18. Inventories

An Inventory is a collection of hosts against which jobs may be launched, the same as an Ansible inventory file. Inventories are divided into groups and these groups contain the actual hosts. Groups may be sourced manually, by entering host names into AWX, or from one of its supported cloud providers.

Note

If you have a custom dynamic inventory script, or a cloud provider that is not yet supported natively in AWX, you can also import that into AWX. Refer to Inventory File Importing in the AWX Administration Guide.

The Inventories window displays a list of the inventories that are currently available. The inventory list may be sorted by name and searched type, organization, description, owners and modifiers of the inventory, or additional criteria as needed.

Inventories - home with examples

The list of Inventory details includes:

  • Name: The inventory name. Clicking the Inventory name navigates to the properties screen for the selected inventory, which shows the inventory’s groups and hosts. (This view is also accessible from the edit button icon.)

  • Status

The statuses are:

  • Success: when the inventory source sync completed successfully

  • Disabled: no inventory source added to the inventory

  • Error: when the inventory source sync completed with error

An example of inventories of various states, including one with detail for a disabled state:

../_images/inventories-home-with-status.png
  • Type: Identifies whether it is a standard inventory, a Smart inventory, or a constructed inventory.

  • Organization: The organization to which the inventory belongs.

  • Actions: The following actions are available for the selected inventory:

    • Edit (edit button): Edit the properties for the selected inventory

    • Copy (copy): Makes a copy of an existing inventory as a template for creating a new one

18.1. Smart Inventories

A Smart Inventory is a collection of hosts defined by a stored search that can be viewed like a standard inventory and made to be easily used with job runs. Organization administrators have admin permission to inventories in their organization and can create a Smart Inventories. A Smart Inventory is identified by KIND=smart. You can define a Smart Inventory using the same method being used with Search. InventorySource is directly associated with an Inventory.

Note

Smart inventories are deprecated and will be removed in a future release. Users are encouraged to consider moving to constructed inventory for enhancements and replacement.

The Inventory model has the following new fields that are blank by default but are set accordingly for Smart Inventories:

  • kind is set to smart for Smart Inventories

  • host_filter is set AND kind is set to smart for Smart Inventories.

The host model has a related endpoint, smart_inventories that identifies a set of all the Smart Inventory a host is associated with. The membership table is updated every time a job runs against a smart inventory.

Note

To update the memberships more frequently, you can change the file-based setting AWX_REBUILD_SMART_MEMBERSHIP to True (default is False). This will update memberships in the following events:

  • a new host is added

  • an existing host is modified (updated or deleted)

  • a new Smart Inventory is added

  • an existing Smart Inventory is modified (updated or deleted)

You can view actual inventories without being editable:

  • Names of Host and Group created as a result of an inventory source sync

  • Group records cannot be edited or moved

You cannot create hosts from a Smart Inventory host endpoint (/inventories/N/hosts/) as with a normal inventory. The administrator of a Smart Inventory has permission to edit fields such as the name, description, variables, and the ability to delete, but does not have the permission to modify the host_filter, because that will affect which hosts (that have a primary membership inside another inventory) are included in the smart inventory. Note, host_filter only apply to hosts inside of inventories inside of the Smart Inventory’s organization.

In order to modify the host_filter, you need to be the organization administrator of the inventory’s organization. Organization admins already have implicit “admin” access to all inventories inside the organization, therefore, this does not convey any permissions they did not already possess.

Administrators of the Smart Inventory can grant other users (who are not also admins of your organization) permissions like “use” “adhoc” to the smart inventory, and these will allow the actions indicate by the role, just like other standard inventories. However, this will not give them any special permissions to hosts (which live in a different inventory). It will not allow them direct read permission to hosts, or permit them to see additional hosts under /#/hosts/, although they can still view the hosts under the smart inventory host list.

In some situations, you can modify the following:

  • A new Host manually created on Inventory w/ inventory sources

  • In Groups that were created as a result of inventory source syncs

Hosts associated with the Smart Inventory are manifested at view time. If the results of a Smart Inventory contains more than one host with identical hostnames, only one of the matching hosts will be included as part of the Smart Inventory, ordered by Host ID.

Variables on Host and Group are not changeable even as the local system admin user.

18.1.1. Smart Host Filter

You can use a search filter to populate hosts for an inventory. This feature utilized the capability of the fact searching feature.

Facts generated by an Ansible playbook during a Job Template run are stored by AWX| into the database whenever use_fact_cache=True is set per-Job Template. New facts are merged with existing facts and are per-host. These stored facts can be used to filter hosts via the /api/v2/hosts endpoint, using the GET query parameter host_filter For example: /api/v2/hosts?host_filter=ansible_facts__ansible_processor_vcpus=8

The host_filter parameter allows for:

  • grouping via ()

  • use of the boolean and operator:

    • __ to reference related fields in relational fields

    • __ is used on ansible_facts to separate keys in a JSON key path

    • [] is used to denote a json array in the path specification

    • "" can be used in the value when spaces are wanted in the value

  • “classic” Django queries may be embedded in the host_filter

Examples:

/api/v2/hosts/?host_filter=name=localhost
/api/v2/hosts/?host_filter=ansible_facts__ansible_date_time__weekday_number="3"
/api/v2/hosts/?host_filter=ansible_facts__ansible_processor[]="GenuineIntel"
/api/v2/hosts/?host_filter=ansible_facts__ansible_lo__ipv6[]__scope="host"
/api/v2/hosts/?host_filter=ansible_facts__ansible_processor_vcpus=8
/api/v2/hosts/?host_filter=ansible_facts__ansible_env__PYTHONUNBUFFERED="true"
/api/v2/hosts/?host_filter=(name=localhost or name=database) and (groups__name=east or groups__name="west coast") and ansible_facts__an

You can search host_filter by host name, group name, and Ansible facts.

