My Ansible Role for “Oh My Zsh” and other CLI programs

I have already started blogging about Ansible; in particular, I have shown how to develop and test an Ansible role with Molecule and Docker, also on Gitpod.

This blog post will describe my Ansible role for installing “Oh My Zsh” and several command line programs. The role also installs the starship prompt or the p10k theme. As for the other roles I’ve blogged about, this one is tested with Molecule and Docker and can be developed with Gitpod (see the linked posts above). In particular, it is tested in Arch, Ubuntu, and Fedora.

This role is for my personal installation and configuration and is not meant to be reusable.

The role can be found here:

My other post has already described many parts related to zsh installation, configuration, and verification with Ansible and Molecule.

The main file “tasks/main.yml” is as follows:

Besides “zsh” and “git” (which are needed for installing other things, and, in general, I need it daily), this installs several command line tools, like ripgrep, procs, dust, exa, bat, zoxide. Note that, depending on the operating system, these tools must be installed differently (e.g., from the package manager or by downloading a binary distribution). In a few cases, the package names differ depending on the operating system. In such cases, the default names are defined in “vars/main.yml” and properly overridden depending on the operating system:

The task also installs a few fonts (nerd fonts, with emoji, or with icon characters), which are needed because “starship” and “p10k” need a few icon characters; the same holds for other tools like exa.

“Oh My Zsh” is installed by cloning its Git repository; the same holds for some external plugins. The task also sets “zsh” as the default shell for the current user.

Finally, depending on the variable with_starship, which defaults to true, it installs the starship prompt or the p10k theme. These are handled in the corresponding included files “starship.yml” and “p10k.yml”, respectively.

Note that both files copy the corresponding template for “.zshrc” (depending on starship or p10k, the contents of “.zshrc” are slightly different). For “p10k”, it also copies my theme configuration”; for “starship”, I’m OK with the default prompt. The copied “.zshrc” contains several “aliases” for the command line programs installed by this role (e.g., “ls” is aliased to “exa” commands).

Concerning Molecule, I have several scenarios. As I said, I tested this role in Arch, Ubuntu, and Fedora, so I have a scenario for each operating system. In such cases, I test the “starship” installation and verify that the tools that differ for their installations in different operating systems are installed correctly. This is the “verify.yml” (remember that this installs “starship” and NOT “p10k”, so it ensures that only the former is installed):

Concerning “p10k,” I have a separate scenario with a different “verify.yml” (I test this only on Arch since “starship” and “p10k” installations and configurations are the same in all three operating systems):

However, this “verify.yml” could also be used for the other operating systems since it performs the same verifications concerning installed programs. It differs only for the final part.

Of course, this is tested on GitHub Actions and can be developed directly on the web IDE Gitpod.

I hope you find this post useful for inspiration on how to use Ansible to automatize your Linux installations 🙂

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