Top 5 Ansible Tower Support Questions

October 28, 2014 by Tim Gerla


Top 5 Ansible Tower Support Questions

Our support team here at Ansible handles a wide variety of tickets, including Tower installation, configuration, and operational questions, Ansible playbook questions, and a lot of other things. We have a small but rapidly growing knowledge base of questions and answers that we hear often, and I’ve picked a handful of these articles out to showcase here.

Dealing with Dynamic Inventory

One common question we get is how to apply certain configurations to certain hosts when your inventory is imported from Amazon or other cloud platforms. The short answer is that most of the dynamic inventory sources automatically organize machines into various inventory groups, so you can then use the playbook “hosts” keyword to target appropriate groups. You can read more about some other options in this article.

Amazon VPC Instances in Tower

Another Amazon-related question comes up pretty frequently. If you’re using EC2 heavily, you probably have some instances that do not have public IP addresses, and by default, you won’t see them in the Tower inventory unless you follow these instructions to enable the inventory source to return private IP addresses. Of course, your Tower server has to be able to connect to them to manage them, so you may want to run Tower inside your Amazon VPC.

LDAP Integration

Ansible Tower has the capability to source users and groups from an external LDAP or Active Directory server, eliminating the need to manage your Tower users manually. You can map LDAP groups to Tower teams in a variety of ways, and manage permissions appropriately. However, LDAP and Active Directory can be a bit complicated to work with. We’ve put together a set of troubleshooting steps and example configurations in this article.

Importing Existing Inventory Into Tower

Back to inventory! One question that comes up often is how to import an existing Ansible inventory setup into Tower. Luckily, there’s an app for that: a subcommand of the “tower-manage” tool. Read more about the possibilities here.

Reboot a server and wait for it to come back

Here’s a non-Tower question and answer. Often during the course of configuration management and software upgrades you need to perform a task, then trigger a reboot and wait for the server to come back. The “wait_for” module in Ansible provides an elegant way to do that, detailed here.

That’s just a short list of some of the many questions that our support engineers work through on a day-to-day basis. If you have other questions or feedback for us, don’t hesitate to send us a ticket at and we will get back to you shortly!

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Ansible Tower


Tim Gerla

Tim has more than 10 years of experience building and selling infrastructure software, including software engineering, architecture, and sales engineering. Most recently he led a team of solutions architects at Eucalyptus as the Director of Solutions Engineering. Tim holds a B.S. in Information Technology Management from the University of Minnesota.


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