OOM ONAP Offline Installer Testing Guide

This testing guide describes how offline installer can be tested in local development environment (laptop) without the need for actual servers.

Documentation refers to files/directories in ansible directory of this repository.


Offline installer uses Molecule for testing all roles.

Molecule is tool for ansible roles development and testing. In this project Molecule is used for integration type of testing for both roles and playbooks. Role code is tested against simulated host.

Molecule is designed to test single Ansible role in isolation. Offline installer however has many small roles that are dependent on each other and also execution order for roles is meaningful. In that respect Molecule’s design does not offer sufficient level of testing as it’s lacking playbook level of scenario testing by default. Luckily Molecule is highly configurable and it is possible to achieve a higher level of testing scenarios for the offline installer.

Testing with Molecule is divided to two levels of testing:
  1. role level testing (as per Molecule design)
  2. playbook level testing (offline installer own setup)


The purpose of using testing framework like Molecule is to make possible for developer to verify ansible code changes locally in own laptop without the need for big resources.

Developer is also expected to do development of the Ansible code and the Molecule test code at the same time. Offline installer does not have unittest level of testing for the ansible code.

Any commit made to ansible code base needs to first pass Molecule tests before it’s merged.

Test levels

To cover both testing levels (role and playbook) with maximum benefit and minimum copy-pasting, the testing code should be written in reusable way.

Reusable test code can be achieved by writing all prepare/cleanup and other helping code as a roles into main test directory. Also testinfra test code can be shared between different roles and between different scenarios of one role.

Testing of role and one scenario (one execution run of molecule) is fully defined by molecule.yml file.

molecule.yml file is always located in directory:


i.e. one role can have multiple scenarios (different configuration, OS etc. whatever user wants) to execute tests for same role. Each scenario has own molecule.yml file and own testinfra tests.

Molecule.yml file is the only file that cannot be re-used (except with symbolic links) but all other resources can be reused by referencing those in molecule.yml file or/and indirectly from resources molecule.yml is pointing to.

tested-role is clear in case of normal role level testing, but in playbook level testing the tested-role is just an invented role name and directory with molecule directory inside but no actual ansible role code.

Role level testing

The target is to test single role in isolation just like Molecule is designed. Role level testing is supposed to cover:

  • Syntax checking (Yamllint, Ansible lint, flake8)
  • Ansible code testing
  • Idempotence testing
  • Verifying role results from target hosts (testinfra tests)

Ansible code testing can/should also cover all different options how this role can be run (scenario). Different molecule runs can be implemented as own scenarios (in addition to default scenario) or default scenario playbook can be extended to run role tests multiple times just adjusting configuration between.

Single scenario example with nexus role

├── infrastructure.yml
├── roles
│   ├── nexus
│   │   ├── defaults
│   │   ├── files
│   │   ├── molecule
│   │   │   └── default
│   │   │       ├── molecule.yml
│   │   │       ├── playbook.yml
│   │   │       ├── prepare.yml
│   │   │       └── tests
│   │   ├── tasks
│   │   └── vars

Multiple scenario example with chrony role

├── defaults
│   └── main.yml
├── handlers
│   └── main.yml
├── molecule
│   ├── default
│   │   ├── molecule.yml
│   │   ├── playbook.yml
│   │   └── prepare.yml
│   └── ubuntu
│       └── molecule.yml
├── tasks
│   └── main.yml
└── templates
    └── chrony.conf.j2

By default molecule runs just default scenario. To run specific one -s <scenario name> option must be used. The only subcommands supporting --all switch for playing with all scenarios are test and destroy. If using other ones -s must be used.

The cross-scenario code reuse paradigm should be rather implemented inside particular scenario’s molecule.yml file than by using filesystem symlinks. All provisioner playbooks should be located in default scenarios directory then and referenced in alternative scenarios as follows

  name: ansible
    name: ansible-lint
    ANSIBLE_ROLES_PATH: ../../../../test/roles
    prepare: ../default/prepare.yml
    converge: ../default/playbook.yml

Playbook level testing

Playbook level testing is this project’s (offline installer) own setup and way of using Molecule. The target is to raise testing level from single role testing up to single playbook testing.

Playbook level testing can be used also to run multiple playbooks and/or playbooks multiple times with different configuration.

The aim is to verify multiple roles working together i.e. higher level of integration testing.

Practically the tested-role is just a wrapper directory to conform molecule required directory structure and provide a name for the test. Directory itself does not contain any ansible role code, but just molecule files configured to run multiple other roles.

Playbook level test directories should be named consistently according to tested playbook and prefix string play and with optional description if there are multiple scenarios for single playbook:



  • play-infrastructure
  • play-resources

As role’s are tested with own molecule tests in isolation, playbook level tests should focus to integration of the roles and should avoid of repeating same tests as done already for individual roles.

Playbook level testing is supposed to cover:
  • Ansible code testing

Basically it’s easier to highlight what is supposed to be avoided in playbook level testing for the reason not to repeat the same that is done already in role level testing.

  • Syntax checking is left out already by default as molecule does linting only for the role code where molecule is run, and in this case tested-role is empty.
  • Idempotence can be tested, but should be disabled (by default) in molecule.yml because it takes too much time and was tested already for individual roles.
  • Verifying target hosts with testinfra tests can be done but then something else should be tested as in role based tests. And if those 2 would overlap it’s better to leave them out.

