Ansible 2.4

Core Engine Freeze and Module Freeze: 15 August 2017

Core and Curated Module Freeze: 15 August 2017

Community Module Freeze: 29 August 2017

Release Candidate 1 will be 06 September, 2017

Target: Mid-September 2017

Administrivia and Process

  • Starting with 2.4, all items that are deprecated will be removed in 4 major releases unless otherwise stated.
    • For example: A module that is deprecated in 2.4 will be removed in 2.8

Python 2.4 and 2.5 support discontinuation

  • Ansible will not support Python 2.4 nor 2.5 on the target hosts anymore. Going forward, Python 2.6+ will be required on targets, as already is the case on the controller.

Python 3

  • Ansible Core Engine and Core modules will be tested on Python 3
    • All Core modules now have at least a smoketest integration test. Additional coverage is welcomed to find more bugs and prevent regressions.
  • Communicate with Linux distros to provide Ansible running on Python 3
    • Python3 based Ansible packages are now available to run on Fedora Linux


  • Proposal found in ansible/proposals issue #35.
  • Initial PR of code found in ansible/ansible PR #12797. (done)
  • Per plugin configuration (depends on plugin docs below). (WIP)
  • New yaml format for config (possibly pushed to future roadmap)
  • Extend the ability of the current config system by adding an ansible-config command and add the following:
    • Dump existing config settings (working, fine tuning)
    • Update / write a config entry (pushed to future roadmap)
    • Show available options (ini entry, yaml, env var, etc) (working, fine tuning)


(done, needs docs) - Proposal found in ansible/proposals issue #41. - Current inventory is overly complex, non modular and mostly still a legacy from inception.


  • Configurable list of ‘fact modules’ for gather_facts (done)
  • Fact gathering policy finer grained (done)
  • Make more pluggable (done)
  • Improve testing of (done)
  • Namespacing fact variables (via a config option) implemented in ansible/ansible PR #18445. (done) Proposal found in ansible/proposals issue #17.


(pushed out to future release) - Over the past couple releases we’ve had some thoughts about how PluginLoader might be better structured

  • Load the loaders via an initialization function(), not when importing the module. (stretch goal, doesn’t impact the CLI)
  • Separate duties of PluginLoader from PluginFinder. Most plugins need both but Modules and Module_utils only need a PluginFinder
  • Write different PluginFinder subclasses for module_utils and perhaps Modules. Most Plugin types have a flattened namespace and are single python files. Modules include code that is not written in python. Module_utils are vastly different from the other Plugins as they maintain a hierarchical namespace and are multi-file.
  • Potentially split module_utils loader for python from module_utils loader for powershell. Currently we only support generic module_utils for python modules. The powershell modules always include a single, hardcoded powershell module_utils file. If we add generic module_utils for powershell, we’ll need to decide how to organize the code.

Static Loop Keyword

  • Pushed to 2.5
  • Deprecate (not on standard deprecation cycle) with_ in favor of loop:
  • This loop: will take only a list
  • Remove complexity from loops, lookups are still available to users
  • Less confusing having a static directive vs a one that is dynamic depending on plugins loaded.


  • Support for multiple vault passwords. (done)
    • Each decrypted item should know which secret to request (done)
    • Support requesting credentials (password prompt) as callbacks
  • Ability to open and edit file with encrypted vars deencrypted, and encrypt/format on save

Globalize Callbacks

(pushed out to future release) - Make send_callback available to other code that cannot use it. - Would allow for ‘full formatting’ of output (see JSON callback) - Fixes static ‘include’ display problem


  • Allow plugins to have embedded docs (like modules) (done)
  • Update ansible-doc and website to generate docs from these ansible/ansible PR #22796. (ansible-doc working, todo:website)

Group Priorities

(done) - Start using existing group priority variable to sort/merge group vars - Implementation for this in ansible/ansible PR #22580. - Documentation of group priority variable

