Ansible Shell vs Command

Ansible is an open-source platform for automation and IT configuration management. It utilizes YAML templates of human-related, which permit users to program the automatic tasks of repetitive without any programming language requirement. It is agentless, and its managed nods did not need any special software to download it. It removes the potential protection vulnerabilities and the entire smoother management. Its modules are standalone scripts that may utilize the playbook of Ansible, and this playbook includes a play that maintains various tasks. When we are new to this Ansible, we may feel confused, but we can gain familiarity when we are randomly writing and working with playbooks. And this Ansible includes various modules, which provide for entire use cases. Shell and command are both considered two essential modules of Ansible. They both have their unique features. Even though they both belong to Ansible, they have some variations between them.

What is an Ansible Shell?

Shell is an essential module of Ansible, which is created for the shell commands execution towards the hosts of targeted UNIX. It can run any commands with high complexity through pipes redirection, and it permits us to perform the scripts of the shell with the help of the shell command in Ansible. One of its main advantages is that it is used for complex orders with pipes. Its semicolons are considered one of its drawbacks in the prospect of protection as it costs heavy for a single mistake in single integrity.This module is based on LINUX, and it is not used for the windows and offers a win-shell for windows. It operates for the shell scripts execution, and Ansible dedicated its module for their scripts. It also helps for shell scripts copying from the control machines to the present server.

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What is the Ansible command?

The command is one of the popular modules of Ansible, which is designed for any management to run any scripts in the present targeted machine.It utilizes for the command execution on the current node, this command module of Ansible helps to run the simple commands of Linux on the server and node. It is a kind of standalone server listed in the host groups and helps when we require execution of server command in the shell of our module. We can also use it as the default option in Ansible; we can utilize different operations like /, <, > and the environment variables like $HOME. This module does not include the commands by the shell, so there is no support for some operations. It allows us to give required orders for execution and offer them on the surface of UNIX, the name of the command through the augments. It executes as a directory of default, and we can change particular paths of the guide where we require to run the command through their parameters.

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Why Ansible Shell

Shell is one of the best modules of Ansible, which maintains various features to help organizations. It is modular and allows one programmer for the script, and this is the reason to explore the program on multiple servers. It is easy to use, and the hands are straightforward to understand, and there is no need for any particular download of the software. One of its best features is one click, which helps run the shell's script and set up everything. Its agonistic nature helps the many programmers identify out of ammunition, and there is no need for any idea of a particular language. Its versioning helps run the code on GitHub quickly; it also helps pull the git and restart the entire supervisor running on new code. By providing many features, it gains its popularity in the market. 

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Why Ansible Command

With the help of command modules, we can control user accounts for ansible execution in different ways, and we may manage it through inventory ansible. While running the command line, we can specify the running user's account directly. We need to observe the particular customers and their conflicts with defined users. Ansible is the best tool, but sometimes it cannot perform the task with the built-in modules and rescue with the raw modules. In those cases, we can use the command module to run the errands directly instead of using only raw modules. In some cases, it is essential to check Redis manually for facts collection from the host, as a command is also a kind of default in Ansible and generally runs its server. 

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Key differences between Shell and Commandl

It is a bit critical to differentiate the ansible modules command and shell, as they both belong to the same goal but have some key differences between them.

  • Execution: Using the command module, we can execute the command without the need for any shell to proceed. As a result, some variables became unavailable, and also some stream operations don't work. The shell modules utilize to run the commands with the help of a shell. We can change it through executable options, redirectable piping, etc.; when we compare both, we know that the command module is secured as it does not affect customers' environment.
  • Purpose: it helps in executing shell commands on the current hosts. With the help of the default option module, use the shell for command execution. We can also utilize other shell modules bypassing the command module of Ansible to run simple Linux commands on the current node. 
  • Where to use: both modules of Ansible are mostly identical. The command module can utilize any special operations and particular access variables of the user's environment. But in the docs, it is proved that the command module is secured chiefly as it is the default for preferences unless the functional shell extensions. 
  • Synopsis:
    Command: the command module of Ansible takes the name through the space-delimited list of augments, and the assumed command executes on the particular nodes. The command module is not able to proceed through the shell and its variables along with specific operations, to design the tasks of command is a simple process that is easy to read with the help of arguments. It is not for windows. For windows, it offers some particular module, namely win-command.
  • Shell: synopsis of the shell adds beauty to the playbook of Ansible, as its beauty lies in the way of their writing and looks. It uses YAML for reports, which is simple, and the command of ADHOC is transforming as the PLAY in the ansible-playbook. 

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Advantages of Ansible

The given below are some benefits of Ansible

Easy to learn: the best feature of Ansible is it is simple to know, and its simplicity is not \ for experts but also the freshers. As it is easy to learn, usres can learn to use the Ansible quickly and efficiently, users also learn the logic behind the operations of Ansible, and it results in troubleshooting. It is simple to utilize it at the initial stages itself.

Simply understandable python language: it is one of the best benefits of Ansible. It also references the language used to write it. Python is a simple, understandable language that is also named human-readable, and it serves as the ansible base. It offers the best facilities to develop the running and availability of python libraries in Ansible.

No dependency on agents: it is the essential addition for the ansible advantages, as it has the nature of being agentless. It controls the entire communications with the standard paramiko modules, which is the implementation of python and essential for node management. 

YAML: the playbook usage is the best practice in Ansible, they are the files of configuration, and YAML is the language in which the playbook is writing. It works as the best alterations for the management configuration and automation and provides a better structure and automation tools.

Ansible galaxy: it is a portable kind that works as the best respiratory for sharing and reusing Ansible content. With it, organizations experience the benefits of ansible-galaxy, which is best for reusable configurations' roles.

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Disadvantages of Ansible

Insufficient user interface: at the beginning, it is the only tool for the command line and its effort for interface making through the graphics of AWX. Later it was changed as the tower of Ansible, which is a kind of UI web management. This tower provides management features of visuals with the instruments of team workflows, but it is still at the stage of the development stage, and we can't do anything with the interface of the command line.

Limited windows support: This is a drawback for the Ansible, as it is half-built support for the windows. In Windows, it employs the native remoting of PowerShell, and it results in the machine control of Linux, which is mandatory for the widow's host management. 

It doesn't have experience: it lacks the experience support for enterprise, it also goes down with the ansible appeal. It is a large enterprise for the competitors, which has only a little experience, which leads to the reduction of ansible accountability.

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Conclusion

Before deciding which one is the best module, first, we need to research and get the complete idea about them. Organizations experience the best result by using modules instead of using a raw command for the task running. These modules are used for standards fulfillment and idempotent,such as handling exceptions. When there is no module availability, we may use the command module as default in Ansible. It helps to protect the task from the user environment when organizations require streaming operations and user environments.
Comments then shell module is a solution for them, but we need to be careful to follow the ansibles hint when using variables and the shell module. They both have their unique features and drawbacks, so we can't decide which one is the best for our requirements. 

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Srivalli
Srivalli
Research Analyst
As a senior technical content writer for HRK tainings, srivalli patchava has a greater understanding of today's data-driven environment, which includes key aspects of data management and IT organizations. She manages the task of creating great content in the areas of software testing, DevOps, Robotic process automation. Connects with her on Linkedin and Twitter.