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Course Introduction

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IT Lab Setup

• 31min

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Installing Ansible

• 57min

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Managing your Ansible Inventory

• 2hr 45min

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Ansible Basics

• 2hr 54min

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Ansible Roles

• 2hr 38min

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Ansible Galaxy

• 2hr 28min

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Ansible Facts, Variables, Passwords and Templates

• 3hr 20min

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Advanced Ansible Playbook Creation

• 2hr 23min

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Course Conclusion

• 11min

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Overview of Ansible Collections

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In this lesson, you learn about Ansible Collection's and their components. Ansible Collections part of Ansible's modular approach, allowing for the packaging, distribution, and re-use of various Ansible content. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of the structure and purpose of Ansible Collections.

What is an Ansible Collection?

An Ansible Collection is a distribution format for bundling and sharing Ansible content. This format enables users to group and share playbooks, roles, modules, and other Ansible resources in a structured way. Collections simplify the process of downloading, using, and referencing Ansible content, making it easier for users to manage and maintain their automation tasks.

Components of an Ansible Collection

An Ansible Collection includes several components, each serving a specific purpose in the automation workflow:

Understanding the Importance of Collections

Ansible Collections offer several advantages:

Ansible Galaxy Collection Commands

We can use the ansible-galaxy utility with the collections argument to manage Ansible Collections. To view the help menu and understand its capabilities, run this command with the --help argument.

ansible-galaxy collection --help

This command displays a list of actions you can perform with ansible-galaxy collection.

usage: ansible-galaxy collection [-h] COLLECTION_ACTION ...

positional arguments:
  COLLECTION_ACTION
    download         Download collections and their dependencies as a tarball for an offline install.
    init             Initialize new collection with the base structure of a collection.
    build            Build an Ansible collection artifact that can be published to Ansible Galaxy.
    publish          Publish a collection artifact to Ansible Galaxy.
    install          Install collection(s) from file(s), URL(s) or Ansible Galaxy
    list             Show the name and version of each collection installed in the collections_path.
    verify           Compare checksums with the collection(s) found on the server and the installed copy. This does not verify
                     dependencies.

options:
  -h, --help         show this help message and exit

Here's a brief overview of each command:

Finding Ansible Collections

While the ansible-galaxy command line tool does not support a direct search functionality for collections, there are effective ways to find collections that suit your automation requirements.

Installing a Collection

Once you have identified a suitable collection, you can install it using the ansible-galaxy collection install command. For instance, to install a collection from the Ansible Galaxy, you would use:

ansible-galaxy collection install namespace.collection_name

Replace namespace.collection_name with the actual name of the collection. In our example, let's install a collection that can be used for setting up WordPress on Ubuntu.

The collection name is chethannkumar.install_wp_ubuntu, so we can install it with a command as shown below:

ansible-galaxy collection install chethannkumar.install_wp_ubuntu

This will return output like the following:

paulh@ansible-controller:~/code$ ansible-galaxy collection install chethannkumar.install_wp_ubuntu
Starting galaxy collection install process
Process install dependency map
Starting collection install process
Downloading https://galaxy.ansible.com/api/v3/plugin/ansible/content/published/collections/artifacts/chethannkumar-install_wp_ubuntu-1.0.0.tar.gz to /home/paulh/.ansible/tmp/ansible-local-12616j4fv_946/tmplawh0__2/chethannkumar-install_wp_ubuntu-1.0.0-s44_b5nd
Installing 'chethannkumar.install_wp_ubuntu:1.0.0' to '/home/paulh/.ansible/collections/ansible_collections/chethannkumar/install_wp_ubuntu'
chethannkumar.install_wp_ubuntu:1.0.0 was installed successfully

Listing Installed Ansible Collections

After finding and installing Ansible Collections, it's important to know how to list the collections you have currently installed on your system. This is crucial for managing your collections and ensuring that you have all the necessary resources for your projects. The ansible-galaxy collection list command provides an easy way to view all installed collections. Let's explore how to use this command effectively.

The ansible-galaxy collection list command displays a list of all the collections currently installed on your system. This can be particularly helpful for verifying installations, checking versions, or simply keeping track of the collections you have.

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