Brian Brian - 5 months ago 39
Python Question

Ansible - Can I print information during module execution?

I would like to know if there is a way to print information while a module is executing -- primarily as a means to demonstrate that the process is working and has not hung. Specifically, I am trying to get feedback during the execution of the cloudformation module. I tried modifying the (Python) source code to include the following:

def debug(msg):
print json.dumps({
"DEBUG" : msg


debug("The stack operation is still working...")

What this did, of course, was store all this output and only print it all after the module had finished executing. So for particularly large cloudformation templates, this means that I wait around for 5 minutes or so, and then suddenly see a large amount of text appear on the screen at the end. What I was expecting was to see "The stack operation is still working..." printed every x seconds.

It would seem that the Asynchronous Actions and Polling are what I'm looking for... but this didn't work, either. The entire task, "Launch CloudFormation for {{ stackname }}", was skipped entirely. See below for the relevant (YAML) snippet from my playbook:

- name: Launch CloudFormation for {{ stackname }}
cloudformation: >
stack_name="{{ stackname }}" state=present
region="{{ region }}" disable_rollback=true
template="{{ template }}"
register: cloud
KeyName: "{{ keyName }}"
Region: "{{ region }}"
SecurityGroup: "{{ securityGroup }}"
BootStrapper: "{{ bootStrapper }}"
BootStrapCommand: "powershell.exe -executionpolicy unrestricted -File C:\\{{ bootStrapper }} {{ region }}"
S3Bucket: "{{ s3Bucket }}"
async: 3600
poll: 30

This tells me that async is meant for typical shell commands, and not complex modules such as cloudformation. OR -- I may have done something wrong.

Could anyone shed some light on this situation? Again, for large cloudformation tasks that take a while, I would like some periodic indication that the task is still running, and not hanging. I appreciate the help!


The answer is simple - no. Ansible is a Continuous system that aims to handle ability to run over a bunch of servers and displaying real-time stdout results can be very unconvenient.

But I think You can use some tricks if Your destination system can support execution in background. I see that Your system is windows, so You have to install cygwin onto it for ability to run background commands like "sleep 20 &" in the example below

You can run this playbook with ansible-playbook -vv background.yml You can see that stdout changing. echo Test---- >> /tmp/test && tail /tmp/test is a demo command. You should output data to some file and tail it for ability to see the progress. Or You may look at file size of stdout file and display it. Use imagination )))

# @file background.yml

- hosts:
  connection: local
  gather_facts: no

  - name: Background operation
    shell: "sleep 20 & \ PPID=$! \ echo $PPID"
    register: bcktsk

  - name: Check PPID
    shell: "kill -0 {{ bcktsk.stdout | int + 2 }}"
    register: checkppid
    ignore_errors: true

  - name: Check if process still active
    shell: "echo Test---- >> /tmp/test && tail /tmp/test && kill -0 {{ bcktsk.stdout | int + 2 }}"
    register: test
    when: checkppid.rc == 0
    until: test.rc ==1
    delay: 2
    retries: 10000
    ignore_errors: true