A few years ago I found myself writing a whole lot of Ansible Galaxy roles for both company and personal use. After the fourth or fifth time of going through the process of setting up the GitHub repository, creating the skeleton, and checking it all in, I decided to automate it. I’ve broken down what it does in this blog post and you can find it as the file createrole in the bin directory of my dotfiles repo.

Setting Up the Variables

The scripts starts with two variables that need to be set. The first is your GitHub API token (you can find instructions on how to set one up here). I use a function I created with 1Password to set the GIT_TOKEN environmental variable (you can see it in this post). The second variable is the name of your personal GitHub account. The need for this will become apparent later on in the script.

# Variables


The usage function helps me to remember what I named the the options for the name of the Ansible Role (-n) and the GitHub organization/user (-g) to create it in.

echo -n "usage: $0  [OPTION]...

Script that easily creates an Ansible role in github

  -n                Name of the Ansible Role (required)
  -g                Name of the Github organization to create it in (required)

Getting Options

I use the built-in function getopts() to parse my options and set variables to the inputs. Since both are required, I send an error and exit if an invalid option is used or an argument is not passed. I finish it up by ensuring both the variables were set properly and if they are not, to print the usage.

# getopts
while getopts ":pg:n:" opt; do
  case $opt in
      echo "Invalid option: -$OPTARG" >&2
      exit 1
      echo "Option -$OPTARG requires an argument." >&2
      exit 1

# Make sure rolname is set
if [ -z "$rolename" ]

# Make sure gitaccount is set
if [ -z "$gitaccount" ]

Check to See if the Repo Exists

Before creating a new GitHub repo, I want to check and make sure that it doesn’t already exist.

# Check to see if the Repo already exists
gitrepo=`curl -s -G https://api.github.com/search/repositories?q=$rolename+user:$gitaccount \
-H "Accept: application/vnd.github.preview" \
-H "Authorization: token $authtoken" \
|jq -r .items[].name`

# Exit if the repo already exists
if [ -n "$gitrepo" ]
  echo "Repo Already Exists in Org!"

Create the new Repo

If the repo does not exist, then the next bit of code creates the repository. This is where the variable $my_gitaccountis important. There are different endpoints depending on whether it is a user or an organization. If the $gitaccount that is passed via the command line matches  $my_gitaccount set in the script, it uses the user endpoint, otherwise it uses the orgs endpoint. I then run the command and set the output of the SSH URL to the variable $giturl.

# Create the Git Repository
if [ $gitaccount == "austincloudguru" ]

giturl=$(curl -s -X POST https://api.github.com/$git_endpoint \
-H "Authorization: token $authtoken" \
-d @<(cat <<EOF
  "name": "$rolename",
  "private": "$privaterepo"
)|jq -r .ssh_url

Create the Galaxy Role

With the GitHub repo created successfully, we move on to the creating the ansible galaxy role. Initially, I used the ansible-galaxy command to initialize a role. Once I started using Molecule to test my Ansible roles, I updated the script to use the  molecule init role command. Once the role is created, we  cd into it so that we can initialize the repository.

# Create the Galaxy Role - Old Way
# ansible-galaxy init $rolename

# Create the Galaxy Role
molecule init role -r $rolename -d docker
cd $rolename

Initialize the Git Repository and Push it to GitHub

With the repository created in GitHub and role created locally, it is time to initialize the role as a git repository and then push it up to GitHub. We will use the $giturl variable that we set when we created the repo to set the origin on the newly created repository and then push it up

# Initialize the Git Repo
git init
git add .
git commit -m "Commit Skeleton Role"

# Add the Remote and Push
git remote add origin $giturl
git push -u origin master

Report the Role Is Completed

We finish the script off by returning to the parent directory and printing a completed message.

cd ..
echo -e "\n\n\nCompleted setting up Ansible Galaxy Role"

That’s it. Now I’m able to start working on my new role.