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README.rst

PyPI version Ansible-lint rules explanation Ansible Code of Conduct Ansible mailing lists GitHub Actions CI/CD Language grade: Python pre-commit

Ansible-lint

ansible-lint checks playbooks for practices and behaviour that could potentially be improved. As a community backed project ansible-lint supports only the last two major versions of Ansible.

Visit the Ansible Lint docs site

Installing

Installing on Windows is not supported because we use symlinks inside Python packages.

Using Pip

pip install ansible-lint

From Source

Note: pip 19.0+ is required for installation. Please consult with the PyPA User Guide to learn more about managing Pip versions.

pip install git+https://github.com/ansible/ansible-lint.git

Usage

Command Line Options

The following is the output from ansible-lint --help, providing an overview of the basic command line options:

usage: ansible-lint [-h] [-L] [-f {rich,plain,rst}] [-q] [-p] [--parseable-severity] [-r RULESDIR]
                [-R] [--show-relpath] [-t TAGS] [-T] [-v] [-x SKIP_LIST]
                [-w WARN_LIST [WARN_LIST ...]] [--nocolor] [--force-color]
                [--exclude EXCLUDE_PATHS] [-c CONFIG_FILE] [--version]
                [playbook [playbook ...]]

positional arguments:
  playbook              One or more files or paths. When missing it will enable auto-detection mode.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -L                    list all the rules
  -f {rich,plain,rst}   Format used rules output, (default: rich)
  -q                    quieter, although not silent output
  -p                    parseable output in the format of pep8
  --parseable-severity  parseable output including severity of rule
  -r RULESDIR           Specify custom rule directories. Add -R to keep using embedded rules from
                        /usr/local/lib/python3.8/site-packages/ansiblelint/rules
  -R                    Keep default rules when using -r
  --show-relpath        Display path relative to CWD
  -t TAGS               only check rules whose id/tags match these values
  -T                    list all the tags
  -v                    Increase verbosity level
  -x SKIP_LIST          only check rules whose id/tags do not match these values
  -w WARN_LIST [WARN_LIST ...]
                        only warn about these rules
  --nocolor             disable colored output
  --force-color         Try force colored output (relying on ansible's code)
  --exclude EXCLUDE_PATHS
                        path to directories or files to skip. This option is repeatable.
  -c CONFIG_FILE        Specify configuration file to use. Defaults to ".ansible-lint"
  --version             show program's version number and exit

CI/CD

If execution under Github Actions is detected via the presence of GITHUB_ACTIONS=true and GITHUB_WORFLOW=... variables, the linter will also print errors using their annotation format.

Linting Playbooks and Roles

It's important to note that ansible-lint accepts a list of Ansible playbook files or a list of role directories. Starting from a directory that contains the following, the playbook file, playbook.yml, or one of the role subdirectories, such as geerlingguy.apache, can be passed:

playbook.yml
roles/
    geerlingguy.apache/
        tasks/
        handlers/
        files/
        templates/
        vars/
        defaults/
        meta/
    geerlingguy.elasticsearch/
        tasks/
        handlers/
        files/
        templates/
        vars/
        defaults/
        meta/

The following lints the role geerlingguy.apache:

$ ansible-lint geerlingguy.apache

[305] Use shell only when shell functionality is required
/Users/chouseknecht/.ansible/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:19
Task/Handler: Get installed version of Apache.

[502] All tasks should be named
/Users/chouseknecht/.ansible/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:29
Task/Handler: include_vars apache-22.yml

[502] All tasks should be named
/Users/chouseknecht/.ansible/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:32
Task/Handler: include_vars apache-24.yml

Here's the contents of playbook.yml, which references multiples roles:

- name: Lint multiple roles
  hosts: all
  tasks:

  - include_role:
    name: geerlingguy.apache

  - include_role:
    name: geerlingguy.elasticsearch

The following lints playbook.yml, which evaluates both the playbook and the referenced roles:

$ ansible-lint playbook.yml

[305] Use shell only when shell functionality is required
/Users/chouseknecht/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:19
Task/Handler: Get installed version of Apache.

