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AWX & Tower Integration


This example shows how to deploy basic EVPN/VXLAN Fabric based on Arista Validated Design roles using Ansible Tower/AWX. This repository will be used as a project on AWX, and we will describe how to configure Tower for the following topics:

  • Create a project
  • Create inventory
  • Install collections
  • Install Python requirements

All these elements are part of a dedicated demo repository available at arista-netdevops-community/avd-with-ansible-tower-awx.

If you want to see how to build your inventory and all related variables, it’s recommended to read the following documentation:


To follow along with this guide, you will need the following:

  • An AWX setup running on either Docker Compose or Kubernetes. We will do all the commands for Python configuration on docker-compose, but you can adapt for Kubernetes.
  • Understanding of how to configure AVD in a pure Ansible CLI way.

Install Python requirements

The Ansible CVP collection requires additional libraries not part of a standard Python setup:

  • netaddr
  • Jinja2
  • treelib
  • cvprac
  • paramiko
  • jsonschema
  • requests
  • PyYAML
  • md-toc

Create virtual-environment

It’s required to create a virtual-env; this will reduce any chance of impacting other workflows already deployed on your Tower setup.

# Docker status
tom@kube-tool:~$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                COMMAND                  CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                  NAMES
4a4627b21f93        ansible/awx:15.0.0   "/usr/bin/tini -- /u…"   8 days ago          Up 8 days           8052/tcp               awx_task
6ef41f162226        ansible/awx:15.0.0   "/usr/bin/tini -- /b…"   8 days ago          Up 8 days >8052/tcp   awx_web
a2fd85d0cc86        postgres:10          "docker-entrypoint.s…"   8 days ago          Up 8 days           5432/tcp               awx_postgres
573d03e33c44        redis                "docker-entrypoint.s…"   8 days ago          Up 8 days           6379/tcp               awx_redis

# Run shell in docker
tom@kube-tool:~$ docker exec -it awx_task bash

$ sudo pip3 install virtualenv
WARNING: Running pip install with root privileges is generally not a good idea. Try `pip3 install --user` instead.
Requirement already satisfied: virtualenv in /usr/local/lib/python3.8/site-packages

$ mkdir /opt/my-envs

$ chmod 0755 /opt/my-envs

$ cd /opt/my-envs/

$ python3 -m venv avd-venv

This configuration MUST be replicated on both container awx_task and awx_web

Instruct AWX to register our new Virtual Environment folder:

$ curl -X PATCH 'http://admin:password@<IP-of-AWX-INSTANCE>/api/v2/settings/system/' \
    -d '{"CUSTOM_VENV_PATHS": ["/opt/my-envs/"]}' -H 'Content-Type:application/json'

    "TOWER_URL_BASE": "",
    "LICENSE": {},
    "INSTALL_UUID": "f8a54d56-b1f3-4fdf-aa5b-9d6977d00eaa",

Provision virtual-environment

Before running playbook in a virtual-env, we have to install the required libraries:

tom@kube-tool:~$ docker exec -it awx_task bash

# Activate virtual-env
$ cd /opt/my-envs/avd-venv
$ source bin/activate

# Install ansible AWX base lib
$ pip3 install psutil

# Install project requirements
$ curl -fsSL -o requirements.txt
$ pip3 install -r requirements.txt

From here, you have a clean python environment with all the expected requirements installed on your AWX runner.

Create AVD project on AWX

Create a project resource

First go to Resources > Projects and create a new one using:

  • SCM Type: Git
  • SCM Branch: master
  • Ansible Environment: /your/path/to/venv
  • SCM URL:

AWX create project

This project will be used for two things:

  • Get our inventory and all attached variables.
  • Get our playbooks to run in AWX.

Create Inventory resource

Next action is to create an inventory in AWX. This requires two additional steps:

Create Inventory

Go to Resources > Inventory

AWX create inventory

Once ready, you need to add a source to your inventory.

Add source

In your inventory, select Sources.

AWX add sources

Then add a source using your existing project.

AWX create sources

In our example, our inventory file is part of a subdirectory. In this case, we had to type the path manually as it wasn’t part of the suggestion list. Also, don’t forget to specify virtual-env to use with this inventory.

Once you click on the Save button, select SYNC-ALL button to get all hosts part of your inventory:

AWX sync sources

You should get all your devices in Resources > Inventory > Your inventory Name

AWX inventory list

Now we can focus on the playbook itself.

Create Playbook resource

Go to Resources > Templates.

In this section you have to provide at least:

  • Name of your Template: Build Fabric Configuration – no-deploy
  • Which inventory to use: EMEA Demo
  • Which project to use to get playbook: AVD Demo with CVP
  • Which playbook to use: playbooks/dc1-fabric-deploy-cvp.yml
  • Virtual Environment to use when running the playbook

As AVD implements Ansible TAGS, we’ve only specified the build tag, but you can adapt it to your setup.

Create template in AWX

You can configure more than just one playbook, but we will focus on playbook definition as it’s not an AWX user’s guide.

Update AVD playbook

How to install collection within project

Since AVD and CVP collections are not installed by default in AWX, you need to consider how to install them. You have two options: system-wide or per project. Let’s consider per project as it’s easier to upgrade.

  • Create a folder named collections in your Git project
  • Create a YAML file named requirements.yml with the following structure:
  - name: arista.avd
    version: 1.1.0
  - name: arista.cvp
    version: 2.1.0

What to change to work with AVD and AWX

Ansible has a default variable that points to the inventory file used in a playbook and named {{ inventory_file }}. Since AWX/Tower is using a database, this variable isn’t available anymore, and inventory file does not exist in such environment.

AVD uses this variable to read inventory and build container topology on CloudVision. So to mitigate this behavior, a slight workaround is to add a task that downloads your inventory from your Git repository and define {{ inventory_file }}:

  • Define variable:
inventory_file: '/tmp/inventory.yml'
  • Update playbook
- name: Configuration deployment with CVP
  hosts: cv_server
  connection: local
  gather_facts: false
    - arista.avd
    - arista.cvp

    - name: Download Inventory file
      tags: [ build ]
        url: ''
        dest: '{{ inventory_file }}'
        mode: '0755'

    - name: run CVP provisioning
        name: arista.avd.eos_config_deploy_cvp
        container_root: 'DC1_FABRIC'
        configlets_prefix: 'DC1-AVD'
        device_filter: 'DC1'
        state: present

Run your playbook

Under Resources > Templates click on the rocket icon to start playbook execution

AWX run a playbook

Last update: August 10, 2022