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.

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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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