Ansible and Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial - Get Python 2.7

Quick post on getting Ansible working with an Ubuntu 16.04/Xenial server.

I have a bunch of nodes running in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and I need to put them under configuration management. This is a default Xenial image which does not have Python 2.7 apparently. No problem!

I can use the raw module to get Python 2.7.

ansible_host$ ansible --sudo -m raw -a "apt-get install -y python2.7 python-simplejson" some_group
Setting up python2.7 (2.7.12-1~16.04) ...
Setting up libpython-stdlib:amd64 (2.7.11-1) ...
Setting up python (2.7.11-1) ...
Setting up javascript-common (11) ...
Setting up libjs-jquery (1.11.3+dfsg-4) ...
Setting up python-simplejson (3.8.1-1ubuntu2) ...

Now I can run ansible ping.

$ ansible -m ping some_group | success >> {
    "changed": false, 
    "ping": "pong"
} | success >> {
    "changed": false, 
    "ping": "pong"
} | success >> {
    "changed": false, 
    "ping": "pong"


Of course it would probably be a better idea to create an AWS image that has Python 2.7 already installed.

Futher, if you want to do it from a playbook, just make sure to set gather_facts to false.


- hosts: all
  gather_facts: False
    - name: ensure python 2.7 is installed
      raw: apt-get install -y python2.7 python-simplejson

    # try pinging now
    - ping:

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