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Top 20 Ansible Interview Questions For 2020

NovelVista

NovelVista

Last updated 19/06/2020


Top 20 Ansible Interview Questions For 2020

What is the one tool that can be handle configuration management, task automation, and application deployment altogether, yet smoothly?

What else can it be other than Ansible?

Developed by Michael DeHaan, the author of the provisioning server application Cobbler and co-author of the Fedora Unified Network Controller (Func) framework for remote administration, Ansible is the tool that can set your DevOps culture up to its own tune.

Initially, Ansible, Inc. was the company set up to commercially support and sponsor Ansible. In October 2015, Red Hat came forward and acquired Ansible.

Ansible is included as part of the Fedora distribution of Linux, owned by Red Hat, and is also available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, OpenSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Debian, Ubuntu, Scientific Linux, and Oracle Linux via Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL), as well as for other operating systems.

Now, with this amazing adaptability with such a long list of operating systems, who wouldn’t love to work on Ansible?

That’s right, there are no organizations like this. Hence, when you appear for your DevOps interview, Ansible becomes one of the favorite topics of your interviewer.

Hence, we searched and found out a list of the most asked 20 Ansible questions for your next interview. Have a look!

 

1.  What is Ansible?

It is an open-source platform that advocates configuration management, task automation, or application deployment. Written in Python and powered by Red Hat, it is a quite important DevOps tool. It deploys SSH with the help of SSH, without suffering from any downtime.

2. What are Ansible’s advantages?

Ansible’s advantages are as follows:

  • It’s agent independent and only requires SSH service running on the target machines
  • The only dependency of Ansible is Python and luckily, most systems come with the language pre-installed
  • It requires minimal resources, hence it’s pretty much cost-effective
  •  Ansible tasks are written in YAML, so it’s user friendly
  • Whereas the other tools are mostly procedural, Ansible is declarative; define the desired state, and Ansible fulfills the requirements needed to achieve it

3. What are CD and CI, and what is Ansible’s relationship with them?

CD stands for continuous delivery, and CI stands for continuous integration. Both of them are very known for software development practices. 

In CD, developers take care of the release of their software products in the condition of releasing it for production at any given time. CI is responsible for each developer uploading regularly scheduled integrations (usually daily), resulting in multiple integrations every day. Ansible is an ideal tool for CI/CD processes, providing a stable infrastructure for provisioning the target environment and then deploying the application to it.

4. State the requirements for the Ansible server.

The requirements of Ansible server are as follows:

  • Virtual machine with Linux installed on it
  • Python version 2.6 or higher.

5. Explain what a “playbook” is.

A playbook is a collection of YAML-based files that forward commands to remote computers with the help of scripts. Developers can configure the whole complex environments by forwarding a script to the demanded systems rather than using different commands to configure computers from the command line remotely. Playbooks are Ansible’s strongest market points and often known as the tool’s building blocks.

6. How do you set up Ansible?

You can use the Python installer to set up Ansible. Also, a Linux-based installation process, such as apt or yum can work as well.

 

7. What is Ansible Galaxy?

Ansible Galaxy is a tool adjoint to Ansible to create a base directory structure. Galaxy is a basically a website that allows users to find and share Ansible content. You can use the following command to download roles from the website:

$ ansible-galaxy install username.role_name

8. How do you use Ansible to create encrypted files?

To create an encrypted file, you need to use the following command.

$ ansible-vault create filename.yaml

After putting this, you will get a prompt to create a password. After creating a password, you’ll have to type it again for confirmation. You will now have access to a new file, where you can add and edit data.

9. What are “facts” in the context of Ansible?

Facts are newly recognized and acknowledged system variables of the playbooks. They are used mostly for implementing conditionals executions. They also gather ad-hoc system information.

You can get the facts by using this command:

$ ansible all- m setup

10. Explain what an ask_pass module is.

Ask_pass module is a playbook control module that is used to control a password prompt. It is always set to True by default.

11. What’s an ad hoc command?

Ad hoc commands are used to initiate actions on a host without using a playbook. It is basically a one-shot command.

12. Explain the difference between a playbook and a play.

A play is basically a set of tasks that can run on multiple managed hosts. Plays are made of one or more tasks. On the other hand, the playbook consists of one or more plays.

13. What exactly is a configuration management tool?

Configuration management tools help in keeping a system running within the desired parameters. They help in reducing the deployment time and substantially reduce the effort required to perform repetitive tasks. Popular configuration management tools on the market today include Chef, Puppet, Salt, and of course, Ansible.

Finally, let us go through the Ansible interview questions at an advanced level.

14. What are tags?

When there’s an extensive playbook involved, sometimes it’s more expedient to run just a part of it as opposed to the entire thing. That’s what tags are for.

15. Speaking of tags, how do you filter out tasks?

You can filter out tasks in one of two ways:

  • Use –tags or –skip-tags options on the command line
  • If you’re in Ansible configuration settings, use the TAGS_RUN and TAGS_SKIP options.

16. What’s a handler?

In Ansible, a handler is similar to a regular task in a playbook, but it will only run if a task alerts the handler. Handlers are automatically loaded by roles/<role_name>/handlers/main.yaml. Handlers will run once, after all of the tasks are completed in a particular play.

17. How do you upgrade Ansible?

Upgrading Ansible is easy. Just use this command: sudo pip install ansible==<version-number>

18. When do you use {{ }}?

One of Ansible’s most basic rules is: “Always use {{ }} except when:”

19. Explain how to access shell environment variables.

You can access the controlling machine’s existing variables by using the “env” lookup plugin. For instance, to access the value of the management machine’s home environment variable, you’d enter:

local_home:”{{lookup(‘env’,’HOME’)}}”

20. What is “idempotency”?

idempotency is an important Ansible feature. It prevents unnecessary changes in the managed hosts. With idempotency, you can execute one or more tasks on a server as many times as you need to, but it won’t change anything that’s already been modified and is working correctly. To put it in basic terms, the only changes added are the ones needed and not already in place.

Conclusion:

Still thinking of skipping Ansible? Well, do it at your own risk then, since it’s just a trailer. To pursue a full-on DevOps character, you need to have hands-on practice of Ansible as well. Wonder how you can acquire that? Join Our DevOps training sessions and let the experts teach you!

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