Ansible Provisioner for Test Kitchen
Latest commit 76120fc Jun 23, 2018


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A Test Kitchen Provisioner for Ansible.

The provisioner works by passing the Ansible repository based on attributes in .kitchen.yml & calling ansible-playbook.

It installs Ansible on the server and runs ansible-playbook using host localhost.

It has been tested against the Ubuntu 12.04/14.04/16.04, Centos 6/7 and Debian 6/7/8 boxes running in vagrant/virtualbox.


  • Test Kitchen.
  • a driver box without a Chef installation so Ansible can be installed.

Installation & Setup

  1. install the latest Ruby on your workstation (for windows see

  2. If using Ruby version less than 2.3 first install earlier version of test-kitchen

gem install test-kitchen -v 1.16.0
  1. Install the kitchen-ansible gem in your system, along with kitchen-vagrant or kitchen-docker or any other suitable driver or the exec driver to run from your workstation:
gem install kitchen-ansible
gem install kitchen-vagrant


Example .kitchen.yml file

Based on the Tomcat Standalone example:

  name: vagrant

  name: ansible_playbook
  roles_path: roles
  hosts: tomcat-servers
  require_ansible_repo: true
  ansible_verbose: true
  ansible_version: latest
  require_chef_for_busser: false
  - /mykey/id_rsa

  - name: nocm_centos-6.5
    driver_plugin: vagrant
      box: nocm_centos-6.5
      - ['forwarded_port', {guest: 8080, host: 8080}]
      - ['private_network', {ip: ''}]

See example

Windows Support

Windows is supported by creating a linux server to run Ansible with software required to support winrm. Then the winrm connection is used to configure the windows server.

In .kitchen.yml set:

  ansible_connection: winrm
  require_windows_support: true
  require_chef_for_busser: false

See the Ansible Windows repo example.

Test Kitchen Exec Driver

By using the test-kitchen exec driver ansible can be driven from your workstation. This provides similar functionality to kitchen-ansiblepush. Remote servers, as specified in the ansible inventory, can be built with ansible automatically installed and run from your workstation.

See example

Ansible AWX

Kitchen ansible supports installing and using the open source version of Ansible Tower Ansible AWX on a Centos 7. In future it will support the tower-cli for testing.

See example

Using Roles from Ansible Galaxy

Roles can be used from the Ansible Galaxy using two methods:

  1. Specify a requirements.yml file in your Ansible repository. For more details see here.

  2. Use librarian-ansible by creating an Ansiblefile in the top level of the repository and kitchen-ansible will automatically call librarian-ansible during convergence. For a description of setting up an Ansiblefile see here.


To use a single ~/.kitchen/config.yml file with multiple reposities by setting the WORKSPACE environment variable:

role_path: <%= ENV['WORKSPACE'] %>/roles

You can easily skip previous instructions and jump directly to the broken statement you just fixed by passing an environment variable. Add the following to your .kitchen.yml:

  name: ansible_playbook
  ansible_extra_flags: <%= ENV['ANSIBLE_EXTRA_FLAGS'] %>

Then run:

$ ANSIBLE_EXTRA_FLAGS='--start-at-task="myrole | name of last working instruction"' kitchen converge

You save a lot of time not running working instructions.

Ruby install to run Serverspec verify

By default test-kitchen installs Chef to get a Ruby version suitable to run Serverspec in the verify step. kitchen-verifier-serverspec installs its own ruby version so chef or ruby is not required to verify with serverspec :

require_chef_for_busser: false

And set the verifier section:

  name: serverspec
  sudo_path: true

  - name: ansible
      hostname: ''
      - roles/tomcat/spec/tomcat_spec.rb
      bundler_path: '/usr/local/bin'
      rspec_path: '/usr/local/bin'
        LOGIN_USER: centos
        SUDO: true
        SSH_KEY: spec/test.pem

Please see the Provisioner Options for a complete listing.

Test-Kitchen Ansiblespec

By using kitchen-verifier-serverspec and the Runner ansiblespec_runner tests can be run against multiple servers with multiple roles in the ansiblespec format.

Serverspec uses ssh to communicate with the server to be tested and reads the Ansible playbook and inventory files to determine the hosts to test and the roles for each host.

See example

Example usage to create Tomcat servers:

test-kitchen, Ansible and ansiblespec

See ansible-sample-tdd.



In the Ansible repository specify:

  • spec files with the roles.
  • spec_helper in the spec folder (with code as below).
+-- roles
¦   +-- mariadb
¦   ¦   +-- spec
¦   ¦   ¦   +-- mariadb_spec.rb
¦   ¦   +-- tasks
¦   ¦   ¦   +-- main.yml
¦   ¦   +-- templates
¦   ¦       +-- mariadb.repo
¦   +-- nginx
¦       +-- handlers
¦       ¦   +-- main.yml
¦       +-- spec
¦       ¦   +-- nginx_spec.rb
¦       +-- tasks
¦       ¦   +-- main.yml
¦       +-- templates
¦       ¦   +-- nginx.repo
¦       +-- vars
¦           +-- main.yml
+-- spec
    +-- spec_helper.rb
    +-- my_private_key.pem


require 'rubygems'
require 'bundler/setup'

require 'serverspec'
require 'pathname'
require 'net/ssh'

RSpec.configure do |config|
  set :host,  ENV['TARGET_HOST']
  # ssh options at
  # ssh via password
  set :ssh_options, :user => ENV['LOGIN_USER'], :paranoid => false, :verbose => :error, :password => ENV['LOGIN_PASSWORD'] if ENV['LOGIN_PASSWORD']
  # ssh via ssh key
  set :ssh_options, :user => ENV['LOGIN_USER'], :paranoid => false, :verbose => :error, :host_key => 'ssh-rsa', :keys => [ ENV['SSH_KEY'] ] if ENV['SSH_KEY']
  set :backend, :ssh
  set :request_pty, true

See kitchen-verifier-serverspec.

Alternative Virtualization/Cloud providers for Vagrant

This could be adapted to use alternative virtualization/cloud providers such as Openstack/AWS/VMware Fusion according to whatever is supported by Vagrant.

  - name: ubuntu-12.04
      provider: aws
      box: my_base_box
      # username is based on what is configured in your box/ami
      username: ubuntu
        access_key_id: 'AKKJHG659868LHGLH'
        secret_access_key: 'G8t7o+6HLG876JGF/58'
        ami: ami-7865ab765d
        instance_type: t2.micro
        # more customisation can go here, based on what the vagrant provider supports
        #security-groups: []


  • The default in all of the above is the name of the test suite defined in the suites section of your .kitchen.yml, so if you have more than one suite of tests or change the name, you'll need to adapt the example accordingly.
  • Serverspec test files must be named _spec.rb
  • Since I'm using Vagrant, my box definitions refer to Vagrant boxes, either standard, published boxes available from Atlas or custom-created boxes (perhaps using Packer and bento, in which case you'll need to provide the URL in box_url.