Playbooks

The sample playbooks that are included in the IBM z/OS core collection demonstrate how to use the collection content.

Playbook Documentation

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

A playbooks directory that contains a sample playbook is included in the IBM z/OS core collection. The sample playbook can be run with the ansible-playbook command with some modification to the inventory, ansible.cfg and group_vars.

You can find the playbook content that is included with the collection in the same location where the collection is installed. For more information, refer to the installation documentation. In the following examples, this document will refer to the installation path as ~/.ansible/collections/ibm/ibm_zos_core.

Sample Configuration and Setup

Each release of Ansible provides options in addition to the ones identified in the sample configurations that are included with this collection. These options allow you to customize how Ansible operates in your environment. Ansible supports several sources to configure its behavior and all sources follow the Ansible precedence rules.

The Ansible configuration file ansible.cfg can override almost all ansible-playbook configurations. Included in the playbooks directory is a sample ansible.cfg that can supplement ansible-playbook with a little modification.

In the ansible.cfg, the only required configuration is pipelining = True. Setting the pipelining = True is required because it overrides the default behavior which is to transfer Ansible modules to the target in binary via SFTP, however this will fail with the error:

Warning

SyntaxError: Non-UTF-8 code starting with ‘x83’ in file /a/user1/.ansible/tmp/ansible-tmp-1548232945.35-274513842609025/ AnsiballZ_stat.py on line 1, but no encoding declared; see https://python.org/dev/peps/pep-0263/ for details

Setting pipelining = True in ansible.cfg will prevent this error.

You can specify the SSH port used by Ansible and instruct Ansible where to write the temporary files on the target. This can be easily done by adding the options to your inventory or ansible.cfg.

An example of adding these options to ansible.cfg is shown below. For more details, see the sample ansible.cfg notes.

[defaults]
forks = 25
remote_tmp = /u/ansible/tmp
remote_port = 2022

For more information about available configurations for ansible.cfg, read the Ansible documentation on Ansible configuration settings.

Inventory

Ansible works with multiple managed nodes (hosts) at the same time, using a list or group of lists known as an inventory. Once the inventory is defined, you can use patterns to select the hosts or groups that you want Ansible to run against.

Included in the playbooks directory is a sample inventory file that can be used to manage your nodes with a little modification. This inventory file should be included when running the sample playbook.

zsystem:
  hosts:
    zvm:
      ansible_host: zos_target_address
      ansible_user: zos_target_username
      ansible_python_interpreter: path_to_python_interpreter_binary_on_zos_target

The value for the property ansible_host is the hostname of the managed node; for example, ansible_host: ec33017A.vmec.svl.ibm.com

The value for the property zos_target_username is the user name to use when connecting to the host; for example, ansible_user: omvsadm.

The value for the property ansible_python_interpreter is the target host Python path. This is useful for systems with more than one Python installation, or when Python is not installed in the default location /usr/bin/python; for example, ansible_python_interpreter: /usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/bin/python3

For more information on Python configuration requirements on z/OS, refer to Ansible FAQ.

Behavioral inventory parameters such as ansible_port which allows you to set the port for a host can be reviewed in the behavioral inventory parameters.

Group_vars

Although you can store variables in the inventory file, storing separate host and group variables files may help you organize your variable values more easily. Included with the sample playbook is a sample variables file all.yml.

The value for the property _BPXK_AUTOCVT must be configured to ON, for example; _BPXK_AUTOCVT: "ON".

The value for the property ZOAU_HOME is the ZOA Utilities install root path; for example, ZOAU_HOME: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil".

The value for the property PYTHONPATH is the ZOA Utilities Python library path; for example, PYTHONPATH: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil/lib/".

The value for the property LIBPATH is both the path to the Python libraries on the target and the ZOA Utilities Python library path separated by colons :; for example, LIBPATH: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil/lib/:/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib:/lib:/usr/lib:.".

The value for the property PATH is the ZOA utilities BIN path and the Python BIN path; for example, PATH: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil/bin:/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/bin:/bin".

The value for the property _CEE_RUNOPTS is the invocation Language Environment® runtime options for programs and used by Python; for example; _CEE_RUNOPTS: "FILETAG(AUTOCVT,AUTOTAG) POSIX(ON)".