[502] All tasks should be named
/Users/chouseknecht/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:29
Task/Handler: include_vars apache-22.yml

[502] All tasks should be named
/Users/chouseknecht/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:32
Task/Handler: include_vars apache-24.yml

[502] All tasks should be named
/Users/chouseknecht/roles/geerlingguy.elasticsearch/tasks/main.yml:17
Task/Handler: service state=started name=elasticsearch enabled=yes

Since ansible-lint accepts a list of roles or playbooks, the following works as well, producing the same output as the example above:

$ ansible-lint geerlingguy.apache geerlingguy.elasticsearch

[305] Use shell only when shell functionality is required
/Users/chouseknecht/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:19
Task/Handler: Get installed version of Apache.

[502] All tasks should be named
/Users/chouseknecht/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:29
Task/Handler: include_vars apache-22.yml

[502] All tasks should be named
/Users/chouseknecht/roles/geerlingguy.apache/tasks/main.yml:32
Task/Handler: include_vars apache-24.yml

[502] All tasks should be named
/Users/chouseknecht/roles/geerlingguy.elasticsearch/tasks/main.yml:17
Task/Handler: service state=started name=elasticsearch enabled=yes

Examples

Included in ansible-lint/examples are some example playbooks with undesirable features. Running ansible-lint on them works, as demonstrated in the following:

$ ansible-lint examples/example.yml

[301] Commands should not change things if nothing needs doing
examples/example.yml:9
Task/Handler: unset variable

[206] Variables should have spaces before and after: {{ var_name }}
examples/example.yml:10
    action: command echo {{thisvariable}} is not set in this playbook

[301] Commands should not change things if nothing needs doing
examples/example.yml:12
Task/Handler: trailing whitespace

[201] Trailing whitespace
examples/example.yml:13
    action: command echo do nothing

[401] Git checkouts must contain explicit version
examples/example.yml:15
Task/Handler: git check

[401] Git checkouts must contain explicit version
examples/example.yml:18
Task/Handler: git check 2

[301] Commands should not change things if nothing needs doing
examples/example.yml:24
Task/Handler: executing git through command

[303] git used in place of git module
examples/example.yml:24
Task/Handler: executing git through command

[303] git used in place of git module
examples/example.yml:27
Task/Handler: executing git through command

[401] Git checkouts must contain explicit version
examples/example.yml:30
Task/Handler: using git module

[206] Variables should have spaces before and after: {{ var_name }}
examples/example.yml:34
    action: debug msg="{{item}}"

[201] Trailing whitespace
examples/example.yml:35
    with_items:

[403] Package installs should not use latest
examples/example.yml:39
Task/Handler: yum latest

[403] Package installs should not use latest
examples/example.yml:44
Task/Handler: apt latest

[101] Deprecated always_run
examples/example.yml:47
Task/Handler: always run

If playbooks include other playbooks, or tasks, or handlers or roles, these are also handled:

$ ansible-lint examples/include.yml

[301] Commands should not change things if nothing needs doing
examples/play.yml:5
Task/Handler: a bad play

[303] service used in place of service module
examples/play.yml:5
Task/Handler: a bad play

[401] Git checkouts must contain explicit version
examples/roles/bobbins/tasks/main.yml:2
Task/Handler: test tasks

[701] No 'galaxy_info' found
examples/roles/hello/meta/main.yml:1
{'meta/main.yml': {'dependencies': [{'role': 'bobbins', '__line__': 3, '__file__': '/Users/akx/build/ansible-lint/examples/roles/hello/meta/main.yml'}], '__line__': 1, '__file__': '/Users/akx/build/ansible-lint/examples/roles/hello/meta/main.yml', 'skipped_rules': []}}

[303] service used in place of service module
examples/roles/morecomplex/handlers/main.yml:1
Task/Handler: restart service using command

[301] Commands should not change things if nothing needs doing
examples/roles/morecomplex/tasks/main.yml:1
Task/Handler: test bad command

[302] mkdir used in place of argument state=directory to file module
examples/roles/morecomplex/tasks/main.yml:1
Task/Handler: test bad command

[301] Commands should not change things if nothing needs doing
examples/roles/morecomplex/tasks/main.yml:4
Task/Handler: test bad command v2

[302] mkdir used in place of argument state=directory to file module
examples/roles/morecomplex/tasks/main.yml:4
Task/Handler: test bad command v2

[301] Commands should not change things if nothing needs doing
examples/roles/morecomplex/tasks/main.yml:7
Task/Handler: test bad local command

[305] Use shell only when shell functionality is required
examples/roles/morecomplex/tasks/main.yml:7
Task/Handler: test bad local command

[504] Do not use 'local_action', use 'delegate_to: localhost'
examples/roles/morecomplex/tasks/main.yml:8
  local_action: shell touch foo

[201] Trailing whitespace
examples/tasks/x.yml:3
  args:

[201] Trailing whitespace
examples/tasks/x.yml:3
  args:

Configuring

Configuration File

Ansible-lint supports local configuration via a .ansible-lint configuration file. Ansible-lint checks the working directory for the presence of this file and applies any configuration found there. The configuration file location can also be overridden via the -c path/to/file CLI flag.

