Ansible Pilot

Ansible troubleshooting - Error 704: meta-video-links

How to Solve the Ansible Error 704 meta-video-links Ensuring Proper Video Link Formatting

November 2, 2023
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Automation is a powerful tool in modern IT and infrastructure management, and Ansible is at the forefront of this revolution. When working with Ansible roles, ensuring that your metadata is structured correctly is essential. Ansible Rule 704, “meta-video-links,” focuses on the proper formatting of video links in your role’s metadata. It enforces the use of dictionaries for items in the meta/main.yml file and ensures that video links follow a specific format.

The Importance of Role Metadata

Roles are a fundamental concept in Ansible, allowing you to encapsulate a set of tasks, variables, and templates into reusable automation logic. Metadata is an integral part of roles, providing information about the role, such as its purpose and authorship.

Understanding Rule 704

Rule 704, “meta-video-links,” checks the formatting of video links in the metadata of Ansible roles.

In particular, it enforces the use of dictionaries for items in the video_links section of your role’s metadata. Each item in the video_links section should have two keys:

  1. url: This key should contain a shared link from platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or Google Drive.
  2. title: This key should provide a title for the video link.

Let’s explore why adhering to this rule is crucial.

Problematic Code vs. Correct Code

To understand the rule better, let’s compare problematic code that violates Rule 704 with the correct code that adheres to the rule’s recommendations.

Problematic Code

    - # Does not use the url key.
    - my_bad_key: # Uses an unsupported key.
      title: Incorrect key.
    - url: # Uses an unsupported URL format.
      title: Incorrect URL format.


WARNING  Listing 4 violation(s) that are fatal
meta-video-links: Expected item in 'video_links' to be a dictionary

meta-video-links: Expected item in 'video_links' to contain only keys 'url' and 'title'

meta-video-links: URL format '' is not recognized. Expected it be a shared link from Vimeo, YouTube, or Google Drive.

schema[meta]: $.galaxy_info 'author' is a required property. See
role704/meta/main.yml:1  Returned errors will not include exact line numbers, but they will mention
the schema name being used as a tag, like ``schema[playbook]``,

This rule is not skippable and stops further processing of the file.

If incorrect schema was picked, you might want to either:

* move the file to standard location, so its file is detected correctly.
* use ``kinds:`` option in linter config to help it pick correct file type.

Read documentation for instructions on how to ignore specific rule violations.

               Rule Violation Summary                
 count tag              profile rule associated tags 
     1 schema[meta]     basic   core                 
     3 meta-video-links shared  metadata             

Failed: 4 failure(s), 0 warning(s) on 1 files. Last profile that met the validation criteria was 'min'.

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Correct Code

    - url: # Uses a supported shared link with the url key.
      title: Correctly formatted video link.

In the correct code, each item in the video_links section uses a dictionary structure with the required keys. The url key contains a shared link from a supported platform, and the title key provides an appropriate title for the video link.

Why Conform to Rule 704?

Adhering to Rule 704, “meta-video-links,” offers several advantages for role management:

1. Consistency: Following a structured format ensures consistency in your role’s metadata, making it easier for users to understand and utilize your roles.

2. Enhanced Documentation: Properly formatted video links serve as valuable documentation, helping users learn more about the role’s capabilities and how to use it effectively.

3. Ease of Maintenance: When roles adhere to the same format for video links, it’s easier to maintain and update roles across different projects.


In conclusion, Ansible Rule 704, “meta-video-links,” encourages you to format video links in your role’s metadata using dictionaries with the url and title keys. This practice enhances the consistency and documentation of your roles, making them more accessible and user-friendly. Whether you’re sharing your roles with the Ansible community or using them within your organization, structured metadata improves the overall experience and utility of your Ansible roles.

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