Ansible - State of the Community 2023


Greg Sutcliffe


February 24, 2023

Community plan - part 1 - the state of things

Welcome! In this series of posts, I’m going to lay out my vision for what I think the Ansible Community needs to do over the next year or so - and I hope that by the end, you’ll agree with me (and will join in the discussion topics).

TLDR; I’m going to try and convince you that:

  • We’re a big project but the trends are not good.
  • The community is has many parts but is becoming fragmented.
  • The community has no effective voice (no single website, blog, or discussion place).
  • We need to build a community website separate from
  • We need to build a forum to bring discussions/support together.

In this post I’ll lay out where we are today - if you already watched my talk on this from CfgMgmtCamp 2023 then you can probably skip this one, as it covers the same topic. In the second one I’ll make the case for the website & forum.

The state of the community today

There is no doubt that Ansible is huge. Whether we talk about the userbase, or the contributors, it’s a massive project, with (probably) millions of users, and thousands of contributors. Well done, us! But all is not well in Ansible-land, and to illustrate let’s take a look at some graphs.

User-base graphs

First, let’s talk users. These are very hard to measure in open source, because no-one needs to tell you they’re using your project. The download sources are many (PyPI, OS packages, sources, etc) and often cached. Discussion spaces are just as varied. Social media subscription never decreases (people don’t unsubsribe, they just stop reading). Most users will never raise an issue, or ask a question (at least in public).

Absolute numbers are therefore largely useless - but we can look at trends. For trends that vary properly (e.g. not site-followers, which never decrease), if we see similar trends across a set of metrics, we can have some faith that the trend is real.

So, lets look at four such metrics:

Visits to Comments on Questions tagged ansible on StackOverflow