win_regmerge - Merges the contents of a registry file into the windows registry

New in version 2.1.


  • Wraps the reg.exe command to import the contents of a registry file.
  • Suitable for use with registry files created using win_template.
  • Windows registry files have a specific format and must be constructed correctly with carriage return and line feed line endings otherwise they will not be merged.
  • Exported registry files often start with a Byte Order Mark which must be removed if the file is to templated using win_template.
  • Registry file format is described at
  • See also win_template, win_regedit


parameter required default choices comments
no no default
The parent key to use when comparing the contents of the registry to the contents of the file. Needs to be in HKLM or HKCU part of registry. Use a PS-Drive style path for example HKLM:\SOFTWARE not HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE If not supplied, or the registry key is not found, no comparison will be made, and the module will report changed.
yes no default
The full path including file name to the registry file on the remote machine to be merged


# Merge in a registry file without comparing to current registry
# Note that paths using / to separate are preferred as they require less special handling than \
  path: C:/autodeploy/myCompany-settings.reg
# Compare and merge registry file
  path: C:/autodeploy/myCompany-settings.reg
  compare_to: HKLM:\SOFTWARE\myCompany

Return Values

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

name description returned type sample
difference_count number of differences between the registry and the file changed integer 1
compared whether a comparison has taken place between the registry and the file when a comparison key has been supplied and comparison has been attempted boolean True
compare_to_key_found whether the parent registry key has been found for comparison when comparison key not found in registry boolean False



  • Organise your registry files so that they contain a single root registry key if you want to use the compare_to functionality. This module does not force registry settings to be in the state described in the file. If registry settings have been modified externally the module will merge the contents of the file but continue to report differences on subsequent runs. To force registry change, use win_regedit with state=absent before using win_regmerge.


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


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