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'ansible_user' is undefined #23530

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mhristof opened this issue Apr 12, 2017 · 20 comments · Fixed by #23830

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@mhristof
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@mhristof mhristof commented Apr 12, 2017

ISSUE TYPE
  • Bug Report
COMPONENT NAME

ansible

ANSIBLE VERSION
ansible 2.3.0.0
  config file =
  configured module search path = Default w/o overrides
  python version = 2.7.12 (default, Nov 19 2016, 06:48:10) [GCC 5.4.0 20160609]
CONFIGURATION

vanilla vagrant box, ubuntu/xenial64

OS / ENVIRONMENT

Only tested ubuntu/xenial64

SUMMARY

ansible_user seems to be undefined.

STEPS TO REPRODUCE

Just fire up a vagrant box, install ansible via pip and check the ansible_user

ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ pip install ansible
Collecting ansible
  Downloading ansible-2.3.0.0.tar.gz (4.3MB)
    100% |████████████████████████████████| 4.3MB 320kB/s
Collecting jinja2 (from ansible)
  Using cached Jinja2-2.9.6-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting PyYAML (from ansible)
Collecting paramiko (from ansible)
  Using cached paramiko-2.1.2-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting pycrypto>=2.6 (from ansible)
Collecting setuptools (from ansible)
  Using cached setuptools-34.4.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting MarkupSafe>=0.23 (from jinja2->ansible)
Collecting pyasn1>=0.1.7 (from paramiko->ansible)
  Using cached pyasn1-0.2.3-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting cryptography>=1.1 (from paramiko->ansible)
Collecting appdirs>=1.4.0 (from setuptools->ansible)
  Using cached appdirs-1.4.3-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting packaging>=16.8 (from setuptools->ansible)
  Using cached packaging-16.8-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting six>=1.6.0 (from setuptools->ansible)
  Using cached six-1.10.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting ipaddress (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible)
  Using cached ipaddress-1.0.18-py2-none-any.whl
Collecting idna>=2.1 (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible)
  Using cached idna-2.5-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting asn1crypto>=0.21.0 (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible)
  Using cached asn1crypto-0.22.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting enum34 (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible)
  Using cached enum34-1.1.6-py2-none-any.whl
Collecting cffi>=1.4.1 (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible)
  Using cached cffi-1.10.0-cp27-cp27mu-manylinux1_x86_64.whl
Collecting pyparsing (from packaging>=16.8->setuptools->ansible)
  Using cached pyparsing-2.2.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting pycparser (from cffi>=1.4.1->cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible)
Building wheels for collected packages: ansible
  Running setup.py bdist_wheel for ansible ... done
  Stored in directory: /home/ubuntu/.cache/pip/wheels/9e/36/1f/9281addf43ee457e2847b021ba41a5641de9c7f7f1aa68a5d5
Successfully built ansible
Installing collected packages: MarkupSafe, jinja2, PyYAML, pyasn1, appdirs, pyparsing, six, packaging, setuptools, ipaddress, idna, asn1crypto, enum34, pycparser, cffi, cryptography, paramiko, pycrypto, ansible
Successfully installed MarkupSafe-1.0 PyYAML-3.12 ansible-2.2.0.0 appdirs-1.4.3 asn1crypto-0.22.0 cffi-1.10.0 cryptography-1.8.1 enum34-1.1.6 idna-2.5 ipaddress-1.0.18 jinja2-2.9.6 packaging-16.8 paramiko-2.1.2 pyasn1-0.2.3 pycparser-2.17 pycrypto-2.6.1 pyparsing-2.2.0 setuptools-34.4.1 six-1.10.0
You are using pip version 8.1.1, however version 9.0.1 is available.
You should consider upgrading via the 'pip install --upgrade pip' command.
ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ ansible all -i 'localhost, ' -c local -m debug -a 'var=ansible_user'
localhost | SUCCESS => {
    "ansible_user": "VARIABLE IS NOT DEFINED!",
    "changed": false
}
EXPECTED RESULTS
localhost | SUCCESS => {
    "ansible_user": "ubuntu"
}
ACTUAL RESULTS
localhost | SUCCESS => {
    "ansible_user": "VARIABLE IS NOT DEFINED!",
    "changed": false
}

