Custom DebOps features¶
To make integration of DebOps roles with your own infrastructure easier, DebOps playbooks include a set of Ansible plugins and introduce several new concepts to Ansible best practices.
The project directory¶
By default, Ansible is written to use
/etc/ansible/ directory and its
contents in its daily use. In contrast to this, DebOps playbooks are designed
to be used from a custom local directory, which you can initialize using
debops-init command. By using Ansible this way, it’s much easier to create
multiple, separate environments with distinct inventories and configuration. To
change the environment you are working in, you just need to switch to
a different directory - there’s no need to use separate Ansible host groups,
custom variables and so on.
The official playbooks and roles are installed in central, fixed location
~/.local/share/debops/debops-playbooks/ on Linux systems), and the
debops script generates
ansible.cfg configuration file to provide
correct paths for
ansible-playbook command to use them indirectly from the
You can store your custom playbooks and roles in the project directory, in
In many Ansible environments a popular practice is to have a “common role” that contains tasks that are expected to be run on any and all hosts managed by Ansible.
In DebOps, there is an entire playbook dedicated to this, located in
playbooks/common.yml. It includes multiple roles that prepare a host from
an unknown to a known state - for example, a
ferm-based firewall will be
installed and configured on a given host, unless disabled, some common, useful
packages will be installed, and so on. Other DebOps roles not included in the
common.yml playbook are designed for hosts that were configured by it
- they might work outside of that environment, but it’s not guaranteed.
Host group namespace¶
To make host configuration in Ansible inventory more explicit, DebOps uses
a set of Ansible host groups. All of the official groups are set in the
[debops_*] namespace, so you are free to use other names without any
possibility of a collision.
Common DebOps playbook, as well as some other service playbooks that are
included in it, use
[debops_all_hosts] group. This is a base group of the
project and all hosts managed by DebOps should be included in it.
Service playbooks use the
[debops_service_*] group namespace in Ansible
inventory (for example,
debops.nginx role is activated on hosts in
[debops_service_nginx] group). Some service playbooks use additional groups
for various purposes; you are advised to check the role documentation to see
what is their intended use case.
Flattened lists in inventory¶
Some DebOps roles use sets of default variables (usually lists) to allow you to
define different settings for all hosts in inventory, a group of hosts, or even
specific hosts. For example, using
debops.sshd role you can whitelist
a certain subnet for all hosts in your inventory, add another subnet for
a particular group of hosts, and so on. You can also override more general
list on specific hosts if needed.
File, template and task hooks¶
DebOps project introduces a set of Ansible lookup plugins which allow you to override certain aspects of public Ansible roles without modifying them directly. This allows for easier updates or customization of the files and templates according to your specific needs.
Certain roles use
template_src to calculate path to files
or templates used by a role. You can override these paths using
configuration file and provide your own versions of files and templates stored
in DebOps project directory.
Some roles provide “task hooks” at the beginning and end of task lists, which
are empty files in a specific subdirectories. Using
task_src lookup plugin
and settings defined in
.debops.cfg configuration file you can “inject”
your own tasks at the beginning or end of these roles, which gives you more
control over the configuration.
By combining above techniques, you can very easily extend DebOps roles without
losing the ability to update them using
git without merge conflicts.
Certain DebOps roles can access LDAP server to create or update data as needed. Custom modules are provided for LDAP entry and attribute management, deeper integration is planned in the future.