Ansible Pilot

Ansible troubleshooting - Syntax Error

Ansible troubleshooting - Syntax Error

Let’s troubleshoot together the Ansible fatal error “Syntax Error while loading YAML” to find the offending lines in our playbook code, the root cause, fix a missing quote, and verify the resolution is working.

Today we’re going to talk about Ansible troubleshooting and specifically about Syntax Errors. I’m Luca Berton and welcome to today’s episode of Ansible Pilot.

demo

The best way of talking about Ansible troubleshooting is to jump in a live demo to show you practically the syntax error and how to solve it!

test report.txt
---
- name: win_copy module demo
  hosts: all
  become: false
  gather_facts: false
  vars:
    source: "report.txt"
    destination: "Desktop/report.txt"
  tasks:
    - name: copy report.txt
      ansible.windows.win_copy:
        src: "{{ source }}"
        dest: "{{ destination }}

output:

$ ansible-playbook -i win/inventory troubleshooting/syntax_error.yml
ERROR! We were unable to read either as JSON nor YAML, these are the errors we got from each:
JSON: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)

Syntax Error while loading YAML.
found unexpected end of stream

The error appears to be in 'ansible-pilot/troubleshooting/syntax_error.yml': line 14, column 1, but may
be elsewhere in the file depending on the exact syntax problem.

The offending line appears to be:

src: "{{ source }}"
dest: "{{ destination }}
^ here
We could be wrong, but this one looks like it might be an issue with
missing quotes. Always quote template expression brackets when they
start a value. For instance:

with_items:
- {{ foo }}

Should be written as:

with_items:
- "{{ foo }}"

---
- name: win_copy module demo
  hosts: all
  become: false
  gather_facts: false
  vars:
    source: "report.txt"
    destination: "Desktop/report.txt"
  tasks:
    - name: copy report.txt
      ansible.windows.win_copy:
        src: "{{ source }}"
        dest: "{{ destination }}"

output:

$ ansible-playbook -i win/inventory troubleshooting/syntax_fix.yml

PLAY [win_copy module demo] ***********************************************************************

TASK [copy report.txt] ****************************************************************************
ok: [WindowsServer]

PLAY RECAP ****************************************************************************************
WindowsServer              : ok=1    changed=0    unreachable=0    failed=0    skipped=0    rescued=0    ignored=0

code with ❤️ in GitHub

Recap

Now you know better how to troubleshoot the Ansible Syntax Error. Subscribe to the YouTube channel, Medium, Website and Twitter to not miss the next episode of the Ansible Pilot.

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September 15, 2021