ansible - Define and run a single task 'playbook' against a set of hosts



ansible − Define and run a single task ’playbook’ against a set of hosts


usage: ansible [−h] [−−version] [−v] [−b] [−−become−method

[−−become−user BECOME_USER] [−K | −−become−password−file BECOME_PASSWORD_FILE] [−i INVENTORY] [−−list−hosts] [−l SUBSET] [−P POLL_INTERVAL] [−B SECONDS] [−o] [−t TREE] [−−private−key PRIVATE_KEY_FILE] [−u REMOTE_USER] [−c CONNECTION] [−T TIMEOUT] [−−ssh−common−args SSH_COMMON_ARGS] [−−sftp−extra−args SFTP_EXTRA_ARGS] [−−scp−extra−args SCP_EXTRA_ARGS] [−−ssh−extra−args SSH_EXTRA_ARGS] [−k | −−connection−password−file CONNECTION_PASSWORD_FILE] [−C] [−D] [−e EXTRA_VARS] [−−vault−id VAULT_IDS] [−J | −−vault−password−file VAULT_PASSWORD_FILES] [−f FORKS] [−M MODULE_PATH] [−−playbook−dir BASEDIR] [−−task−timeout TASK_TIMEOUT] [−a MODULE_ARGS] [−m MODULE_NAME] pattern


is an extra−simple tool/framework/API for doing 'remote things'. this command allows you to define and run a single task 'playbook' against a set of hosts


host pattern

−−become−method 'BECOME_METHOD'

privilege escalation method to use (default=sudo), use ansible−doc −t become −l to list valid choices.

−−become−password−file 'BECOME_PASSWORD_FILE', −−become−pass−file 'BECOME_PASSWORD_FILE'

Become password file

−−become−user 'BECOME_USER'

run operations as this user (default=root)

−−connection−password−file 'CONNECTION_PASSWORD_FILE', −−conn−pass−file 'CONNECTION_PASSWORD_FILE'

Connection password file


outputs a list of matching hosts; does not execute anything else

−−playbook−dir 'BASEDIR'

Since this tool does not use playbooks, use this as a substitute playbook directory. This sets the relative path for many features including roles/ group_vars/ etc.

−−private−key 'PRIVATE_KEY_FILE', −−key−file 'PRIVATE_KEY_FILE'

use this file to authenticate the connection

−−scp−extra−args 'SCP_EXTRA_ARGS'

specify extra arguments to pass to scp only (e.g. −l)

−−sftp−extra−args 'SFTP_EXTRA_ARGS'

specify extra arguments to pass to sftp only (e.g. −f, −l)

−−ssh−common−args 'SSH_COMMON_ARGS'

specify common arguments to pass to sftp/scp/ssh (e.g. ProxyCommand)

−−ssh−extra−args 'SSH_EXTRA_ARGS'

specify extra arguments to pass to ssh only (e.g. −R)

−−task−timeout 'TASK_TIMEOUT'

set task timeout limit in seconds, must be positive integer.


the vault identity to use. This argument may be specified multiple times.

−−vault−password−file, −−vault−pass−file

vault password file


show program's version number, config file location, configured module search path, module location, executable location and exit

−B 'SECONDS', −−background 'SECONDS'

run asynchronously, failing after X seconds (default=N/A)

−C, −−check

don't make any changes; instead, try to predict some of the changes that may occur

−D, −−diff

when changing (small) files and templates, show the differences in those files; works great with −−check

−J, −−ask−vault−password, −−ask−vault−pass

ask for vault password

−K, −−ask−become−pass

ask for privilege escalation password

−M, −−module−path

prepend colon−separated path(s) to module library (default={{ ANSIBLE_HOME ˜ "/plugins/modules:/usr/share/ansible/plugins/modules" }}). This argument may be specified multiple times.


set the poll interval if using −B (default=15)

−T 'TIMEOUT', −−timeout 'TIMEOUT'

override the connection timeout in seconds (default depends on connection)


The action's options in space separated k=v format: −a 'opt1=val1 opt2=val2' or a json string: −a '{"opt1": "val1", "opt2": "val2"}'

−b, −−become

run operations with become (does not imply password prompting)

−c 'CONNECTION', −−connection 'CONNECTION'

connection type to use (default=ssh)

−e, −−extra−vars

set additional variables as key=value or YAML/JSON, if filename prepend with @. This argument may be specified multiple times.

−f 'FORKS', −−forks 'FORKS'

specify number of parallel processes to use (default=5)

−h, −−help

show this help message and exit

−i, −−inventory, −−inventory−file

specify inventory host path or comma separated host list. −−inventory−file is deprecated. This argument may be specified multiple times.

−k, −−ask−pass

ask for connection password

−l 'SUBSET', −−limit 'SUBSET'

further limit selected hosts to an additional pattern

−m 'MODULE_NAME', −−module−name 'MODULE_NAME'

Name of the action to execute (default=command)

−o, −−one−line

condense output

−t 'TREE', −−tree 'TREE'

log output to this directory


connect as this user (default=None)

−v, −−verbose

Causes Ansible to print more debug messages. Adding multiple −v will increase the verbosity, the builtin plugins currently evaluate up to −vvvvvv. A reasonable level to start is −vvv, connection debugging might require −vvvv. This argument may be specified multiple times.


Ansible stores the hosts it can potentially operate on in an inventory. This can be an YAML file, ini−like file, a script, directory, list, etc. For additional options, see the documentation on


The following environment variables may be specified.

ANSIBLE_INVENTORY −− Override the default ansible inventory sources

ANSIBLE_LIBRARY −− Override the default ansible module library path

ANSIBLE_CONFIG −− Specify override location for the ansible config file

Many more are available for most options in ansible.cfg

For a full list check or use the ansible−config command.


/etc/ansible/hosts −− Default inventory file

/etc/ansible/ansible.cfg −− Config file, used if present

˜/.ansible.cfg −− User config file, overrides the default config if present

./ansible.cfg −− Local config file (in current working directory) assumed to be 'project specific' and overrides the rest if present.

As mentioned above, the ANSIBLE_CONFIG environment variable will override all others.


Ansible was originally written by Michael DeHaan.


Copyright © 2018 Red Hat, Inc | Ansible. Ansible is released under the terms of the GPLv3 license.


ansible−config (1), ansible−console (1), ansible−doc (1), ansible−galaxy (1), ansible−inventory (1), ansible−playbook (1), ansible−pull (1), ansible−vault (1)

Extensive documentation is available in the documentation site: <->. IRC and mailing list info can be found in file, available in: <->

Updated 2024-01-29 - |