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Ansible Install Options

Kitchen-ansible is very flexible in how it installs ansible:

It installs it in the following order:

  • if require_ansible_omnibus is set to true

    Installs using the omnibus_ansible script specified in the ansible_omnibus_url parameter and passes the ansible_version if specied as -v option.

  • If require_ansible_source is set to true

    Install require packages and download the ansible source from github from master or from a branch specified in the parameter install_source_rev.

  • if require_pip is set to true

    Install require packages and then installs ansible using the python pip command and ansible version must be specified. This allows a specific version of ansible to be installed.

  • if require_ansible_repo is set to true (the default)

    Installs from the operation system repository only with the ansible version that is in the particular repository and will use the ansible_version in the package name where appropriate.

NOTE: Set to ansible_package_name to 'ansible' when installing from the CentOS/Redhat extras repo, instead of the EPEL.

Provisioner Options

kitchen-ansible runs the ansible playbook command with options from parameters in the kitchen.yml file:

key default value Notes
additional_copy_path Arbitrary array of files and directories to copy into test environment e.g. vars or included playbooks. See below section Copying Additional Files
additional_copy_role_path Arbitrary array of files and directories to copy into test environment and are appended to the ANSIBLE_ROLES_PATH env var when running ansible. See below section Copying Additional Files
additional_ssh_private_keys List of additional ssh private key files to be added to ~/.ssh
ansible_apt_repo ppa:ansible/ansible apt repo; see /~ansible/+archive/ubuntu/ansible or rquillo/ansible
ansible_binary_path NULL If specified this will override the location where kitchen tries to run ansible-playbook from, i.e. ansible_binary_path: /usr/local/bin
ansible_check false Sets the --check flag when running Ansible
ansible_connection local use ssh if the host is not localhost (Linux) or winrm (Windows) or none if defined in inventory
ansible_cfg_path ansible.cfg location of custom ansible.cfg to get copied into test environment
ansible_diff false Sets the --diff flag when running Ansible
ansible_extra_flags Additional options to pass to ansible-playbook, e.g. '--skip-tags=redis'
ansible_host_key_checking true Strict host key checking in ssh
ansible_inventory Static or dynamic inventory file or directory or 'none' if defined in ansible.cfg
ansible_limit Further limits the selected host/group patterns
ansible_omnibus_remote_path /opt/ansible Server installation location of an Omnibus Ansible install
ansible_omnibus_url /neillturner/omnibus-ansible /master/ Omnibus Ansible install location
ansible_package_name Set to ansible when installing from the CentOS/Redhat extras repo, instead of the EPEL.
ansible_platform Naively tries to determine OS platform of server
ansible_playbook_command Override the Ansible playbook command
ansible_sles_repo /systemsmanagement/SLE_12 /systemsmanagement.repo Zypper SuSE Ansible repo
ansible_source_url git:// Git URL of Ansible source
ansible_source_rev Branch or tag to install Ansible source
ansible_sudo true Determines whether ansible-playbook is executed as root or as the current authenticated user
ansible_vault_password_file Path to Ansible Vault password file. Can also be an array of files.
ansible_verbose false Extra information logging
ansible_verbosity 1 Sets the verbosity flag appropriately, e.g.: 1 => '-v', 2 => '-vv', 3 => '-vvv' .... Valid values are: 1, 2, 3, 4 or :info, :warn, :debug, :trace
ansible_version latest Desired version, only affects apt-get installs
ansible_yum_repo nil yum repo for EL platforms
ansiblefile_path Path to Ansiblefile
callback_plugins_path callback_plugins Ansible repo callback_plugins directory
chef_bootstrap_url The Chef install
custom_pre_install_command nil Custom shell command to be used at beginning of install stage. Can be multiline.
custom_pre_play_command nil Custom shell command to be used before the ansible play stage. Can be multiline. See examples below.
custom_post_install_command nil Custom shell command to be used at after the install stage. Can be multiline.
custom_post_play_command nil Custom shell command to be used after the ansible play stage. Can be multiline. See examples below.
enable_yum_epel false Enable the yum EPEL repo
env_vars Hash to set environment variable to use with ansible-playbook command
extra_vars Hash to set the extra_vars passed to ansible-playbook command
extra_vars_file nil file containing environment variables e.g. private_vars/production.yml site.yml Don't prefix with a @ sign.
filter_plugins_path filter_plugins Ansible repo filter_plugins directory
galaxy_ignore_certs false Ignore certificate errors when installing roles with ansible-galaxy.
group_vars_path group_vars Ansible repo group_vars directory
host_vars_path host_vars Ansible repo hosts directory
hosts Create Ansible hosts file for localhost with this server group or list of groups
http_proxy nil Use HTTP proxy when installing Ansible, packages and running Ansible
https_proxy nil Use HTTPS proxy when installing Ansible, packages and running Ansible
idempotency_test false Enable to test Ansible playbook idempotency
idempotency_tags [] Adds a --tags parameter with the specified tags to the second invocation of ansible-playbook when idempotency_test is set to true
idempotency_skip_tags [] Adds a --skip-tags parameter with the specified tags to the second invocation of ansible-playbook when idempotency_test is set to true
ignore_extensions_from_root ['.pyc'] allow extensions to be ignored when copying from roles using additional_copy_role_path or doing recursive_additional_copy_path
ignore_paths_from_root [] allow extra paths to be ignored when copying from roles using additional_copy_role_path or using recursive_additional_copy_path
kerberos_conf_file Path of krb5.conf file using in Windows support
keep_playbook_path false Keep directory structure of playbook, e.g. when including vars with relativ paths from playbook
library_plugins_path library Ansible repo library plugins directory
lookup_plugins_path lookup_plugins Ansible repo lookup_plugins directory
max_retries 1 maximum number of retry attempts of converge command
modules_path Ansible repo manifests directory
no_proxy nil List of URLs or IPs that should be excluded from proxying
playbook default.yml Playbook for ansible-playbook to run
private_key ssh private key file for ssh connection
python_sles_repo /devel:/languages:/python/SLE_12 /devel:languages:python.repo Zypper SuSE python repo
recursive_additional_copy_path Arbitrary array of files and directories to copy into test environment. See below section Copying Additional Files
require_ansible_omnibus false Set to true if using Omnibus Ansible pip install
require_ansible_repo true Set if installing Ansible from a yum or apt repo
require_ansible_source false Install Ansible from source using method described here. Only works on Debian/Ubuntu at present
require_chef_for_busser true Install Chef to run Busser for tests. NOTE: kitchen 1.4 only requires Ruby to run Busser so this is not required.
require_pip false Set to true if Ansible is to be installed through pip).
require_ruby_for_busser false Install Ruby to run Busser for tests
require_windows_support false Install Windows support
requirements_path Path to Ansible Galaxy requirements
retry_on_exit_code [] Array of exit codes to retry converge command against
role_name use when the repo name does not match the name the role is published as.
roles_path roles Ansible repo roles directory
shell_command 'sh' Shell command to use, usually an alias for bash. may need to set to bash.
show_command_output false Show output of commands that are run to provision system.
ssh_known_hosts List of hosts that should be added to ~/.ssh/known_hosts
sudo_command sudo -E sudo command; change to sudo -E -H to be consistent with Ansible
update_package_repos true Update OS repository metadata
wait_for_retry 30 number of seconds to wait before retrying converge command
ignore_ansible_cfg false If true, values from ansible.cfg file will not be loaded.