The format for a group search is:

groups.name:groupA

The format for a fact search is:

ansible_facts.ansible_fips:false

You can also perform Smart Search searches, which consist a host name and host description.

host_filter=name=my_host

If a search term in host_filter is of string type, to make the value a number (e.g. 2.66), or a JSON keyword (e.g. null, true or false) valid, add double quotations around the value to prevent AWX from mistakenly parsing it as a non-string:

host_filter=ansible_facts__packages__dnsmasq[]__version="2.66"

18.1.2. Define host filter with ansible_facts

To use ansible_facts to define the host filter when creating Smart Inventories, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Create new smart inventory screen, click the search button next to the Smart host filter field to open a pop-up window to filter hosts for this inventory.

../_images/inventories-smart-create-filter-highlighted.png
  1. In the search pop-up window, change the search criteria from Name to Advanced and select ansible_facts from the Key field.

../_images/inventories-smart-define-host-filter.png

If you wanted to add an ansible fact of

/api/v2/hosts/?host_filter=ansible_facts__ansible_processor[]="GenuineIntel"

In the search field, enter ansible_processor[]="GenuineIntel" (no extra spaces or __ before the value) and press [Enter].

../_images/inventories-smart-define-host-filter-facts.png

The resulting search criteria for the specified ansible fact populates in the lower part of the window.

../_images/inventories-smart-define-host-filter-facts2.png
  1. Click Select to add it to the Smart host filter field.

../_images/inventories-smart-create-filter-added.png
  1. Click Save to save the new Smart Inventory.

The Details tab of the new Smart Inventory opens and displays the specified ansible facts in the Smart host filter field.

../_images/inventories-smart-create-details.png
  1. From the Details view, you can edit the Smart host filter field by clicking Edit and delete existing filter(s), clear all existing filters, or add new ones.

../_images/inventories-smart-define-host-filter-facts-group.png

18.2. Constructed Inventories

As a platform user, this feature allows creation of a new inventory (called a constructed inventory) from a list of input inventories. The constructed inventory contains copies of hosts and groups in its input inventories, allowing jobs to target groups of servers across multiple inventories. Groups and hostvars can be added to the inventory content, and hosts can be filtered to limit the size of the constructed inventory. Constructed inventories address some limitations of the Smart Inventories host filtering model and makes use of the Ansible core constructed inventory model.

The key factors that distinguish a constructed inventory from a Smart Inventory are:

  • the normal Ansible hostvars namespace is available

  • they provide groups

Smart inventories take a host_filter as input and create a resultant inventory with hosts from inventories in its organization. Constructed inventories take source_vars and limit as inputs and transform its input_inventories into a new inventory, complete with groups. Groups (existing or constructed) can then be referenced in the limit field to reduce the number of hosts produced.

For instance, you can construct groups based on these host properties:

  • RHEL major/minor versions

  • Windows hosts

  • Cloud based instances tagged in a certain region

  • other

These examples described in the subsequent sections are organized by the structure of the input inventories.

18.2.1. Group name and variables filtering

Two different conditions are demonstrated here to describe the input inventory content:

  • First condition is that the state variable defined on the host is set to shutdown

  • Second condition is membership in a group with account_alias variable set to product_dev

The variable account_alias is used to demonstrate a group variable. In this hypothetical, each account has its own group, with group variables giving metadata about those accounts, which is common in cloud-source inventories. These variables are shown in the general hostvars namespace in Ansible, which is why it has no special treatment in source_vars.

The hosts inside the input inventory will fit one condition, the other condition, neither, or both. This results in four hosts total for demonstration purposes.

../_images/inventories-constructed-inventory-venn.png

This folder defines the inventory as an ini type named two_conditions.ini:

[account_1234]
host1
host2 state=shutdown

[account_4321]
host3
host4 state=shutdown

[account_1234:vars]
account_alias=product_dev

[account_4321:vars]
account_alias=sustaining

The goal here is to return only shutdown hosts that are present in the group with the account_alias variable of product_dev. There are two approaches to this, both shown in yaml format. The first one suggested is recommended.

  1. Construct 2 groups, limit to intersection

source_vars:

plugin: constructed
strict: true
groups:
  is_shutdown: state | default("running") == "shutdown"
  product_dev: account_alias == "product_dev"

limit: is_shutdown:&product_dev

This constructed inventory input creates a group for both of the categories and uses the limit (host pattern) to only return hosts that are in the intersection of those two groups, which is documented in host patterns in Ansible.

Also, when a variable may or may not be defined (depending on the host), you can give a default, like with | default("running") if you know what value it should have when it is not defined. This helps with debugging, as described in the Debugging tips section.

