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Found at: raymii.org:70/Ansible_-_Playbook_Testing.txt

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Title       : 	Ansible - Playbook Testing
Author      : 	Remy van Elst
Date        : 	29-12-2013
URL         : 	https://raymii.org/s/tutorials/Ansible_-_Playbook_Testing.html
Format      : 	Markdown/HTML

This Ansible article shows you how to run a basic test on your playbooks to
check if their syntax is correct. It shows methods for both Ansible 1.3 and 1.4.
When you get more complicated Ansible playbooks you sometimes have syntax (YAML)
errors in them. It sometimes can take a while before those errors show up
because they are lower in a playbook. By running the syntax check you make sure
this won't happen.

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### Dummy inventory file

Lets say your playbooks are located in `/home/username/ansible/playbooks`. You
have a few roles and a few playbooks. To test them, we need a dummy
`ansible_hosts` file. Create it:

    cd ~/ansible/
    mkdir tests/
    vim tests/ansible_hosts

Put this in the file:


Note that when executing the tasks it will not actually execute them on your
local machine. It only does a syntax check.

### Testing

Use the `--syntax-check` and `-list-tasks` options, plus the dummy inventory
file to do a full syntax check, including all includes roles and task files:

    ansible-playbook --syntax-check --list-tasks -i tests/ansible_hosts

If there are no errors, you will get a list of tasks which the playbook wil

    playbook: ./playbooks/default-vps-setup.yml
      play #1 (local):
        apt name={{item}} state=latest update_cache=yes
        apt pkg={{item}} state=absent
        template src=localegen.j2 dest=/etc/locale.gen
        template src=localepurge.j2 dest=/etc/locale.nopurge
        template src=timezone.j2 dest=/etc/timezone
        template src=issue.net.j2 dest=/etc/issue.net
        template src=issue.net.j2 dest=/etc/issue
        template src=hostname.j2 dest=/etc/hostname

If you have an error it will show up in red:

    ansible-playbook --syntax-check --list-tasks -i tests/ansible_hosts
    playbook: ./playbooks/default-vps-setup.yml
    ERROR: Syntax Error while loading YAML script,
    /home/remy/ansible/playbooks/roles/vim/tasks/main.yml Note: The error may
    actually appear before this position: line 3, column 7
    -dfi://dsf;apt: pkg=vim-tiny state=latest update_cache=yes
      sudo: yes

### Testing all the playbooks

My ansible git repository is set up like so:

     $ tree -L 3
    |-- ansible_hosts
    |-- ci.sh
    |-- playbooks
    |   |-- debug.yml
    |   |-- default-vps-setup.yml
    |   |-- group_vars
    |   |   |-- all.yml
    |   |   |-- apache-php.yml
    |   |   |-- lighttpd-php.yml
    |   |   |-- desktop-awesome.yml
    |   |   `-- nginx-php.yml
    |   |-- nginx-vps.yml
    |   `-- roles
           |-- bash
    |       |   `-- tasks
    |       |-- basic-debian-setup
    |       |   |-- files
    |       |   |-- tasks
    |       |   `-- templates
    |       |-- vim
    |       `-- vnstat
    `-- tests
        `-- ansible_hosts

As you can see my playbooks are in the `playbooks` folder. To test all the
playbooks I use the following find command piped trough to ansible:

    find ./playbooks -name '*.yml' -depth 1 | xargs -n1  ansible-playbook
    --syntax-check --list-tasks -i tests/ansible_hosts

The `-depth 1` makes sure only playbooks are tested, testing task or variable
files will fail.

You can very easily add this setup to Jenkins or any other CI. I have my
playbooks in Jenkins, a simple bash script named `ci.sh` is used as the only
test step:

    #!/usr/bin/env bash
    set -o errexit
    set -o nounset
    # set -o xtrace
    set -o pipefail
    __DIR__="$(cd "$(dirname "${0}")"; echo $(pwd))"
    __BASE__="$(basename "${0}")"
    echo "################################"
    echo "Build Information"
    echo "Directory: ${__DIR__}"
    echo "Filename: ${__FILE__}"
    echo "Version Information:"
    echo "Ansible Version: $(ansible --version)"
    echo "Ansible Playbook Version: $(ansible-playbook --version)"
    echo "Operating System: $(lsb_release -d | awk -F: '{ print $2 }' | tr -d '\t')"
    echo "Kernel: $(uname -a)"
    echo "################################"
    echo "### Starting tests"
    find ./playbooks -maxdepth 1 -name '*.yml'| xargs -n1  ansible-playbook
    --syntax-check --list-tasks -i tests/ansible_hosts

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