ansible_connectionConnection type to the host. This can be the name of any of ansible’s connection plugins. SSH protocol types are smart, ssh or paramiko. The default is smart. Non-SSH based types are described in the next section.
ansible_hostThe name of the host to connect to, if different from the alias you wish to give to it.
ansible_portThe ssh port number, if not 22
ansible_userThe default ssh user name to use.
ansible_ssh_passThe ssh password to use (this is insecure, we strongly recommend using --ask-pass or SSH keys)
ansible_ssh_private_key_filePrivate key file used by ssh. Useful if using multiple keys and you don’t want to use SSH agent.
ansible_ssh_common_argsThis setting is always appended to the default command line for sftp, scp, and ssh. Useful to configure a ProxyCommand for a certain host (or group).
ansible_sftp_extra_argsThis setting is always appended to the default sftp command line.
ansible_scp_extra_argsThis setting is always appended to the default scp command line.
ansible_ssh_extra_argsThis setting is always appended to the default ssh command line.
ansible_ssh_pipeliningDetermines whether or not to use SSH pipelining. This can override the pipelining setting in ansible.cfg.
ansible_becomeEquivalent to ansible_sudo or ansible_su, allows to force privilege escalation
ansible_become_methodAllows to set privilege escalation method
ansible_become_userEquivalent to ansible_sudo_user or ansible_su_user, allows to set the user you become through privilege escalation
ansible_become_passEquivalent to ansible_sudo_pass or ansible_su_pass, allows you to set the privilege escalation password
ansible_shell_typeThe shell type of the target system. You should not use this setting unless you have set the ansible_shell_executable to a non-Bourne (sh) compatible shell. By default commands are formatted using sh-style syntax. Setting this to csh or fish will cause commands executed on target systems to follow those shell’s syntax instead.
ansible_python_interpreterThe target host python path. This is useful for systems with more than one Python or not located at /usr/bin/python such as *BSD, or where /usr/bin/python is not a 2.X series Python. We do not use the /usr/bin/env mechanism as that requires the remote user’s path to be set right and also assumes the python executable is named python, where the executable might be named something like python2.6.
ansible_*_interpreterWorks for anything such as ruby or perl and works just like ansible_python_interpreter. This replaces shebang of modules which will run on that host.
ansible_shell_executableThis sets the shell the ansible controller will use on the target machine, overrides executable in ansible.cfg which defaults to /bin/sh. You should really only change it if is not possible to use /bin/sh (i.e. /bin/sh is not installed on the target machine or cannot be run from sudo.). New in version 2.1.

Inventory with username and password

Inventory is the Ansible way to track all the systems in your infrastructure. Here is a simple inventory file containing a single system and the login credentials for Ansible.

[targethost] ansible_user=mrtuovinen ansible_ssh_pass=PassW0rd

Inventory with custom private key

[targethost] ansible_user=mrtuovinen ssh_private_key_file=~/.ssh/custom_key

Inventory with custom SSH port

[targethost] ansible_user=mrtuovinen ansible_port=2222

Pass static inventory to ansible-playbook

ansible-playbook -i path/to/static-inventory-file -l myhost myplaybook.yml

Pass dynamic inventory to ansible-playbook

ansible-playbook -i path/to/ -l myhost myplaybook.yml

See dynamic inventory for more details.

Inventory, Group Vars, and You

project structure (ansible best practice).


it all starts with inventory.development


ansible_user: dev
ansible_pass: pass
ansible_port: 2232


which lets you link to group_vars. Hold data 'specific' to that environment ...

app_name: NewApp_Dev
app_key: f2390f23f01233f23f

that lets one run the following playbook AGAINST the inventory file:

- name: Install api.
  hosts: api
  gather_facts: true
  sudo: true
    - api
    - { role: api,         tags: ["api"]         }

with the following runline:

ansible-playbook playbook.yaml -i  inventory.development

Hosts file

The host file is used to store connections for Anisble playbooks. There are options to define connection parameters:

ansible_host is the hostname or IP address

ansible_port is the port the machine uses for SSH

ansible_user is the remote user to connect as

ansible_ssh_pass if using a password to SSH

ansible_ssh_private_key_file if you need to use multiple keys that are specific to hosts

These are the most commonly used options. More can be found in the Ansible official documentation.

Here is an example hosts file:

# Consolidation of all groups

server1 ansible_host= ansible_port=1600
server2 ansible_host= ansible_port=1800

server3 ansible_host= ansible_port=22 ansible_user=root
server4 ansible_host= ansible_port=4300 ansible_user=root

# You can make groups of groups

server5 ansible_host= ansible_ssh_pass=password

server6 ansible_host= ansible_port=77