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This document assumes the developer has a basic understanding of python packaging, and how to install and manage python on the system executing Molecule.


Depending on the driver chosen, you may need to install additional OS packages.

  • Python >= 3.9 with ansible-core >= 2.12
$ sudo dnf install -y gcc python3-pip python3-devel openssl-devel python3-libselinux
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install -y python3-pip libssl-dev


pip is the only supported installation method.


Ansible is not listed as a direct dependency of molecule package because we only call it as a command line tool. You may want to install it using your distribution package installer.

$ python3 -m pip install molecule ansible-core


ansible and ansible-base pip extras were removed in molecule 4.0.0. If you used them, please switch to explicit package mention to avoid problem with newer versions of molecule.

Keep in mind that on selinux supporting systems, if you install into a virtual environment, you may face issue 34340 even if selinux is not enabled or is configured to be permissive.

It is your responsibility to assure that soft dependencies of Ansible are available on your controller or host machines.


It is highly recommended that you install molecule in a virtual environment. This will provide a modern copy of setuptools which is mandatory in order for molecule to be installed successfully and function correctly. If you cannot use a virtual environment then you can attempt a package upgrade with the following:

$ python3 -m pip install --upgrade --user setuptools


Depending on the driver chosen, you may need to install additional python packages. See the driver's documentation or INSTALL.rst, which is created when initializing a new scenario.


Install Molecule:

$ python3 -m pip install --user molecule

Molecule does not include ansible-lint (nor does the lint extra), but is easily installed separately:

$ python3 -m pip install --user molecule ansible-lint

Molecule uses the \"delegated\" driver by default. Other drivers can be installed separately from PyPI, most of them being included in molecule-plugins package. If you would like to use podman as the molecule driver, the installation command would look like this:

$ python3 -m pip install --user "molecule-plugins[podman]"


If you upgrade molecule from previous versions, make sure to remove previously installed drivers like for instance molecule-podman or molecule-vagrant since those are now available in the molecule-plugins package.

Installing molecule package also installed its main script molecule, usually in PATH. Users should know that molecule can also be called as a python module, using python -m molecule .... This alternative method has some benefits:

  • allows to explicitly control which python interpreter is used by molecule
  • allows molecule installation at user level without even needing to have the script in PATH.


Molecule is built into a container image by the Ansible Creator Execution Environment project, creator-ee.

Any questions or bugs related to use of Molecule from within a container should be addressed by the Ansible Creator Execution Environment project.


Due to the rapid pace of development on this tool, you might want to install and update a bleeding-edge version of Molecule from Git. Follow the instructions below to do the initial install and subsequent updates.

The package distribution that you'll get installed will be autogenerated and will contain a commit hash information making it easier to refer to certain unstable version should the need to send a bug report arise.


$ sudo dnf install -y libffi-devel git
$ sudo apt install -y libffi-dev git
$ python3 -m pip install -U git+