localenv developer guide

A “localenv” role in this collection sets up the external dependencies required to run the integration tests. The idea is to provide a pre-packaged way for a contributor to set up their local environment in a consistent, repeatable way.


This guide is a work-in-progress and is very light on details. For the time being, it’s best to open an issue in the repository to discuss it if you’re thinking of a new localenv. Looking at setup_localenv_docker should also be helpful as it’s the most complete one to date.

Required external dependencies

HashiCorp Vault

A Vault server is required for the integration tests. Using Vault Dev Server Mode is recommended as it’s the easiest and fastest way to get a server started.

A unencrypted (plain HTTP) listener is required for our purposes as most of the tests will expect to connect that way.

To run the tests that deal specifically with TLS/HTTPS access, you must start the Vault server with a TLS enabled listener. The TLS address:port, and the CA cert (or the cert itself if self-signed) must be supplied.

The root token of the Vault server is needed, as the integration tests make changes to Vault’s configuration, and expect to have that token available to do so. It’s possible to let Vault generate the token on startup and then retrieve it but it may be easiest to pre-generate one and pass it into Vault, via the -dev-root-token-id option or VAULT_DEV_ROOT_TOKEN_ID environment variable (see Dev Options).

Relevant integration_config.yml variables






The full HTTP URL of your Vault test server.



The full HTTPS URL of your Vault test server.



The root token used to authenticate to Vault.



The version of Vault in use (usually this is written by a localenv, so a value set manually is not used anywhere).


-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----<snip>

The public cert of the CA that signed the cert used for Vault’s TLS listener (or the cert itself if self-signed).

Proxy server

A proxy server is used to test the proxy connectivity options.

In theory any proxy supporting http/s targets could be used for this purpose, but tinyproxy is recommended for being, well.. tiny, as well as easy to configure and run, and available in package managers and containers.

Relevant integration_config.yml variables






The full HTTP URL of your proxy server.

MMock server

MMock (short for Monster Mock) is an HTTP server designed for mocking HTTP responses. It can also transparently proxy through to a real server. We use it to proxy our test Vault server while intercepting certain API calls to Vault and returning mocked responses.

This is useful for Vault integrations that are more difficult to set up in our CI environment.

For example, we use this for testing the aws_iam auth method, since we don’t have an AWS account we can use and configure and connect to from our GitHub CI.

For these integration tests, all Vault interactions are directed to MMock rather than directly to Vault, and we pre-configure MMock to respond to the relevant calls in a way that models a real Vault server’s success and failure responses.

Relevant integration_config.yml variables






The full HTTP URL of the MMock server.

localenv role conventions

  • Use files/.output to hold generated artifacts.

  • Anything generated should be in a .gitignore; conversely anything not in a .gitignore should not be overwritten or modified by this process. That is, there should be no changes to git status that arise from this.

  • Consider providing a setup.sh to avoid having to manually run ansible- commands. It should ideally operate correctly regardless of the current working directory.

  • Generate a usable integration_config.yml that allows for using the result of the localenv. Generate it within the role output, not outside the role. Copy it to the right location, but do not overwrite an existing one.

  • If the role has external dependencies, try to codify those in file(s) that can be used by the right tool, like requirements.yml for ansible-galaxy, etc.

  • localenv roles are meant to run outside of the ansible-test environment, but they can make (re)use of other roles.