The value for properties __TAG_REDIR_ERR, _TAG_REDIR_IN, _TAG_REDIR_OUT are txt and used by the shell; for example,

_TAG_REDIR_ERR: "txt"
_TAG_REDIR_IN: "txt"
_TAG_REDIR_OUT: "txt"

The value for the property LANG is the name of the default locale; the value C specifies the POSIX locale. For example, LANG: "C".

The included all.yml sample variables file contents are:

environment_vars:
  _BPXK_AUTOCVT: "ON"
  ZOAU_HOME: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil"
  PYTHONPATH: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil/lib"
  LIBPATH: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil/lib/:/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib:/usr/lib:/lib:."
  PATH: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil/bin:/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/bin:/bin"
  _CEE_RUNOPTS: "FILETAG(AUTOCVT,AUTOTAG) POSIX(ON)"
  _TAG_REDIR_ERR: "txt"
  _TAG_REDIR_IN: "txt"
  _TAG_REDIR_OUT: "txt"
  LANG: "C"

Note

In ZOAU 1.0.2 and later, the property ZOAU_ROOT is no longer supported and must be replaced with the property ZOAU_HOME. If you are using ZOAU version 1.0.1 or lower, you must continue to use the property ZOAU_ROOT which is the ZOA Utilities install root path required for ZOAU; for example, /usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil.

A reusable approach to storing your group variables is to create top level dependency variables and rely on variable expansion to substitute the values. This is preferred, because it tends to reduce misconfiguration when copying dependency paths. In this example, the top level dependency variables PYZ for Python and ZOAU have been added and used through the configuration.

PYZ: "/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz"
ZOAU: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil"

environment_vars:
  _BPXK_AUTOCVT: "ON"
  ZOAU_HOME: "{{ ZOAU }}"
  PYTHONPATH: "{{ ZOAU }}/lib"
  LIBPATH: "{{ ZOAU }}/lib:{{ PYZ }}/lib:/lib:/usr/lib:."
  PATH: "{{ ZOAU }}/bin:{{ PYZ }}/bin:/bin:/var/bin:/usr/lpp/java/J8.0/bin"
  _CEE_RUNOPTS: "FILETAG(AUTOCVT,AUTOTAG) POSIX(ON)"
  _TAG_REDIR_ERR: "txt"
  _TAG_REDIR_IN: "txt"
  _TAG_REDIR_OUT: "txt"
  LANG: "C"

Note

Currently, IBM Open Enterprise Python for z/OS is the supported and recommended Python distribution for use on z/OS with Ansible and ZOAU. If Rocket Python is the only available python on the target, please review the suggested environment variables below for use with Rocket Python.

########################################
# Rocket suggested environment variables
########################################
PYZ: "/usr/lpp/rsusr/python36"
ZOAU: "/usr/lpp/IBM/zoautil"

environment_vars:
  ZOAU_ROOT: "{{ ZOAU }}"
  ZOAU_HOME: "{{ ZOAU }}"
  PYTHONPATH: "{{ ZOAU }}/lib:{{ PYZ }}:/lib:/usr/lib"
  _BPXK_AUTOCVT: "ON"
  PATH: "{{ ZOAU }}/bin:/bin:/var/bin:{{ PYZ }}/bin"
  LIBPATH: "{{ ZOAU }}/lib:{{ PYZ }}/lib:/lib:/usr/lib:."

Run the playbook

Access the sample Ansible playbook and ensure that you are within the collection playbooks directory where the sample files are included: ~/.ansible/collections/ibm/ibm_zos_core/playbooks/.

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

This command assumes that the controller’s public SSH key has been shared with the managed node. If you want to avoid entering a username and password each time, copy the SSH public key to the managed node using the ssh-copy-id command; for example, ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/mykey.pub user@<hostname>.

Alternatively, you can use the --ask-pass option to be prompted for the user’s password each time a playbook is run; for example, ansible-playbook -i inventory zos-collection-sample.yaml --ask-pass.

Note

  • Using --ask-pass is not recommended because it will hinder performance.

  • Using --ask-pass requires sshpass be installed on the controller. For further reference, see the ask-pass documentation.

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.

Note

It is a good practice to review the playbook samples before executing them. It will help you understand what requirements in terms of space, location, names, authority, and artifacts 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.

Sample playbooks often submit JCL that is included with this collection under the files directory. Review the sample JCL for necessary edits to allow for submission on the target system. The most common changes are to add a CLASS parameter and change the NOTIFY user parameter. For more details, see the JCL notes section included in the collection.