Ansible troubleshooting — Error: name[play]

How to Solve the Ansible Error name[play]

Luca Berton



In the world of Ansible, where automation and orchestration reign supreme, playbooks serve as the backbone of defining and executing tasks. Playbooks provide a structured way to describe configurations, deployments, and automation processes. They are your go-to tool for defining what needs to happen on remote servers, which is why it’s crucial to ensure that playbooks are well-structured, readable, and adhere to best practices.

However, even the most experienced Ansible users can make common mistakes in their playbooks, leading to potential errors and difficulties when troubleshooting. One of these common issues is related to the naming of plays within playbooks.

The Role of Names in Playbooks

In Ansible playbooks, names play a critical role. They serve as identifiers for executed operations on the console, in log files, and on web interfaces. When you glance at a name within a playbook, you should instantly understand what task or play is doing. A well-named task or play provides clarity and enhances the playbook’s maintainability.

The name Rule

To ensure the quality and readability of Ansible playbooks, the Ansible community has developed a set of rules, often enforced by linters, to identify issues related to naming conventions. These rules, under the ‘name’ category, help maintain a standardized and consistent naming structure within your playbooks.

Here are some specific aspects addressed by the ‘name’ rule:

  1. name[casing]: This rule requires all names to start with an uppercase letter for languages that support it. While it may seem like a small detail, consistent casing in names improves readability and professionalism.
  2. name[missing]: To maintain clarity in your playbooks, this rule insists that all tasks should be named. Unnamed tasks make troubleshooting more challenging.
  3. name[play]: One important sub-rule within the ’name’ category focuses on naming plays. It recommends that all plays in your playbook should be named. Providing descriptive names for plays helps you…



Luca Berton

I help creative Automation DevOps, Cloud Engineer, System Administrator, and IT Professional to succeed with Ansible Technology to automate more things everyday