  1. Construct 1 group, limit to group

source_vars:

plugin: constructed
strict: true
groups:
  shutdown_in_product_dev: state | default("running") == "shutdown" and account_alias == "product_dev"

limit: shutdown_in_product_dev

This input creates one group that only includes hosts that match both criteria. The limit is then just the group name by itself, returning just host2, same as the previous approach.

18.2.1.1. Debugging tips

It is very important to set the strict parameter to True so that you can debug problems with your templates. If the template fails to render, you will get an error in the associated inventory update for that constructed inventory.

When encountering errors, increase verbosity to get more details.

Giving a default, like with | default("running") is a generic use of Jinja2 templates in Ansible. Doing this avoids errors from the particular template when you set strict: true. You could also set strict: false, and allow the template to produce an error, which results in the host not getting included in that group. However, doing so makes it difficult to debug issues in the future if your templates continue to grow in complexity.

However, you may still have to debug the intended function of the templates if they are not producing the expected inventory content. For example, if a groups group has a complex filter (like shutdown_in_product_dev) but does not contain any hosts in the resultant constructed inventory, then use the compose parameter to help debug. Like this:

source_vars:

plugin: constructed
strict: true
groups:
  shutdown_in_product_dev: state | default("running") == "shutdown" and account_alias == "product_dev"
compose:
  resolved_state: state | default("running")
  is_in_product_dev: account_alias == "product_dev"

limit: ``

Running with a blank limit will return all hosts. You can use this to inspect specific variables on specific hosts, giving insight into where problems in the groups lie.

18.2.2. Nested groups

The inventory contents of two groups where one is a child of the other is used here to demonstrate nested groups. The child group has a host inside of it, and the parent group has a variable defined. Due to how Ansible core works, the variable of the parent group will be available in the namespace as a playbook is running, and can be used for filtering.

Define the inventory file in a yaml format named nested.yml:

all:
  children:
    groupA:
      vars:
        filter_var: filter_val
      children:
        groupB:
          hosts:
            host1: {}
    ungrouped:
      hosts:
        host2: {}

The goal here is to filter hosts based on indirect membership in a group (because host1 is in groupB, it is also in groupA).

18.2.2.1. Filter on nested group names

Use the following yaml format to filter on nested group names:

source_vars:

plugin: constructed

limit: groupA

18.2.2.2. Filter on nested group property

This shows how you can filter on a group variable, even if the host is indirectly a member of that group.

In the inventory contents, you can see that host2 is not expected to have the variable filter_var defined, because it is not in any of the groups. Because of using strict: true, use a default value so that hosts without that variable defined. With this, host2, will return False from the expression, as opposed to producing an error. host1 will inherit the variable from its groups, and will be returned.

source_vars:

plugin: constructed
strict: true
groups:
  filter_var_is_filter_val: filter_var | default("") == "filter_val"

limit: filter_var_is_filter_val

18.2.3. Ansible facts

To create an inventory with Ansible facts, you need to run a playbook against the inventory that has gather_facts: true. The actual facts will differ system-to-system. The following example problems exemplify some example cases and are not intended to address all known scenarios.

18.2.3.1. Filter on environment variables

An example problem is demonstrated here that involves filtering on env vars using the yaml format:

source_vars:

plugin: constructed
strict: true
groups:
  hosts_using_xterm: ansible_env.TERM == "xterm"

limit: hosts_using_xterm

18.2.3.2. Filter hosts by processor type

An example problem is demonstrated here that involves filtering hosts by processor type (Intel) using the yaml format:

source_vars:

plugin: constructed
strict: true
groups:
  intel_hosts: "GenuineIntel" in ansible_processor

limit: intel_hosts

Note

Like with Smart Inventories, hosts in constructed inventories are not counted against your license allotment because they are referencing the original inventory host. Also, hosts that are disabled in the original inventories will not be included in the constructed inventory.

An inventory update ran via ansible-inventory creates the constructed inventory contents. This is always configured to update-on-launch before a job, but you can still select a cache timeout value in case this takes too long.

When creating a constructed inventory, the API enforces that it always has one inventory source associated with it. All inventory updates have an associated inventory source, and the fields needed for constructed inventory (source_vars and limit) are fields already present on the inventory source model.

18.2.4. User interface

Follow the procedure described in the subsequent section, Add a new inventory to create a new constructed inventory.

Example of a constructed inventory details view:

../_images/inventories-constructed-inventory-details.png

18.3. Inventory Plugins

Inventory updates use dynamically-generated YAML files which are parsed by their respective inventory plugin. Users can provide the new style inventory plugin config directly to AWX via the inventory source source_vars for all the following inventory sources:

Newly created configurations for inventory sources will contain the default plugin configuration values. If you want your newly created inventory sources to match the output of legacy sources, you must apply a specific set of configuration values for that source. To ensure backward compatibility, AWX uses “templates” for each of these sources to force the output of inventory plugins into the legacy format. Refer to Supported Inventory Plugin Templates section of this guide for each source and their respective templates to help you migrate to the new style inventory plugin output.

source_vars that contain plugin: foo.bar.baz as a top-level key will be replaced with the appropriate fully-qualified inventory plugin name at runtime based on the InventorySource source. For example, if ec2 is selected for the InventorySource then, at run-time, plugin will be set to amazon.aws.aws_ec2.

