ansible <host-pattern> [-f forks] [-m module_name] [-a args]


Ansible is an extra-simple tool/framework/API for doing 'remote things' over SSH.



A name of a group in the inventory file, a shell-like glob selecting hosts in inventory file, or any combination of the two separated by semicolons.


-v, --verbose

Verbose mode, more output from successful actions will be shown. Give up to three times for more output.

-i PATH, --inventory=PATH

The PATH to the inventory hosts file, which defaults to /etc/ansible/hosts.

-f NUM, --forks=NUM

Level of parallelism. NUM is specified as an integer, the default is 5.


Use this file to authenticate the connection.

-m NAME, --module-name=NAME

Execute the module called NAME.


The DIRECTORY search path to load modules from. The default is /usr/share/ansible. This can also be set with the ANSIBLE_LIBRARY environment variable.


The ARGUMENTS to pass to the module.

-k, --ask-pass

Prompt for the SSH password instead of assuming key-based authentication with ssh-agent.

-K, --ask-sudo-pass

Prompt for the password to use with --sudo, if any

-o, --one-line

Try to output everything on one line.

-s, --sudo

Run the command as the user given by -u and sudo to root.


Save contents in this output DIRECTORY, with the results saved in a file named after each host.


Connection timeout to use when trying to talk to hosts, in SECONDS.

-B NUM, --background=NUM

Run commands in the background, killing the task after NUM seconds.

-P NUM, --poll=NUM

Poll a background job every NUM seconds. Requires -B.


Use this remote USERNAME instead of the current user.


Sudo to SUDO_USERNAME instead of root. Implies --sudo.


Connection type to use. Possible options are paramiko (SSH), ssh, and local. local is mostly useful for crontab or kickstarts.

-l SUBSET, --limit=SUBSET

Further limits the selected host/group patterns.

-l ~REGEX, --limit=~REGEX

Further limits hosts with a regex pattern.


Ansible stores the hosts it can potentially operate on in an inventory file. The syntax is one host per line. Groups headers are allowed and are included on their own line, enclosed in square brackets that start the line.

Ranges of hosts are also supported. For more information and additional options, see the documentation on


/etc/ansible/hosts – Default inventory file

/usr/share/ansible/ – Default module library

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

~/.ansible.cfg – User config file, overrides the default config if present


The following environment variables may be specified.

ANSIBLE_HOSTS – Override the default ansible hosts file

ANSIBLE_LIBRARY – Override the default ansible module library path

ANSIBLE_CONFIG – Override the default ansible config file


Ansible was originally written by Michael DeHaan. See the AUTHORS file for a complete list of contributors.


Copyright © 2012, Michael DeHaan

Ansible is released under the terms of the GPLv3 License.

RELATED TO ansible…

ansible-playbook(1), ansible-pull(1), ansible-doc(1)

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