How can I install VMWare ESXi on one of my Dell PowerEdge server using Ansible?

I am planning to automate the installation of VMware ESXi on my Dell PowerEdge Physical Host machine using Ansible. Is this possible?

I’ve published a (very simple) playbook for this some years ago: baremetalesxi

I didn’t have the time to keep this up to date and I don’t know if it still works. But maybe this helps you to get started.

We’re still using a (very much evolved) version of this to install ESXi hosts. But this is where we started.


Hi Mario. Thank you for taking your time and sharing your playbook regarding the automated ESXi setup.

Please forgive me as this is just the first time that I am studying and trying Ansible. Just one question, since ansible doesn’t require agent, I need to enable the SSH connectivity between the controller and the host. After generating the key, manually, do I need to manually upload the key to the host before using your playbook? Or the playbook also generates and upload a key for controller and host connectivity?

Thank you again for your help!

You don’t need any SSH keys. Yes, Ansible started as a tool ssh’ing into Linux machines and doing stuff there. But today, there are a lot of modules which don’t work this way.

My playbook uses modules who run on the control node (connection: local) and connect to an API, in this case RedFish / iDRAC. In this case SSH keys won’t help you. That’s why my playbook needs idrac_username and idrac_password.

BTW if you want to automate more ESXi / vSphere stuff, both community.vmware and vmware.vmware_rest don’t need any SSH keys, either. They also use APIs where you have to provide username and password.

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