Documentation

Creating Roles

This topic describes how to create Ansible roles that can be imported into Galaxy.

Roles

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of an Ansible role, view Ansible Roles.

Using the ansible-galaxy command line tool that comes bundled with Ansible, you can create a role with the init command. For example, the following will create a role directory structure called test-role-1 in the current working directory:

$ ansible-galaxy init test-role-1

The test-role-1 directory will contain the following:

.travis.yml
README.md
defaults/
    main.yml
files/
handlers/
    main.yml
meta/
    main.yml
tasks/
    main.yml
templates/
tests/
    inventory
    test.yml
vars/
    main.yml

For a full explanation of all subdirectories and files listed above, and how they’re used by Ansible, view the Roles topic at the Ansible docs site

Role Metadata

When Galaxy imports a role, the import process looks for metadata found in the role’s meta/main.yml file. The following shows the default metadata file created by the init command:

galaxy_info:
  role_name: foo
  author: your name
  description: your description
  company: your company (optional)

  # If the issue tracker for your role is not on github, uncomment the
  # next line and provide a value
  # issue_tracker_url: http://example.com/issue/tracker

  # Some suggested licenses:
  # - BSD (default)
  # - MIT
  # - GPLv2
  # - GPLv3
  # - Apache
  # - CC-BY
  license: license (GPLv2, CC-BY, etc)

  min_ansible_version: 1.2

  # If this a Container Enabled role, provide the minimum Ansible Container version.
  # min_ansible_container_version:

  # Optionally specify the branch Galaxy will use when accessing the GitHub
  # repo for this role. During role install, if no tags are available,
  # Galaxy will use this branch. During import Galaxy will access files on
  # this branch. If Travis integration is configured, only notifications for this
  # branch will be accepted. Otherwise, in all cases, the repo's default branch
  # (usually master) will be used.
  #github_branch:

  #
  # platforms is a list of platforms, and each platform has a name and a list of versions.
  #
  # platforms:
  # - name: Fedora
  #   versions:
  #   - all
  #   - 25
  # - name: SomePlatform
  #   versions:
  #   - all
  #   - 1.0
  #   - 7
  #   - 99.99

  galaxy_tags: []
    # List tags for your role here, one per line. A tag is a keyword that describes
    # and categorizes the role. Users find roles by searching for tags. Be sure to
    # remove the '[]' above, if you add tags to this list.
    #
    # NOTE: A tag is limited to a single word comprised of alphanumeric characters.
    #       Maximum 20 tags per role.

dependencies: []
  # List your role dependencies here, one per line. Be sure to remove the '[]' above,
  # if you add dependencies to this list.

The following provides guidance on setting some of the metadata values that may not be so obvious:

role_name

Optional. Use to override the name of the role.

In the past, Galaxy would apply a regex expression to the GitHub repository name and automatically remove ‘ansible-‘ and ‘ansible-role-‘. For example, if your repository name was ‘ansible-role-apache’, the role name would translate to ‘apache’. Galaxy no longer does this automatically. Instead, use the role_name setting to tell Galaxy what the role name should be.

If no value is provided, then the role name will match the repository name, with a couple of exceptions, including: converting the name to all lowercase, and replacing any ‘-‘ or ‘.’ characters with ‘_’.

Note

The value of role_name will be converted to lowercase, and ‘-‘ and ‘.’ will be translated to ‘_’.

Note

Setting the value of role_name on an existing role will change the name of the role by converting it to lowercase, and translating ‘-‘ and ‘.’ to ‘_’. If the name of an existing role should not be altered, don’t set the value of role_name.

platforms

Required. Provide a list of valid platforms, and for each platform, a list of valid versions. The obvious question of course is, where does one find the list of valid platforms? You can find the list of platforms here. The list is paginated. Click on the next_link value to get to view the next page. It’s not the prettiest interface, but for now, it works.

You can also search by name. For example, to search for all Ubuntu versions by adding ?name__icontains=ubuntu to the query. The full URL will be https://galaxy.ansible.com/api/v1/platforms/?name__icontains=ubuntu <https://galaxy.ansible.com/api/v1/platforms/?name__icontains=ubuntu>.

galaxy_tags

Optional. Provide a list of tags. A tag is a single word that helps categorize your role. You can invent tags, or guess at tags other might be using to describe similar roles, but why do that, when you can see what others are using by browsing existing tags here.

As with platforms, you can search by name here as well. For example, to see if the ‘database’ tag exists, add ?name_icontains=database to the query. The full URL will be https://galaxy.ansible.com/api/v1/tags/?name__icontains=database.

dependencies

Optional. In a nutshell, dependencies are installed when the role is installed, and dependencies are executed before the role is executed. During role install and execution, dependencies are recursive, meaning dependencies can have dependencies. If a role appears more than once in the dependency chaining, it will only be executed one time, provided that parameters defined on the dependency are not different.

If the above sounds confusing, and you need more information, and an example or two, view the Role Dependencies topic at the Ansible docs site.

Role Names

Prior to Galaxy v3.0, the role import process would alter the GitHub repository name to create the role name. Specifically, it would apply a regular expression, and remove ‘ansible-‘ and ‘role-‘ from the repository name. For example, a repository name of ansible-role-apache would become apache.

Starting in v3.0, Galaxy no longer perform this calculation. Instead, the default role name is the unaltered repository name, with a couple minor exceptions, including: converting the name to all lowercase, and replacing any ‘-‘ or ‘.’ characters with ‘_’.

To override the default name, set the role_name attribute in the role meta/main.yml file. The following snippet from a meta/main.yml file provides an example of setting the role_name attribute:

galaxy_info:
  role_name: apache
  description: Install the httpd service
  company: Acme, Inc.

Note

Role names are limited to lowercase word characters (i.e., a-z, 0-9) and ‘_’. No special characters are allowed, including ‘.’, ‘-‘, and space. During import, any ‘.’ and ‘-‘ characters contained in the repository name or role_name will be replaced with ‘_’.

Note

Setting the value of role_name on an existing role will change the name of the role by converting it to lowercase, and translating ‘-‘ and ‘.’ to ‘_’. If the name of an existing role should not be altered, don’t set the value of role_name.

Note

role_name is not used at all if the role is installed using its Git URL. Instead, the name of the repo is used.