Ansible Pilot

Configure a Windows Host for Ansible - ansible winrm

How to set up step by step on a fresh Windows 10 machine how to configure a "basic" authentication, use a Local Accounts for authentication, and successfully execute a simple "win_ping" Ansible Playbook.

March 7, 2022
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How to configure a Windows Host for Ansible?

I’ll show you step by step on a freshly installed machine how to configure a “basic” authentication, use a Local Accounts for authentication and successfully execute a simple “win_ping” Ansible Playbook. This initial configuration sometimes is a roadblock for some Windows users to start using Ansible. I’m Luca Berton and welcome to today’s episode of Ansible Pilot.

Configure a Windows Host for Ansible

The supported nodes include all the modern releases of Windows Desktop and Server. The full list includes Windows 7, 8.1, 10, 11, and Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, 2019, 2022. Ansible requires PowerShell 3.0 or newer and at least .NET 4.0 to be installed on the Windows host. You need to upgrade only old Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 nodes. The communication between Ansible Controller and the target node is executed via a WinRM listener that needs to be created and activated. Ansible 2.8 has added an experimental SSH connection for Windows-managed nodes for Windows 10+ clients and Windows Server 2019+. In this example, we’re going to cover the WinRM connection method with “basic” authentication. Refer to manual for more WinRM wide range of configuration options.

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How to configure a Windows Host for Ansible connections.

First of all, I’d suggest creating a user to run Ansible automation. This user needs to be Power User or have Administrative privileges in order to execute some Ansible code. Second, you need to verify that PowerShell and .NET versions, modern operating systems already meet the requirements. The most important part is to set up the WinRM. There is a great PowerShell script that sets up both HTTP and HTTPS listeners with a self-signed certificate and enables the Basic authentication option on the service. Once everything is done on the node you could configure the Ansible inventory on the Ansible Controller machine and run your first Ansible Playbook with the win_ping module to verify the successful configuration.

Windows node

Create an “ansible” user

  1. open Computer Management (right-click from “This PC” > “Manage”)

open Computer Management

  1. New User (right-click from “Users” > “New User”)

User name: ansible Full name: ansible Description: ansible user Password and Confirm password: [email protected] Options: enable Password never expires disable User must change password at next logon

