Configure the deployment


Ansible references some files that contain mandatory and optional configuration directives. Before you can run the Ansible playbooks, modify these files to define the target environment. Configuration tasks include:

  • Target host networking to define bridge interfaces and networks.

  • A list of target hosts on which to install the software.

  • Virtual and physical network relationships for OpenStack Networking (neutron).

  • Passwords for all services.

Initial environment configuration

OpenStack-Ansible (OSA) depends on various files that are used to build an inventory for Ansible. Perform the following configuration on the deployment host.

  1. Copy the contents of the /opt/openstack-ansible/etc/openstack_deploy directory to the /etc/openstack_deploy directory.

  2. Change to the /etc/openstack_deploy directory.

  3. Copy the openstack_user_config.yml.example file to /etc/openstack_deploy/openstack_user_config.yml.

  4. Review the openstack_user_config.yml file and make changes to the deployment of your OpenStack environment.


    This file is heavily commented with details about the various options. See our User Guide and Reference Guide for more details.

  5. Review the user_variables.yml file to configure global and role specific deployment options. The file contains some example variables and comments but you can get the full list of variables in each role’s specific documentation.


    One important variable is the install_method which configures the installation method for the OpenStack services. The services can either be deployed from source (default) or from distribution packages. Source based deployments are closer to a vanilla OpenStack installation and allow for more tweaking and customizations. On the other hand, distro based deployments generally provide a package combination which has been verified by the distributions themselves. However, this means that updates are being released less often and with a potential delay. Moreover, this method might offer fewer opportunities for deployment customizations. The install_method variable is set during the initial deployment and you must not change it as OpenStack-Ansible is not able to convert itself from one installation method to the other. As such, it’s important to judge your needs against the pros and cons of each method before making a decision. Please note that the distro installation method was introduced during the Rocky cycle, and as a result of which, Ubuntu 16.04 is not supported due to the fact that there are no Rocky packages for it.

The configuration in the openstack_user_config.yml file defines which hosts run the containers and services deployed by OpenStack-Ansible. For example, hosts listed in the shared-infra_hosts section run containers for many of the shared services that your OpenStack environment requires. Some of these services include databases, Memcached, and RabbitMQ. Several other host types contain other types of containers, and all of these are listed in the openstack_user_config.yml file.

Some services, such as glance, heat, horizon and nova-infra, are not listed individually in the example file as they are contained in the os-infra hosts. You can specify image-hosts or dashboard-hosts if you want to scale out in a specific manner.

For examples, please see our User Guides

For details about how the inventory is generated, from the environment configuration and the variable precedence, see our Reference Guide under the inventory section.

Installing additional services

To install additional services, the files in etc/openstack_deploy/conf.d provide examples showing the correct host groups to use. To add another service, add the host group, allocate hosts to it, and then execute the playbooks.

Advanced service configuration

OpenStack-Ansible has many options that you can use for the advanced configuration of services. Each role’s documentation provides information about the available options.


This step is essential to tailoring OpenStack-Ansible to your needs and is generally overlooked by new deployers. Have a look at each role documentation, user guides, and reference if you want a tailor made cloud.

Infrastructure service roles

OpenStack service roles

Other roles

Configuring service credentials

Configure credentials for each service in the /etc/openstack_deploy/user_secrets.yml file. Consider using the Ansible Vault feature to increase security by encrypting any files that contain credentials.

Adjust permissions on these files to restrict access by non-privileged users.

The keystone_auth_admin_password option configures the admin tenant password for both the OpenStack API and Dashboard access.

We recommend that you use the script to generate random values for the variables in each file that contains service credentials:

# cd /opt/openstack-ansible
# ./scripts/ --file /etc/openstack_deploy/user_secrets.yml

To regenerate existing passwords, add the --regen flag.


The playbooks do not currently manage changing passwords in an existing environment. Changing passwords and rerunning the playbooks will fail and might break your OpenStack environment.