18.4. Add a new inventory

Adding a new inventory involves several components:

To create a new standard inventory, Smart inventory, or constructed inventory:

  1. Click the Add button, and select the type of inventory to create.

The type of inventory is identified at the top of the create form.

Inventories_create_new - create new inventory

  1. Enter the appropriate details into the following fields:

  • Name: Enter a name appropriate for this inventory.

  • Description: Enter an arbitrary description as appropriate (optional).

  • Organization: Required. Choose among the available organizations.

  • Smart Host Filter: (Only applicable to Smart Inventories) Click the search button to open a separate window to filter hosts for this inventory. These options are based on the organization you chose.

    Filters are similar to tags in that tags are used to filter certain hosts that contain those names. Therefore, to populate the Smart Host Filter field, you are specifying a tag that contains the hosts you want, not actually selecting the hosts themselves. Enter the tag in the Search field and press [Enter]. Filters are case-sensitive. Refer to the Smart Host Filter section for more information.

  • Instance Groups: Click the search button to open a separate window. Choose the instance group(s) for this inventory to run on. If the list is extensive, use the search to narrow the options. You may select multiple instance groups and sort them in the order you want them ran.

../_images/select-instance-groups-modal.png
  • Labels: Optionally supply labels that describe this inventory, so they can be used to group and filter inventories and jobs.

  • Input inventories: (Only applicable to constructed inventories) Specify the source inventories to include in this constructed inventory. Click the search button to select from available inventories. Empty groups from input inventories will be copied into the constructed inventory.

  • Cached timeout (seconds): (Only applicable to constructed inventories) Optionally set the length of time you want the cache plugin data to timeout.

  • Verbosity: (Only applicable to constructed inventories) Control the level of output Ansible produces as the playbook executes related to inventory sources associated with constructed inventories. Choose the verbosity from Normal to various Verbose or Debug settings. This only appears in the “details” report view. Verbose logging includes the output of all commands. Debug logging is exceedingly verbose and includes information on SSH operations that can be useful in certain support instances. Most users do not need to see debug mode output.

  • Limit: (Only applicable to constructed inventories) Restricts the number of returned hosts for the inventory source associated with the constructed inventory. You can paste a group name into the limit field to only include hosts in that group. See Source vars for more detail.

  • Options: Check the Prevent Instance Group Fallback option (only applicable to standard inventories) to allow only the instance groups listed in the Instance Groups field above to execute the job. If unchecked, all available instances in the execution pool will be used based on the hierarchy described in Control Where a Job Runs. Click the help icon for additional information.

Note

Set the prevent_instance_group_fallback option for Smart Inventories through the API.

  • Variables (Source vars for constructed inventories):

    • Variables Variable definitions and values to be applied to all hosts in this inventory. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two.

    • Source vars for constructed inventories creates groups, specifically under the groups key of the data. It accepts Jinja2 template syntax, renders it for every host, makes a True/False evaluation, and includes the host in the group (from key of the entry) if the result is True. This is particularly useful because you can paste that group name into the limit field to only include hosts in that group. See an example here.

Inventories_create_new_saved - create new inventory

  1. Click Save when done.

After saving the new inventory, you can proceed with configuring permissions, groups, hosts, sources, and view completed jobs, if applicable to the type of inventory. For more instructions, refer to the subsequent sections.

18.4.1. Add permissions

  1. In the Access tab, click the Add button.

  2. Select a user or team to add and click Next

  3. Select one or more users or teams from the list by clicking the check box(es) next to the name(s) to add them as members and click Next.

../_images/organizations-add-users-for-example-organization.png

In this example, two users have been selected to be added.

  1. Select the role(s) you want the selected user(s) or team(s) to have. Be sure to scroll down for a complete list of roles. Different resources have different options available.

../_images/organizations-add-users-roles.png
  1. Click the Save button to apply the roles to the selected user(s) or team(s) and to add them as members.

The Add Users/Teams window closes to display the updated roles assigned for each user and team.

Permissions tab with Role Assignments

To remove roles for a particular user, click the disassociate (x) button next to its resource.

../_images/permissions-disassociate.png

This launches a confirmation dialog, asking you to confirm the disassociation.

../_images/permissions-disassociate-confirm.png

18.4.2. Add groups

Inventories are divided into groups, which may contain hosts and other groups, and hosts. Groups are only applicable to standard inventories and is not a configurable directly through a Smart Inventory. You can associate an existing group through host(s) that are used with standard inventories. There are several actions available for standard inventories:

  • Create a new Group

  • Create a new Host

  • Run a command on the selected Inventory

  • Edit Inventory properties

  • View activity streams for Groups and Hosts

  • Obtain help building your Inventory

Note

Inventory sources are not associated with groups. Spawned groups are top-level and may still have child groups, and all of these spawned groups may have hosts.

To create a new group for an inventory:

  1. Click the Add button to open the Create Group window.

Inventories_manage_group_add

  1. Enter the appropriate details into the required and optional fields:

  • Name: Required

  • Description: Enter an arbitrary description as appropriate (optional)

  • Variables: Enter definitions and values to be applied to all hosts in this group. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two.

