Event Source Plugins

Events come from event sources. Event driven automation supports many event sources using a plugin system. Event source plugins can be stored locally but are preferably distributed via collections. ansible.eda is a collection that includes our initial set of event source plugins. These include:

  • alertmanager - receive events via a webhook from alertmanager

  • azure_service_bus - receive events from an Azure service

  • file - load facts from YAML files initially and reload when any file changes

  • kafka - receive events via a kafka topic

  • range - generate events with an increasing index i within a range

  • tick - generate events with an increasing index i that never ends

  • url_check - poll a set of URLs and send events with their statuses

  • watchdog - watch file system and send events when a file status changes

  • webhook - provide a webhook and receive events from it

How to Develop a Custom Plugin

You can build your own event source plugin in python. A plugin is a single python file. You can start with this example:

Plugin template


An ansible-rulebook event source plugin template.

  - delay: seconds to wait between events

    - template:
        delay: 1

import asyncio
from typing import Any, Dict

async def main(queue: asyncio.Queue, args: Dict[str, Any]):
    delay = args.get("delay", 0)

    while True:
        await queue.put(dict(template=dict(msg="hello world")))
        await asyncio.sleep(delay)

if __name__ == "__main__":

    class MockQueue:
        async def put(self, event):

    mock_arguments = dict()
    asyncio.run(main(MockQueue(), mock_arguments))

Plugin entrypoint

The plugin python file must contain an entrypoint function exactly like the following:

async def main(queue: asyncio.Queue, args: Dict[str, Any]):

It is an async function. The first argument is an asyncio queue that will be consumed by ansible-rulebook CLI. The rest arguments are custom defined. They must match the arguments in the source section of the rulebook. For example the template plugin expects a single argument delay. In the rulebook the source section looks like:

- name: example
  hosts: all
    - template:
        delay: 5

Each source must contain a key which is the name of the plugin. Its nested keys must match argument names expected by the main function. The name of the plugin is the python filename. If the plugin is from a collection then the plugin name is a FQCN which is the collection name concatenating with the python filename with a period delimit, for example ansible.eda.range.

In the main function you can implement code that connects to an external source of events, retrieves events and puts them onto the provided asyncio queue. The event data put on the queue must be a dictionary. You can insert the meta key that points to another dictionary that holds a list of hosts. These hosts will limit where the ansible playbook can run. A simple example looks like {"i": 2, "meta": {hosts: "localhost"}}. hosts can be a comma delimited string or a list of host names.

Distributing plugins

For local tests the plugin source file can be saved under a folder specified by the -S argument in the ansible-rulebook CLI. The recommended method for distributing and installing the plugin is through a collection. In this case the plugin source file should be placed under plugins/event_source folder and referred to by FQCN. The following rulebook example illustrates how to refer to the range plugin provided by ansible.eda collection:

- name: example2
  hosts: localhost
    - name: range
        limit: 5

Any dependent packages needed by the custom plugin should be installed in the ansible-rulebook CLI env regardless the plugin is local or from a collection.

Document plugins

It is strongly recommended that you add comments at the top of the source file. Please describe the purpose of the event source plugin. List all required or optional arguments. Also add an example how to configure the plugin in a rulebook.