archive - Creates a compressed archive of one or more files or trees.

New in version 2.3.


  • Packs an archive. It is the opposite of unarchive. By default, it assumes the compression source exists on the target. It will not copy the source file from the local system to the target before archiving. Source files can be deleted after archival by specifying remove=True.


parameter required default choices comments
(added in 2.3)
no None
Attributes the file or directory should have. To get supported flags look at the man page for chattr on the target system. This string should contain the attributes in the same order as the one displayed by lsattr.

aliases: attr
The file name of the destination archive. This is required when path refers to multiple files by either specifying a glob, a directory or multiple paths in a list.
no gz
  • gz
  • bz2
  • zip
The type of compression to use.
Name of the group that should own the file/directory, as would be fed to chown.
Mode the file or directory should be. For those used to /usr/bin/chmod remember that modes are actually octal numbers (like 0644). Leaving off the leading zero will likely have unexpected results. As of version 1.8, the mode may be specified as a symbolic mode (for example, u+rwx or u=rw,g=r,o=r).
Name of the user that should own the file/directory, as would be fed to chown.
Remote absolute path, glob, or list of paths or globs for the file or files to compress or archive.
Remove any added source files and trees after adding to archive.
no s0
Level part of the SELinux file context. This is the MLS/MCS attribute, sometimes known as the range. _default feature works as for seuser.
Role part of SELinux file context, _default feature works as for seuser.
Type part of SELinux file context, _default feature works as for seuser.
User part of SELinux file context. Will default to system policy, if applicable. If set to _default, it will use the user portion of the policy if available.
(added in 2.2)
Normally this module uses atomic operations to prevent data corruption or inconsistent reads from the target files, sometimes systems are configured or just broken in ways that prevent this. One example are docker mounted files, they cannot be updated atomically and can only be done in an unsafe manner.
This boolean option allows ansible to fall back to unsafe methods of updating files for those cases in which you do not have any other choice. Be aware that this is subject to race conditions and can lead to data corruption.


# Compress directory /path/to/foo/ into /path/to/foo.tgz
- archive:
    path: /path/to/foo
    dest: /path/to/foo.tgz

# Compress regular file /path/to/foo into /path/to/foo.gz and remove it
- archive:
    path: /path/to/foo
    remove: True

# Create a zip archive of /path/to/foo
- archive:
    path: /path/to/foo
    format: zip

# Create a bz2 archive of multiple files, rooted at /path
- archive:
        - /path/to/foo
        - /path/wong/foo
    dest: /path/file.tar.bz2
    format: bz2

Return Values

Common return values are documented here Return Values, the following are the fields unique to this module:

name description returned type sample
state The current state of the archived file. If 'absent', then no source files were found and the archive does not exist. If 'compress', then the file source file is in the compressed state. If 'archive', then the source file or paths are currently archived. If 'incomplete', then an archive was created, but not all source paths were found. always string
missing Any files that were missing from the source. success list
expanded_paths The list of matching paths from paths argument. list
archived Any files that were compressed or added to the archive. success list
arcroot The archive root. string



  • requires tarfile, zipfile, gzip, and bzip2 packages on target host
  • can produce gzip, bzip2 and zip compressed files or archives


This module is flagged as preview which means that it is not guaranteed to have a backwards compatible interface.


This module is community maintained without core committer oversight.

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