  1. When done, click Save.

18.4.2.1. Add groups within groups

To add groups within groups:

  1. Click the Related Groups tab.

  2. Click the Add button, and select whether to add a group that already exists in your configuration or create a new group.

  3. If creating a new group, enter the appropriate details into the required and optional fields:

  • Name: Required

  • Description: Enter an arbitrary description as appropriate (optional)

  • Variables: Enter definitions and values to be applied to all hosts in this group. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two.

  1. When done, click Save.

The Create Group window closes and the newly created group displays as an entry in the list of groups associated with the group that it was created for.

Inventories add group subgroup

If you chose to add an existing group, available groups will appear in a separate selection window.

Inventories add group existing subgroup

Once a group is selected, it displays as an entry in the list of groups associated with the group.

5. To configure additional groups and hosts under the subgroup, click on the name of the subgroup from the list of groups and repeat the same steps described in this section.

18.4.2.2. View or edit inventory groups

The list view displays all your inventory groups at once, or you can filter it to only display the root group(s). An inventory group is considered a root group if it is not a subset of another group.

You may be able to delete a subgroup without concern for dependencies, since AWX will look for dependencies such as any child groups or hosts. If any exists, a confirmation dialog displays for you to choose whether to delete the root group and all of its subgroups and hosts; or promote the subgroup(s) so they become the top-level inventory group(s), along with their host(s).

../_images/inventories-groups-delete-root-with-children.png

18.4.3. Add hosts

You can configure hosts for the inventory as well as for groups and groups within groups. To configure hosts:

  1. Click the Hosts tab.

  2. Click the Add button, and select whether to add a host that already exists in your configuration or create a new host.

  3. If creating a new host, select the toggle button button to specify whether or not to include this host while running jobs.

  1. Enter the appropriate details into the required and optional fields:

  • Host Name: Required

  • Description: Enter an arbitrary description as appropriate (optional)

  • Variables: Enter definitions and values to be applied to all hosts in this group. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two.

  1. When done, click Save.

The Create Host window closes and the newly created host displays as an entry in the list of hosts associated with the group that it was created for.

Inventories add group host

If you chose to add an existing host, available hosts will appear in a separate selection window.

Inventories add existing host

Once a host is selected, it displays as an entry in the list of hosts associated with the group. You can disassociate a host from this screen by selecting the host and click the Disassociate button.

Note

You may also run ad hoc commands from this screen. Refer to Running Ad Hoc Commands for more detail.

6. To configure additional groups for the host, click on the name of the host from the list of hosts.

Inventories add group host emphasized

This opens the Details tab of the selected host.

Inventories add group host details

  1. Click the Groups tab to configure groups for the host.

  1. Click the Add button to associate the host with an existing group.

Available groups appear in a separate selection window.

../_images/inventories-add-group-hosts-add-groups.png
  1. Click to select the group(s) to associate with the host and click Save.

Once a group is associated, it displays as an entry in the list of groups associated with the host.

  1. If a host was used to run a job, you can view details about those jobs in the Completed Jobs tab of the host and click Expanded to view details about each job.

../_images/inventories-add-host-view-completed-jobs.png

Note

You may create hosts in bulk using the newly added endpoint in the API, /api/v2/bulk/host_create. This endpoint accepts JSON and you can specify the target inventory and a list of hosts to add to the inventory. These hosts must be unique within the inventory. Either all hosts are added, or an error is returned indicating why the operation was not able to complete. Use the OPTIONS request to return relevant schema. For more information, see the Bulk endpoint of the Reference section of the AWX API Guide.

18.4.4. Add source

Inventory sources are not associated with groups. Spawned groups are top-level and may still have child groups, and all of these spawned groups may have hosts. Adding a source to an inventory only applies to standard inventories. Smart inventories inherit their source from the standard inventories they are associated with. To configure the source for the inventory:

  1. In the inventory you want to add a source, click the Sources tab.

  2. Click the Add button.

This opens the Create Source window.

Inventories create source

  1. Enter the appropriate details into the required and optional fields:

  • Name: Required

  • Description: Enter an arbitrary description as appropriate (optional)

  • Execution Environment: Optionally search (search) or enter the name of the execution environment with which you want to run your inventory imports. Refer to the Execution Environments section for details on building an execution environment.

  • Source: Choose a source for your inventory. Refer to the Inventory Sources section for more information about each source and details for entering the appropriate information.

  1. After completing the required information for your chosen inventory source, you can continue to optionally specify other common parameters, such as verbosity, host filters, and variables.

  2. Select the appropriate level of output on any inventory source’s update jobs from the Verbosity drop-down menu.

  3. Use the Host Filter field to specify only matching host names to be imported into AWX.

  4. In the Enabled Variable, specify AWX to retrieve the enabled state from the given dictionary of host variables. The enabled variable may be specified using dot notation as ‘foo.bar’, in which case the lookup will traverse into nested dicts, equivalent to: from_dict.get('foo', {}).get('bar', default).

