Getting started

Because most of the time hosts that are configured by Ansible are remote, the highest priority for the debops.ifupdown role is to not lose the network connectivity. That does not mean that network connection can’t ever be stopped (which it most certainly is), but that network configuration must be in a consistent, known state at all times.

Default network configuration

Without any additional configuration, debops.ifupdown tries to recognize several different environments and configure them as needed. The parameters taken into account are:

  • if the cap_net_admin POSIX capability is not present when capabilities are enabled, network configuration is skipped;
  • if the network configuration is presumed to be “static” (static anywhere in /etc/network/interfaces), the network configuration is not performed;
  • if NetworkManager is detected, debops.ifupdown will not configure the default set of network interfaces, but will work as a role dependency if used in that way;

If the above conditions are not met, debops.ifupdown will select one of the available network configurations in the vars/ directory based on the condition it detects. The basic network configuration is designed to configure one or two network interfaces (public network and private network), each one with their own bridge, getting the required configuration via DHCP requests. If an LXC guest is detected, normal network interfaces will be configured instead, also using DHCP.

Example inventory

If you are using the official DebOps playbooks, the debops.ifupdown role is part of the common.yml playbook, which means that it’s run by default on all hosts, and there’s no specific host group set to enable it.

By default eth0 and eth1 network interfaces will be configured with br0 (public network) and br1 (private network) bridges respectively. If on a given host these ports are reversed or different, you can specify the correct ones using two variables:

ifupdown_external_interface: 'eth0'
ifupdown_internal_interface: 'eth1'

The bridges will be configured to ask the DHCP server for their configuration. You can easily add static IP addresses to the selected interfaces if needed, for example for NAT or virtual IP addresses. To do that, you can use a separate dict variable with IP addresses specified in ‘host/prefix’ format:

  'br0': [ '', '2001:db8:feed:dd05::32/64' ]

Unfortunately you cannot use variables as keys in above dict, only strings; because of that it’s better to correctly specify external/internal interfaces (which can change) and then configure the IP addresses on their respective bridges (which should have static names).

If you want to define your own interface layout, you can put it in the ifupdown_interfaces list. It will override the automatic selection by the role, which is very handy when role is used as a dependency:


  - iface: '{{ ifupdown_external_interface }}'
    type: 'interface'

If, instead, you want to add more interfaces to the set configured automatically by debops.ifupdown, you can put them in a separate list and combine two lists together:

ifupdown_interfaces: '{{ ifupdown_default_interfaces + ifupdown_custom_interfaces }}'


  - iface: 'tap0'
    type: 'interface'
    options: |

Example playbook

You can use debops.ifupdown in your own playbooks and roles, as a dependency. For example, below playbook will configure a new bridge without adding any network interfaces to it:


- name: Configure network interfaces
  hosts: all
  sudo: True

    - role: debops.ifupdown

        - iface: 'br2'
          type: 'bridge'
          inet: 'static'
          addresses: '{{ "" | ipaddr(host_index | int) }}'
          gateway: ''
          bridge_ports: [ 'eth0', 'eth1' ]
          options: |
            bridge_stp on
            bridge_fd 0

And then, in each host inventory, set its specific index:

host_index: 2

Above configuration can be seen as crude implementation of DHCP using semi-automatic incrementing IP addresses. Setting up proper DHCP server, for example with debops.dnsmasq or debops.dhcpd might be easier and more beneficial in the long run.