If a value is provided on both the command line and via a config file, the values will be merged (if a list like exclude_paths), or the True value will be preferred, in the case of something like quiet.

The following values are supported, and function identically to their CLI counterparts:

exclude_paths:
  - ./my/excluded/directory/
  - ./my/other/excluded/directory/
  - ./last/excluded/directory/
parseable: true
quiet: true
rulesdir:
  - ./rule/directory/
skip_list:
  - skip_this_tag
  - and_this_one_too
  - skip_this_id
  - '401'
tags:
  - run_this_tag
use_default_rules: true
verbosity: 1

Pre-commit Setup

To use ansible-lint with pre-commit, just add the following to your local repo's .pre-commit-config.yaml file. Make sure to change rev: to be either a git commit sha or tag of ansible-lint containing hooks.yaml.

- repo: https://github.com/ansible/ansible-lint.git
  rev: v4.1.0
  hooks:
    - id: ansible-lint
      files: \.(yaml|yml)$

Rules

Specifying Rules at Runtime

By default, ansible-lint uses the rules found in ansible-lint/lib/ansiblelint/rules. To override this behavior and use a custom set of rules, use the -r /path/to/custom-rules option to provide a directory path containing the custom rules. For multiple rule sets, pass multiple -r options.

It's also possible to use the default rules, plus custom rules. This can be done by passing the -R to indicate that the default rules are to be used, along with one or more -r options.

Using Tags to Include Rules

Each rule has an associated set of one or more tags. To view the list of tags for each available rule, use the -T option.

The following shows the available tags in an example set of rules, and the rules associated with each tag:

$ ansible-lint -v -T

behaviour ['[503]']
bug ['[304]']
command-shell ['[305]', '[302]', '[304]', '[306]', '[301]', '[303]']
deprecated ['[105]', '[104]', '[103]', '[101]', '[102]']
formatting ['[104]', '[203]', '[201]', '[204]', '[206]', '[205]', '[202]']
idempotency ['[301]']
idiom ['[601]', '[602]']
metadata ['[701]', '[704]', '[703]', '[702]']
module ['[404]', '[401]', '[403]', '[402]']
oddity ['[501]']
readability ['[502]']
repeatability ['[401]', '[403]', '[402]']
resources ['[302]', '[303]']
safety ['[305]']
task ['[502]', '[503]', '[504]', '[501]']

To run just the idempotency rules, for example, run the following:

$ ansible-lint -t idempotency playbook.yml

Excluding Rules

To exclude rules from the available set of rules, use the -x SKIP_LIST option. For example, the following runs all of the rules except those with the tags readability and safety:

$ ansible-lint -x readability,safety playbook.yml

It's also possible to skip specific rules by passing the rule ID. For example, the following excludes rule 502:

$ ansible-lint -x 502 playbook.yml

False Positives: Skipping Rules

Some rules are a bit of a rule of thumb. Advanced git, yum or apt usage, for example, is typically difficult to achieve through the modules. In this case, you should mark the task so that warnings aren't produced.

To skip a specific rule for a specific task, inside your ansible yaml add # noqa [rule_id] at the end of the line. If the rule is task-based (most are), add at the end of any line in the task. You can skip multiple rules via a space-separated list.

- name: this would typically fire GitHasVersionRule 401 and BecomeUserWithoutBecomeRule 501
  become_user: alice  # noqa 401 501
  git: src=/path/to/git/repo dest=checkout

If the rule is line-based, # noqa [rule_id] must be at the end of the particular line to be skipped

- name: this would typically fire LineTooLongRule 204 and VariableHasSpacesRule 206
  get_url:
    url: http://example.com/really_long_path/really_long_path/really_long_path/really_long_path/really_long_path/really_long_path/file.conf  # noqa 204
    dest: "{{dest_proj_path}}/foo.conf"  # noqa 206

It's also a good practice to comment the reasons why a task is being skipped.

