How to install and configure Ansible AWX on CentOS 8

AWX stands for “Ansible Web eXecutable” and it is a free and open source project that allows you to easily manage and control Ansible projects. AWX provides a robust web-based user interface and REST API, and allows you to manage or synchronize inventory with other cloud sources, access control, and integrate with LDAP.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install AWX Ansible AWX with Docker on CentOS 8.

precondition

  • CentOS 8 server with at least 4GB RAM.
  • Log in as root or a user with sudo privileges

Before starting

Add an EPEL repository to the system with the following command:

dnf install epel-release -y

Next, you will need to install some additional packages required to run AWX on the system. You can install them all with the following command:

dnf install git gcc gcc-c++ ansible nodejs gettext device-mapper-persistent-data lvm2 bzip2 python3-pip -y

Once all packages are installed, you can move to the next step.

Install Docker and Docker Compose

Next, we need to install Docker to run AWX inside a Docker enclosure. By default, the latest version of Docker is not available in the default CentOS 8 repositories, so you need to add the Docker repository on your system. You can add the Docker repository with the following command:

dnf config-manager --add-repo=https://download.docker.com/linux/centos/docker-ce.repo

Once added, install the latest stable version of Docker with the following command:

dnf install docker-ce-3:18.09.1-3.el7 -y

Once Docker is installed, check which version of Docker is installed with the following command:

docker --version

You should get something like this:

Docker version 19.03.7, build 7141c199a2

After that, start the Docker service and enable it to start after restarting the system with the following command:

systemctl start docker
 systemctl enable docker

You can check the status of the Docker service with the following command:

systemctl status docker

You should get something like this:

? docker.service - Docker Application Container Engine
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/docker.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Wed 2020-03-11 02:36:04 EDT; 23min ago
     Docs: https://docs.docker.com
 Main PID: 5882 (dockerd)
    Tasks: 101
   Memory: 2.6G
   CGroup: /system.slice/docker.service
           ??5882 /usr/bin/dockerd -H fd://
           ??5899 containerd --config /var/run/docker/containerd/containerd.toml --log-level info
           ??8815 containerd-shim -namespace moby -workdir /var/lib/docker/containerd/daemon/io.containerd.runtime.v1.linux/moby/4b91575d64b1b>
           ??8847 containerd-shim -namespace moby -workdir /var/lib/docker/containerd/daemon/io.containerd.runtime.v1.linux/moby/0f36c9784f748>
           ??8894 /usr/bin/docker-proxy -proto tcp -host-ip 0.0.0.0 -host-port 80 -container-ip 172.18.0.5 -container-port 8052
           ??8899 containerd-shim -namespace moby -workdir /var/lib/docker/containerd/daemon/io.containerd.runtime.v1.linux/moby/47300ec1c26ff>
           ??8923 containerd-shim -namespace moby -workdir /var/lib/docker/containerd/daemon/io.containerd.runtime.v1.linux/moby/9827b9831fa5b>
           ??9631 containerd-shim -namespace moby -workdir /var/lib/docker/containerd/daemon/io.containerd.runtime.v1.linux/moby/166b153faa275>

After that, install Docker compose with the following command:

pip3 install docker-compose

Once installed, check the Docker version for writing with the following command:

docker-compose --version

You will see the following result:

docker-compose version 1.25.4, build unknown

Finally, run the following command to set the python command to use python 3:

alternatives --set python /usr/bin/python3

Install Ansible AWX on CentOS 8

First, download the latest version of Ansible AWX from the Git Hub repository with the following command:

git clone https://github.com/ansible/awx.git

Next, create a secret key to encrypt the inventory file with the following command:

openssl rand -base64 30

You will get the following output:

R+kbcDEUS8DlAftAbtWafVfLZ0lUy+Paqo3fEtep

NBNote: Note the secret key that appears by copying and pasting it into a text editor, because you have to paste it into the inventory file.

