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Ansible AWX

Ansible AWX is the open-source freely available project for testing and you can use Ansible AWX in a lab, development, or other POC environment. It was the foundation on which Ansible Tower was created.

Ansible AWX is a development branch of code that only undergoes minimal testing and quality engineering testing. There are some drawbacks to enterprise adoption, which is the lack of signed images for using it in the enterprise, lack of real versioning being present with upgrades, and support being offered.

AWX is a web-based solution that makes Ansible more comfortable to use for IT teams. It is designed to be the hub for all automation tasks. It has a fantastic browser REST API and allows you to control access, graphically manage or sync inventory with a wide variety of cloud sources, log all your jobs, and integrate well with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

Ansible Tower is a commercial version based on AWX by Red Hat. Ansible AWX and Ansible Tower both have similar features.

Ansible is planning on continuing to mature the product lifecycle of Ansible AWX so that it is in tighter lock-step with Ansible Tower releases.

The most significant benefit of AWX over Ansible Tower is that you have all of the enterprise features for an unlimited number of nodes. And one of the significant differences you will see between AWX and Ansible Tower is a different logo for the products.

Ansible AWX Prerequisites

  • 2 or 3 servers
  • Ansible version 2.4+
  • Ansible AWX
  • lemp
  • Docker
  • Docker python module
  • Git version 1.8.4+
  • Node 10.x LTS version
  • NPM 6.x LTS
  • Root privileges

System Requirements for AWX

  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 3.4 GHz CPU with 2 Cores
  • 20 GB of hard disk space
  • Running Docker, Openshift, or Kubernetes

AWX Installation

Here are some steps to deploy and run the Ansible playbook for the basic LEMP installation through the Ansible AWX dashboard, such as:

Step 1: Install EPEL on CentOS 8

It provides some of the quintessential packages required by AWX. Therefore, login as a root user to your CentOS 8 node and run the command:

Step 2: Install additional packages and dependencies

We need to install essential packages that will be required as we get along with the installation of AWX

Step 3: Install Docker CE on CentOS 8

To install Docker on CentOS 8, we need to append the Docker repository to the system using the dnf config-manager tool.

To install the Docker, run the below command:

Run the below command to know what exact version of Docker installed.


Proceed to start and enable Docker using the below commands:

Step 4: Install Docker-Compose on CentOS 8

To installation of docker-compose, we will use the pip3 since the system is running using python3.

Step 5: Install Ansible AWX

To install Ansible AWX, first clone the repo as shown below:

We need to configure the admin & Postgres password

Therefore, sure to generate a cryptographic key for encryption of the inventory file

Copy the secret key and append it to the secret_key entry in the inventory file. Save and exit from the inventory file.

To install the Ansible AWX run the following command:

After installation is done, you can check the containers which are launched via docker-compose.

Step 6: Accessing AWX GUI portal

To access AWX web console, open the browser and type in your Ansible AWX server IP and press ENTER.

Provide the username and password for admin and press ENTER. It displays an AWX dashboard to you.

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