Runtime Check on Modules for Blacklisting

(pushed out to future release) - Filter on things like “supported_by” in module metadata - Provide users with an option of “warning, error or allow/ignore” - Configurable via ansible.cfg and environment variable

Disambiguate Includes

  • Create import_x for ‘static includes’ (import_task, import_playbook, import_role)
    • Any directives are applied to the ‘imported’ tasks
  • Create include_x for ‘dynamic includes’ (include_task, include_role)
    • Any directives apply to the ‘include’ itself


  • New PS/.NET module API (in progress)
  • Windows Nano Server support
  • Windows module_utils pluginloader (done)
  • Refactor duplicated module code into new module_utils files (in progress)
  • Evaluate #Requires directives (existing and new: PS version, OS version, etc)
  • Improve module debug support/persistence (done)
  • Explore official DSC support (done)
  • Explore module intermediate output
  • Explore Powershell module unit testing (in progress)
  • Explore JEA support (stretch)
  • Extended become support with network/service/batch logon types
  • Module updates
    • Split “Windows” category into multiple subs
    • Domain user/group management modules (done)
    • win_mapped_drive module (done)
    • win_hotfix (done)
    • win_updates rewrite to require become
    • win_package changes required to deprecate win_msi (done)
    • win_copy re-write (done)


  • Focus on pull requests for various modules
  • Triage existing merges for modules
  • Module work
    • elb-target-groups #19492, #24583. (done)
    • alb* #19491, #24584. (done)
    • ecs #20618. (in review process)
    • Data Pipelines #22878. (in review process)
    • VPN #24385. (in review process)
    • DirectConnect #26152. (connection module in review process, several more to come)


  • Expose endpoint overrides (done)
  • Reformat/document module output to collapse internal API structures and surface important data (eg, public IPs, NICs, data disks) (pushed to future)
  • Add load balancer module (in progress)
  • Add Azure Functions module (in progress)

Google Cloud Platform

  • New Module: DataProc
  • Support for Cross-Region HTTP Load Balancing
  • New Module: GKE

Network Roadmap

  • Removal of *_template modules (done)
  • Distributed Continuous Integration Infrastructure (done)
  • RPC Connection Plugin (done)
  • Module Work
    • Declarative intent modules (done)
    • OpenVSwitch (done)
    • Minimal Viable Platform Agnostic Modules (done)

Contributor Quality of Life

  • All Core and Curated modules will work towards having unit testing. (edit: integration and/or unit tests)
  • More bot improvements!
    • Bot comments on PRs with details of test failures. (done)
  • Test Infrastructure changes
    • Shippable + Bot Integration
      • Provide verified test results to the bot from Shippable so the bot can comment on PRs with CI failures. (done, compile and sanity tests only)
      • Enable the bot to mark PRs with ci_verified if all CI failures are verified. (done)
    • Windows Server 2016 Integration Tests
      • Restore Windows Server 2016 integration tests on Shippable.
        • Originally enabled during the 2.3 release cycle, but later disabled due to intermittent WinRM issues.
        • Depends on resolution of WinRM connection issues.
    • Windows Server Nano Integration Tests (pushed to future roadmap)
      • Add support to ansible-core-ci for Windows Server 2016 Nano and enable on Shippable.
      • This will use a subset of the existing Windows integration tests.
      • Depends on resolution of WinRM connection issues.
    • Windows + Python 3 Tests
      • Run basic Windows tests using Python 3 as the controller. (partially done, not all planned tests running yet)
      • Depends on resolution of WinRM Python 3 issues.
    • Cloud Integration Tests
      • Run existing cloud integration tests as part of CI for:
        • AWS (done)
        • Azure (done)
        • GCP (pushed to future roadmap)
      • Tests to be run only on cloud module (and module_utils) PRs and merges for the relevant cloud provider. (done)
    • Test Reliability
      • Further improve test reliability to reduce false positives on Shippable. (ongoing)
      • This continues work from the 2.3 release cycle.
    • Static Code Analysis
      • Further expand the scope and coverage of static analysis. (ongoing)
      • This continues work from the 2.3 release cycle.