reviews ansible playbooks, roles and inventory and suggests improvements

pip install ansible-review==0.14.0rc2



Using pip

pip install ansible-review

From source

# Install dependency
git clone
export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:`pwd`/ansible-review/lib
export PATH=$PATH:`pwd`/ansible-review/bin


ansible-review can be found: under standard Fedora repos, or under EPEL. To install ansible-review, use yum or dnf accordingly.

yum install ansible-review


ansible-review FILES

Where FILES is a space delimited list of files to review. ansible-review is not recursive and won't descend into child folders; it just processes the list of files you give it.

Passing a folder in with the list of files will elicit a warning:

WARN: Couldn't classify file ./foldername

ansible-review will review inventory files, role files, python code (modules, plugins) and playbooks.

  • The goal is that each file that changes in a changeset should be reviewable simply by passing those files as the arguments to ansible-review.
  • Roles are slightly harder, and sub-roles are yet harder still (currently just using -R to process roles works very well, but doesn't examine the structure of the role)
  • Using {{ playbook_dir }} in sub roles is so far very hard.
  • This should work against various repository styles
    • per-role repository
    • roles with sub-roles
    • per-playbook repository
  • It should work with roles requirement files and with local roles

Typical approaches

Git repositories

  • git ls-files | xargs ansible-review works well in a roles repo to review the whole role. But it will review the whole of other repos too.
  • git diff branch_to_compare | ansible-review will review only the changes between the branches and surrounding context.

Without git

  • find . -type f | xargs ansible-review will review all files in the current folder (and all subfolders), even if they're not checked into git


Reviews are nothing without some standards or checklists against which to review.

ansible-review comes with a couple of built-in checks, such as a playbook syntax checker and a hook to ansible-lint. You define your own standards.


If your standards (and optionally inhouse lint rules) are set up, create a configuration file in the appropriate location (this will depend on your operating system)

The location can be found by using ansible-review with no arguments.

You can override the configuration file location with the -c flag.

lint = /path/to/your/ansible/lint/rules
standards = /path/to/your/standards/rules

The standards directory can be overridden with the -d argument, and the lint rules directory can be overwritten with the -r argument.

Standards file

A standards file comprises a list of standards, and optionally some methods to check those standards.

Create a file called (this can import other modules)

from ansiblereview include Standard, Result

use_modules_instead_of_command = Standard(dict(
    name = "Use modules instead of commands",
    version = "0.2",
    check = ansiblelint('ANSIBLE0005,ANSIBLE0006'),
    types = ['playbook', 'task'],

standards = [

When you add new standards, you should increment the version of your standards. Your playbooks and roles should declare what version of standards you are using, otherwise ansible-review assumes you're using the latest. The declaration is done by adding standards version as first line in the file. e.g.

# Standards: 1.2

To add standards that are advisory, don't set the version. These will cause a message to be displayed but won't constitute a failure.

When a standard version is higher than declared version, a message will be displayed 'WARN: Future standard' and won't constitute a failure.

An example standards file is available at lib/ansiblereview/examples/

If you only want to check one or two standards quickly (perhaps you want to review your entire code base for deprecated bare words), you can use the -s flag with the name of your standard. You can pass -s multiple times.

git ls-files | xargs ansible-review -s "bare words are deprecated for with_items"

You can see the name of the standards being checked for each different file by running ansible-review with the -v option.

Standards checks

A typical standards check will look like:

def check_playbook_for_something(candidate, settings):
    result = Result(candidate.path) # empty result is a success with no output
    with open(candidate.path, 'r') as f:
        for (lineno, line) in enumerate(f):
            if line is dodgy:
                # enumerate is 0-based so add 1 to lineno
                result.errors.append(Error(lineno+1, "Line is dodgy: reasons"))
    return result

All standards check take a candidate object, which has a path attribute. The type can be inferred from the class name (i.e. type(candidate).__name__)

They return a Result object, which contains a possibly empty list of Error objects. Error objects are formed of a line number and a message. If the error applies to the whole file being reviewed, set the line number to None. Line numbers are important as ansible-review can review just ranges of files to only review changes (e.g. through piping the output of git diff to ansible-review)

The ansible-lint check is ready out of the box, and just takes a list of IDs or tags to check. You can point to your own ansible-lint rules using the configuration file or -d /path/to/ansible/lint/rules


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

- repo:
  sha: bd2e8b6863dc20d8619418e6817d5793c7ebc687
    - id: ansible-review

Notice, that this is currently in testing phase.