Using VMware dynamic inventory plugin

VMware Dynamic Inventory Plugin

The best way to interact with your hosts is to use the VMware dynamic inventory plugin, which dynamically queries VMware APIs and tells Ansible what nodes can be managed.


To use the VMware dynamic inventory plugins, you must install pyVmomi on your control node (the host running Ansible).

To include tag-related information for the virtual machines in your dynamic inventory, you also need the vSphere Automation SDK, which supports REST API features like tagging and content libraries, on your control node. You can install the vSphere Automation SDK following these instructions.

$ pip install pyvmomi

To use this VMware dynamic inventory plugin, you need to enable it first by specifying the following in the ansible.cfg file:

enable_plugins = vmware_vm_inventory

Then, create a file that ends in .vmware.yml or .vmware.yaml in your working directory.

The vmware_vm_inventory script takes in the same authentication information as any VMware module.

Here’s an example of a valid inventory file:

plugin: vmware_vm_inventory
strict: False
username: [email protected]
password: Esxi@123$%
validate_certs: False
with_tags: True

Executing ansible-inventory --list -i <filename>.vmware.yml will create a list of VMware instances that are ready to be configured using Ansible.

Using vaulted configuration files

Since the inventory configuration file contains vCenter password in plain text, a security risk, you may want to encrypt your entire inventory configuration file.

You can encrypt a valid inventory configuration file as follows:

$ ansible-vault encrypt <filename>.vmware.yml
  New Vault password:
  Confirm New Vault password:
  Encryption successful

And you can use this vaulted inventory configuration file using:

$ ansible-inventory -i filename.vmware.yml --list --vault-password-file=/path/to/vault_password_file

See also


The GitHub Page of pyVmomi

pyVmomi Issue Tracker

The issue tracker for the pyVmomi project

vSphere Automation SDK GitHub Page

The GitHub Page of vSphere Automation SDK for Python

vSphere Automation SDK Issue Tracker

The issue tracker for vSphere Automation SDK for Python

Working With Playbooks

An introduction to playbooks

Using Vault in playbooks

Using Vault in playbooks