Ansible Pilot

Ansible troubleshooting - Error 402: latest[hg]

How to Solve the Ansible Error 402 latest[hg]

November 2, 2023
Access the Complete Video Course and Learn Quick Ansible by 200+ Practical Lessons


Ansible is a powerful automation tool used for managing and provisioning infrastructure. It allows users to interact with source control repositories to fetch, manage, and deploy code. To ensure consistency and predictability in playbook development, Ansible provides a set of rules. In this article, we’ll delve into Rule 402, known as “latest[hg],” which focuses on Mercurial (hg) repositories. We’ll explore the significance of this rule and understand how it contributes to maintaining stable and reliable automation workflows in Ansible.

Understanding Rule 402 - “latest[hg]”

Rule 402, also referred to as “latest[hg],” is an essential part of Ansible’s rule set that promotes best practices in playbook development. This rule primarily checks module arguments related to source control checkouts, specifically Mercurial (hg) repositories. Its primary goal is to identify arguments that might introduce variability or unpredictability based on the context in which they are executed.

The latest rule serves as a more generic replacement for two older rules, “git-latest” and “hg-latest.” By consolidating these rules into “latest,” Ansible emphasizes consistency and reliability when interacting with Mercurial repositories.

Problematic Code

Let’s examine a problematic code snippet that Rule 402, “latest[hg],” can identify in your playbooks:

- name: Example for `latest` rule
  hosts: all
    - name: Risky use of hg module
        repo: ""
        revision: HEAD # <-- HEAD value is triggering the rule

In this code, the playbook uses “HEAD” as the value for the revision argument in the Mercurial (hg) module. Using “HEAD” can lead to unpredictability, as it fetches the latest commit on the default branch, which may change over time.

The Best Resources For Ansible


Video Course

Printed Book


Correct Code

The corrected code that aligns with Rule 402 is as follows:

- name: Example for `latest` rule
  hosts: all
    - name: Safe use of hg module
        repo: ""
        revision: abcd1234... # <-- that is safe

In the improved version, the playbook uses a specific commit identifier (e.g., “abcd1234…”) for the revision argument in the Mercurial (hg) module. This ensures that a consistent and known version is checked out from the repository, making the playbook more predictable and reliable.

When to Use “latest[hg]”

While Rule 402 encourages avoiding values that might introduce variability, there may be cases where fetching the latest commit on the default branch is intentional and necessary. In such scenarios, you can prevent Rule 402 from triggering by adding a comment such as # noqa: latest to the same line in your playbook. This allows you to maintain flexibility when required while still following best practices for consistency.


Rule 402, “latest[hg],” is a valuable guideline within Ansible’s rule set, ensuring that module arguments for Mercurial (hg) repositories do not introduce unpredictability. By adhering to this rule, you enhance the reliability and predictability of your automation tasks when interacting with source control repositories. It contributes to a more efficient and dependable Ansible workflow, ensuring that your playbooks consistently deliver the expected results in Mercurial repository management.

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 Windows 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