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Automating Infrastructure Deployment with Jenkins and Ansible


In today's fast-paced and dynamic IT world, automating infrastructure deployment is becoming increasingly essential. Manual deployment processes are often time-consuming, error-prone, and difficult to manage. This is where the combination of Jenkins and Ansible comes into play.

Jenkins, an open-source automation server, provides a powerful platform for creating continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. Ansible, a popular automation tool, simplifies the process of infrastructure deployment by defining infrastructure as code.

By leveraging Jenkins and Ansible together, organizations can achieve faster, more reliable, and consistent deployment of their infrastructure. This blog post will guide you through the process of setting up Jenkins and Ansible and show you how to create a CI/CD pipeline to automate your infrastructure deployment. Let's get started!


To follow along with this tutorial, you will need the following prerequisites:

  • A server or virtual machine running a Unix-like operating system (e.g., Ubuntu, CentOS)
  • Internet access for downloading software and dependencies
  • Root or sudo access to install packages and make system-level configurations

The following software and tools need to be installed:

  • Jenkins: You can download and install Jenkins from the official website ( or use package managers like apt or yum.
  • Ansible: Ansible can be installed using package managers like apt or yum, or you can download it from the official website ( Ensure that Ansible is installed on the same server as Jenkins.
  • Git: Install Git using your package manager (e.g., apt, yum) to manage version control for your Ansible playbooks and Jenkins configurations.

Make sure you have administrative access to the server or consult with your system administrator if you need assistance with installation or configurations.

Setting up Jenkins

Installing Jenkins on a server

To install Jenkins on a server, follow these steps:

  1. First, update the package lists on the server by running the following command:
sudo apt update
  1. Install Java Development Kit (JDK) on the server using the following command:
sudo apt install openjdk-11-jdk
  1. Next, download and install Jenkins by adding the Jenkins repository key to the system using the following commands:
wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo deb binary/ > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jenkins.list'
sudo apt update
sudo apt install jenkins
  1. Start the Jenkins service using the following command:
sudo systemctl start jenkins
  1. Enable Jenkins to start on boot with the following command:
sudo systemctl enable jenkins

Configuring Jenkins

After installing Jenkins, follow these steps to configure it:

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to http://<your_server_ip>:8080, replacing <your_server_ip> with your server's IP address.

  2. You will be prompted to enter an initial administrator password. Retrieve this password by running the following command on the server:

sudo cat /var/lib/jenkins/secrets/initialAdminPassword
  1. Copy the displayed password and paste it into the Jenkins web interface.

  2. Next, you will be presented with the option to install suggested plugins or select specific plugins manually. Choose either option based on your preference.

  3. Once the plugin installation is complete, create an admin user and provide the required details.

  4. Finally, configure the URL for accessing Jenkins and click on "Save and Finish" to complete the initial setup.

Important Configuration Settings

During the configuration of Jenkins, pay attention to the following important settings:

  1. Security: Enable authentication and authorization to control access to Jenkins.

  2. Manage Jenkins: Explore various configuration options under "Manage Jenkins" to customize Jenkins according to your requirements.

  3. Plugin Updates: Regularly update plugins to ensure you have the latest features and security patches.

  4. Backup and Restore: Set up regular backups of Jenkins configuration files and data to prevent any loss of information.

By following these steps and adjusting the necessary settings, you can successfully set up and configure Jenkins for automating infrastructure deployment.

Configuring Ansible

To configure Ansible on the same server as Jenkins, follow these steps:

Installing Ansible

  1. Open a terminal on the server where Jenkins is installed.
  2. Run the following command to install Ansible:
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install ansible
  1. Verify the installation by running ansible --version command.

Configuring Ansible Inventory

  1. Navigate to the Ansible configuration directory:
$ cd /etc/ansible
  1. Open the hosts file using a text editor:
$ sudo nano hosts
  1. Define your inventory by adding the IP addresses or hostnames of your target servers under appropriate groups.
  2. Save the changes and exit the editor.

Configuring Ansible Playbooks

  1. Create a new directory to store your Ansible playbooks:
$ mkdir ~/ansible-playbooks
  1. Inside this directory, create a new playbook file with a .yml extension, for example:
$ nano ~/ansible-playbooks/deploy.yml
  1. Write your playbook using YAML syntax. Refer to Ansible documentation for details on writing playbooks.
  2. Save the playbook file and exit the editor.

