How to Create a New Host in Foreman with Ansible

Okay…this one was quite difficult to find online. Seems like the ansible documentation for the foreman module was seriously lacking or not kept up to date by anyone. I searched for awhile to see if anyone had an actual working model of it.
Not even in the ansible chat rooms did anyone know….which was weak.

So I spent some time getting this to work smoothly, and you will probably not find anywhere else on the web on how to do this. If you do show me….so I can kick myself.

Lets get dangerous then. 😊

Step by step:

Foreman – Already setup and your “computer resource” is hooked in (VMware)
Note: The compute profile(vmware) when hooked in, will also trigger a new vm creation in vsphere prepped to do DHCP. You can combine variables from vmware_guest module and this module as they require similar variables to be passed. To setup a one stop shop to deploy in foreman and vmware with just using ansible. Iv done this already…..

Special notes: The foreman I had setup did not have organisation or location configured. This caused the module to not function properly and I had to contact one of the developers who helped me patch the code so I didn’t require them to be configured or defined. Which I will show you all how to do.

Ansible – Assuming you have it setup and working with python 2.7 not sure this module will work with python 3. Havent tried that yet…..

Module – TheForeman Collection

1.To install it
a.ansible-galaxy collection install theforeman.foreman
b.edit ansible.cfg file and add the following lines.

Note: You can find the locations of these certs on foreman server. You will to copy them over to ansible for the callback to work properly. However, it is not needed to complete the host creation, you likely just see an error at the end of the play.


url = ‘’

ssl_cert = /etc/foreman-proxy/ssl-cert.pem

ssl_key = /etc/foreman-proxy/ssl-pvt.pem

verify_certs = /etc/foreman-proxy/ssl-ca


Okay once installed you. If you look at the ansible documentation on how to manage hosts using this module…from redhat.

It utterly useless…and will not work if you try to use the examples below.

             name: “Create a host”


        username: “admin”

        password: changeme

        server_url: “”

        name: new_host

        hostgroup: my_hostgroup

        state: present


2.Okay now since my foreman is not configured with Organisation and Locations. I had to patch the python code with the help of one of contributing authors of the module.


3.Apply the following patch.

.The fix was to avoid trying to touch a specific resource that is only available when you have Org/Loc enabled.


diff –git plugins/module_utils/ plugins/module_utils/

index 432c76df..c9a3abda 100644

— plugins/module_utils/

+++ plugins/module_utils/

@@ -396,8 +396,9 @@ class ForemanAnsibleModule(AnsibleModule):

_host_update = next(x for x in _host_methods if x[‘name’] == ‘update’)

for param in [‘location_id‘, ‘organization_id‘]:

– _host_update_taxonomy_param = next(x for x in _host_update[‘params’] if x[‘name’] == param)

– _host_update[‘params’].remove(_host_update_taxonomy_param)

+ _host_update_taxonomy_param = next((x for x in _host_update[‘params’] if x[‘name’] == param), None)

+ if _host_update_taxonomy_param is not None:

+ _host_update[‘params’].remove(_host_update_taxonomy_param)


def _patch_templates_resource_name(self):


4.Once this patch is implemented. You will need a role that has all the correct variables to pass to your foreman in order for it to be able create a host without erroring.


Trick: with ansible you can write some of the code and run the playbook and if there are missing variables it will tell you what they are.


fatal: [testnick1]: FAILED! => {

“changed”: false,

“invocation”: {

module_args“: {

activation_keys“: null,

“architecture”: null,

“build”: null,

“comment”: null,

compute_attributes“: null,

compute_profile“: null,

compute_resource“: null,

config_groups“: null,

content_source“: null,

content_view“: null,

“domain”: null,

“enabled”: null,

“environment”: null,

hostgroup“: “my_hostgroup“,

“image”: null,

interfaces_attributes“: null,

ip“: null,

kickstart_repository“: null,

lifecycle_environment“: null,

“location”: null,

“mac”: null,

“managed”: null,

“medium”: null,

“name”: “testnick1”,

openscap_proxy“: null,

operatingsystem“: null,

“organization”: null,

“owner”: null,

owner_group“: null,

“parameters”: null,


provision_method“: null,

ptable“: null,

puppet_ca_proxy“: null,

puppet_proxy“: null,

puppetclasses“: null,

pxe_loader“: null,

“realm”: null,

root_pass“: null,

server_url“: “”,

“state”: “present”,

“subnet”: null,

“subnet6”: null,

“username”: “ntailor“,

validate_certs“: true



msg“: “The hostname must be FQDN”



PLAY RECAP ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

testnick1 : ok=0 changed=0 unreachable=0 failed=1 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0



5.Okay so once you get all the variables. Its just a matter of playing around until you’re able to get to work.
c.Mkdir a directory inside /etc/ansible/roles
i.mkdir ansible-provision-foreman
d.Inside the directory create two directories (defaults & tasks)
ii.Mkdir defaults && mkdir tasks


6.Now inside the tasks directory, create a file called main.yml and insert the code below main.yml

Create a Host: This code is what you need for this module to work.

