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Custom linting rules

Define and use your own sets of rules with Ansible-lint.

Rule definitions

You define each custom rule in a unique Python class file. Default rules are named, etc.

Each rule should have a short description as a Python docstring wrapped in triple quotes """ immediately after the class name. The short description should be brief and meaningfully explain the purpose of the rule to users.

Each rule definition should have the following parts:

  • id provides a unique identifier to the rule.
  • description explains what the rule checks for.
  • tags specifies one or more tags for including or excluding the rule.

Match and matchtask methods

Each rule definition should also invoke one of the following methods:

  • match takes a line and returns:
  • None or False if the line does not match the test.
  • True or a custom message if the line does match the test. (This allows one rule to test multiple behaviors - see e.g. the CommandsInsteadOfModulesRule.)
  • matchtask operates on a single task or handler, such that tasks get standardized to always contain a module key and module_arguments key. Other common task modifiers, such as when, with_items, etc., are also available as keys if present in the task.

The following is an example rule that uses the match method:

from ansiblelint.rules import AnsibleLintRule

class DeprecatedVariableRule(AnsibleLintRule):
    """Deprecated variable declarations."""

    id = 'EXAMPLE002'
    description = 'Check for lines that have old style ${var} ' + \
    tags = { 'deprecations' }

    def match(self, line: str) -> Union[bool, str]:
        return '${' in line

The following is an example rule that uses the matchtask method:

from typing import TYPE_CHECKING, Any, Dict, Union

import ansiblelint.utils
from ansiblelint.rules import AnsibleLintRule

    from ansiblelint.file_utils import Lintable
    from ansiblelint.utils import Task

class TaskHasTag(AnsibleLintRule):
    """Tasks must have tag."""

    id = 'EXAMPLE001'
    description = 'Tasks must have tag'
    tags = ['productivity']

    def matchtask(self, task: Task, file: 'Lintable' | None = None) -> Union[bool,str]:
        # If the task include another task or make the playbook fail
        # Don't force to have a tag
        if not set(task.keys()).isdisjoint(['include','fail']):
            return False

        # Task should have tags
        if not task.has_key('tags'):
              return True

        return False

The task argument to matchtask contains a number of keys - the critical one is action. The value of task['action'] contains the module being used, and the arguments passed, both as key-value pairs and a list of other arguments (e.g. the command used with shell).

Packaging custom rules

Ansible-lint automatically loads and enables custom rules in Python packages from the custom subdirectory. This subdirectory is part of the Ansible-lint installation directory, for example:


To automatically load custom rules, do the following:

  1. Package your custom rules as a Python package with a descriptive name.

  2. Configure the [options] section of the setup.cfg of your custom rules Python package as in the following example:

packages =
package_dir =
    ansiblelint.rules.custom.<your_custom_rules_subdir> = <your_rules_source_code_subdir>
  1. Install the Python package into <ansible_lint_custom_rules_dir>/custom/<your_custom_rules_subdir>/.