If you want skip running a rule entirely, you can use either use -x command line argument, or add it to skip_list inside the configuration file.

A less-preferred method of skipping is to skip all task-based rules for a task (this does not skip line-based rules). There are two mechanisms for this: the skip_ansible_lint tag works with all tasks, and the warn parameter works with the command or shell modules only. Examples:

- name: this would typically fire CommandsInsteadOfArgumentRule 302
  command: warn=no chmod 644 X

- name: this would typically fire CommandsInsteadOfModuleRule 303
  command: git pull --rebase
  args:
    warn: False

- name: this would typically fire GitHasVersionRule 401
  git: src=/path/to/git/repo dest=checkout
  tags:
  - skip_ansible_lint

Creating Custom Rules

Rules are described using a class file per rule. Default rules are named DeprecatedVariableRule.py, etc.

Each rule definition should have the following:

  • ID: A unique identifier
  • Short description: Brief description of the rule
  • Description: Behaviour the rule is looking for
  • Tags: one or more tags that may be used to include or exclude the rule
  • At least one of the following methods:
    • match that takes a line and returns None or False, if the line doesn't match the test, and True or a custom message, when it does. (This allows one rule to test multiple behaviours - see e.g. the CommandsInsteadOfModulesRule.)
    • matchtask that operates on a single task or handler, such that tasks get standardized to always contain a module key and module_arguments key. Other common task modifiers, such as when, with_items, etc., are also available as keys, if present in the task.

An example rule using match is:

from ansiblelint.rules import AnsibleLintRule

class DeprecatedVariableRule(AnsibleLintRule):

    id = 'EXAMPLE002'
    shortdesc = 'Deprecated variable declarations'
    description = 'Check for lines that have old style ${var} ' + \
                  'declarations'
    tags = { 'deprecated' }

    def match(self, file, line):
        return '${' in line

An example rule using matchtask is:

import ansiblelint.utils
from ansiblelint.rules import AnsibleLintRule

class TaskHasTag(AnsibleLintRule):
    id = 'EXAMPLE001'
    shortdesc = 'Tasks must have tag'
    description = 'Tasks must have tag'
    tags = ['productivity']

    def matchtask(self, file, task):
        # If the task include another task or make the playbook fail
        # Don't force to have a tag
        if not set(task.keys()).isdisjoint(['include','fail']):
            return False

        # Task should have tags
        if not task.has_key('tags'):
              return True

    return False

The task argument to matchtask contains a number of keys - the critical one is action. The value of task['action'] contains the module being used, and the arguments passed, both as key-value pairs and a list of other arguments (e.g. the command used with shell).

In ansible-lint 2.0.0, task['action']['args'] was renamed task['action']['module_arguments'] to avoid a clash when a module actually takes args as a parameter key (e.g. ec2_tag)

In ansible-lint 3.0.0 task['action']['module'] was renamed task['action']['__ansible_module__'] to avoid a clash when a module take module as an argument. As a precaution, task['action']['module_arguments'] was renamed task['action']['__ansible_arguments__'].

Packaging Custom Rules

Ansible-lint provides a sub directory named custom in its built-in rules, /usr/lib/python3.8/site-packages/ansiblelint/rules/custom/ for example, to install custom rules since v4.3.1. The custom rules which are packaged as an usual python package installed into this directory will be loaded and enabled automatically by ansible-lint.

To make custom rules loaded automatically, you need the followings:

  • Packaging your custom rules as an usual python package named some descriptive ones like ansible_lint_custom_rules_foo.
  • Make it installed into <ansible_lint_custom_rules_dir>/custom/<your_custom_rules_subdir>/.

You may accomplish the second by adding some configurations into the [options] section of the setup.cfg of your custom rules python package like the following.

[options]
packages =
    ansiblelint.rules.custom.<your_custom_rules_subdir>
package_dir =
    ansiblelint.rules.custom.<your_custom_rules_subdir> = <your_rules_source_code_subdir>

Contributing

Please read Contribution guidelines if you wish to contribute.

Authors

ansible-lint was created by Will Thames and is now maintained as part of the Ansible by Red Hat project.

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