This works on 2.2.0.0

ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ ansible all -i 'localhost, ' -c local -m debug -a 'var=ansible_user'
localhost | SUCCESS => {
    "ansible_user": "VARIABLE IS NOT DEFINED!",
    "changed": false
}
ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ pip install ansible==2.2.0.0
Collecting ansible==2.2.0.0
Collecting PyYAML (from ansible==2.2.0.0)
Collecting setuptools (from ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached setuptools-34.4.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting jinja2 (from ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached Jinja2-2.9.6-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting paramiko (from ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached paramiko-2.1.2-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting pycrypto>=2.6 (from ansible==2.2.0.0)
Collecting appdirs>=1.4.0 (from setuptools->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached appdirs-1.4.3-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting packaging>=16.8 (from setuptools->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached packaging-16.8-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting six>=1.6.0 (from setuptools->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached six-1.10.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting MarkupSafe>=0.23 (from jinja2->ansible==2.2.0.0)
Collecting pyasn1>=0.1.7 (from paramiko->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached pyasn1-0.2.3-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting cryptography>=1.1 (from paramiko->ansible==2.2.0.0)
Collecting pyparsing (from packaging>=16.8->setuptools->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached pyparsing-2.2.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting ipaddress (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached ipaddress-1.0.18-py2-none-any.whl
Collecting idna>=2.1 (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached idna-2.5-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting asn1crypto>=0.21.0 (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached asn1crypto-0.22.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Collecting enum34 (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached enum34-1.1.6-py2-none-any.whl
Collecting cffi>=1.4.1 (from cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible==2.2.0.0)
  Using cached cffi-1.10.0-cp27-cp27mu-manylinux1_x86_64.whl
Collecting pycparser (from cffi>=1.4.1->cryptography>=1.1->paramiko->ansible==2.2.0.0)
Installing collected packages: PyYAML, appdirs, pyparsing, six, packaging, setuptools, MarkupSafe, jinja2, pyasn1, ipaddress, idna, asn1crypto, enum34, pycparser, cffi, cryptography, paramiko, pycrypto, ansible
Successfully installed MarkupSafe-1.0 PyYAML-3.12 ansible-2.2.0.0 appdirs-1.4.3 asn1crypto-0.22.0 cffi-1.10.0 cryptography-1.8.1 enum34-1.1.6 idna-2.5 ipaddress-1.0.18 jinja2-2.9.6 packaging-16.8 paramiko-2.1.2 pyasn1-0.2.3 pycparser-2.17 pycrypto-2.6.1 pyparsing-2.2.0 setuptools-34.4.1 six-1.10.0
You are using pip version 8.1.1, however version 9.0.1 is available.
You should consider upgrading via the 'pip install --upgrade pip' command.
ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ ansible all -i 'localhost, ' -c local -m debug -a 'var=ansible_user'
localhost | SUCCESS => {
    "ansible_user": "ubuntu"
}
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@nitzmahone nitzmahone commented Apr 13, 2017

This isn't a bug. In the absence of a specified user, either by -u, config, inventory, or play keywords, each connection plugin is free to interpret who the current user is in a way that makes sense. Most choose the user running ansible, but WinRM with kerberos (for example) will use the ambient TGT if one is found. So we can't sanely set a global default value for ansible_user without breaking things.

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@mhristof mhristof commented Apr 17, 2017

i see your point, but the same command ansible all -i 'localhost, ' -c local -m debug -a 'var=ansible_user' seem to have changed behaviour on two different versions of ansible and i didn't see anything mentioned.

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@bcoca bcoca commented Apr 17, 2017

The behaviour change for debug was not intended, but also not something we are looking at. ansible_user is a variable the user sets for the connection to consume, not the other way around.

Also note that 'debug' has no connection as it is a special action that does not require one, like add_hosts, group_by, pause, etc. These are actions that affect the data or display of Ansible itself, not the target hosts.

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@mhristof mhristof commented Apr 18, 2017

its not only happening in the debug module.

ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ cat test.yml
---
  - hosts: all

    tasks:
      - name: touch ansible_user file
        file:
          path: /tmp/{{ ansible_user }}
          state: touch
ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ !ans
ansible-playbook test.yml  -i 'localhost, '

PLAY [all] *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

TASK [Gathering Facts] *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
ok: [localhost]

TASK [touch ansible_user file] *************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
fatal: [localhost]: FAILED! => {"failed": true, "msg": "the field 'args' has an invalid value, which appears to include a variable that is undefined. The error was: 'ansible_user' is undefined\n\nThe error appears to have been in '/home/ubuntu/test.yml': line 5, column 9, but may\nbe elsewhere in the file depending on the exact syntax problem.\n\nThe offending line appears to be:\n\n    tasks:\n      - name: touch ansible_user file\n        ^ here\n"}
	to retry, use: --limit @/home/ubuntu/test.retry

PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
localhost                  : ok=1    changed=0    unreachable=0    failed=1

ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ ansible --version
ansible 2.3.0.0
  config file =
  configured module search path = Default w/o overrides
  python version = 2.7.12 (default, Nov 19 2016, 06:48:10) [GCC 5.4.0 20160609]
ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$
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@evrardjp evrardjp commented Apr 19, 2017

@bcoca : I Agree with @mhristof here.
The confusing part would be: http://docs.ansible.com/ansible/intro_configuration.html#remote-user

If nothing is set, we expect this to be from the env. Here it just fails. Either we need a doc change, or a change the behavior.

