Ansible Pilot

Ansible Debugger

How to successfully use the ansible debugger feature in our playbook.

April 9, 2024
Access the Complete Video Course and Learn Quick Ansible by 200+ Practical Lessons


In the rapidly evolving landscape of information technology, automation stands out as a beacon of efficiency, offering a promising avenue to streamline processes, enhance security, and elevate overall productivity. Ansible, an open-source automation tool, has garnered significant attention for its potent capabilities in managing complex IT environments. Through the lens of a playbook with a simple mistake, this article delves into the practical nuances of Ansible, shedding light on its powerful ecosystem and how it can transform IT operations.

Ansible: The Automation Powerhouse

At its core, Ansible by Red Hat simplifies cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and many other IT needs. Leveraging SSH for Linux/Unix hosts and WinRM for Windows hosts, Ansible automates and streamlines tasks without the need for agents on the target servers. This agentless architecture not only enhances security but also simplifies management.

A Common Misstep: Variable Misnaming

Consider a playbook designed to display a message on localhost:

- name: "Playbook with a mistake"
  hosts: "localhost"
  debugger: "on_failed"
    message: "A test message!"
    - name: "Display the message"
        msg: "{{ massage }}"

The error in the playbook above lies in the misuse of a variable name. Instead of referencing the defined variable message, it mistakenly calls for {{ massage }}. This typo leads to an error during playbook execution, as the variable massage does not exist. Such mistakes, though seemingly minor, underscore the importance of accuracy in automation scripting.

Leveraging Ansible’s Debugger for Error Handling

Ansible’s debugger mode, as showcased in the playbook, serves as a robust tool for diagnosing and resolving errors. When set to on_failed, it initiates an interactive debugging session upon encountering a failure, allowing users to inspect the state of the playbook, examine variables, and test solutions in real-time. This feature not only aids in troubleshooting but also enhances the learning curve for Ansible users by providing immediate feedback on playbook execution issues.

The Best Resources For Ansible


Video Course

Printed Book


Ansible and the Broader Ecosystem

Ansible extends its capabilities through a vast ecosystem that includes Ansible Tower (AWX for open source), providing a web-based console and REST API for task management. Additionally, Red Hat’s Ansible Automation Platform integrates with various tools and services, facilitating a seamless automation experience across different environments and applications【13†source】.

Integration with cloud services, virtualization platforms, and container orchestration systems like Kubernetes allows Ansible to automate across the entire application lifecycle, from deployment to management. This integration highlights Ansible’s role not just in configuration management but in enabling DevOps practices, accelerating deployment cycles, and ensuring consistency across environments【14†source】.


Ansible’s simplicity, combined with its powerful features, makes it a cornerstone in the modern IT automation landscape. While the journey of mastering Ansible may encounter minor setbacks, such as the variable misnaming in our example playbook, the learning experience and efficiencies gained far outweigh these challenges. As IT landscapes continue to grow in complexity, embracing automation tools like Ansible will be key in navigating these complexities efficiently, securely, and reliably.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel, Medium, and Website, X (formerly Twitter) to not miss the next episode of the Ansible Pilot.


Learn the Ansible automation technology with some real-life examples in my

My book Ansible By Examples: 200+ Automation Examples For Linux and AWX System Administrator and DevOps

BUY the Complete PDF BOOK to easily Copy and Paste the 250+ Ansible code

Want to keep this project going? Please donate

Access the Complete Video Course and Learn Quick Ansible by 200+ Practical Lessons
Follow me

Subscribe not to miss any new releases