Bootstrap Minion using Ansible
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Bootstrap Minion using Ansible


You will need the following software in order to make use of this provisioning script.

  • Virtualbox
  • Ubuntu 12.04 (either 32 or 64 bit)
  • Ansible

To install ansible, I recommend doing sudo pip install ansible.


You can launch a new VM either using Vagrant, or using a raw virtualbox manager (VBoxManage or the GUI console).

Before we move on, the tutorial below assumes:

  • this repository has been checkout to your current user's home directory, and


Before we jump into launching, the autotmation script provides two modes: develop and install modes.

develop will create two virtualenv, one for each repository (backend, frontend). Using develop will run python develop instead.

install will setup everything in the global system Python interepreter.


We clone everything from Github. If you want to clone your fork, instead of mozilla as user, you need to provide GIT_USER to the inventory file, which we will discuss below.

Launching with Vagrant

First, create an inventory file:

$ cp inventory.example testing

If you want to use your own fork instead of mozilla master repos, you should modify the inventory file testing, and change mozilla to your github's user name.

You can adopt the sample Vagrantfile directly from 32 or 64.

$ cd 32     if you want 32-bit
$ cd 64     if you want 64-bit

You can always change configuration in this Vagrantfile. For example, adjust the memory usage or CPU core number.

If you want to use install instead of develop mode, open Vagrantfile using your favorite editor, and change ansible.extra_vars = {develop: true} to ansible.extra_vars = {install: true}``.

Finally, launch your new vagrant instance by

$ vagrant up

By default, the machine will be launch with a local address You can do

$ vagrant ssh
$ ssh vagrant@

The latter approach, the password is vagrant.

Launching with raw VM

Instead of using Vagrant to manage virtual machine, if you choose to run a VM directly through the virtualbox interface (commandline or GUI), you need to get:

  • the ip address of the machine
  • the username, password, or private-key

Next, create an inventory file:

$ cp inventory.example testing

We have chosen the name of the inventory file to be testing. You are advised to choose staging, development, testing, or production, as a convention.

You need to give the IP address and the username.

Note: you normally don't want to commit this file into version control so this repository have already rulled out the convention names using .gitignore.

Finally, launch Ansible to start provisioning the new vm in the following format:

$ ansible-playbook -i testing bootstrap.yml [auth] --extra-vars='[option]'  (not an actual command)

option is either develop=True or install=True. We recommend you to use develop.

If your new vm is using key-auth rather than password-auth, you should run:

$ ansible-playbook -i testing bootstrap.yml --private-key=/path/to/private-key/ --extra-vars='[option]'

If you use password auth, do this:

$ ansible-playbook -i testing bootstrap.yml -u username -k password -U username -K password --extra-vars='[option]'

In summary, if using develop:

$ ansible-playbook -i testing bootstrap.yml -u username -k password -U username -K password --extra-vars='develop=True'     (password-auth)

$ ansible-playbook -i testing bootstrap.yml --private-key=/path/to/private-key/ --extra-vars='develop=True'     (key-atuh)


Due to a bug, we cannot automatically restart supervisord to allow our worker to pick up the PATH we set for ZAP.

So do this:

$ vagrant ssh
$ startsuper

If this is a branch new machine, you probably want to load in fixtures:

$ benv && minion-db-init

It will prompt you to answer for a Persona email address and your name.

You are done! Now open a browser and visit


I love aliases. Here are the aliases I have written into .bash_aliases.

  • minion: cd into /opt/minion which holds various repos and scripts.
  • backend: cd into minion-backend repo
  • frontend: cd into minion-frontend repo
  • plugins: cd into a directory currently holding minion plugins.
  • benv: alias for sourcing into backend's virtualenv.
  • fenv: alias for sourcing into frontend's virtualenv.
  • super: alias for calling supervisorctl. You can restart minion-backend process by calling super restart minion-backend, or super stop all to stop all running prcesses, just to name two.
  • startsuper: alias to start supervisord (in order to start the console you must have the daemon running first).