Ansible shell module returns error when grep results are empty

grep by design returns code 1 if the given string was not found. Ansible by design stops execution if the return code is different from 0. Your system is working properly.

To prevent Ansible from stopping playbook execution on this error, you can:

  • add ignore_errors: yes parameter to the task

  • use failed_when: parameter with a proper condition

Because grep returns error code 2 for exceptions, the second method seems more appropriate, so:

- name: Get the http_status
  shell: grep "http_status=" /var/httpd.txt
  register: cmdln
  failed_when: "cmdln.rc == 2"
  check_mode: no

You might also consider adding changed_when: false so that the task won’t be reported as “changed” every single time.

All options are described in the Error Handling In Playbooks document.

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