– name: “Create a host”

username: “{{ foreman_user }}”

password: “{{ vcenter_password }}”

    server_url: “{{ server_url }}”

name: “{{ inventory_hostname }}”

    hostgroup: “{{ host_group }}”

managed: no

build: no

    compute_profile: “{{ compute_profile }}”

    compute_resource: “{{ computer_resource }}”


      cpus: “{{ vm_cpu_count }}”

      memory_mb: “{{ vm_memory }}”


– type: “interface”

primary: true


name: nic1

network: “{{ vm_vlan_name }}”

interface: “{{ vm_interface }}”

subnet: “{{ vm_subnet }}”

        ip: “{{ vm_ip }}”

domain: “{{ domain }}”

provision: yes

    operatingsystem: “{{ operating_system }}”

medium: “{{ medium }}”

architecture: x86_64

    pxe_loader: PXELinux BIOS

    puppet_ca_proxy: “{{ puppet_ca_proxy }}”

    puppet_proxy: “{{ puppet_proxy }}”

    root_pass: “{{ root_pass }}”

environment: tdr

# ptable: Centos – LVM – / , swap

    ptable: “{{ ptable }}”

# owner: unix

state: present

    validate_certs: false

  delegate_to: localhost

– name: “Switch host on”


username: “{{ foreman_user }}”

password: “{{ foreman_password }}”

    server_url: “{{ server_url  }}”

hostname: “{{ inventory_hostname }}”

state: on

    validate_certs: false

  delegate_to: localhost

. file.


7.Okay so next want now want to pass the basic defaults for new host creating. How we do that is define what those are under defaults. These variables wont change
g.Cd ../defaults
h.Vi main.yml

Note: You can find all these variables inside foreman GUI with a bit of digging.

foreman_user: Reptilianfilth
foreman_password: { generally want a ansible vault password }
compute_profile: vmware
computer_resource: vcenter.nic.internal
domain: nic.internal
medium: 7.8-CentOS
puppet_ca_proxy: puppet-2.nic.internal
puppet_proxy: puppet-2.nic.internal

i.Save file


8.Okay now we want to pass the host specific variables for new host creations and or vm deployments.
j.Move into to your /etc/ansible/inventory/{{environment}}/host_vars directory
iii.CD /etc/ansible/inventory/{{environment}}/host_vars
iv.Create a file called testserver
v.Vi testserver

#VM creation variables

vm_network: niccorp-192.168.65_corp

vm_interface: VMXNET3



domain: nic.internal

managed: no

host_group: Base-Server/Centos-7.8.2003

operating_system: Centos 7.8.2003

ptable: Centos – LVM – / , swap

root_pass: changemetwiceaday

medium: 7.8-CentOS


k.Past the above and save the file

Special Note: Now if you wanted to have it so you can use foreman module or vmware_guest module combining the variables names between the modules.

You can do as below. You will need to ensure the variables match but it works. You can get around having to rely on DHCP with this.

#VM creation variables foreman and vmware together

vm_vlan_name: nic_192.168.44_db_stor2

vm_datastore: esx_nicrcorp

vm_dvswitch: VDS-nic-Corporate

vm_interface: VMXNET3

vm_subnet: 192.1268.44.0




vm_dns_servers: []

vm_dns_suffix: nic.internal

vm_cpu_count: 4

vm_memory: 16384

vm_state: poweredon

vm_connected: true

domain: tdr.internal

managed: no

host_group: Base-Server/Centos-7.8.2003

operating_system: Centos 7.8.2003

ptable: Centos – LVM – / , swap

root_pass: changemetwiceaday

medium: 7.8-CentOS

9.Next you need to ensure your host are listed in your inventory host file ../hosts
m.testnick3.nic.internal file


Before you to start one last thing. If you remember in the defaults we outlined

compute_profile: vmware
(this is the foreman profile it will use, so whatever defaults you have set for network and disksize here is what will be used to trigger foreman to create a host in vcenter, so it good to go check this in foreman first.)


.Run playbook: from /etc/ansible

[root@nick ansible]# ansible-playbook –i inventory/TDR/hosts foremancreatehost.yml –ask-vault-pass –limit ‘testnick3.tdr.internal’

Vault password:


PLAY [all] **********************************************************************************************************************************************


TASK [ansible-provision-foreman : Create a host] ********************************************************************************************************

changed: [testnick3.tdr.internal]


PLAY RECAP *******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

testnick3.tdr.internal : ok=1 changed=1 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0


403 Client Error: Forbidden for url: (if you see this, just ignore it) Its just callback report.


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