Ansible troubleshooting - Error 403: package-latest
How to Solve the Ansible Error 403 package-latest
Ansible is a powerful automation tool known for its role in provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment. Ensuring the integrity and stability of software installations is vital when managing packages through Ansible. To help you achieve this, Ansible provides a set of rules, including Rule 403, known as “package-latest.” This rule emphasizes the importance of controlled, safe package management practices, promoting predictability in your automation tasks.
Deciphering Rule 403 - “package-latest”
Rule 403, or “package-latest,” is a rule within Ansible’s comprehensive rule set that aims to establish best practices for managing packages using package manager modules, such as
ansible.builtin.apt. These modules allow users to configure how Ansible installs software on target systems.
The primary concern addressed by this rule is the use of the
state parameter in package manager modules. In production environments, it is crucial to set the
state to “present” and specify a target version for package installations. This practice ensures that packages are installed according to a predefined and tested version, adding a layer of control and predictability to your automation tasks.
Conversely, setting the
state to “latest” is discouraged, as it not only installs the desired software but also initiates an update process that can lead to unintended consequences. The update process can result in performance degradation or the installation of additional packages, potentially causing service disruptions.
If your intention is to update packages to the latest version, this rule suggests using the
only_upgrade parameter (depending on the package manager in use) and setting it to “
true.” This practice ensures that only updates are applied without the introduction of unexpected packages.
Let’s explore a problematic code snippet to understand how Rule 403, “package-latest,” can identify issues in your playbooks:
--- - name: Example playbook hosts: all tasks: - name: Install Ansible ansible.builtin.yum: name: ansible state: latest # <- Installs the latest package. - name: Install Ansible-lint ansible.builtin.pip: name: ansible-lint args: state: latest # <- Installs the latest package. - name: Install some-package ansible.builtin.package: name: some-package state: latest # <- Installs the latest package. - name: Install Ansible with update_only to false ansible.builtin.yum: name: sudo state: latest update_only: false # <- Updates and installs packages. - name: Install Ansible with only_upgrade to false ansible.builtin.apt: name: sudo state: latest only_upgrade: false # <- Upgrades and installs packages
In this code, the
state parameter is set to “latest” across various package manager modules, including
ansible.builtin.package. This configuration can lead to the installation of unexpected package versions and additional packages, introducing unpredictability and potential service issues.
WARNING Listing 5 violation(s) that are fatal package-latest: Package installs should not use latest. 403.yml:5 Task/Handler: Install Ansible package-latest: Package installs should not use latest. 403.yml:10 Task/Handler: Install Ansible-lint package-latest: Package installs should not use latest. 403.yml:16 Task/Handler: Install some-package package-latest: Package installs should not use latest. 403.yml:21 Task/Handler: Install Ansible with update_only to false package-latest: Package installs should not use latest. 403.yml:27 Task/Handler: Install Ansible with only_upgrade to false Read documentation for instructions on how to ignore specific rule violations. Rule Violation Summary count tag profile rule associated tags 5 package-latest safety idempotency Failed: 5 failure(s), 0 warning(s) on 1 files. Last profile that met the validation criteria was 'moderate'. Rating: 2/5 star
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To address the issues highlighted by Rule 403, the correct code should adopt the following best practices:
--- - name: Example playbook hosts: all tasks: - name: Install Ansible ansible.builtin.yum: name: ansible-188.8.131.52 state: present # <- Pins the version to install with yum. - name: Install Ansible-lint ansible.builtin.pip: name: ansible-lint args: state: present version: 5.4.0 # <- Pins the version to install with pip. - name: Install some-package ansible.builtin.package: name: some-package state: present # <- Ensures the package is installed. - name: Update Ansible with update_only to true ansible.builtin.yum: name: sudo state: latest update_only: true # <- Updates but does not install additional packages. - name: Install Ansible with only_upgrade to true ansible.builtin.apt: name: sudo state: latest only_upgrade: true # <- Upgrades but does not install additional packages.
In this improved code, the
state parameter is set to “present,” and specific version identifiers are used for different package installations. By doing so, the playbook ensures that software is installed to predefined versions, adding a layer of control and predictability to your automation tasks.
Implementing Rule 403 - “package-latest”
Rule 403, “package-latest,” provides critical guidance for maintaining safe and controlled package management practices in Ansible. By following this rule, you can safeguard your automation tasks against unpredictability and ensure the reliable installation of software on target systems. In production environments, embracing predictability is essential to minimize the risk of service disruptions and maintain the integrity of your infrastructure.
In cases where updating packages to the latest version is intentional, the use of the
only_upgrade parameter allows you to strike a balance between flexibility and stability
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