How to set and use sudo password for Ansible Vault

in Categories , , last updated January 23, 2018

How can I set a sudo password for Ansible from the Linux or Unix cli? How can I store sudo password in a vault file and use it securely without exposing my details?

You can create encrypted passwords with Ansible playbooks and use it. You need to pass --extra-vars variable to ansible-playbook. Let us see two different methods to deal with sudo password.

How to specify sudo password for Ansible at the cli (method # 1)

The syntax is:
ansible-playbook -i inventory my.yml \
--extra-vars 'ansible_become_pass=YOUR-PASSWORD-HERE'

From the security perspective typing password at the CLI argument is not a good idea. Hence, you can force ansible-playbook to ask for the password:
ansible-playbook --ask-sudo-pass -i inventory my.yml
Here is my sample inventory file:

[cluster:vars]
k_ver="linux-image-4.13.0-26-generic"
ansible_user=vivek  # ssh login user
ansible_become=yes  # use sudo 
ansible_become_method=sudo 
 
[cluster]
www1
www2
www3
db1
db2
cache1
cache2

Here is my my.yml file:

---
- hosts: cluster
  tasks:
          - name: Updating host using apt
            apt:
                    update_cache: yes
                    upgrade: dist
          - name: Update kernel to spefic version
            apt:
                    name: "{{ k_ver }}"
                    state: latest
          - name: Clean unwanted olderstuff
            apt:
                    autoremove: yes
                    purge: yes

I ran command as follows:
ansible-playbook --ask-become-pass -i inventory my.yml
How to specify sudo password for ansible-playbook

How to store and use sudo passwed in a vault (method # 2)

First update your inventory file as follows:

[cluster:vars]
k_ver="linux-image-4.13.0-26-generic"
ansible_user=vivek  # ssh login user
ansible_become=yes  # use sudo 
ansible_become_method=sudo 
ansible_become_pass='{{ my_cluser_sudo_pass }}'
 
[cluster]
www1
www2
www3
db1
db2
cache1
cache2

Next create a new encrypted data file named password.yml, run the following command:
$ ansible-vault create passwd.yml
Set the password for vault. After providing a password, the tool will start whatever editor you have defined with $EDITOR. Append the following
my_cluser_sudo_pass: your_sudo_password_for_remote_serversSave and close the file in vi/vim. Finally run playbook as follows:
$ ansible-playbook -i inventory --ask-vault-pass --extra-vars '@passwd.yml' my.yml

How to edit my encrypted file again

ansible-vault edit passwd.yml

How to change password for my encrypted file

ansible-vault rekey passwd.yml

Disable sudo login without password on all remote servers

Login to your remote box:
ssh vivek@server1.cyberciti.biz
sudo -i
Make sure vivek user is part of sudo/wheel group that allowed to sudo using id command:
id vivek
Edit sudo config file using the visudo command:
sudo visudo
Make sure following line deleted or commented out:
vivek ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL
Save and close the file.

Summary

In short use following options for the ansible-playbook command with vault or without vault file:

  • -i inventory : Set path to your inventory file.
  • --ask-vault-pass : Ask for vault password
  • --extra-vars '@passwd.yml' – Set extra varaible. In this case set path to vault file named passwd.yml.
  • --ask-become-pass : Ask for sudo password

See also

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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