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@geerlingguy geerlingguy commented Apr 20, 2017

I'm starting to see this creeping in from a lot of different places actually—I've been getting some error reports in certain environments where playbooks were working great and all the sudden are not, and I just experienced it in some of my Travis CI builds, where I'm getting The error was: 'ansible_user' is undefined.

See some excellent sleuthing by @oxyc here: geerlingguy/drupal-vm#1302 (comment)

Basically, I have to ask... if we can't use ansible_user (and ansible_ssh_user disappeared post-2.0)—is there any variable that we can use that contains the current $USER, or should I start rewriting things to expect that ansible_user may or may not be populated?

I haven't had an issue from 2.0 -> 2.2.x, but now that 2.3.0 is here it pops up in some environments but not others.

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@geerlingguy geerlingguy commented Apr 20, 2017

Additionally, if I pass something like -u username it still gives me the error :/

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@evrardjp evrardjp commented Apr 20, 2017

@geerlingguy we started to move to ansible_user_id, but hell who know's what's going to happen on next release.

@alikins alikins reopened this Apr 20, 2017
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@bcoca bcoca commented Apr 20, 2017

ansible_ssh_user did not go away, its just the 'ssh connection plugin specific' version of ansible_user, ansible_user_id is a result of fact gathering, which has different implications (also see become interactions).

I suspect the break came here 58ee661

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@alikins alikins commented Apr 20, 2017

I would say ansible_user can potentially be none (there is no builtin default but usually remote_user ansible_ssh_user etc provide it) for the reasons @nitzmahone mentioned.

for the case here

ubuntu@ubuntu-xenial:~$ ansible all -i 'localhost, ' -c local -m debug -a 'var=ansible_user'
localhost | SUCCESS => {
   "ansible_user": "VARIABLE IS NOT DEFINED!",
   "changed": false
}

It seems like it is a bug that is not being set.

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@bcoca bcoca commented Apr 20, 2017

reverting the commit above 'fixes it'

bcoca added a commit to bcoca/ansible that referenced this issue Apr 20, 2017
@bcoca bcoca closed this in #23830 Apr 20, 2017
bcoca added a commit that referenced this issue Apr 20, 2017
* Revert "fixes play context connection user (#21776)"

This reverts commit 58ee661.
fixes #23530

* preserve original in copy

updated comment to clarify wtf is going on here

(cherry picked from commit eb887b8)
bcoca added a commit that referenced this issue Apr 20, 2017
* Revert "fixes play context connection user (#21776)"

This reverts commit 58ee661.
fixes #23530

* preserve original in copy

updated comment to clarify wtf is going on here
@oxyc oxyc mentioned this issue Apr 22, 2017
tedelhourani added a commit to tedelhourani/ansible that referenced this issue May 3, 2017
…23830)

* Revert "fixes play context connection user (ansible#21776)"

This reverts commit 58ee661.
fixes ansible#23530

* preserve original in copy

updated comment to clarify wtf is going on here
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@JLofgren JLofgren commented Aug 7, 2017

@geerlingguy asked an excellent question, and I want to repeat it, because I am also seeking an answer:

Basically, I have to ask... if we can't use ansible_user (and ansible_ssh_user disappeared post-2.0)—is there any variable that we can use that contains the current $USER, or should I start rewriting things to expect that ansible_user may or may not be populated?

How can I refer to the user who is running the ansible playbook???

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@nitzmahone nitzmahone commented Aug 7, 2017

lookup('env', 'USER') or lookup('pipe', 'whoami') would both work under most circumstances (and could be combined with default to implement a fallback behavior).

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@JLofgren JLofgren commented Aug 8, 2017

@nitzmahone - Thanks, that seems to work for me!

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@haridsv haridsv commented Apr 16, 2018

In addition to ansible_user not working with become_user, I am noticing that it doesn't work in the Jinja2 template either. E.g., with this:

- hosts: all
  gather_facts: no
  tasks:
    - copy:
        dest: /tmp/t.j2
        content: "{{ '{{' }} remote_user {{ '}}' }}"
    - template:
        src: /tmp/t.j2
        dest: /tmp/t

You get the below error:

$ ansible-playbook -v -i localhost, t.yaml
...
TASK [template] ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
fatal: [localhost]: FAILED! => {"changed": false, "msg": "AnsibleUndefinedVariable: 'remote_user' is undefined"}
        to retry, use: --limit @/tmp/t.retry
...

I even tried using ansible_user and ansible_ssh_user and got the same error, but when I tried inventory_hostname it worked fine.

