Connection Plugins

Connection plugins allow Ansible to connect to the target hosts so it can execute tasks on them. Ansible ships with many connection plugins, but only one can be used per host at a time.

By default, Ansible ships with several plugins. The most commonly used are the ‘paramiko’ SSH, native ssh (just called ‘ssh’), and ‘local’ connection types. All of these can be used in playbooks and with /usr/bin/ansible to decide how you want to talk to remote machines.

The basics of these connection types are covered in the ../intro_getting_started section.

ssh Plugins

Because ssh is the default protocol used in system administration and the protocol most used in Ansible, ssh options are included in the command line tools. See ../ansible-playbook for more details.

Enabling Connection Plugins

You can extend Ansible to support other transports (such as SNMP or message bus) by dropping a custom plugin into the connection_plugins directory.

Using Connection Plugins

The transport can be changed via configuration, in the command line (-c, --connection), as a keyword (connection) in your play, or by setting the a connection variable (ansible_connection), most often in your inventory. For example, for Windows machines you might want to use the winrm plugin.

Most connection plugins can operate with a minimum configuration. By default they use the inventory_hostname and defaults to find the target host.

Plugins are self-documenting. Each plugin should document its configuration options. The following are connection variables common to most connection plugins:

The name of the host to connect to, if different from the inventory_hostname.
The ssh port number, for ssh and paramiko it defaults to 22.
The default user name to use for log in. Most plugins default to the ‘current user running Ansible’.

Each plugin might also have a specific version of a variable that overrides the general version. For example, ansible_ssh_host for the ssh plugin.