Getting started with Ansible Tower

While ansible playbooks are great, sometimes they’re kind of high overhead. Getting tower up and running was a bit of a pain for me traditionally, and the support for kubernetes seemed lacking (at the time of writing).

Until I found the AWX operator. Leveraging the Operator Framework, the operator will manage installation of ansible on kubernetes for you. All you need is a simple, declarative tower config.


  • A running kubernetes cluster. Minikube is fine if you’re just testing locall.


Traditionally the installation is accomplished through ansible playbooks, but the operator keeps things simple. Under the covers it’s running ansible, but we don’t need to worry about workstation setup or creation of vm’s when we use k8s.

NOTE: In the example below, I’m using openshift.

  1. Create a namespace for tower.
k create ns awx
  1. Deploy the tower operator.
# Download the tower operator file.
curl -L -O

# Change the namespace to our default openshift-operators namespace
sed -i '.bak' 's/namespace:\ default/namespace:\ openshift-operators/g' awx-operator.yaml

# deploy.
kubectl apply -f awx-operator.yaml
  1. Deploy the tower instance.
    1. Create a file called tower.yaml with the below contents.
      kind: AWX
        name: tower
        namespace: awx
        deployment_type: awx
        tower_admin_user: your-admin-user
        tower_admin_password: your-admin-pass
        tower_broadcast_websocket_secret: your-difficult-pass
        tower_ingress_type: Route
    1. If you’re on vanilla k8s, change the ingress type as shown.
      tower_ingress_type: Ingress
  2. Deploy tower.
kubectl apply -f tower.yaml 
  1. Done.