Category: Containers

Walkthough of Creating and Running Plays on AWX

AWX Ad Hoc Test

The first step before you do anything on AWX, is just get your toes wet and do a simple ad hoc command locally.

To do this got to Inventories -> +

Call it localhost. Next you have to actually add hosts or groups to this inventory.

To do this edit the inventory and go to hosts -> + and then put the hostname as localhost. It is very important that you add in the host variables:

ansible_connection: local

If you do not add that local connection, you will use ssh isntead and won't be able to connect


Now go back to the hosts page, select the host you want to run an ad hoc command on. Then select Run Commands


Then use the module ping which connects to a host, checks there is a usable python and then returns pong


The output of the command should be:


But Can you ICMP Ping

Depending on the way you deployed, this might not work. So try it out, using the command module and doing a ping -c 4


If you are running on kubernetes and the container running the task does not have the ping utility you will get:

localhost | FAILED | rc=2 >>
ping: socket: Operation not permittednon-zero return code

then if you run it with privilege escalation you get:

    "module_stdout": "",
    "module_stderr": "sudo: effective uid is not 0, is /usr/bin/sudo on a file system with the 'nosuid' option set or an NFS file system without root privileges?\n",
    "msg": "MODULE FAILURE\nSee stdout/stderr for the exact error",
    "rc": 1,
    "ansible_facts": {
        "discovered_interpreter_python": "/usr/libexec/platform-python"
    "_ansible_no_log": false,
    "changed": false

Running this same command without privilege escalation on an older version of AWX running with deployed with docker-compose you get a success:


However, running on k8s is actually preferred. You might not have access to some standard tools on the docker deploy but you will hardly need them - I think.

Walkthrough of Setting up your playbook to Run

There is a bit of terminology that is AWX (Ansible tower) specific. That is a bit different from pure ansible. We will cross that bridge when we get their though.

The first thing to do is ensure your playbooks are in a git repo.

So what a repo is called in Asnsible is a project.
A project is a Logical collection of ansible playbooks. Although sane people keep these in git repos.

But wait, to access that repo you need to setup a Source control credential first.

So the flow is:

  1. Create a Credential for Source Control
  2. Create a Project

1. Setup Credentials (for gitlab source control)

First create a ssh key pair for awx.
Using ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "" and store it as awx_key for example.
Then copy the private key.

Click Credentials on the side -> + and add set the credential type to Source Control. Then Add your private key.


In gitlab you need to go to your: Repo -> settings -> repository -> Deploy Keys (You can use Deploy tokens if you do not want to use ssh - only https).
Ensure the key is enabled.

2. Create Project

Go to Projects -> +

Set the SCM details and selecting the gitlab scm credentials.

Save, and then repo should eventually be pulled -> shown by a green light.


3. Create a Job Template

You can only create a job template if you have a project. A job template basically links up the inventory (variables), credentials and playbook you are going to run.

Go to Templates -> + -> Job Templates


4. Run your Job

Run the job template by pressing the Launch button

Extra: Using a Survey

Surveys set extra variables in a user-friendly question and answer way

  1. Click Create Survey on the job Template


Now you can add questions to the user and it will fill them out in extra vars.


Kubernetes Questions – Please answer them

What is the Difference between a Persistent Volume and a Storage Class?

What happens when pods are killed, is the data persisted - How do you test this?

What is the difference between a Service and an Ingress?

By default, Docker uses host-private networking, so containers can talk to other containers only if they are on the same machine.

If you check the pod ip and there is an open containerPort then you should be able to access it via the node - with curl.

What happens when a node dies? The pods die with it, and the Deployment will create new ones, with different IPs. This is the problem a Service solves.

A Kubernetes Service is an abstraction which defines a logical set of Pods running somewhere in your cluster, that all provide the same functionality

When created, each Service is assigned a unique IP address (also called clusterIP)

This address is tied to the lifespan of the Service, and will not change while the Service is alive

communication to the Service will be automatically load-balanced

  • targetPort: is the port the container accepts traffic on
  • port: is the abstracted Service port, which can be any port other pods use to access the Service

Note that the Service IP is completely virtual, it never hits the wire

Kubernetes supports 2 primary modes of finding a Service - environment variables and DNS - DNS requires a COreDNS addon

Ingress is...

An API object that manages external access to the services in a cluster, typically HTTP

How do you know the size of the PV's to create for the PVC's of a helm chart?

Are helm chart declarative or imperitive?

What is a kubernetes operator?

How do you start a new mysql docker container with an existing data directory?

Usage against an existing databaseIf you start your mysql container instance with a data directory that already contains a database (specifically, a mysql subdirectory), the $MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD variable should be omitted from the run command line; it will in any case be ignored, and the pre-existing database will not be changed in any way.

The above did not work for me.

trademate-db_1   | Initializing database
trademate-db_1   | 2020-01-16T05:59:38.689547Z 0 [Warning] TIMESTAMP with implicit DEFAULT value is deprecated. Please use --explicit_defaults_for_timestamp server option (see documentation for more details).
trademate-db_1   | 2020-01-16T05:59:38.690778Z 0 [ERROR] --initialize specified but the data directory has files in it. Aborting.
trademate-db_1   | 2020-01-16T05:59:38.690818Z 0 [ERROR] Aborting
trademate-db_1   | 
trademate_trademate-db_1 exited with code 1

How do you view the contents of a docker volume?

You can't do this without a container for named volumes (the one's docker manages). So kak...

How do you run python debugger and attach inside a docker container?

Its a mess up...just develop locally

If you were mounting a conf file into an nginx image from docker-compose - how do you do that in production? Do you bake it into the image?

Yes you should.

Do something like this:

FROM nginx:1.17

COPY ./config/nginx/conf.d /etc/nginx/conf.d

# Remove default config
RUN rm /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf 

How do you deploy all the k8s spec files in a folder at once? If not is there a specific order to deploy them in?

This Service should exists before the replicas - as it adds environment variables to containers on the pods in the replicaset based on services created.

Should gunicorn and nginx containers be in the same pod?