Organizing Ansible Code

When organizing your Ansible code, it is recommended to follow a modular structure to improve maintainability and reusability. Here are some best practices:

  • Separate your playbooks into logical components such as roles or tasks.
  • Use roles to encapsulate reusable functionality and keep playbooks clean.
  • Group related playbooks and roles in directories based on their purpose or function.
  • Utilize variables and templates to make your code more flexible and dynamic.
  • Document your code and provide clear instructions for others to understand and use.

By following these best practices, you can ensure a structured and efficient approach to managing your Ansible codebase.

Creating a CI/CD Pipeline in Jenkins

A CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) pipeline is an automated process that allows for the rapid and reliable deployment of code changes and infrastructure updates. It consists of a series of stages or steps that are executed sequentially, ensuring that the code is built, tested, and deployed in a consistent and repeatable manner.

A CI/CD pipeline is important because it enables teams to automate the deployment process, reducing the risk of errors, improving efficiency, and increasing the overall quality of the deployed infrastructure. It also allows for faster feedback loops and faster time to market.

To create a CI/CD pipeline in Jenkins for automating infrastructure deployment, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Jenkins dashboard and navigate to the "New Item" page.
  2. Provide a name for your new Jenkins job, such as "Infrastructure Deployment".
  3. Select the "Pipeline" option as the job type.
  4. Scroll down to the "Pipeline" section and choose either "Pipeline script" or "Pipeline script from SCM" depending on where your Jenkinsfile (pipeline configuration) is located.
  5. If you choose "Pipeline script", you can directly enter the pipeline configuration in the text area provided. If you choose "Pipeline script from SCM", you will need to provide the SCM details (such as Git repository URL) where your Jenkinsfile is stored.
  6. Click on "Save" to create the Jenkins job.

Once the Jenkins job is created, you can configure the pipeline stages by editing the Jenkinsfile.

The Jenkinsfile is a text file that defines your pipeline stages and their sequence. It typically includes stages like "Checkout", "Build", "Test", "Deploy", and "Cleanup". Each stage represents a specific step in your deployment process.

To configure the pipeline stages in Jenkins, open the Jenkinsfile in your preferred text editor and define each stage using Groovy syntax. For example:

pipeline {
    agent any
    stages {
        stage('Checkout') {
            steps {
                // Checkout code from version control repository
        stage('Build') {
            steps {
                // Build the infrastructure code
        stage('Test') {
            steps {
                // Run tests to validate the infrastructure code
        stage('Deploy') {
            steps {
                // Deploy the infrastructure using Ansible
        stage('Cleanup') {
            steps {
                // Clean up any temporary resources

In this example, each stage represents a specific task in the deployment process, such as checking out the code, building the infrastructure, running tests, deploying the infrastructure using Ansible, and cleaning up temporary resources.

You can add additional stages as per your requirements and customize each stage by adding relevant steps or commands. Once you have configured the pipeline stages, save the Jenkinsfile and trigger the Jenkins job to start the CI/CD pipeline.

By following these steps, you can create a CI/CD pipeline in Jenkins to automate your infrastructure deployment process using Ansible. This ensures that your deployments are consistent, reliable, and can be easily reproduced across different environments.

Integrating Ansible with Jenkins

To fully automate infrastructure deployment, it is essential to integrate Ansible with Jenkins. This integration allows for seamless execution of Ansible playbooks within Jenkins jobs, providing a streamlined workflow for infrastructure provisioning.

Integrating Ansible with Jenkins using plugins or command line tools

There are multiple ways to integrate Ansible with Jenkins. Two common approaches are using plugins or command line tools.


Jenkins offers several plugins that facilitate the integration of Ansible with the CI/CD pipeline. The most commonly used plugin is the "Ansible Plugin." To install this plugin, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Jenkins dashboard and navigate to "Manage Jenkins" > "Manage Plugins."
  2. In the "Available" tab, search for "Ansible Plugin."
  3. Select the checkbox next to the plugin and click on "Install without restart."

Once the plugin is installed, you can configure your Jenkins job to use Ansible.

Command line tools

If you prefer a more lightweight approach or have specific requirements, you can integrate Ansible with Jenkins using command line tools. Here's how:

  1. Ensure that Ansible is installed on the server running Jenkins.
  2. In your Jenkins job configuration, add a build step using the "Execute shell" or "Execute Windows batch command" option.
  3. Write your Ansible commands within the build step, such as running ansible-playbook or ansible commands.

