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Installing Ansible AWX on IBM AIX

Yes, you can install Ansible AWX on AIX. All what you need to do I'd try to summarize in this article. You can see the installation process in the Youtube video.

First of all you must have an AIX LPAR (surprise!). I suggest to build a new LPAR, but you can use one of your existing LPARs if you want. I tried to install AWX together with NIM on the same LPAR. As for me it worked. Your mileage may vary.

Your LPAR must have AIX 7.2 TL3 or AIX 7.2 TL4. I did tests only with AIX 7.2 TL3 SP2, SP4 and TL4 SP0 and SP1. I hope it works with other SPs too, but I'm pretty sure, it will not work with earlier TLs or AIX 7.1.

You must have enough RAM in the LPAR. At least 4 GB. AWX doesn't work with less RAM. With 2 GB RAM you will see PGSP_KILL messages in errpt quite soon.

You must have enough space in /var and /opt filesystems. AWX is installed into /var/lib/awx and uses PostgreSQL database in /var/lib/postgres. If you plan to work with AWX (not just test it), I suggest to create separate filesystems for AWX (/var/lib/awx) and PostgreSQL (/var/lib/postgres). AWX requires a bunch of RPM packages to be installed on your LPAR. It means, you must have enough free space in /opt/freeware. My prerequisite check script checks, if there is at least 4GB free space in /var and /opt.

As I already wrote, AWX has a lot of RPM dependencies. To resolve the whole RPM dependency hell you should have YUM installed on your AIX box. You can download RPMs from IBM AIX Toolbox for Linux applications and install them manually. But quite frankly - you don't want it! Install YUM! If you don't have a direct internet connection (air-gapped environment is quite usual at big shops), make a local mirror of the IBM repository. It is very easy and you can find an article in the Internet, how to do it.

AWX requires an installation of 2 additional packages - Kerberos and rsyslog. Both you can find in IBM Web download pack for AIX. Kerberos is called Network Authentication Services there. Copy the packages somewhere on the server (don't forget licenses!) and run:

# installp -acgXYd /path/to/packages krb5.client.rte rsyslog.base

If you have some other logging daemon, you must not change anything.

Now you are ready to install Ansible AWX on AIX. If you already have some server with ansible on it, download the installation package to that server. If you don't have such server, you can first install ansible on AIX:

# yum -y install ansible

You might also want to install ansible on your AIX box, if you don't have SSH connection from your ansible workstation to your AIX box or if you can't connect with root account. Yes, you need root to install AWX!

After you downloaded the installation package, unpack it and switch to awx-install directory:

# curl -L -O
# gzip -dc ansible-awx-13.0.0-aix7.2.install.tar.gz | tar xf -
# cd awx-install

Now you can start the installation playbook. If you do it from a separate ansible workstation:

# ansible-playbook -i your_aix_server, awx_install.yml

or if you do it locally on your AIX box:

# ansible-playbook -i localhost, -c local awx_install.yml

You can now go and drink another cup of coffee (tee, cola, etc.) with your colleagues. The installation can be sometimes very long. On my small LPAR with 0,1 CPU on a S822 it takes 15-20 minutes.

When AWX is installed, you get the message, that you must set AWX admin password. You must login to your AIX server and execute the following command:

# su - awx -c awx-manage changepassword admin

If you don't like the user "admin", you can create another administrator:

# awx-manage createsuperuser --username USERNAME --email EMAIL@ADDRESS

Now you are ready to open your browser and there your frish new AWX instance.


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