Molecule debugging

Using Molecule really helps to develop Ansible roles. (and collections.) But, when things don’t go as planned, it can be a little more challenging to understand what’s wrong.

When Molecule runs, you see the Ansible output, something like this:

TASK [ansible-role-auditd : Start and enable auditd] ***************************
fatal: [auditd-fedora-rawhide]: FAILED! => {"changed": false, "msg": "A dependency job for auditd.service failed. See 'journalctl -xe' for details.\n"}

Now what

There are a couple of options:

  1. You can login to the instance Molecule created. You need to let the instance exist by running molecule test --destroy=never. Next you can run molecule login to jump into the instance Molecule was running against. You can now troubleshoot the instance.
  2. You can put Ansible in debug mode: ANSIBLE_DEBUG=True molecule test.
  3. You can increase verbosity: ANSIBLE_VERBOSITY=5 molecule test.
  4. You can put Ansible in diff mode: DIFF_ALWAYS=True molecule test.
  5. You can leave Ansible created scripts: ANSIBLE_KEEP_REMOTE_FILES=True molecule test. This allows you to inspect the scripts Ansible placed on the target.

In my case ANSIBLE_VERBOSIY is set to 5: ANSIBLE_VERBOSITY=5 molecule test:

TASK [ansible-role-auditd : Start and enable auditd] ***************************
task path: /Users/robertdb/Documents/
Running ansible.legacy.service


fatal: [auditd-fedora-rawhide]: FAILED! => {
    "changed": false,
    "invocation": {
        "module_args": {
            "arguments": "",
            "enabled": true,
            "name": "auditd",
            "pattern": null,
            "runlevel": "default",
            "sleep": null,
            "state": "started"
    "msg": "A dependency job for auditd.service failed. See 'journalctl -xe' for details.\n"

PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************
auditd-fedora-rawhide      : ok=42   changed=0    unreachable=0    failed=1    skipped=3    rescued=0    ignored=0

(Still no clue what’s wrong by the way, but at least I see more of what Ansible is trying to do.)

Hope this helps you get unblocked with your Ansible/Molecule issue!