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Ansible Interview Questions

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Prepbytes

Ansible, an open-source automation tool, has transformed the way IT operations and DevOps teams manage and orchestrate infrastructure and applications. If you’re aspiring to work in a DevOps role or want to enhance your automation skills, it’s crucial to prepare for Ansible interviews. In this article, we’ll explore the top 25 Ansible interview questions to help you ace your interviews.

Top 25 Ansible Interview Questions

Here are the Top 25 Ansible Interview Questions that heps you to crack your dream job:

1. What is Ansible, and how does it work?
Ansible is an open-source automation platform used for configuration management, application deployment, and task automation. It works by connecting to remote hosts over SSH and executing tasks defined in YAML files.

2. What are Ansible playbooks?
Playbooks are YAML files that define a series of tasks and configurations to be executed on remote hosts. They are at the heart of Ansible automation and provide a structured way to define automation workflows.

3. Explain the difference between Ansible and other configuration management tools like Puppet and Chef.
While Ansible, Puppet, and Chef are all configuration management tools, Ansible is agentless and uses SSH for communication, making it simpler to set up and use compared to Puppet and Chef, which require agents to be installed on managed nodes.

4. What is an Ansible role?
An Ansible role is a collection of tasks, templates, and variable files structured in a reusable manner. Roles help organize and share automation content across different projects.

5. How do you install Ansible on a Linux system?
Ansible can be installed on Linux systems using package managers like apt, yum, or by using Python’s pip. For example, on Ubuntu, you can use sudo apt-get install ansible.

6. What is an Ansible inventory file, and how is it used?
An Ansible inventory file lists the hosts and groups of hosts that Ansible can manage. It serves as a source of truth for Ansible to know which hosts to connect to and execute tasks on.

7. How can you define variables in Ansible playbooks?
Variables in Ansible playbooks can be defined in various ways, including in playbooks themselves, in inventory files, or in external variable files. They allow you to customize playbook behavior.

8. What is Ansible Galaxy?
Ansible Galaxy is a repository for sharing and distributing Ansible roles. It allows users to find, download, and use pre-built Ansible roles created by the community.

9. Explain the purpose of Ansible facts.
Ansible facts are pieces of information about remote hosts that Ansible gathers automatically. They provide details about the host’s environment, such as hardware, operating system, and network configuration, and can be used in playbooks.

10. How can you secure sensitive data like passwords in Ansible playbooks?
Sensitive data can be secured in Ansible playbooks using Ansible Vault, a tool that encrypts variables and files containing sensitive information.

11. What is idempotence in Ansible, and why is it important?
Idempotence means that running an Ansible playbook multiple times will have the same result as running it once. It’s important because it ensures that playbooks can be safely run without causing unintended changes.

12. How do you restart a service using Ansible?
You can use the service or systemd module in Ansible to restart a service on managed hosts. For example, ansible-playbook -i inventory.ini playbook.yml -e "service_name=my_service state=restarted".

13. What is the Ansible ad-hoc command?
Ad-hoc commands are used for performing quick, one-off tasks on remote hosts without writing a playbook. They are executed using the ansible command, such as ansible all -i inventory.ini -m ping.

14. Explain the use of roles in Ansible.
Roles in Ansible help organize and structure automation code. They allow you to group tasks, templates, and variables related to a specific role or function, making it easier to manage and reuse automation logic.

15. How can you debug Ansible playbooks?
Ansible provides various debugging options, including using the debug module, enabling verbosity with -vvv, or using ansible-playbook with the –step flag to execute tasks one at a time.

16. What is the purpose of the Ansible Tower (AWX) tool?
Ansible Tower, also known as AWX, is a web-based interface and automation tool that provides features like role-based access control, job scheduling, and a dashboard for managing Ansible automation.

17. How do you handle different environments (e.g., development, staging, production) in Ansible?
Different environments can be managed in Ansible by using inventory files specific to each environment and using Ansible variables to customize playbooks for each environment.

18. Explain the difference between Ansible’s push and pull modes.
Push mode involves running Ansible playbooks from a control node and pushing configuration changes to managed nodes. Pull mode, on the other hand, involves managed nodes periodically pulling playbooks and executing them.

19. What are Ansible modules, and why are they important?
Ansible modules are standalone scripts that Ansible uses to perform tasks on managed nodes. They are important because they abstract the underlying system differences and provide a consistent interface for automation.

20. How can you ensure that Ansible runs tasks in parallel?
To run tasks in parallel, you can use the –forks command-line option when running ansible-playbook. Additionally, you can set the forks configuration parameter in the Ansible configuration file.

21. What is the purpose of the include statement in Ansible playbooks?
The include statement in Ansible playbooks allows you to include other files, playbooks, or roles, making it easier to modularize and reuse automation logic.

22. How can you update Ansible roles from Ansible Galaxy?
You can update Ansible roles from Ansible Galaxy using the ansible-galaxy command with the –force option, like ansible-galaxy install -f username.rolename.

23. What is the difference between Ansible and Ansible Tower?
Ansible is the open-source automation platform, while Ansible Tower (or AWX) is the enterprise version that provides additional features like a web interface, job scheduling, and role-based access control.

24. How do you manage dependencies between tasks in Ansible playbooks?
You can manage task dependencies in Ansible playbooks using keywords like depends_on, when, or by structuring playbooks to ensure tasks are executed in the desired order.

25. Can Ansible manage Windows servers and workstations?
Yes, Ansible can manage Windows servers and workstations by using Windows-specific modules and PowerShell scripts for automation tasks on Windows systems.

In conclusion, Ansible is a powerful automation tool that is widely used in the DevOps and IT operations space. These top 25 Ansible interview questions cover key concepts, best practices, and advanced topics, helping you prepare effectively for Ansible-related interviews and showcase your automation skills.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Ansible Interview Questions

Following are some of the FAQs related to Ansible Interview questions:

1. What is the difference between Ansible and other automation tools like Puppet and Chef?
Ansible is agentless and uses SSH for communication, whereas Puppet and Chef require agents to be installed on managed nodes. Ansible is also YAML-based and easier to set up.

2. How can you secure Ansible communication between the control node and managed nodes?
You can secure Ansible communication by using SSH key authentication, setting up firewalls to restrict access, and employing security best practices for SSH.

3. What is the purpose of an Ansible role, and how do you structure one?
An Ansible role is a reusable set of tasks, templates, and variables. It is structured in a specific directory hierarchy, making it easy to organize and share automation logic.

4. What is the difference between Ansible and Ansible Tower (AWX)?
Ansible is the open-source automation platform, while Ansible Tower (or AWX) is the enterprise version that provides a web interface, role-based access control, job scheduling, and other enterprise features.

5. How can you handle sensitive data like passwords and API keys in Ansible playbooks?
Sensitive data can be secured using Ansible Vault, which encrypts variables and files containing sensitive information. These can be decrypted during playbook execution.

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