Ansible Runner

Ansible Runner is a tool and python library that helps when interfacing with Ansible directly or as part of another system whether that be through a container image interface, as a standalone tool, or as a Python module that can be imported. The goal is to provide a stable and consistent interface abstraction to Ansible. This allows Ansible to be embedded into other systems that don’t want to manage the complexities of the interface on their own (such as CI/CD platforms, Jenkins, or other automated tooling).

Ansible Runner represents the modularization of the part of Ansible Tower/AWX that is responsible for running ansible and ansible-playbook tasks and gathers the output from it. It does this by presenting a common interface that doesn’t change, even as Ansible itself grows and evolves.

Part of what makes this tooling useful is that it can gather its inputs in a flexible way (See Introduction to Ansible Runner:). It also has a system for storing the output (stdout) and artifacts (host-level event data, fact data, etc) of the playbook run.

There are 3 primary ways of interacting with Runner

  • A standalone command line tool (ansible-runner) that can be started in the foreground or run in the background asynchronously

  • A reference container image that can be used as a base for your own images and will work as a standalone container or running in Openshift or Kubernetes

  • A python module - library interface

Ansible Runner can also be configured to send status and event data to other systems using a plugin interface, see Sending Runner Status and Events to External Systems.

Examples of this could include:

  • Sending status to Ansible Tower/AWX

  • Sending events to an external logging service

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