Example with infrastructure playbook level test files

├── infrastructure.yml
└── test
    ├── play-infrastructure
    │   └── molecule
    │       └── default
    │           ├── molecule.yml
    │           ├── playbook.yml
    │           ├── prepare.yml
    │           └── tests

Test code reuse and naming

As both testing levels test the same Ansible roles, there are a need to share common code for both of them.

Testinfra Python code should be shared when also playbook level tests verify target hosts. However sharing is not limited only for the 2 test levels but also between different roles.

Individual role have testinfra tests on directory:


and any commonly usable testinfra Python code should be placed to directory:


Ansible role testing uses several resources defined by provisioner section of molecule.yml https://molecule.readthedocs.io/en/latest/configuration.html#provisioner

Most common resources that are written for role testing are:

  • playbook.yml (mandatory but can include specific code)
  • prepare.yml
  • cleanup.yml
  • create.yml
  • destroy.yml

all of which can be just placed to scenario directory together with playbook.yml (without editing molecule.yml when in default directory) and all of which can include ansible code to do something e.g. prepare role for testing.

Example molecule files:

Role level tests for nexus role:
  • roles/nexus/molecule/default/molecule.yml
  • roles/nexus/molecule/default/playbook.yml
  • roles/nexus/molecule/default/prepare.yml
playbook level tests for infrastructure playbook:
  • test/play-infrastructure/molecule/default/molecule.yml
  • test/play-infrastructure/molecule/default/playbook.yml
  • test/play-infrastructure/molecule/default/prepare.yml

Sharing all test code should be done by writing them in the form of ansible roles and placing commonly usable roles into:


Test roles should be named consistently according to action it’s needed and role for it’s for together with optional description:


Examples of commonly used test roles

├── infrastructure.yml
└── test
    ├── play-infrastructure
    └── roles
        ├── post-certificates
        ├── prepare-common
        ├── prepare-dns
        ├── prepare-docker
        ├── prepare-nexus
        └── prepare-nginx

Molecule platform images

Molecule can build images of the tested hosts on the fly with default Dockerfile template (docker driver) or from a Dockerfile provided by user. In case of Vagrant driver used box image can be also fully customized by user.

To speed up testing and lessen the footprint of code for image preparation it’s preferred to use unmodified images from Docker Registry whenever possible (can be pulled prior to running Molecule) or pre-build images created from Dockerfiles listed below. Most significant feature of those is support for Systemd, so they should be used in cases where ansible’s ‘systemd’ module is used.

Used Dockerfiles/Box definitions are kept in following directory structure

└── test
    └── images
        ├── docker
        │   ├── build-all.sh
        │   ├── centos7
        │   │   ├── build.sh
        │   │   └── Dockerfile
        │   └── ubuntu
        │       ├── build.sh
        │       └── Dockerfile
        └── vagrant

Build-all.sh is a script for building all images, build.sh scripts in particular platforms subdirs are for building just specific images. Keep in mind that while images from Docker Registry will be downloaded automatically at run time, the above ones must be built manually prior to launching Molecule.

Build images

Build all platforms images before running Molecule tests. Building can be done with the following single command:



Molecule can be installed in multiple ways and in this guide 2 different ways is covered.

  • Install Molecule with pip in virtual environment
  • Use Molecule provided docker container to run Molecule

Install with pip

This is a OS dependent and some prerequisites needs to be installed, but after prerequisites are installed installing Molecule can be done by calling following script:

source test/bin/install-molecule.sh

As for the required OS packages, see example for Ubuntu in the install-molecule.sh script’s comments or from Molecule pages.

Note that sourcing the script is not needed to get Molecule installed but it leaves you already into virtual environment and ready to run Molecule.

To get out from virtual environment issue:


And next time to activate virtual environment again before running Molecule, issue:

source ~/molecule_venv/bin/activate

And here the directory ~/molecule_venv is just the default virtual environment path that install-molecule.sh script is using and can be overridden with VENV_PATH environment variable.

Use Molecule docker container

Molecule provides docker containers images via quay.io where Molecule, Ansible and all needed dependencies are build to the image.

In this way of using Molecule, no installation is needed and only docker is the prerequisite for running Molecule.

For using provided image to test offline-installer roles, following scripts are provided:

Build container image:

This will build image named molecule-dev with strict version tag.

Set molecule into the PATH:
source test/bin/set_molecule_paths.sh

That will add the actual Molecule run wrapper script test/bin/molecule.sh to path usable from everywhere similarly than molecule with pip and virtual environment.

Run Molecule wrapper script:

For running Molecule. Using molecule-dev image and the exact version defined by test/docker/build.sh script.


Basic usage of molecule tests. See more detailed instructions from Molecule

Run complete testing for a role or a playbook:

  1. cd roles/<role> or cd test/play-<playbook-name>
  2. molecule test

Develop a role code and run testing during the coding:

  1. cd roles/<role>
  2. Edit ansible code and molecule test code when needed
  3. molecule converge
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until code is ready and molecule tests are passing
  5. molecule test