Ansible Vault Tutorial

Ansible Vaults (ansible-vault) is a command-line tool that allows you to manage and manipulate encrypted files using Ansible Vault. It is a powerful tool for encrypting and decrypting sensitive data, such as passwords, keys, and other secrets, within Ansible playbooks and inventory files. Here are some of the various options and subcommands available with ansible-vault:

Creating Ansible Encrypted File using Ansible Vault

ansible-vault create file.yml

Edit an existing encrypted file.

ansible-vault edit file.yml

Encrypted an existing file

ansible-vault encrypt file.yml

Decrypt an existing encrypted file

ansible-vault decrypt file.yml

Change the vault password of an encrypted file

ansible-vault rekey file.yml

View the contents of an encrypted file without editing it

ansible-vault view file.yml

Encrypt a string from the command line.

This is useful for encrypting a single variable without creating a file.

ansible-vault encrypt_string 'mysecretvalue'

Generate an encrypted password hash for use in playbook variables. This is useful for creating encrypted password variables.

ansible-vault encrypt_password

--vault-password-file : Specify a file that contains the vault password, avoiding the need to enter it interactively each time.

ansible-vault edit file.yml --vault-password-file mypassword.txt

--output: Specify an output file when using encrypt or decrypt to write the result to a different file.

ansible-vault encrypt file.yml --output encrypted_file.yml

These commands and options provide you with flexibility in managing encrypted files in Ansible. They help you create, edit, and manipulate encrypted files, and protect sensitive data within your Ansible playbooks and inventory. Make sure to use these options based on your specific use cases and security requirements.

Encrypting inventory file

Encrypting an Ansible inventory can be useful when you need to protect sensitive information, such as server passwords or secret keys. You can use Ansible Vault to encrypt your inventory file. Here’s an example of how to encrypt an inventory file and then run an Ansible playbook using that encrypted inventory.

Create an Inventory File:

First, create a sample inventory file (e.g., inventory.ini) with some hosts and variables. In this example, we’ll include a variable for a secret password:

[webserver] ansible_user=ansible

Use the ansible-vault command to encrypt the inventory file. This command will prompt you to set a password for the vault:

ansible-vault encrypt inventory.ini

You’ll be prompted to enter and confirm a vault password. This password will be used to encrypt and decrypt the file.

Edit the Playbook:

Now, let’s create a simple Ansible playbook (e.g., playbook.yml) that uses the encrypted inventory. In this example, we’ll create a playbook that just pings the hosts:

- name: Ping hosts from encrypted inventory
  hosts: all
    - name: Ping the hosts

Run the Playbook:

To run the playbook with the encrypted inventory, use the ansible-playbook command and specify the –ask-vault-pass option to provide the vault password when prompted:

ansible-playbook -i inventory.ini playbook.yml --ask-vault-pass

You’ll be prompted to enter the vault password you set when encrypting the inventory file.

After entering the vault password, Ansible will decrypt the inventory file, use it to connect to the specified hosts and execute the playbook tasks.

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