Another Good Year for Ansible Users

February 1, 2016 by Greg DeKoenigsberg


It seems like just yesterday that we were putting together the recap of Ansible's community growth in 2014. That was a very good year.

Here we are at the start of 2016 already -- and looking back on 2015, it was an even better year than 2014 was.

First, let's take a look at the numbers. For consistency's sake, we'll mostly compare to 2014 numbers, which can be found in last year's analysis.  Note that the same caveats from last year's analysis also apply this year.

Debian Popcon


Debian’s Popularity Contest is an opt-in way for Debian users to share information about the software they’re running on their systems.  Although it represents only a small sample of the Linux distro world, it’s useful because it’s one of the few places where we can really see an apples-to-apples comparison of install bases of the various tools. Because Ansible is agentless, we compare the Ansible package to the server packages of other configuration management tools.

For the first time in 2015, Ansible installations on this chart outnumbered Puppetmaster installations. Ansible shows continued strong growth, and appears to remain on an upward trend into 2016.

Caveats abound with this chart, but it does represent an accurate reflection of Ansible's continued relative growth.

GitHub Stars


Once again, Ansible leads the way in GitHub stars by a wide margin over other tools in the configuration management space, with more stars than the other projects combined.

GitHub Contributors


The core Ansible project continues to be on par with Salt for overall contributors. Of note: Ansible was split into separate repositories in 2014, so this only represents the apples-to-apples comparison of the core projects themselves. There are nearly 2,000 unique contributors to Ansible and its module repositories.

GitHub Forks


This is a key statistic because it represents potential contributors. One of the most important challenges for any sizable open source project is to encourage new contributors, while keeping the quality of contributions high.  Our ratio of contributors to potential contributors has remained steady at about 30%.

Hacker News Hiring Trend



We see Ryan Williams' Hacker News Hiring Trend as a key leading indicator of hiring trends across the broader industry, and we track it closely. For the first time in 2015, the number of these job listings that mentioned Ansible surpassed the number of listings mentioning all other configuration management tools.  

Ansible Galaxy Growth


Ansible Galaxy is our service for allowing users to share Ansible content.  Galaxy has shown consistent growth since its launch in early 2014; with over 4,000 community contributed Ansible roles available for download, it's becoming an ever more critical driver of our ecosystem strategy.  

In 2015 we made a significant investment in improving Galaxy's interface and functionality, culminating with the release of Galaxy 2.0 Beta in December. Last week we officially launched Galaxy 2.0. The new Galaxy dramatically improvea the ability of Ansible users to find the best and most relevant Ansible content. We expect this investment to start paying dividends in 2016. 

Ansible Meetup Expansion


Meetups have been a critical element of our user evangelism strategy. We actively encourage anyone to start their own Ansible meetup group, and we give them the resources and assistance necessary to get their meetup off the ground. The Ansible community responded with tremendous enthusiasm in 2015.

At the start of 2015, there were 30 self-identified Ansible meetup groups around the world, with about 3,000 members. By the end of 2015, there were over 150 Ansible meetup groups, with 25,000 members.  

We will continue to help Ansible meetups all around the world in 2016. If you would like to start a meetup of your own, we will be happy to help.

Red Hat Acquires Ansible

From the very beginning, Ansible was designed for large scale community collaboration. We recognized early on that a diverse set of users and contributors would be vital to our success.  Red Hat built the greatest open source company in the world with those same principles, and the acquisition of Ansible by Red Hat was the ultimate validation of our adherence to those principles.

We are all excited about being a part of the Red Hat family, and about all of the new opportunities and challenges the coming year will offer.


Community, Red Hat, GitHub, Ansible Galaxy


Greg DeKoenigsberg

Greg DeKoenigsberg Greg is the Director of Ansible Community with Red Hat, where he leads the project's relationship with the broader open source community. Greg has over a decade of open source advocacy and community leadership with projects like Fedora and One Laptop Per Child, and on the executive teams of Red Hat Ansible and of open source cloud pioneers Eucalyptus Systems. Greg lives in Durham NC and is on twitter at @gregdek.

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