Creating a new collection

Starting with Ansible 2.10, related modules should be developed in a collection. The Ansible core team and community compiled these module development tips and tricks to help companies developing Ansible modules for their products and users developing Ansible modules for third-party products. See Developing collections for a more detailed description of the collections format and additional development guidelines.

Note

LICENSING REQUIREMENTS Ansible enforces the following licensing requirements:

  • Utilities (files in lib/ansible/module_utils/) may have one of two licenses:
    • A file in module_utils used only for a specific vendor’s hardware, provider, or service may be licensed under GPLv3+. Adding a new file under module_utils with GPLv3+ needs to be approved by the core team.

    • All other module_utils must be licensed under BSD, so GPL-licensed third-party and Galaxy modules can use them.

    • If there’s doubt about the appropriate license for a file in module_utils, the Ansible Core Team will decide during an Ansible Core Community Meeting.

  • All other files shipped with Ansible, including all modules, must be licensed under the GPL license (GPLv3 or later).

Before you start coding

This list of prerequisites is designed to help ensure that you develop high-quality modules that work well with ansible-base and provide a seamless user experience.

  • Read though all the pages linked off Developing Ansible modules; paying particular focus to the Contributing your module to an existing Ansible collection.

  • We encourage PEP 8 compliance. See PEP 8 for more information.

  • We encourage supporting Python 2.6+ and Python 3.5+.

  • Look at Ansible Galaxy and review the naming conventions in your functional area (such as cloud, networking, databases).

  • With great power comes great responsibility: Ansible collection maintainers have a duty to help keep content up to date and release collections they are responsible for regularly. As with all successful community projects, collection maintainers should keep a watchful eye for reported issues and contributions.

  • We strongly recommend unit and/or integration tests. Unit tests are especially valuable when external resources (such as cloud or network devices) are required. For more information see Testing Ansible and the Testing Working Group.

Naming conventions

Fully Qualified Collection Names (FQCNs) for plugins and modules include three elements:

  • the Galaxy namespace, which generally represents the company or group

  • the collection name, which generally represents the product or OS

  • the plugin or module name
    • always in lower case

    • words separated with an underscore (_) character

    • singular, rather than plural, for example, command not commands

For example, community.mongodb.mongodb_linux or cisco.meraki.meraki_device.

It is convenient if the organization and repository names on GitHub (or elsewhere) match your namespace and collection names on Ansible Galaxy, but it is not required. The plugin names you select, however, are always the same in your code repository and in your collection artifact on Galaxy.

Speak to us

Circulating your ideas before coding helps you adopt good practices and avoid common mistakes. After reading the “Before you start coding” section you should have a reasonable idea of the structure of your modules. Write a list of your proposed plugin and/or module names, with a short description of what each one does. Circulate that list on IRC or a mailing list so the Ansible community can review your ideas for consistency and familiarity. Names and functionality that are consistent, predictable, and familiar make your collection easier to use.

Where to get support

Ansible has a thriving and knowledgeable community of module developers that is a great resource for getting your questions answered.

In the Ansible Community Guide you can find how to:

  • Subscribe to the Mailing Lists - We suggest “Ansible Development List” and “Ansible Announce list”

  • #ansible-devel - We have found that IRC #ansible-devel on FreeNode’s IRC network works best for developers so we can have an interactive dialogue.

  • IRC meetings - Join the various weekly IRC meetings meeting schedule and agenda page

Required files

Your collection should include the following files to be usable:

  • an __init__.py file - An empty file to initialize namespace and allow Python to import the files. Required

  • at least one plugin, for example, /plugins/modules/$your_first_module.py. Required

  • if needed, one or more /plugins/doc_fragments/$topic.py files - Code documentation, such as details regarding common arguments. Optional

  • if needed, one or more /plugins/module_utils/$topic.py files - Code shared between more than one module, such as common arguments. Optional

When you have these files ready, review the Contributing your module to an existing Ansible collection again. If you are creating a new collection, you are responsible for all procedures related to your repository, including setting rules for contributions, finding reviewers, and testing and maintaining the code in your collection.

If you need help or advice, consider join the #ansible-devel IRC channel (see how in the “Where to get support”).

New to git or GitHub

We realize this may be your first use of Git or GitHub. The following guides may be of use: