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Jun 28, 2020

Ansible for NSX-T


This repository contains NSX-T Ansible Modules, which one can use with Ansible to work with VMware NSX-T Data Center.

For general information about Ansible, visit the GitHub project page.

These modules are maintained by VMware.

Documentation on the NSX platform can be found at the NSX-T Documentation page

NSX Compatibility

The following versions of NSX are supported:

  • NSX-T 3.1
  • NSX-T 3.0
  • NSX-T 2.5.1
  • NSX-T 2.5
  • NSX-T 2.4


Using Ansible-for-nsxt requires the following packages to be installated. Installation steps differ based on the platform (Mac/iOS, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, RHEL etc). Please follow the links below to pick the right platform.


Installation of ansible-for-nsxt modules is straightforward. Just download or clone this repository to get all the required files.

git clone

This creates a clone of the repository on your system. You can also downlod the source by downloading the ZIP of the sources. Once downloaded, just extract to your desired folder.


Once installed, the modules can be directly run with ansible-playbook:

ansible-playbook test_logical_switches.yml

The modules require you to provide details about how to authenticate with NSX-T.

Using modules in the Example folder

There are complete workflow example modules in the Example folder. To use them, edit the corresponding vars file. Then copy them to the main folder (folder where this Readme is present). Then run using ansible-playbook

cp examples/policy_modules/01_create_t0_gateway.yml . ansible-playbook 01_create_t0_gateway.yml

Supported NSX Objects/Workflows

The modules in this repository are focused on enabling automation of installation workflows of NSX-T. We have modules that support the legacy MP and new Policy API.


MP API modules can be used to configure an NSX resource with one-to-one mapping.

Branch Information

This repository has different branches with each branch providing support for upto a specific NSX-T release. Below is the list:

  • Master: Latest code, under development
  • v3.0.0: NSX-T 3.0 and below
  • v1.1.0: NSX-T 2.4, NSX-T 2.5
  • v1.0.0: NSX-T 2.3
Deployment and installation modules
  • nsxt_deploy_ova
  • nsxt_licenses
  • nsxt_manager_status
  • nsxt_licenses_facts
  • nsxt_edge_clusters
  • nsxt_edge_clusters_facts
  • nsxt_fabric_compute_managers
  • nsxt_fabric_compute_managers_facts
  • nsxt_ip_pools
  • nsxt_ip_pools_facts
  • nsxt_uplink_profiles
  • nsxt_uplink_profiles_facts
  • nsxt_transport_zones
  • nsxt_transport_zones_facts
  • nsxt_transport_nodes
  • nsxt_transport_nodes_facts
  • nsxt_transport_node_collections
  • nsxt_transport_node_collections_facts
  • nsxt_transport_node_profiles
  • nsxt_transport_node_profiles_facts
  • nsxt_controller_manager_auto_deployment
Logical networking modules
  • nsxt_logical_ports
  • nsxt_logical_ports_facts
  • nsxt_logical_routers
  • nsxt_logical_routers_facts
  • nsxt_logical_router_ports
  • nsxt_logical_router_ports_facts
  • nsxt_logical_router_static_routes
  • nsxt_logical_switches
  • nsxt_logical_switches_facts
  • nsxt_ip_blocks
  • nsxt_ip_blocks_facts

Policy API

Policy API modules are aggregated such that logical constructs related to an NSX resource can be configured using a single playbook. They can be identified with prefix nsxt_policy_. The below list outlines the supported modules and the resources that can be configured through a module.

Note that the Policy modules are supported only for NSX-T 3.0 and above.

  1. Tier-0 Gateway (nsxt_policy_tier0)
    1. Tier-0 Locale Services
    2. Tier-0 Static Routes
    3. Tier-0 Interface
    4. Tier-0 BGP
    5. Tier-0 BGP Neighbors
    6. Tier-0 VRF
    7. Tier-0 BFD Peers
  2. Tier-1 Gateway (nsxt_policy_tier1)
    1. Tier-1 Locale Services
    2. Tier-1 Static Routes
    3. Tier-1 Interface
  3. Segment (nsxt_policy_segment)
    1. Segment Port
  4. Policy Group (nsxt_policy_group)
  5. Security Policy and Firewall rules (nsxt_policy_security_policy)
  6. IP Pools (nsxt_policy_ip_pool)
    1. IP Address Pool Block Subnet
    2. IP Address Pool Static Subnet
  7. IP Blocks (nsxt_policy_ip_block)
  8. BFD Profile (nsxt_policy_bfd_profile)
  9. VM Tags (nsxt_vm_tags)

Note that to add a new modules in Policy API, it's base class name should be added in the BASE_RESOURCES in module_utils/

Build & Run

Install PyVmOmi

pip install --upgrade pyvmomi pyvim requests ssl

Download and Install Ovf tool 4.3 - Ovftool

(Note: Using ovftool version 4.0/4.1 causes OVA/OVF deployment failure with Error: cURL error: SSL connect error\nCompleted with errors\n)

Download ansible-for-nsxt.

cd ansible-for-nsxt-dev

To run a sample Ansible playbook - To create a sample test topology using deployments and install module.

Edit test_basic_topology.yml and answerfile.yml to match values to your environment.

ansible-playbook test_basic_topology.yml -vvv


Using MP API

Ansible-for-nsxt supports two types of authentication using MP API.

  1. Basic server authentication
  2. Certificate based authentication
Basic server authentication

In basic server authentication, client has to explicitly provide NSX username and password for the NSX manager. The credentials have to be listed in ansible-playbook.

