DevOps just got a little easier for some, now that Red Hat has open sourced Ansible Galaxy, Ansible's official community hub for sharing Ansible Roles.
In announcing the move on Tuesday, Tim Cramer, Red Hat's head of Ansible engineering, said, "Open source communities are where innovation happens. The Ansible community is thriving, and Red Hat hopes that by open sourcing the Ansible Galaxy code repository, we will be able to advance open source automation technology, and specifically Ansible Galaxy, in new and interesting ways."
According to Red Hat, the Ansible project is one of GitHub's most popular open source automation projects with over 2,200 active contributors. First released in 2012, Red Hat took control of the project in October, 2015 with the purchase of AnsibleWorks for a reported $100 million. Ansible is currently included in the Linux distros Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS and Scientific Linux.
Ansible Roles are content directories that are structured to enable simple reuse, refactoring and sharing of commonly used processes in ways that are highly portable across teams, organizations and environments. To set up a simple sudoers file giving each user full sudo access, for example, instead of doing it manually, the Ansible Sudo role can be run instead.
There is no shortage of roles from which to choose, meaning that if there's a process to be run on a server, more than likely -- to paraphrase Apple -- "there's a role for that." Currently there are over 8,000 roles available in Ansible Galaxy's repository, a number that is sure to rise now that it's been made open source. Information on how to use use roles is available on the Ansible Galaxy "About" page.
In addition to using the publicly available Galaxy, users can set up private Galaxy servers by using the native Ansible Galaxy client redirected to a private Galaxy repository. After that, users can submit new features and enhancements directly to the Ansible Galaxy codebase.
There is some uncertainty as to what license is being used for Galaxy. Although Ansible itself is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), Ansible Galaxy's GitHub page indicates the project is licensed under Apache 2.0. We have reached out to Red Hat for clarification, but have not yet received a reply.