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I'm creating an Ansible Playbook to set up Ubuntu 18.04.1 VPSs and am encountering a problem where I can't reliably install Python.

Since Ubuntu 18.04.1 is not shipping with Python installed, I'm forced to use the following command apt -y update && apt -y install python with the raw module.

I've also managed to get this error in a shell into which I manually ssh'd into.

root@ansible:~# apt -y update && apt -y install python
Hit:1 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic InRelease
Hit:2 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic-security InRelease
Hit:3 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic-updates InRelease
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
17 packages can be upgraded. Run 'apt list --upgradable' to see them.
E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another process using it?

This is a Virtual Machine in VirtualBox on a Windows host.

I've also tried with using sync between apt update and apt install, even doing something like this while fuser /var/lib/dpkg/lock >/dev/null 2>&1; do sync && sleep 1; done between update and install, but it usually fails.

It is a system which has been set up with the following steps: https://askubuntu.com/questions/946787/ubuntu-server-installation-with-root-only/1066033#1066033

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Ubuntu 16.04+, iirc, ship with Python3 by default and have removed Python2 entirely from the default install; in other words, there is a functioning Python interpreter, it's just not in a place Ansible looks.

You can override the default behavior (expecting python as a command) by using the ansible_python_interpreter variable and setting it to, in the case of Ubuntu 16.04+, /usr/bin/python3.

So something like this: ansible_python_interpreter: /usr/bin/python3

Ansible now treats Python3 as a first-class citizen for the most part, so this is a pretty safe change. I've been using it on a handful of Ubuntu 18.04 boxes I administer with no issues.

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