meta - Execute Ansible ‘actions’


  • Meta tasks are a special kind of task which can influence Ansible internal execution or state. Prior to Ansible 2.0, the only meta option available was flush_handlers. As of 2.2, there are five meta tasks which can be used. Meta tasks can be used anywhere within your playbook.
  • This module is also supported for Windows targets.


Parameter Choices/Defaults Comments
  • noop
  • flush_handlers
  • refresh_inventory
  • clear_facts
  • clear_host_errors
  • end_play
  • reset_connection
This module takes a free form command, as a string. There's not an actual option named "free form". See the examples!
flush_handlers makes Ansible run any handler tasks which have thus far been notified. Ansible inserts these tasks internally at certain points to implicitly trigger handler runs (after pre/post tasks, the final role execution, and the main tasks section of your plays).
refresh_inventory (added in 2.0) forces the reload of the inventory, which in the case of dynamic inventory scripts means they will be re-executed. This is mainly useful when additional hosts are created and users wish to use them instead of using the `add_host` module."
noop (added in 2.0) This literally does 'nothing'. It is mainly used internally and not recommended for general use.
clear_facts (added in 2.1) causes the gathered facts for the hosts specified in the play's list of hosts to be cleared, including the fact cache.
clear_host_errors (added in 2.1) clears the failed state (if any) from hosts specified in the play's list of hosts.
end_play (added in 2.2) causes the play to end without failing the host(s). Note that this affects all hosts.
reset_connection (added in 2.3) interrupts a persistent connection (i.e. ssh + control persist)



  • meta is not really a module nor action_plugin as such it cannot be overwritten.
  • This module is also supported for Windows targets.


- template:
    src: new.j2
    dest: /etc/config.txt
  notify: myhandler
- name: force all notified handlers to run at this point, not waiting for normal sync points
  meta: flush_handlers

- name: reload inventory, useful with dynamic inventories when play makes changes to the existing hosts
  cloud_guest:            # this is fake module
    name: newhost
    state: present
- name: Refresh inventory to ensure new instaces exist in inventory
  meta: refresh_inventory

- name: Clear gathered facts from all currently targeted hosts
  meta: clear_facts

- name: bring host back to play after failure
    src: file
    dest: /etc/file
  remote_user: imightnothavepermission

- meta: clear_host_errors

- user: name={{ansible_user}} groups=input
- name: reset ssh connection to allow user changes to affect 'current login user'
  meta: reset_connection


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


For more information about Red Hat’s support of this module, please refer to this Knowledge Base article


  • Ansible Core Team


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