This method offers more flexibility and control over how Ansible is integrated into your CI/CD pipeline.

Using Ansible playbooks within Jenkins job

Once you have integrated Ansible with Jenkins, you can start utilizing Ansible playbooks within your Jenkins job. This allows for declarative infrastructure provisioning and configuration management as part of your CI/CD pipeline.

To use Ansible playbooks within a Jenkins job:

  1. Create a new Jenkins job or configure an existing one.
  2. In the job configuration, navigate to the "Build" section and add a build step.
  3. Select either the "Invoke Ansible Playbook" option (if using the Ansible plugin) or the appropriate command line tool option.
  4. Specify the path to your Ansible playbook and any necessary command line arguments or options.
  5. Save the configuration.

Now, when you trigger the Jenkins job, it will execute the specified Ansible playbook, performing infrastructure deployment and configuration as defined in your playbook.

Best practices for managing secrets and credentials in Jenkins

When integrating Ansible with Jenkins, it is crucial to follow best practices for managing secrets and credentials. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Use Jenkins credentials plugin: Jenkins offers a built-in "Credentials" plugin that securely stores sensitive information like SSH keys, passwords, or API tokens.
  2. Utilize credential management features: Both Ansible and Jenkins provide features for securely managing credentials. Use these features to avoid exposing sensitive information in your playbooks or Jenkins configurations.
  3. Restrict access to credentials: Limit access to credentials by utilizing Jenkins' role-based access control (RBAC) or similar mechanisms. Only grant credentials access to authorized individuals or teams.
  4. Rotate credentials regularly: To minimize the risk of compromised credentials, implement a regular practice of rotating and updating sensitive information used in your CI/CD pipeline.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that sensitive information remains secure throughout the automation process.

In the next section, we will explore testing and deploying infrastructure within our automated CI/CD pipeline using Ansible and Jenkins.

Testing and Deploying Infrastructure

Writing Tests for Infrastructure Deployments

  • Ansible's built-in testing framework allows you to write tests for your infrastructure deployments.
  • Additionally, you can use tools like Testinfra or InSpec for writing tests.
  • These tests can help ensure the correctness and reliability of your infrastructure deployments.

Automating Tests in the CI/CD Pipeline

  • To automate tests within the CI/CD pipeline in Jenkins, you can add a testing stage to your Jenkins job.
  • This stage should include the execution of the written tests against the deployed infrastructure.
  • You can use Ansible playbooks or other testing frameworks to run the tests within this stage.

Deploying Infrastructure with Ansible Playbooks

  • Once the tests have passed successfully, you can proceed with deploying the infrastructure.
  • Ansible playbooks provide a structured and flexible way to define and execute infrastructure deployment tasks.
  • Within the CI/CD pipeline in Jenkins, you can trigger the execution of Ansible playbooks to deploy the infrastructure.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your infrastructure deployments are tested thoroughly and can be deployed reliably using Ansible playbooks triggered by the CI/CD pipeline in Jenkins.


In this blog post, we explored the process of automating infrastructure deployment with Jenkins and Ansible. We started by introducing the concept of automation and discussed the benefits of using Jenkins and Ansible for this purpose.

We then delved into the prerequisites for following along with the tutorial and provided instructions for setting up Jenkins and configuring Ansible on the same server. We discussed best practices for organizing Ansible code and managing secrets and credentials in Jenkins.

Next, we walked through the process of creating a CI/CD pipeline in Jenkins, explaining its importance and guiding readers on configuring pipeline stages. We also explained how to integrate Ansible with Jenkins and use Ansible playbooks within the pipeline.

We then addressed the topic of testing infrastructure deployments, showcasing various tools like Testinfra or InSpec, and described how to automate tests within the CI/CD pipeline. Lastly, we demonstrated how to deploy infrastructure using Ansible playbooks triggered by the pipeline.

Automating infrastructure deployment with Jenkins and Ansible offers numerous benefits. It reduces human error, saves time and effort, allows for faster deployments, and promotes consistent configuration across environments.

To further enhance your knowledge in this area, you can refer to some additional resources:

By leveraging Jenkins and Ansible together, you can streamline your infrastructure deployment process, increase efficiency, and improve overall reliability. Embrace automation and experience the transformative power it brings to your organization.