  5. If you specified a dictionary of host variables in the Enabled Variable field, you can provide a value to enable on import. For example, if enabled_var='status.power_state' and enabled_value='powered_on' with the following host variables, the host would be marked enabled:

{
"status": {
"power_state": "powered_on",
"created": "2020-08-04T18:13:04+00:00",
"healthy": true
},
"name": "foobar",
"ip_address": "192.168.2.1"
}

If power_state were any value other than powered_on, then the host would be disabled when imported into AWX. If the key is not found, then the host will be enabled.

  1. All cloud inventory sources have the following update options:

  • Overwrite: If checked, any hosts and groups that were previously present on the external source but are now removed, will be removed from AWX inventory. Hosts and groups that were not managed by the inventory source will be promoted to the next manually created group, or if there is no manually created group to promote them into, they will be left in the “all” default group for the inventory.

When not checked, local child hosts and groups not found on the external source will remain untouched by the inventory update process.

  • Overwrite Variables: If checked, all variables for child groups and hosts will be removed and replaced by those found on the external source. When not checked, a merge will be performed, combining local variables with those found on the external source.

  • Update on Launch: Each time a job runs using this inventory, refresh the inventory from the selected source before executing job tasks. To avoid job overflows if jobs are spawned faster than the inventory can sync, selecting this allows you to configure a Cache Timeout to cache prior inventory syncs for a certain number of seconds.

The “Update on Launch” setting refers to a dependency system for projects and inventory, and it will not specifically exclude two jobs from running at the same time. If a cache timeout is specified, then the dependencies for the second job is created and it uses the project and inventory update that the first job spawned. Both jobs then wait for that project and/or inventory update to finish before proceeding. If they are different job templates, they can then both start and run at the same time, if the system has the capacity to do so. If you intend to use AWX’s provisioning callback feature with a dynamic inventory source, Update on Launch should be set for the inventory group.

If you sync an inventory source that uses a project that has Update On Launch set, then the project may automatically update (according to cache timeout rules) before the inventory update starts.

You can create a job template that uses an inventory that sources from the same project that the template uses. In this case, the project will update and then the inventory will update (if updates are not already in-progress, or if the cache timeout has not already expired).

  1. Review your entries and selections and click Save when done. This allows you to configure additional details, such as schedules and notifications.

  2. To configure schedules associated with this inventory source, click the Schedules tab.

  1. If schedules are already set up; review, edit, or enable/disable your schedule preferences.

  2. if schedules have not been set up, refer to Schedules for more information.

Note

The Notifications tab is only present after you save the newly-created source.

../_images/inventories-create-source-with-notifications-tab.png
  1. To configure notifications for the source, click the Notifications tab.

  1. If notifications are already set up, use the toggles to enable or disable the notifications to use with your particular source. For more detail, see Enable and Disable Notifications.

  2. if notifications have not been set up, refer to Notifications for more information.

  1. Review your entries and selections and click Save when done.

Once a source is defined, it displays as an entry in the list of sources associated with the inventory. From the Sources tab you can perform a sync on a single source, or sync all of them at once. You can also perform additional actions such as scheduling a sync process, and edit or delete the source.

Inventories view sources

18.4.4.1. Inventory Sources

Choose a source which matches the inventory type against which a host can be entered:

18.4.4.1.1. Sourced from a Project

An inventory that is sourced from a project means that is uses the SCM type from the project it is tied to. For example, if the project’s source is from GitHub, then the inventory will use the same source.

  1. To configure a project-sourced inventory, select Sourced from a Project from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with additional fields. Enter the following details:

  • Source Control Branch/Tag/Commit: Optionally enter the SCM branch, tags, commit hashes, arbitrary refs, or revision number (if applicable) from the source control (Git or Subversion) to checkout. Some commit hashes and refs may not be available unless you also provide a custom refspec in the next field. If left blank, the default is HEAD which is the last checked out Branch/Tag/Commit for this project.

    This field only displays if the sourced project has the Allow Branch Override option checked:

    ../_images/projects-create-scm-project-branch-override-checked.png
  • Credential: Optionally specify the credential to use for this source.

  • Project: Required. Pre-populates with a default project, otherwise, specify the project this inventory is using as its source. Click the search button to choose from a list of projects. If the list is extensive, use the search to narrow the options.

  • Inventory File: Required. Select an inventory file associated with the sourced project. If not already populated, you can type it into the text field within the drop down menu to filter the extraneous file types. In addition to a flat file inventory, you can point to a directory or an inventory script.

    ../_images/inventories-create-source-sourced-from-project-filter.png
  1. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  2. In order to pass to the custom inventory script, you can optionally set environment variables in the Environment Variables field. You may also place inventory scripts in source control and then run it from a project. See Inventory File Importing in the AWX Administration Guide for detail.

Inventories - create source - sourced from project example

Note

If you are executing a custom inventory script from SCM, please make sure you set the execution bit (i.e. chmod +x) on the script in your upstream source control. If you do not, AWX will throw a [Errno 13] Permission denied error upon execution.

18.4.4.1.2. Amazon Web Services EC2
  1. To configure an AWS EC2-sourced inventory, select Amazon EC2 from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with additional fields. Enter the following details:

  • Credential: Optionally choose from an existing AWS credential (for more information, refer to Credentials).

    If AWX is running on an EC2 instance with an assigned IAM Role, the credential may be omitted, and the security credentials from the instance metadata will be used instead. For more information on using IAM Roles, refer to the IAM_Roles_for_Amazon_EC2_documentation_at_Amazon.