Ansible Inventory

Ansible has the concept of an inventory.

Ansible then connects to these servers and processes the playbook against the server.

See also Host inventories.

ansible Inventory parameter

if you have an ansible inventory file you can specify it in the ansible_inventory parameter in the .kitchen.yml file.

  ansible_inventory: myinventoryfile.txt

or if you have an ansible.cfg file specify

  ansible_inventory: none

it will look for the file in the root of your repository.

or it can be a directory from the root of your repository and contain scripts to implement dynamic inventory

hosts parameter

if you don't specify an inventory file then you must specify the hosts parameter in the .kitchen.yml file.

kitchen ansible uses this information to create a hosts file that is used by ansible with the ansible command is run.

it can either be a name of a single server

hosts: myhost

or any array of hosts:

  - myhost1
  - myhost2

the hosts file that is generated always contains in the first line

localhost ansible_connection=local

so that it will process against the locahost.

and it will create a hosts file that includes the hosts you specify

localhost ansible_connection=local

Copying Additional Files

Several parameters have been developed rather organically to support the requirement to copy additional files beyond the ones in the standard ansible locations.

  • These could be used for the verification phase later
  • additional files required by the application
  • or these could be ansible roles

additional_copy_path - Arbitrary array of files and directories to copy into test environment

  • If you specify a directory it will copy all the files to /tmp/kitchen with the directory structure
  • if you specify the full file name they are copied to the top of the /tmp/kitchen folder in the server and the path is ignored. i.e. if we have a directory data/ containing file xyz.txt
    - data/xyz.txt

it will copy data/xyz.txt to /tmp/kitchen/xyz.txt

  • if you specify the directory without the filename it will preserve the path when copying to /tmp/kitchen.
    - data

it will copy data/xyz.txt to /tmp/kitchen/data/xyz.txt NOTE: additional_copy_path does copy files that are links but if you specify the full file path only the file name is copied to /tmp/kitchen


This copies the directories in a resursive fashion which can work better for some directory structures

  • It does not support specifying files with paths. i.e. you can only specify files at the top level of the repository
  - xyz.txt
  • It does support copying directories in a similar fashion to additional_copy_path but uses recursion to discover the files in the directory structure which can be problematic with files with links.
    - data


This is the same as additional_copy_path but adds the extra paths to the ANSIBLE_ROLES_PATH ansible command parameter.

ignore_paths_from_root and ignore_extensions_from_root

During recursive_additional_copy_path or additional_copy_role_path there are 2 additional parameters. (NOTE: These don't apply with additional_copy_path)

  • ignore_paths_from_root defaults to empty array []. This causes these paths to be ignored.
  • ignore_extensions_from_root defaults to an array containg ['.pyc']. This causes files with these extensions to be ignored. as these are implemented with the 'Find.prune' command they can be problematic with file links.

Configuring Provisioner Options

The provisioner can be configured globally or per suite, global settings act as defaults for all suites, you can then customise per suite, for example:

  name: vagrant

  name: ansible_playbook
  roles_path: roles
  hosts: tomcat-servers
  require_ansible_repo: true
  ansible_verbose: true
  ansible_verbosity: 2
  ansible_diff: true

- name: nocm_ubuntu-12.04
  driver_plugin: vagrant
    box: nocm_ubuntu-12.04

 - name: default

Per-suite Structure

It can be beneficial to keep different Ansible layouts for different suites. Rather than having to specify the roles, modules, etc for each suite, you can create the following directory structure and they will automatically be found:


Multiple Line Structure

  command: |
    sudo -s <<SERVERSPEC
    cd /opt/gdc/serverspec-core
    export SERVERSPEC_BACKEND=exec
    serverspec junit=true tag=~skip_in_kitchen check:role:$EC2DATA_TYPE