Certificate based authentication

In certificate based authentication, client has to register their certificates to NSX manager using nsxt_certificates task. After registering the certificates, client has to create its own principal identity on NSX manager using nsxt_principal_identities taks. The process of certificate registration and creation of principal identity has to be done using basic server authentication. Use test_certificates.yml and test_principal_identities.yml to match the values according to the client's environment.

ansible-playbook test_certificates.yml -vvv
ansible-playbook test_principal_identities -vvv

The path of the .p12 file i.e the file containing public and private key has to be set to an environment variable named NSX_MANAGER_CERT_PATH. Note: Make sure NSX_MANAGER_CERT_PATH is set in the same remote host, where modules would be executed.

Generating certificates?

Following commands can be used in order to generate certificates.

openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -extensions usr_cert -nodes -keyout nsx_certificate.key -x509 -days 365 -out nsx_certificate.crt -subj "/C=US/ST=California/L=PaloAlto/O=VMware/CN=certauth-test" -sha256

openssl pkcs12 -export -out nsx_certificate.pfx -inkey nsx_certificate.key -in nsx_certificate.crt

openssl pkcs12 -in nsx_certificate.pfx -out nsx_certificate.p12 -nodes

The nsx_certificate.crt file generated as output from the above command contains the public key certificate. the file nsx_certificate.p12 file contains the public and private key generated. The path of nsx_certificate.p12 file has to be set in the environment variable NSX_MANAGER_CERT_PATH.

Note: usr_cert tells OpenSSL to generate a client certificate. This must be defined in openssl.cnf.

Using Policy API

All the Policy API based Ansible Modules provide the following authentication mechanisms:

Basic Authentication

This is the same as in MP API. It can be used by specifying the following fields in the playbook:

  1. username: The username to authenticate with the NSX manager
  2. password: The password to authenticate with the NSX manager

For example:

- hosts: localhost
    - name: Update Tier0
        hostname: "default"
        username: admin
        password: my-password
        validate_certs: False
        display_name: test-tier0-1
        state: present
Prinicipal Identity

There are 2 ways to consume the Principal Identity certificates.

Using Environment variable

This is same as explained in the previous section: Certificate based authentication

Specying in the playbook

By specifying the following fields in the playbook:

  1. nsx_cert_path: Path to the certificate created for the Principal Identity using which the CRUD operations should be performed. If the certificate is a .p12 file, only this attribute is required. Otherwise, nsx_key_path is also required.
  2. nsx_key_path: Path to the certificate key created for the Principal Identity using which the CRUD operations should be performed

For example:

- hosts: localhost
    - name: Update Tier0
        hostname: "default"
        nsx_cert_path: /root/com.vmware.nsx.ncp/nsx.crt
        nsx_key_path: /root/com.vmware.nsx.ncp/nsx.key
        validate_certs: False
        display_name: test-tier0-1
        state: present

When NSX-T is configured to use VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) for authentication, you can supply an Authorization header with an authentication type of Remote. The header content should consist of a base64-encoded string containing the username@domain and password separated by a single colon (":") character, as specified in RFC 1945 section 11.1.

For example, to authenticate a request using the credentials of user with password Sk2LkPM!, include the following key:value pair under request_headers in the playbook::

  • Authorization: 'Remote anNtaXRoQGV4YW1wbGUuY29tOlNrMkxrUE0h'

For example:

- hosts: localhost
    - name: Update Tier0
        hostname: "default"
          Authorization: 'Remote anNtaXRoQGV4YW1wbGUuY29tOlNrMkxrUE0h'
        validate_certs: False
        display_name: test-tier0-1
        state: present
SSL Verification

You can use the flag validate_certs to perform SSL verification. You can also specify the path to a CA bundle using the paratemer ca_path in the playbook.

For example:

- hosts: localhost
    - name: Update Tier0
        hostname: "default"
        nsx_cert_path: /root/com.vmware.nsx.ncp/nsx.crt
        nsx_key_path: /root/com.vmware.nsx.ncp/nsx.key
        validate_certs: True
        ca_path: /path/to/my/ca-bundle
        display_name: test-tier0-1
        state: present

Unit Testing

To test the Ansible modules or see examples of playbooks, please put the respective playbook from unit_tests folder to the base folder and run the ansible-playbook.

Please note that you must specify the correct vmware args in order to successfully update the resources.


The ansible-for-nsxt project team welcomes contributions from the community. Before you start working with ansible-for-nsxt, please read our Developer Certificate of Origin. All contributions to this repository must be signed as described on that page. Your signature certifies that you wrote the patch or have the right to pass it on as an open-source patch. For more detailed information, refer to

Please open a Pull-Request against the Master branch.


Released NSX-T Ansible modules are fully supported by VMware. The released modules are available in the specific numbered release branches:

  • v3.0.0
  • v1.1.0
  • v1.0.0

They are also available for download from VMware's download page.

The master branch contains the latest development code which is community supported.

For bugs and feature requests, please open a Github Issue and label it appropriately.


Copyright (c) 2020 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved

The NSX-T Ansible modules in this repository are available under BSD-2 license or GPLv3 applies to all parts of the ansible-for-nsxt. You may not use them except in compliance with the License.


Ansible delivers simple IT automation that ends repetitive tasks and frees up DevOps teams for more strategic work. This project is to enable this automation for NSX-T installation.




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