  1. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  2. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the aws_ec2 inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For a detailed description of these variables, view the aws_ec2 inventory plugin documentation.

Inventories - create source - AWS EC2 example

Note

If you only use include_filters, the AWS plugin always returns all the hosts. To use this properly, the first condition on the or must be on filters and then build the rest of the OR conditions on a list of include_filters.

18.4.4.1.3. Google Compute Engine
  1. To configure a Google-sourced inventory, select Google Compute Engine from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing GCE Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

Inventories - create source - GCE example

  1. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  2. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the gcp_compute inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For a detailed description of these variables, view the gcp_compute inventory plugin documentation.

18.4.4.1.4. Microsoft Azure Resource Manager
  1. To configure a Azure Resource Manager-sourced inventory, select Microsoft Azure Resource Manager from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing Azure Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

  3. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  4. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the azure_rm inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For a detailed description of these variables, view the azure_rm inventory plugin documentation.

Inventories - create source - Azure RM example

18.4.4.1.5. VMware vCenter
  1. To configure a VMWare-sourced inventory, select VMware vCenter from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing VMware Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

  3. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  4. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the vmware_inventory inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For a detailed description of these variables, view the vmware_inventory inventory plugin.

Starting with Ansible 2.9, VMWare properties have changed from lower case to camelCase. AWX provides aliases for the top-level keys, but lower case keys in nested properties have been discontinued. For a list of valid and supported properties starting with Ansible 2.9, refer to virtual machine attributes in the VMware dynamic inventory plugin.

Inventories - create source - VMWare example

18.4.4.1.6. Red Hat Satellite 6
  1. To configure a Red Hat Satellite-sourced inventory, select Red Hat Satellite from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing Satellite Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

  3. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  4. Use the Source Variables field to specify parameters used by the foreman inventory source. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For a detailed description of these variables, refer to the theforeman.foreman.foreman – Foreman inventory source in the Ansible documentation.

Inventories - create source - RH Satellite example

If you encounter an issue with AWX inventory not having the “related groups” from Satellite, you might need to define these variables in the inventory source. See the inventory plugins template example for Red Hat Satellite 6 in the AWX Installation and Reference Guide for detail.

18.4.4.1.7. Red Hat Insights
  1. To configure a Red Hat Insights-sourced inventory, select Red Hat Insights from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing Insights Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

  3. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  4. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the insights inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For a detailed description of these variables, view the insights inventory plugin.

Inventories - create source - RH Insights example

18.4.4.1.8. OpenStack
  1. To configure an OpenStack-sourced inventory, select OpenStack from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing OpenStack Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

  3. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  4. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the openstack inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For a detailed description of these variables, view the openstack inventory plugin in the Ansible collections documentation.

Inventories - create source - OpenStack example

18.4.4.1.9. Red Hat Virtualization
  1. To configure a Red Hat Virtualization-sourced inventory, select Red Hat Virtualization from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing Red Hat Virtualization Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

  3. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

  4. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the ovirt inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For a detailed description of these variables, view the ovirt inventory plugin.

Inventories - create source - RHV example

Note

Red Hat Virtualization (ovirt) inventory source requests are secure by default. To change this default setting, set the key ovirt_insecure to true in source_variables, which is only available from the API details of the inventory source at the /api/v2/inventory_sources/N/ endpoint.

18.4.4.1.10. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
  1. To configure this type of sourced inventory, select Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform from the Source field.

  2. The Create Source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing Ansible Automation Platform Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

  3. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source.

../_images/inventories-create-source-rhaap-example.png
  1. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the controller inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two.

18.4.4.1.11. Terraform State

This inventory source uses the terraform_state inventory plugin from the cloud.terraform collection. The plugin will parse a terraform state file and add hosts for AWS EC2, GCE, and Azure instances.

  1. To configure this type of sourced inventory, select Terraform State from the Source field.

  2. The Create new source window expands with the required Credential field. Choose from an existing Terraform backend Credential. For more information, refer to Credentials.

  3. You can optionally specify the verbosity, host filter, enabled variable/value, and update options as described in the main procedure for adding a source. For Terraform, enable Overwrite and Update on launch options.

  4. Use the Source Variables field to override variables used by the controller inventory plugin. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two. For more information on these variables, see the terraform_state file for detail.

The backend_type variable is required by the Terraform state inventory plugin. This should match the remote backend configured in the Terraform backend credential, here is an example for an Amazon S3 backend:

---
backend_type: s3
  1. Enter an execution environment in the Execution Environment field that contains a Terraform binary. This is required for the inventory plugin to run the Terraform commands that read inventory data from the Terraform state file. Refer to the Terraform EE readme that contains an example execution environment configuration with a Terraform binary.

../_images/inventories-create-source-terraform-example.png
  1. To add hosts for AWS EC2, GCE, and Azure instances, the Terraform state file in the backend must contain state for resources already deployed to EC2, GCE, or Azure. Refer to each of the Terraform providers’ respective documentation to provision instances.

