Tag Archives: ee

Creating and using ansible execution engine in Mac – Apple Silicone [M1]

With ansible 2.x, ansible requires an execution environment to run playbooks.
This was to increase the portability of ansible development. However, with Apple’s new M1/M2 silicone, it has made things rather tricky.

Short Answer:

If you decide to use Red Hat’s certified EE minimal images, right at the end, it checks for the validity of the HOST machine.

Since I am using a MAC, it won’t find the valid subscription, therefore it will fail with below error;

#20 3.932 + /usr/bin/microdnf install -y --nodocs --setopt=install_weak_deps=0 --setopt=rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms.excludepkgs=ansible-core subversion
#20 4.064 
#20 4.064 (microdnf:61): librhsm-WARNING **: 23:54:03.115: Found 0 entitlement certificates
#20 4.075 
#20 4.075 (microdnf:61): librhsm-WARNING **: 23:54:03.128: Found 0 entitlement certificates
executor failed running [/bin/sh -c /output/install-from-bindep && rm -rf /output/wheels]: exit code: 1

Longer answer:

YES, you can still create an EE using the community images.


  • Brew
  • Ansible
  • Ansible-builder
  • Ansible-navigator
  • docker desktop
  • an environment variable “DOCKER_DEFAULT_PLATFORM=linux/amd64”

Core issues:

  1. Ansible Execution Engine container images are built for x86_64/amd64 whereas MAC M1/M2 are based on arm64
  2. ansible-builder’s default container runtime “podman” is not available in MAC M1


  • Use Docker desktop to emulate x86_64 or AMD64
  • Use an environment variable to set the docker’s default platform to be ’emulated” x86_64/amd64
  • use “–container-runtime docker” option in ansible-builder to switch from the default “podman” to “docker” as the container runtime.

Command to use:

% ansible-builder build --container-runtime docker -v3 -t <EE TAG NAME> <CONTEXT NAME>

Below is the outcome from my command:

Ansible Builder is building your execution environment image. Tags: <EE TAG NANE>
File context/_build/requirements.yml is already up-to-date.
File context/_build/requirements.txt is already up-to-date.
File context/_build/bindep.txt is already up-to-date.
Rewriting Containerfile to capture collection requirements
#21 0.362 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root     12 Jan 12 09:05 yum.conf -> dnf/dnf.conf
#21 0.362 drwxr-xr-x 1 root root   4096 Apr 28  2022 yum.repos.d
#21 DONE 0.4s

#22 exporting to image
#22 sha256:e8c613e07b0b7ff33893b694f7759a10d42e180f2b4dc349fb57dc6b71dcab00
#22 exporting layers
#22 exporting layers 1.3s done
#22 writing image sha256:86e1fe66e05724035fbcf2ecfb3492e70581fd04027ebbe687cad99a00c25d2b done
#22 naming to docker.io/library/<EE TAG> done
#22 DONE 1.3sComplete! The build context can be found at: /Users/david.joo/Documents/ansible/playpan/context

% docker images               
REPOSITORY                   TAG       IMAGE ID       CREATED          SIZE
<EE TAG NAME>              latest    86e1fe66e057   15 minutes ago   1.22GB

Building an execution environment in a disconnected environment

Today is just for me to add a link for me to remember.

Below is a great summary of the issue and how it can be resolved when you try to build an ansible execution environment in a disconnected environment.


Creating an ansible execution environment with a container image from a container repository with a self-signed certificate

When you try to build an ansible execution environment, you may need to use a container repository with a self-signed certificate.

This will fail with the following error;

ERROR! Unknown error when attempting to call Galaxy at 'https://<URL>/api': <urlopen error [SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] certificate verify failed: unable to get local issuer certificate (_ssl.c:1129)>
Error: error building at STEP "RUN ANSIBLE_GALAXY_DISABLE_GPG_VERIFY=1 ansible-galaxy collection install $ANSIBLE_GALAXY_CLI_COLLECTION_OPTS -r requirements.yml --collections-path "/usr/share/ansible/collections"": error while running runtime: exit status 1

This can be resolved by adding “ANSIBLE_GALAXY_CLI_COLLECTION_OPTS : “–ignore-certs” “

[svc_aap_install@AGAEALP3001264 ee-infoblox-build]$ cat execution-environment.yml 
version: 1

  EE_BUILDER_IMAGE: '<URL>/ansible-builder-rhel8'
  EE_BASE_IMAGE: '<URL>/ee-supported-rhel8'

Testing newly create execution environment

Based on previous posts, you probably have created an ansible execution environment.

After you have created an execution environment, how do you test it?

