Install Ansible, Molecule, Vagrant on Windows WSL

1 minute read

Ansible is a really cool and very popular config management (and a lot more!) tool but sadly the control plane only runs on Linux based systems.  As primarily a Windows user I wanted to see if it would function in the “newish” WSL environment and after a lot of trial and error found that it works great!  In this quick post I go over how to install Ansible for config management, Molecule to test roles, Vagrant to run the tests all while running on Windows WSL.


Windows Setup

  1. Install Virtual Box
  2. Install Ubuntu WSL
  3. Reboot computer

WSL Setup

  1. Run Ubuntu from the start menu and upgrade all packages

    sudo apt update && apt upgrade -y
  2. Install Ansible

    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ansible/ansible
    sudo apt install ansible
  3. Install Python pip

    sudo apt-get install -y python-pip libssl-dev
  4. Install Pip packages

    sudo pip install molecule
    sudo pip install python-vagrant
  5. Set ENV variable so vagrant knows its running in WSL

  6. Install Vagrant and plugins

    sudo apt install vagrant  
    sudo vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt
  7. In order for WSL to know where Virtual box is installed some additional paths need to be added

    export PATH=$PATH:/mnt/c/Windows/System32
    export PATH="$PATH:/mnt/c/Program Files/Oracle/VirtualBox"
  8. If you want to prevent the need to run the above EXPORT commands on every login add the following to the bottom of ~/.bashrc

    export PATH=$PATH:/mnt/c/Windows/System32  
    export PATH="$PATH:/mnt/c/Program Files/Oracle/VirtualBox"
  9. You are now ready to run Ansible and Molecule with WSL!

Molecule Gotchas

By default, Molecule uses the ubuntu/xenial64 box for test runs.  During my initial testing I kept encountering an error like the one below. 


After inspecting the /tmp/molecule/base-test/default/vagrant-instance.err log I found this.

Stderr: VBoxManage.exe: error: RawFile#0 failed to create the raw output file /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/molecule/provisioner/ansible/playbooks/vagrant/ubuntu-xenial-16.04-cloudimg-console.log (VERR_PATH_NOT_FOUND)  
VBoxManage.exe: error: Details: code E_FAIL (0x80004005), component ConsoleWrap, interface IConsole

After some searching, I found the following workaround for molecule.yml and everything started to run correctly.

"customize [ 'modifyvm', :id, '--uartmode1', 'disconnected' ]"


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