BTW, with become_user, the problem is not just with remote_user, I can't get ansible_user or ansible_ssh_user to work either, e.g., with this:

- hosts: all
  gather_facts: no
  tasks:
    - shell: whoami
      become: yes
      become_user: "{{ansible_ssh_user}}"

I get this error:

$ ansible-playbook -v -i localhost, t.yaml
...
TASK [shell] ***********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
fatal: [localhost]: FAILED! => {"msg": "The field 'become_user' has an invalid value, which includes an undefined variable. The error was: 'ansible_ssh_user' is undefined"}
        to retry, use: --limit @/tmp/t.retry
...
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@haridsv haridsv commented Apr 16, 2018

Another workaround is to use set_fact to set a temporary fact with the value of ansible_user and then use that as the value for become_user.

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@edesz edesz commented Aug 14, 2018

@haridsv I tried your workaround to install the package vim

- name:
  set_fact: myuser="{{ ansible_user }}"

- apt:
    name: vim
    state: present
  become: yes
  become_method: sudo
  become_user: "{{ myuser }}"

But I got this error about missing file permission


<localhost> ESTABLISH LOCAL CONNECTION FOR USER: userabc
<localhost> EXEC /bin/sh -c 'echo ~userabc && sleep 0'
<localhost> EXEC /bin/sh -c '( umask 77 && mkdir -p "` echo /home/userabc/.ansible/tmp/ansible-tmp-1534213465.84-219764663366229 `" && echo ansible-tmp-1534213465.84-219764663366229="` echo /home/userabc/.ansible/tmp/ansible-tmp-1534213465.84-219764663366229 `" ) && sleep 0'
Using module file /home/userabc/.venv/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/ansible/modules/packaging/os/apt.py
<localhost> PUT /home/userabc/.ansible/tmp/ansible-local-27234S03P7r/tmpXK5fmH TO /home/userabc/.ansible/tmp/ansible-tmp-1534213465.84-219764663366229/apt.py
<localhost> EXEC /bin/sh -c 'chmod u+x /home/userabc/.ansible/tmp/ansible-tmp-1534213465.84-219764663366229/ /home/userabc/.ansible/tmp/ansible-tmp-1534213465.84-219764663366229/apt.py && sleep 0'
<localhost> EXEC /bin/sh -c '/home/userabc/.venv/bin/python /home/userabc/.ansible/tmp/ansible-tmp-1534213465.84-219764663366229/apt.py && sleep 0'
<localhost> EXEC /bin/sh -c 'rm -f -r /home/userabc/.ansible/tmp/ansible-tmp-1534213465.84-219764663366229/ > /dev/null 2>&1 && sleep 0'
The full traceback is:
  File "/tmp/ansible_YOK5VF/ansible_module_apt.py", line 299, in <module>
    import apt

failed: [localhost] (item=vim) => {
    "changed": false, 
    "cmd": "apt-get update", 
    "invocation": {
        "module_args": {
            "allow_unauthenticated": false, 
            "autoclean": false, 
            "autoremove": false, 
            "cache_valid_time": 0, 
            "deb": null, 
            "default_release": null, 
            "dpkg_options": "force-confdef,force-confold", 
            "force": false, 
            "force_apt_get": false, 
            "install_recommends": null, 
            "name": "vim", 
            "only_upgrade": false, 
            "package": [
                "vim"
            ], 
            "purge": false, 
            "state": "present", 
            "update_cache": null, 
            "upgrade": null
        }
    }, 
    "item": "vim", 
    "msg": "E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/apt/lists/lock - open (13: Permission denied)\nE: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/\nW: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/pkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)\nW: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/srcpkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)", 
    "rc": 100, 
    "stderr": "E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/apt/lists/lock - open (13: Permission denied)\nE: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/\nW: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/pkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)\nW: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/srcpkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)\n", 
    "stderr_lines": [
        "E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/apt/lists/lock - open (13: Permission denied)", 
        "E: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/", 
        "W: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/pkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)", 
        "W: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/srcpkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)"
    ], 
    "stdout": "Reading package lists...\n", 
    "stdout_lines": [
        "Reading package lists..."
    ]
}
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@haridsv haridsv commented Aug 14, 2018

@edesz You are trying to install system package as a regular user, which is why you are seeing the permissions issues. What is the error you are trying to workaround?

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@edesz edesz commented Aug 14, 2018

You are right. That could be it.

My issue was about undefined variable ansible_user. When I tried to run

become_user: "{{ ansible_user }}"

I got the same error as in the OP here that "failed": true, "msg": "the field 'args' has an invalid value, which appears to include a variable that is undefined. The error was: 'ansible_user' is undefined.

After searching through Google I came to this issue and I thought your workaround might have worked. That was my reason for trying it and posting here about it.

But your are right....my problem is likely due to running as a regular user.

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@haridsv haridsv commented Aug 14, 2018

@edesz Right, you should be able to get past this error by just removing become_user.

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