The new ansible CLI tool to run an ansible playbook is called “ansible-navigator”.
It’s not only a ansible-playbook execution binary, but it has more features to it such as:

  • Review and explore available collections
  • Review and explore current Ansible configuration
  • Review and explore Ansible documentation
  • Review execution environment images available locally
  • Review and explore an inventory
  • Run and explore a playbook

But for the testing, this is what you need to do to test the newly created execution environment.

$ ansible-navigator run -eei localhost/<newly created EE name> --pp never <test ansible playbook>.yml

From above, the important option is “–pp never” which stands for “pull policy” “never”.
This means that, since it’s already on the localhost, please don’t download the image.
If for some reason, you forget the option, you will see the following error;

Trying to pull localhost/<new ee name>:latest...
WARN[0000] failed, retrying in 1s ... (1/3). Error: initializing source docker://localhost/<new ee name>:latest: pinging container registry localhost: Get "https://localhost/v2/": dial tcp connect: connection refused
WARN[0001] failed, retrying in 1s ... (2/3). Error: initializing source docker://localhost/<new ee name>:latest: pinging container registry localhost: Get "https://localhost/v2/": dial tcp connect: connection refused
WARN[0002] failed, retrying in 1s ... (3/3). Error: initializing source docker://localhost/<new ee name>:latest: pinging container registry localhost: Get "https://localhost/v2/": dial tcp connect: connection refused
Error: initializing source docker://localhost/<new ee name>:latest: pinging container registry localhost: Get "https://localhost/v2/": dial tcp connect: connection refused
[ERROR]: Execution environment pull failed

Also, the ansible-navigator’s default UI mode is “TUI” mode rather than printing out errors to stdout. If you would like to run ansible-navigator in stdout mode, just add an option;

$ ansible-navigator run --eei localhost/<newly created ee> --pp never <test ansible>.yml --mode stdout

Ansible Automation Platform Execution Environment & tzdata

With a colleague of mine, we were testing migration of a ServiceNow – system provisioning ansible workflow from Ansible 2.9 -> Ansible Automation platform 2.x and hit an issue.

No such file or directory: '/usr/share/zoneinfo/zone.tab

My immediate thought would be that “tzdata” pkg is not installed on the UBI.

So added “tzdata” into bindep.txt and rebuild the EE image, but it didn’t work with error saying that nothing to install. (i.e. its already installed, just the file is not available, tested this with “append” in execution-environment.yml

[3/3] STEP 6/6: RUN ls -la /usr/share/zoneinfo/zone.tab
ls: cannot access '/usr/share/zoneinfo/zone.tab': No such file or directory
Error: error building at STEP "RUN ls -la /usr/share/zoneinfo/zone.tab": error while running runtime: exit status 2

To get rid of this issue, I had to just use append to “reinstall” using microdnf tzdata as below;

$ cat execution-environment.yml
version: 1
  galaxy: requirements.yml
  system: bindep.txt

    - RUN microdnf reinstall -y tzdata
    - RUN ls -la /usr/share/zoneinfo/zone.tab
[3/3] STEP 6/7: RUN microdnf reinstall -y tzdata
Downloading metadata...
Downloading metadata...
Downloading metadata...
Downloading metadata...
Downloading metadata...
Package                                Repository       Size
 tzdata-2021e-1.el8.noarch             ubi-8-baseos 485.0 kB
   replacing tzdata-2021e-1.el8.noarch
Transaction Summary:
 Installing:        0 packages
 Reinstalling:      1 packages
 Upgrading:         0 packages
 Obsoleting:        0 packages
 Removing:          0 packages
 Downgrading:       0 packages
Downloading packages...
Running transaction test...
Reinstalling: tzdata;2021e-1.el8;noarch;ubi-8-baseos
--> 0a9e9e0a1ed
[3/3] STEP 7/7: RUN ls -la /usr/share/zoneinfo/zone.tab
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 19419 Sep 20 16:34 /usr/share/zoneinfo/zone.tab
[3/3] COMMIT servicenow-ee-29

How do I know whether “EE” is properly created and destroyed throughout AAP2’s automation execution?

So in the previous series of articles, I have discussed what Ansible Execution Environment (EE) is, and how it is being consumed in the Automation Controller.

But really, how can I tell whether it is being ran or not?

This can be validated by running “watch podman ps” on (a) execution node(s).

Below are 3 screenshots from moments of “before”, “during”, “after” a sample automation execution.

Command to run:

# su - awx
# watch podman ps


Before the automation execution


During the automation execution


After the automation execution

As you can see from the above, execution environment is dynamically spun up as a container and cleaned up right after the execution is completed.