Ansible troubleshooting - Error 501: partial-become
How to Solve the Ansible Error 501 partial-become
When working with Ansible, it’s essential to ensure that privilege escalation is managed effectively, especially when changing users. Ansible provides the
become directive for this purpose, which allows you to execute actions as a different user, typically a superuser like root. However, Rule 501, known as “
partial-become” in Ansible Lint, emphasizes the importance of using this privilege escalation mechanism consistently and explicitly.
The Purpose of Rule 501
Rule 501, “
partial-become,” checks whether privilege escalation is properly activated when changing users in Ansible playbooks and tasks. To execute a task as a different user using the
become_user directive, you must explicitly set
become: true to ensure it works as expected.
This rule aims to make your Ansible playbooks more robust and predictable by ensuring that privilege escalation is consistently and explicitly defined at the appropriate levels, specifically the task or play level. By doing so, it minimizes the risk of errors and accidents when tasks are moved from one location to another, enhancing the reliability of your automation workflows.
Let’s explore some common scenarios that demonstrate how this rule works and what to do when privilege escalation is necessary.
--- - name: Example playbook hosts: all become: true # <- Activates privilege escalation. tasks: - name: Start the httpd service as the apache user ansible.builtin.service: name: httpd state: started become_user: apache # <- Does not change the user because "become: true" is not set.
In this scenario, privilege escalation is partially implemented. The
become directive is correctly set to
true, but the
become_user directive is used without the former. This means that the user change does not take effect, making this implementation inconsistent and potentially erroneous.
WARNING Listing 1 violation(s) that are fatal partial-become[task]: ``become_user`` should have a corresponding ``become`` at the play or task level. 501.yml:6 Task/Handler: Start the httpd service as the apache user Read documentation for instructions on how to ignore specific rule violations. Rule Violation Summary count tag profile rule associated tags 1 partial-become[task] basic unpredictability Failed: 1 failure(s), 0 warning(s) on 1 files. Last profile that met the validation criteria was 'min'.
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--- - name: Example playbook hosts: all tasks: - name: Start the httpd service as the apache user ansible.builtin.service: name: httpd state: started become: true # <- Activates privilege escalation. become_user: apache # <- Changes the user with the desired privileges.
In this corrected scenario, privilege escalation is applied consistently and correctly. The
become directive is explicitly set to
true, ensuring that the
become_user directive changes the user as intended.
To apply privilege escalation consistently across an entire playbook at the play level, you can use the following approach:
- name: Example playbook hosts: localhost become: true # <- Activates privilege escalation. become_user: apache # <- Changes the user with the desired privileges. tasks: - name: Start the httpd service as the apache user ansible.builtin.service: name: httpd state: started
Ansible Rule 501, “
partial-become,” is a valuable guideline that ensures privilege escalation is consistently and explicitly implemented when changing users. By adhering to this rule, you can prevent errors and enhance the predictability of your Ansible automation, leading to more reliable and secure infrastructure management. Consistency is key in ensuring that your Ansible playbooks perform as expected, and Rule 501 helps you achieve that.
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