Start and Step

This shows a few alternative ways to run playbooks. These modes are very useful for testing new plays or debugging.


If you want to start executing your playbook at a particular task, you can do so with the --start-at-task option:

ansible-playbook playbook.yml --start-at-task="install packages"

The above will start executing your playbook at a task named “install packages”.


Playbooks can also be executed interactively with --step:

ansible-playbook playbook.yml --step

This will cause ansible to stop on each task, and ask if it should execute that task. Say you had a task called “configure ssh”, the playbook run will stop and ask:

Perform task: configure ssh (y/n/c):

Answering “y” will execute the task, answering “n” will skip the task, and answering “c” will continue executing all the remaining tasks without asking.