting.)
I checked the documents page at ansible.com. They say that ansible can run with python3 in one of two ways:
- > python3 <path/to/ansible> localhost -m ping
- > ansible localhost -m ping -e ‘ansible_python_interpreter=<path/to/python3>
To see what happens, I also tried
- > ansible localhost -m ping
It turns out all return good pings from localhost, so … I guess my installation is OK. Even so, next time, avoid using Homebrew for ansible installations.
My infrastructure is slowly getting bigger, in spite of everything I do. I decided to research the current CI tools to decide what would be useful to use and what a potential employer would find useful. I’m trying to avoid learning another language. Puppet and Chef were ideas I was considering, but the need to become familiar with another language (Ruby) made me look at other options. On the other hand, I need to relearn Ruby anyways if I’m going to use Capistrano for deployment to remote servers. One thing at a time.
So far, I’m going round and round with Ansible and Salt, both in the Python universe. I’ve also run across something called StackStorm, which could be a possibility. (IFTTT for servers OR “event-driven automation”.) I’ll need to look at that another time to make valid decisions about that.
So far, it looks like Ansible would be easier to use, except for one issue. I’m still unclear if Ansible is useful with Python 3. I know that Ansible 2.2+ does run with Python 3, but it’s unclear if any related Ansible modules I might use are also compatible with Python 3.
I should probably try out at least two applications. For now, I’m going to try out Ansible.