Automated Testing and Validation with Ansible

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Automated testing and validation are essential steps in ensuring the reliability and correctness of infrastructure configurations. Ansible provides powerful tools and techniques to automate the testing and validation of your Ansible playbooks and roles. In this tutorial, we will explore how to automate testing and validation using Ansible, enabling you to achieve more robust and error-free infrastructure deployments.

Automated Testing with Ansible

Ansible offers several features and tools to facilitate automated testing of your infrastructure configurations. One such tool is Molecule, which provides a framework for testing Ansible roles. Here's an example of using Molecule to test an Ansible role:



name: docker


name: instance
image: ubuntu:latest

name: ansible

name: testinfra

name: default
- destroy
- create
- prepare
- converge
- verify
- destroy
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In this example, Molecule is configured to use Docker as the driver to create an Ubuntu instance. The provisioner is set to Ansible, and the verifier is set to Testinfra. The test sequence specifies the steps to be executed, including the "converge" and "verify" steps where the Ansible role is applied and tested using Testinfra.

Molecule allows you to define test scenarios, execute them in isolated environments, and verify the desired state of your infrastructure configurations. It is a powerful tool for automating the testing of Ansible roles and playbooks.

Steps for Automated Testing and Validation

Here are the general steps to automate testing and validation using Ansible:

  1. Define Test Cases: Identify the critical aspects of your infrastructure configurations that need to be tested. Write test cases that cover these aspects and define the expected results.
  2. Choose Testing Frameworks: Select testing frameworks that integrate well with Ansible, such as Molecule, Testinfra, Serverspec, or PyTest. These frameworks provide tools and libraries to execute tests against your infrastructure configurations.
  3. Write Tests: Implement the test cases using the chosen testing framework. Leverage the framework's features and libraries to interact with your infrastructure, execute commands, and validate the configurations.
  4. Execute Tests: Run the tests against your infrastructure configurations using the testing framework's commands or test runners. Monitor the test results and identify any failures or deviations from the expected results.
  5. Analyze and Refine: Review the test results and analyze any failures or issues. Make necessary adjustments to your configurations or test cases to address the identified problems. Iteratively refine the tests to achieve better coverage and reliability.
  6. Integrate with CI/CD: Incorporate the automated tests into your continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. Trigger the tests automatically whenever there are changes to the configurations, ensuring that the tests are executed regularly and consistently.

By following these steps, you can automate the testing and validation of your infrastructure configurations, reducing manual effort and improving the reliability of your deployments.

Common Mistakes

  • Inadequate test coverage, neglecting to test critical aspects of your configurations.
  • Not keeping tests up to date with changes in configurations, leading to false positives or negatives.
  • Overlooking the importance of regular execution and maintenance of the automated tests.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Can I use Ansible to test different operating systems or environments?

    Yes, Ansible supports testing configurations on various operating systems and environments by leveraging tools like Molecule and different driver plugins (e.g., Docker, Vagrant, AWS, Azure).

  • Q: How can I handle secrets and sensitive data in my automated tests?

    You can manage secrets and sensitive data in your automated tests using tools like Ansible Vault or by leveraging secure environment variables or encrypted files.

  • Q: Are there predefined test cases available for Ansible configurations?

    While there are no standardized test cases, you can find community-contributed examples and adapt them to your needs. Additionally, you can define your own test cases based on your specific requirements.

  • Q: Can I run automated tests against a production environment?

    It is not recommended to run automated tests directly against a production environment due to the potential impact on live systems. Instead, use isolated testing environments that closely mimic your production environment.

  • Q: How can I integrate automated tests with my CI/CD pipeline?

    Most CI/CD tools provide integrations with testing frameworks. You can configure your pipeline to execute the tests as part of the build and deployment process, allowing for continuous verification of your infrastructure configurations.


Automated testing and validation using Ansible are crucial steps in ensuring the reliability and correctness of your infrastructure configurations. By leveraging tools like Molecule and testing frameworks, you can define test cases, automate their execution, and validate the desired state of your infrastructure. Avoid common mistakes such as inadequate test coverage and neglecting regular test execution. With Ansible's automation capabilities, you can achieve more robust and error-free deployments of your infrastructure configurations, saving time and reducing manual effort.