command - Executes a command on a remote node


  • The command module takes the command name followed by a list of space-delimited arguments.
  • The given command will be executed on all selected nodes. It will not be processed through the shell, so variables like $HOME and operations like "<", ">", "|", ";" and "&" will not work (use the shell module if you need these features).
  • For Windows targets, use the win_command module instead.


parameter required default choices comments
Change into this directory before running the command.
A filename or (since 2.0) glob pattern, when it already exists, this step will not be run.
The command module takes a free form command to run. There is no parameter actually named 'free form'. See the examples!
A filename or (since 2.0) glob pattern, when it does not exist, this step will not be run.
(added in 2.4)
Set the stdin of the command directly to the specified value.
(added in 1.8)
no yes
  • yes
  • no
If command_warnings are on in ansible.cfg, do not warn about this particular line if set to no.


- name: return motd to registered var
  command: cat /etc/motd
  register: mymotd

- name: Run the command if the specified file does not exist.
  command: /usr/bin/ arg1 arg2 creates=/path/to/database

# You can also use the 'args' form to provide the options.
- name: This command will change the working directory to somedir/ and will only run when /path/to/database doesn't exist.
  command: /usr/bin/ arg1 arg2
    chdir: somedir/
    creates: /path/to/database

- name: safely use templated variable to run command. Always use the quote filter to avoid injection issues.
  command: cat {{ myfile|quote }}
  register: myoutput



  • If you want to run a command through the shell (say you are using <, >, |, etc), you actually want the shell module instead. Parsing shell metacharacters can lead to unexpected commands being executed if quoting is not done correctly so it is more secure to use the command module when possible.
  • creates, removes, and chdir can be specified after the command. For instance, if you only want to run a command if a certain file does not exist, use this.
  • The executable parameter is removed since version 2.4. If you have a need for this parameter, use the shell module instead.
  • For Windows targets, use the win_command module instead.


This module is flagged as stableinterface which means that the maintainers for this module guarantee that no backward incompatible interface changes will be made.

Maintenance Info

For more information about Red Hat’s this support of this module, please refer to this knowledge base article<>

For help in developing on modules, should you be so inclined, please read Community Information & Contributing, Testing Ansible and Developing Modules.