18.4.4.2. Export old inventory scripts

Despite the removal of the custom inventory scripts API, the scripts are still saved in the database. The commands described in this section allows you to recover the scripts in a format that is suitable for you to subsequently check into source control. Usage looks like this:

$ awx-manage export_custom_scripts --filename=my_scripts.tar
Dump of old custom inventory scripts at my_scripts.tar

Making use of the output:

$ mkdir my_scripts
$ tar -xf my_scripts.tar -C my_scripts

The naming of the scripts is _<pk>__<name>. This is the naming scheme used for project folders.

$ ls my_scripts
_10__inventory_script_rawhook             _19__                                       _30__inventory_script_listenhospital
_11__inventory_script_upperorder          _1__inventory_script_commercialinternet45   _4__inventory_script_whitestring
_12__inventory_script_eastplant           _22__inventory_script_pinexchange           _5__inventory_script_literaturepossession
_13__inventory_script_governmentculture   _23__inventory_script_brainluck             _6__inventory_script_opportunitytelephone
_14__inventory_script_bottomguess         _25__inventory_script_buyerleague           _7__inventory_script_letjury
_15__inventory_script_wallisland          _26__inventory_script_lifesport             _8__random_inventory_script_
_16__inventory_script_wallisland          _27__inventory_script_exchangesomewhere     _9__random_inventory_script_
_17__inventory_script_bidstory            _28__inventory_script_boxchild
_18__p                                    _29__inventory_script_wearstress

Each file contains a script. Scripts can be bash/python/ruby/more, so the extension is not included. They are all directly executable (assuming the scripts worked). If you execute the script, it dumps the inventory data.

$ ./my_scripts/_11__inventory_script_upperorder
{"group_\ud801\udcb0\uc20e\u7b0e\ud81c\udfeb\ub12b\ub4d0\u9ac6\ud81e\udf07\u6ff9\uc17b": {"hosts":
["host_\ud821\udcad\u68b6\u7a51\u93b4\u69cf\uc3c2\ud81f\uddbe\ud820\udc92\u3143\u62c7",
"host_\u6057\u3985\u1f60\ufefb\u1b22\ubd2d\ua90c\ud81a\udc69\u1344\u9d15",
"host_\u78a0\ud820\udef3\u925e\u69da\ua549\ud80c\ude7e\ud81e\udc91\ud808\uddd1\u57d6\ud801\ude57",
"host_\ud83a\udc2d\ud7f7\ua18a\u779a\ud800\udf8b\u7903\ud820\udead\u4154\ud808\ude15\u9711",
"host_\u18a1\u9d6f\u08ac\u74c2\u54e2\u740e\u5f02\ud81d\uddee\ufbd6\u4506"], "vars": {"ansible_host": "127.0.0.1", "ansible_connection":
"local"}}}

You can verify functionality with ansible-inventory. This should give the same data, but reformatted.

$ ansible-inventory -i ./my_scripts/_11__inventory_script_upperorder --list --export

In the above example, you could cd into my_scripts and then issue a git init command, add the scripts you want, push it to source control, and then create an SCM inventory source in the AWX user interface.

For more information on syncing or using custom inventory scripts, refer to Inventory File Importing in the AWX Administration Guide.

18.4.5. View completed jobs

If an inventory was used to run a job, you can view details about those jobs in the Completed Jobs tab of the inventory and click Expanded to view details about each job.

Inventories view completed jobs

18.5. Running Ad Hoc Commands

To run an ad hoc command:

  1. Select an inventory source from the list of hosts or groups. The inventory source can be a single group or host, a selection of multiple hosts, or a selection of multiple groups.

ad hoc-commands-inventory-home

  1. Click the Run Command button.

The Run command window opens.

../_images/ad-hoc-run-execute-command.png
  1. Enter the details for the following fields:

  • Module: Select one of the modules that AWX supports running commands against.

    command

    apt_repository

    mount

    win_service

    shell

    apt_rpm

    ping

    win_updates

    yum

    service

    selinux

    win_group

    apt

    group

    setup

    win_user

    apt_key

    user

    win_ping

  • Arguments: Provide arguments to be used with the module you selected.

  • Limit: Enter the limit used to target hosts in the inventory. To target all hosts in the inventory enter all or *, or leave the field blank. This is automatically populated with whatever was selected in the previous view prior to clicking the launch button.

  • Machine Credential: Select the credential to use when accessing the remote hosts to run the command. Choose the credential containing the username and SSH key or password that Ansbile needs to log into the remote hosts.

  • Verbosity: Select a verbosity level for the standard output.

  • Forks: If needed, select the number of parallel or simultaneous processes to use while executing the command.

  • Show Changes: Select to enable the display of Ansible changes in the standard output. The default is OFF.

  • Enable Privilege Escalation: If enabled, the playbook is run with administrator privileges. This is the equivalent of passing the --become option to the ansible command.

  • Extra Variables: Provide extra command line variables to be applied when running this inventory. Enter variables using either JSON or YAML syntax. Use the radio button to toggle between the two.

ad hoc-commands-inventory-run-command

  1. Click Next to choose the execution environment you want the ad-hoc command to be run against.

../_images/ad-hoc-commands-inventory-run-command-ee.png
  1. Click Next to choose the credential you want to use and click the Launch button.

The results display in the Output tab of the module’s job window.

ad hoc-commands-inventory-results-example