Next, go to the directory to awx / installer / and edit the repository file with a text editor nano:

cd awx/installer/
 nano inventory

Change the following lines:

[all:vars]
dockerhub_base=ansible
awx_task_hostname=awx
awx_web_hostname=awxweb
postgres_data_dir="/var/lib/pgdocker"
host_port=80
host_port_ssl=443
docker_compose_dir="~/.awx/awxcompose"
pg_username=awx
pg_password=awxpass
pg_database=awx
pg_port=5432
pg_admin_password=password
rabbitmq_password=awxpass
rabbitmq_erlang_cookie=cookiemonster
admin_user=admin
admin_password=password
create_preload_data=True
secret_key=R+kbcDEUS8DlAftAbtWafVfLZ0lUy+Paqo3fEtep
awx_official=true
awx_alternate_dns_servers="8.8.8.8,8.8.4.4"
project_data_dir=/var/lib/awx/projects

Save and close the file when done. Then create a directory for Postgres:

mkdir /var/lib/pgdocker

Finally, run the following command to install AWX:

ansible-playbook -i inventory install.yml

After the installation has finished successfully, you should get the following output:

skipping: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Load web image] **********************************************************************************************************
skipping: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Load task image] *********************************************************************************************************
skipping: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Set full image path for local install] ***********************************************************************************
skipping: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Set DockerHub Image Paths] ***********************************************************************************************
ok: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Create ~/.awx/awxcompose directory] **************************************************************************************
changed: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Create Docker Compose Configuration] *************************************************************************************
changed: [localhost] => (item=environment.sh)
changed: [localhost] => (item=credentials.py)
changed: [localhost] => (item=docker-compose.yml)
changed: [localhost] => (item=nginx.conf)

TASK [local_docker : Render SECRET_KEY file] **************************************************************************************************
changed: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Start the containers] ****************************************************************************************************
changed: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Update CA trust in awx_web container] ************************************************************************************
changed: [localhost]

TASK [local_docker : Update CA trust in awx_task container] ***********************************************************************************
changed: [localhost]

PLAY RECAP ************************************************************************************************************************************
localhost                  : ok=14   changed=6    unreachable=0    failed=0    skipped=95   rescued=0    ignored=0   

The above command will create and start all of the Docker containers needed for AWX. You can check the container in operation using the following command:

docker ps

You will see the following result:

CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                        COMMAND                  CREATED              STATUS              PORTS                                                 NAMES
4b91575d64b1        ansible/awx_task:9.2.0       "/tini -- /bin/sh -c…"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute   8052/tcp                                              awx_task
9827b9831fa5        ansible/awx_web:9.2.0        "/tini -- /bin/sh -c…"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute   0.0.0.0:80->8052/tcp                                  awx_web
47300ec1c26f        postgres:10                  "docker-entrypoint.s…"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute   5432/tcp                                              awx_postgres
166b153faa27        ansible/awx_rabbitmq:3.7.4   "docker-entrypoint.s…"   About a minute ago   Up 58 seconds       4369/tcp, 5671-5672/tcp, 15671-15672/tcp, 25672/tcp   awx_rabbitmq
0f36c9784f74        memcached:alpine             "docker-entrypoint.s…"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute   11211/tcp                                             awx_memcached

Configure SELinux and Firewall

By default, SELinux is enabled in CentOS 8. It is recommended that you disable it to run AWX in a Docker environment. You can disable it by editing the following files:

nano /etc/sysconfig/selinux

Find the following line:

SELINUX=enforcing

And replace it with the following line:

SELINUX=disabled

Save and close the file when done. Then restart the system to implement the changes. Next, you will need to allow http and https services through your firewall. You can allow them with the following command:

firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-masquerade --permanent
 firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=http
 firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=https

After that, restart the firewall service to apply the changes:

firewall-cmd --reload

Access the AWX web interface

Now, open your web browser and type the URL http: // domain_ or_server-ip. You will be directed to the AWX login page:

Ansible sign

Enter the username and password of the administrator you set in the stock file and click the button sign in. You will see the AWX virtual dashboard on the following page:

Ansible Web Dashboard

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully installed AWX with Docker on CentOS 8. You can now easily manage and control Ansible projects using the AWX web interface.

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