How to deploy multiple ssh-keys to different servers

In Ansible is quite easy add users, pubkeys and other stuff to any server. If you work in a organization where you have multiple servers, ssh-keys are a swiss-knife, but they are kinda difficult to handle if you create/destroy multiple servers every week.

Without using Ansible (or any other config management), to add or revoke access you will need to login in all servers by hand (or by a script) and this is boring & error prone.

With Ansible, you can setup a playbook to keep this up to date, and be sure that the users & keys are going to be present or absent depending on your needs (and the server that we are working with). For this purpose, Ansible provides 2 different functions: User and authorized_key. Let's see how to use them in this small example playbook.yml:

- hosts: all
  user: root
    admin_group: 'admin'
        - {name: eloy, state: present}
    - name: Add admin group
      group: name={{admin_group}} state=present

    - name: Check users state
      user: name="{{}}" state="{{item.state}}" group="{{admin_group}}"
      with_items: users[ansible_eth1.ipv4.address]

    - name: Add Pub key
      authorized_key: user="{{}}"
                      key="{{ lookup('file', 'public_keys/''.pub') }}"
      with_items: users[ansible_eth1.ipv4.address]
      when: item.state == "present"

    - name: Add admin group to sudo
      lineinfile: "dest=/etc/sudoers regexp='^%{{admin_group}}} ALL' line='%{{admin_group}} ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL' state=present"

This snipped will perform 4 tasks that are easy to follow:

  1. We need to create group admin in the machine for sudo purposes.
  2. Per each host, we need to define the user and its state.
  3. If the user is present, we need to copy the ssh pub key into the correct folder.
  4. At the end, we need to allow the users on the admin group to sudo without password.

If you want to use this piece of code you will only need to add your users to the vars section and their public keys to the public_keys folder inside the Ansible repo.

Happy coding!

ansible, deploy, ssh, users,