Migrating Ansible content to a different collection

When you move content from one collection to another, for example to extract a set of related modules out of community.general to create a more focused collection, you must make sure the transition is easy for users to follow.

Migrating content

Before you start migrating content from one collection to another, look at Ansible Collection Requirements.

To migrate content from one collection to another, if the collections are parts of Ansible distribution:

  1. Copy content from the source (old) collection to the target (new) collection.

  2. Deprecate the module/plugin with removal_version scheduled for the next major version in meta/runtime.yml of the old collection. The deprecation must be released after the copied content has been included in a release of the new collection.

  3. When the next major release of the old collection is prepared:

  • remove the module/plugin from the old collection

  • remove the symlink stored in plugin/modules directory if appropriate (mainly when removing from community.general and community.network)

  • remove related unit and integration tests

  • remove specific module utils

  • remove specific documentation fragments if there are any in the old collection

  • add a changelog fragment containing entries for removed_features and breaking_changes; you can see an example of a changelog fragment in this pull request

  • change meta/runtime.yml in the old collection:

    • add redirect to the corresponding module/plugin’s entry

    • in particular, add redirect for the removed module utils and documentation fragments if applicable

    • remove removal_version from there

  • remove related entries from tests/sanity/ignore.txt files if exist

  • remove changelog fragments for removed content that are not yet part of the changelog (in other words, do not modify changelogs/changelog.yaml and do not delete files mentioned in it)

  • remove requirements that are no longer required in tests/unit/requirements.txt, tests/requirements.yml and galaxy.yml

To implement these changes, you need to create at least three PRs:

  1. Create a PR against the new collection to copy the content.

  2. Deprecate the module/plugin in the old collection.

  3. Later create a PR against the old collection to remove the content according to the schedule.

Adding the content to the new collection

Create a PR in the new collection to:

  1. Copy ALL the related files from the old collection.

  2. If it is an action plugin, include the corresponding module with documentation.

  3. If it is a module, check if it has a corresponding action plugin that should move with it.

  4. Check meta/ for relevant updates to runtime.yml if it exists.

  5. Carefully check the moved tests/integration and tests/units and update for FQCN.

  6. Review tests/sanity/ignore-*.txt entries in the old collection.

  7. Update meta/runtime.yml in the old collection.

Removing the content from the old collection

Create a PR against the source collection repository to remove the modules, module_utils, plugins, and docs_fragments related to this migration:

  1. If you are removing an action plugin, remove the corresponding module that contains the documentation.

  2. If you are removing a module, remove any corresponding action plugin that should stay with it.

  3. Remove any entries about removed plugins from meta/runtime.yml. Ensure they are added into the new repo.

  4. Remove sanity ignore lines from tests/sanity/ignore\*.txt

  5. Remove associated integration tests from tests/integrations/targets/ and unit tests from tests/units/plugins/.

  6. if you are removing from content from community.general or community.network, remove entries from .github/BOTMETA.yml.

  7. Carefully review meta/runtime.yml for any entries you may need to remove or update, in particular deprecated entries.

  8. Update meta/runtime.yml to contain redirects for EVERY PLUGIN, pointing to the new collection name.


Maintainers for the old collection have to make sure that the PR is merged in a way that it does not break user experience and semantic versioning:

  1. A new version containing the merged PR must not be released before the collection the content has been moved to has been released again, with that content contained in it. Otherwise the redirects cannot work and users relying on that content will experience breakage.

  2. Once 1.0.0 of the collection from which the content has been removed has been released, such PRs can only be merged for a new major version (in other words, 2.0.0, 3.0.0, and so on).

Updating BOTMETA.yml

The BOTMETA.yml, for example in community.general collection repository, is the source of truth for:

  • ansibullbot

If the old and/or new collection has ansibullbot, its BOTMETA.yml must be updated correspondingly.

Ansibulbot will know how to redirect existing issues and PRs to the new repo. The build process for docs.ansible.com will know where to find the module docs.

    migrated_to: community.grafana
    migrated_to: community.grafana
    migrated_to: community.grafana
    maintainers: $team_grafana
    labels: monitoring grafana
    migrated_to: community.grafana
    maintainers: $team_grafana
    labels: monitoring grafana
    migrated_to: community.grafana

Example PR

  • The migrated_to: key must be added explicitly for every file. You cannot add migrated_to at the directory level. This is to allow module and plugin webdocs to be redirected to the new collection docs.

  • migrated_to: MUST be added for every:

    • module

    • plugin

    • module_utils

    • contrib/inventory script

  • You do NOT need to add migrated_to for:

    • Unit tests

    • Integration tests

    • ReStructured Text docs (anything under docs/docsite/rst/)

    • Files that never existed in ansible/ansible:devel

See also

Using Ansible collections

Learn how to install and use collections.

Contributing to Ansible-maintained Collections

Guidelines for contributing to selected collections

Mailing List

The development mailing list

Real-time chat

How to join Ansible chat channels