When ansible-playbook is executed with
--check it will not make any changes on remote systems. Instead, any module
instrumented to support ‘check mode’ (which contains most of the primary core modules, but it is not required that all modules do
this) will report what changes they would have made rather than making them. Other modules that do not support check mode will also take no action, but just will not report what changes they might have made.
Check mode is just a simulation, and if you have steps that use conditionals that depend on the results of prior commands, it may be less useful for you. However it is great for one-node-at-time basic configuration management use cases.
ansible-playbook foo.yml --check
Sometimes you may want to have a task to be executed even in check mode. To achieve this, use the always_run clause on the task. Its value is a Jinja2 expression, just like the when clause. In simple cases a boolean YAML value would be sufficient as a value.
tasks: - name: this task is run even in check mode command: /something/to/run --even-in-check-mode always_run: yes
As a reminder, a task with a when clause evaluated to false, will still be skipped even if it has a always_run clause evaluated to true.
--diff option to ansible-playbook works great with
--check (detailed above) but can also be used by itself. When this flag is supplied, if any templated files on the remote system are changed, and the ansible-playbook CLI will report back
the textual changes made to the file (or, if used with
--check, the changes that would have been made). Since the diff
feature produces a large amount of output, it is best used when checking a single host at a time, like so:
ansible-playbook foo.yml --check --diff --limit foo.example.com