Getting started

The ansible-hardening role can be used along with the OpenStack-Ansible project or as a standalone role that can be used along with other Ansible playbooks. This documentation assumes that the reader has completed the steps within the Ansible installation guide.

Installing the ansible-hardening role

The recommended installation methods for the ansible-hardening role are ansible-galaxy (recommended) or git.

Using ansible-galaxy

The easiest installation method is to use the ansible-galaxy command that is provided with your Ansible installation:

ansible-galaxy install git+

The ansible-galaxy command will install the role into /etc/ansible/roles/ansible-hardening and this makes it easy to use with Ansible playbooks.

Using git

Start by cloning the role into a directory of your choice:

mkdir -p ~/.ansible/roles/
git clone ~/.ansible/roles/ansible-hardening

Ansible looks for roles in ~/.ansible/roles by default.

If the role is cloned into a different directory, that directory must be provided with the roles_path option in ansible.cfg. The following is an example of a ansible.cfg file that uses a custom path for roles:

roles_path = /etc/ansible/roles:/home/myuser/custom/roles

With this configuration, Ansible looks for roles in /etc/ansible/roles and ~/custom/roles.


The ansible-hardening role works well with existing playbooks. The following is an example of a basic playbook that uses the ansible-hardening role:


- name: Harden all systems
  hosts: all
  become: yes
    security_enable_firewalld: no
    security_rhel7_initialize_aide: no
    - ansible-hardening

The variables provided in the vars section can enable, disable, or alter configuration for various tasks in the ansible-hardening role. For more details on the available variables, refer to the Hardening Domains (RHEL 7 STIG) section.


The role must be run as the root user or as a user with sudo access. The example above uses the become option, which causes Ansible to use sudo before running tasks. If the role is running as root, this option can be changed to user: root.


It is strongly recommended to run the role in check mode (often called a dry run) first before making any modifications. This gives the deployer the opportunity to review all of the proposed changes before applying the role to the system. Use the --check parameter with ansible-playbook to use check mode.