An Ansible playbook consists of organized instructions that define work for a managed node (host) to be managed with Ansible.

There are many playbooks available in our GitHub samples repository contributed by the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z team. The GitHub samples repository contain playbooks that demonstrate various topics such as:

Playbooks, content, and topics are added to the samples repository regularly. We encourage you to configure your GitHub activity subscriptions for this repository to get notified by GitHub when there are updates.

The sample playbooks can be run with the ansible-playbook command and with a little modification, the included inventory, ansible.cfg and host_vars can be tailored to your environment. Each sample will include all the necessary content that is needed to run a sample playbook. For more information, refer to the documentation included with each sample in the samples repository.


The basic concepts common to playbooks, the artifacts needed to run a playbook such as inventory and variables, instructions on how to run a playbook, and run it in the debug mode are discussed in the following sections.


Ansible works with multiple managed nodes (hosts) that must be written into a list known as inventory. After the inventory is defined, you can use the patterns to select the hosts or groups that you want Ansible to manage. Review the inventory section in the corresponding documentation to learn more about how inventory is defined.


Host variables (host_vars) enable you to manage the variables and organize the the variable values easily. Host variables can be stored either in the inventory file or separate host_vars or group_vars variable files. Each sample in the samples repository can vary on which host_vars or group_vars are required. For more information, review the documentation that is included with each sample.

Run a playbook

Use the Ansible command ansible-playbook to run a playbook. The command syntax is ansible-playbook -i <inventory> <playbook>; for example, ansible-playbook -i inventory sample.yaml.

For further reading, review run your first command and playbook and follow up with about playbooks.


Optionally, you can configure the console logging verbosity during playbook execution. This is helpful in situations where communication is failing and you want to obtain more details. To adjust the logging verbosity, append more letter v’s; for example, -v, -vv, -vvv, or -vvvv. Each letter v increases logging verbosity similar to traditional logging levels INFO, WARN, ERROR, DEBUG.


It is a good practice to review the playbook samples before executing them. It will help you understand the requirements in terms of space, location, names, authority, and the artifacts that will be created and cleaned up. Although samples are always written to operate without the need for the user’s configuration, flexibility is written into the samples because it is not easy to determine if a sample has access to the host’s resources. Review the playbook notes sections for additional details and configuration.