New User

  1. Add “ansible” user to “administrators” Group

Add “ansible” user to “administrators” Group

Verify PowerShell, .NET and set up WinRM

  1. verify PowerShell version
Windows PowerShell
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Try the new cross-platform PowerShell https://aka.ms/pscore6
PS C:\Users\vagrant> Get-Host | Select-Object Version
Version
-------
5.1.19041.1237
  1. verify .NET version
PS C:\Users\vagrant> Get-ChildItem 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP' -Recurse | Get-ItemProperty -Name version -EA 0 | Where { $_.PSChildName -Match '^(?!S)\p{L}'} | Select PSChildName, version
>>
PSChildName Version
----------- -------
Client      4.8.04084
Full        4.8.04084
Client      4.0.0.0
PS C:\Users\vagrant>
  1. Verify WinRM not-configured
PS C:\Users\vagrant> winrm get winrm/config/Service
WSManFault
    Message = The client cannot connect to the destination specified in the request. Verify that the service on the destination is running and is accepting requests. Consult the logs and documentation for the WS-Management service running on the destination, most commonly IIS or WinRM. If the destination is the WinRM service, run the following command on the destination to analyze and configure the WinRM service: "winrm quickconfig".
Error number:  -2144108526 0x80338012
The client cannot connect to the destination specified in the request. Verify that the service on the destination is running and is accepting requests. Consult the logs and documentation for the WS-Management service running on the destination, most commonly IIS or WinRM. If the destination is the WinRM service, run the following command on the destination to analyze and configure the WinRM service: "winrm quickconfig".
PS C:\Users\vagrant> winrm get winrm/config/Winrs
WSManFault
    Message = The client cannot connect to the destination specified in the request. Verify that the service on the destination is running and is accepting requests. Consult the logs and documentation for the WS-Management service running on the destination, most commonly IIS or WinRM. If the destination is the WinRM service, run the following command on the destination to analyze and configure the WinRM service: "winrm quickconfig".
Error number:  -2144108526 0x80338012
The client cannot connect to the destination specified in the request. Verify that the service on the destination is running and is accepting requests. Consult the logs and documentation for the WS-Management service running on the destination, most commonly IIS or WinRM. If the destination is the WinRM service, run the following command on the destination to analyze and configure the WinRM service: "winrm quickconfig".
PS C:\Users\vagrant> winrm enumerate winrm/config/Listener
WSManFault
    Message = The client cannot connect to the destination specified in the request. Verify that the service on the destination is running and is accepting requests. Consult the logs and documentation for the WS-Management service running on the destination, most commonly IIS or WinRM. If the destination is the WinRM service, run the following command on the destination to analyze and configure the WinRM service: "winrm quickconfig".
Error number:  -2144108526 0x80338012
The client cannot connect to the destination specified in the request. Verify that the service on the destination is running and is accepting requests. Consult the logs and documentation for the WS-Management service running on the destination, most commonly IIS or WinRM. If the destination is the WinRM service, run the following command on the destination to analyze and configure the WinRM service: "winrm quickconfig".
PS C:\Users\vagrant>
  1. Setup WinRM
PS C:\Users\vagrant> [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12
>> $url = "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ansible/ansible/devel/examples/scripts/ConfigureRemotingForAnsible.ps1"
>> $file = "$env:temp\ConfigureRemotingForAnsible.ps1"
>>
>> (New-Object -TypeName System.Net.WebClient).DownloadFile($url, $file)
>>
>> powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -File $file
PS C:\Users\vagrant>
  1. Verify WinRM configured
PS C:\Users\vagrant> winrm get winrm/config/Service
Service
    RootSDDL = O:NSG:BAD:P(A;;GA;;;BA)(A;;GR;;;IU)S:P(AU;FA;GA;;;WD)(AU;SA;GXGW;;;WD)
    MaxConcurrentOperations = 4294967295
    MaxConcurrentOperationsPerUser = 1500
    EnumerationTimeoutms = 240000
    MaxConnections = 300
    MaxPacketRetrievalTimeSeconds = 120
    AllowUnencrypted = true
    Auth
        Basic = true
        Kerberos = true
        Negotiate = true
        Certificate = false
        CredSSP = false
        CbtHardeningLevel = Relaxed
    DefaultPorts
        HTTP = 5985
        HTTPS = 5986
    IPv4Filter = *
    IPv6Filter = *
    EnableCompatibilityHttpListener = false
    EnableCompatibilityHttpsListener = false
    CertificateThumbprint
    AllowRemoteAccess = true
PS C:\Users\vagrant>
PS C:\Users\vagrant> winrm get winrm/config/Winrs
Winrs
    AllowRemoteShellAccess = true
    IdleTimeout = 7200000
    MaxConcurrentUsers = 2147483647
    MaxShellRunTime = 2147483647
    MaxProcessesPerShell = 2147483647
    MaxMemoryPerShellMB = 2147483647
    MaxShellsPerUser = 2147483647
PS C:\Users\vagrant> winrm enumerate winrm/config/Listener
Listener
    Address = *
    Transport = HTTPS
    Port = 5986
    Hostname = WIN10
    Enabled = true
    URLPrefix = wsman
    CertificateThumbprint = F4D065F8FC6EE18F1F0FF9533584955D0C9B8E59
    ListeningOn = 10.0.2.15, 127.0.0.1, 169.254.20.54, ::1, fe80::44a1:482d:5918:7cb4%4, fe80::d017:a935:ff50:4eb4%5
PS C:\Users\vagrant> winrm enumerate winrm/config/Listener
Listener
    Address = *
    Transport = HTTPS
    Port = 5986
    Hostname = WIN10
    Enabled = true
    URLPrefix = wsman
    CertificateThumbprint = F4D065F8FC6EE18F1F0FF9533584955D0C9B8E59
    ListeningOn = 10.0.2.15, 127.0.0.1, 192.168.0.83, ::1, fe80::94b1:dc79:39cf:8b61%4, fe80::d017:a935:ff50:4eb4%5
PS C:\Users\vagrant>

Ansible Controller

code

[windows]
windows10 ansible_host=192.168.0.59
[windows:vars]
ansible_user=ansible
[email protected]
ansible_port=5986
ansible_connection=winrm
ansible_winrm_transport=basic
ansible_winrm_server_cert_validation=ignore
---
- name: win_ping module demo
  hosts: windows
  become: false
  gather_facts: false
  tasks:
    - name: test connection
      ansible.windows.win_ping:

execution

ansible-pilot $ ansible-playbook -i windows/inventory windows/win_ping.yml
PLAY [win_ping module demo] ***********************************************************************
TASK [test connection] ****************************************************************************
ok: [windows10]
PLAY RECAP ****************************************************************************************
windows10                  : ok=1    changed=0    unreachable=0    failed=0    skipped=0    rescued=0    ignored=0
ansible-pilot $

code with ❤️ in GitHub

Recap

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