Ansible configuration for Drupal on both local Vagrant and remote servers
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Ansible Drupal LAMP Stack

This project builds on the Drupal Dev VM to create a single configuration tool for both local and remote Drupal sites. There is much more detailed information about this project in the tutorial.

It current includes the following Ansible roles created by Jeff Geerling:

It also includes two additional geerlingguy roles, modified slightly to handle the project requirements:

It should take 5-10 minutes to build or rebuild the VM from scratch on a decent broadband connection.

Customizing the Project

There are a handful of things you will need to configure to use this on your site, including:

  • provisioning/inventory: where you will define your hosts
  • provisioning/host_vars/*: You will need to update these to map to your hostnames from the inventory
  • provisioning/vars/main.yml: Which you will need to copy from provisioning/vars/main.yml.example. It contains variables related to the firewall, ssh access, Git repository url, and Drupal configuration, etc.
  • provisioning/group_vars/all (copied from provisioning/group_vars/all.example): Where you define your deploy_user
  • provisioning/group_vars/droplets (copied from provisioning/group_vars/droplets.example): Additional security settings and private key setup for your remote ssh connection

Quick Start Guide

1 - Install dependencies (VirtualBox, Vagrant, Ansible)

  1. Download and install VirtualBox.
  2. Download and install Vagrant.
  3. [Mac/Linux only] Install Ansible.
  4. Install Ansible Galaxy roles required for the project: $ ansible-galaxy install -r requirements.txt

Note for Windows users: This guide assumes you're on a Mac or Linux host. The main difference is Ansible needs to be bootstrapped from within the VM after it's created. See JJG-Ansible-Windows for more information.

2 - Build the Virtual Machine

  1. Download this project and put it wherever you want.
  2. Clone the Git repository you configured in provisioning/vars/main.yml in the same parent folder as this project. This is required locally (due to the synced_folder defined in the Vagrantfile), but not on the remote server.
  3. Configure the required files in the "Customizing the Project" section above.
  4. Open Terminal, cd to this directory (containing the Vagrantfile and this REAMDE file).
  5. Type in vagrant up, and the first time, Vagrant will configure the deploy user account
  6. Change initialized to true and either vagrant provision, or ansible-playbook provisioning/playbook.yml -i provisioning/inventory --limit=dev

Note: If there are any errors during the course of running vagrant up, and it drops you back to your command prompt, just run vagrant provision to continue building the VM from where you left off. If there are still errors after doing this a few times, post an issue to this project's issue queue on GitHub with the error.

3 - Configure your host machine to access the VM.

  1. Edit your hosts file, adding the line [yourdomain].dev so you can connect to the VM.
  2. Open your browser and access http://[yourdomain].dev/

4 - Configure your remote server

  1. Assuming that you have root access to a remote server with your ssh key already added, test Ansible's ability to connect by heading to the provisioning folder in your terminal and typing ansible [host] -i inventory -m ping, ie: ansible staging -i inventory -m ping, where "staging" matches a host defined in your inventory.
  2. Enable verbose output if you have an issue, otherwise, configure your deploy user with ansible-playbook deploy_config.yml -i inventory --limit=staging.
  3. If that finishes without errors, you are ready to configure the site on your remote server with ansible-playbook playbook.yml -i inventory --limit=staging.


  • To shut down the virtual machine, enter vagrant halt in the Terminal in the same folder that has the Vagrantfile. To destroy it completely (if you want to save a little disk space, or want to rebuild it from scratch with vagrant up again), type in vagrant destroy.
  • You can change the installed version of Drupal or drush, or any other configuration options, by editing the variables within provisioning/vars/main.yml.
  • Find out more about local development with Vagrant + VirtualBox + Ansible in this presentation: Local Development Environments - Vagrant, VirtualBox and Ansible.
  • Learn about how Ansible can accelerate your ability to innovate and manage your infrastructure by reading Ansible for DevOps.

About the Author

Aaron Froehlich, is a Passionate Programmer and Drupal developer at Cornell University. He created this project in 2014 so he could launch his Drupal 8 site and as a playground for Ansible, which he is learning from Jeff's book, Ansible for DevOps.