REPL console for executing Ansible tasks.


usage: ansible-console [-h] [--version] [-v] [-b]
                    [--become-method BECOME_METHOD]
                    [--become-user BECOME_USER]
                    [-K | --become-password-file BECOME_PASSWORD_FILE]
                    [-i INVENTORY] [--list-hosts] [-l SUBSET]
                    [--private-key PRIVATE_KEY_FILE] [-u REMOTE_USER]
                    [-c CONNECTION] [-T TIMEOUT]
                    [--ssh-common-args SSH_COMMON_ARGS]
                    [--sftp-extra-args SFTP_EXTRA_ARGS]
                    [--scp-extra-args SCP_EXTRA_ARGS]
                    [--ssh-extra-args SSH_EXTRA_ARGS]
                    [-k | --connection-password-file CONNECTION_PASSWORD_FILE]
                    [-C] [--syntax-check] [-D] [--vault-id VAULT_IDS]
                    [--ask-vault-password | --vault-password-file VAULT_PASSWORD_FILES]
                    [-f FORKS] [-M MODULE_PATH] [--playbook-dir BASEDIR]
                    [-e EXTRA_VARS] [--task-timeout TASK_TIMEOUT] [--step]


A REPL that allows for running ad-hoc tasks against a chosen inventory from a nice shell with built-in tab completion (based on dominis’ ansible-shell).

It supports several commands, and you can modify its configuration at runtime:

  • cd [pattern]: change host/group (you can use host patterns eg.: app*.dc*:!app01*)

  • list: list available hosts in the current path

  • list groups: list groups included in the current path

  • become: toggle the become flag

  • !: forces shell module instead of the ansible module (!yum update -y)

  • verbosity [num]: set the verbosity level

  • forks [num]: set the number of forks

  • become_user [user]: set the become_user

  • remote_user [user]: set the remote_user

  • become_method [method]: set the privilege escalation method

  • check [bool]: toggle check mode

  • diff [bool]: toggle diff mode

  • timeout [integer]: set the timeout of tasks in seconds (0 to disable)

  • help [command/module]: display documentation for the command or module

  • exit: exit ansible-console

Common Options

--ask-vault-password, --ask-vault-pass

ask for vault password

--become-method <BECOME_METHOD>

privilege escalation method to use (default=sudo), use ansible-doc -t become -l to list valid choices.

--become-password-file <BECOME_PASSWORD_FILE>, --become-pass-file <BECOME_PASSWORD_FILE>

Become password file

--become-user <BECOME_USER>

run operations as this user (default=root)

--connection-password-file <CONNECTION_PASSWORD_FILE>, --conn-pass-file <CONNECTION_PASSWORD_FILE>

Connection password file


outputs a list of matching hosts; does not execute anything else

--playbook-dir <BASEDIR>

Since this tool does not use playbooks, use this as a substitute playbook directory. This sets the relative path for many features including roles/ group_vars/ etc.

--private-key <PRIVATE_KEY_FILE>, --key-file <PRIVATE_KEY_FILE>

use this file to authenticate the connection

--scp-extra-args <SCP_EXTRA_ARGS>

specify extra arguments to pass to scp only (e.g. -l)

--sftp-extra-args <SFTP_EXTRA_ARGS>

specify extra arguments to pass to sftp only (e.g. -f, -l)

--ssh-common-args <SSH_COMMON_ARGS>

specify common arguments to pass to sftp/scp/ssh (e.g. ProxyCommand)

--ssh-extra-args <SSH_EXTRA_ARGS>

specify extra arguments to pass to ssh only (e.g. -R)


one-step-at-a-time: confirm each task before running


perform a syntax check on the playbook, but do not execute it

--task-timeout <TASK_TIMEOUT>

set task timeout limit in seconds, must be positive integer.


the vault identity to use

--vault-password-file, --vault-pass-file

vault password file


show program’s version number, config file location, configured module search path, module location, executable location and exit

-C, --check

don’t make any changes; instead, try to predict some of the changes that may occur

-D, --diff

when changing (small) files and templates, show the differences in those files; works great with –check

-K, --ask-become-pass

ask for privilege escalation password

-M, --module-path

prepend colon-separated path(s) to module library (default=~/.ansible/plugins/modules:/usr/share/ansible/plugins/modules)

-T <TIMEOUT>, --timeout <TIMEOUT>

override the connection timeout in seconds (default=10)

-b, --become

run operations with become (does not imply password prompting)

-c <CONNECTION>, --connection <CONNECTION>

connection type to use (default=smart)

-e, --extra-vars

set additional variables as key=value or YAML/JSON, if filename prepend with @

-f <FORKS>, --forks <FORKS>

specify number of parallel processes to use (default=5)

-h, --help

show this help message and exit

-i, --inventory, --inventory-file

specify inventory host path or comma separated host list. –inventory-file is deprecated

-k, --ask-pass

ask for connection password

-l <SUBSET>, --limit <SUBSET>

further limit selected hosts to an additional pattern


connect as this user (default=None)

-v, --verbose

Causes Ansible to print more debug messages. Adding multiple -v will increase the verbosity, the builtin plugins currently evaluate up to -vvvvvv. A reasonable level to start is -vvv, connection debugging might require -vvvv.


The following environment variables may be specified.

ANSIBLE_CONFIG – Override the default ansible config file

Many more are available for most options in ansible.cfg


/etc/ansible/ansible.cfg – Config file, used if present

~/.ansible.cfg – User config file, overrides the default config if present


Ansible was originally written by Michael DeHaan.

See the AUTHORS file for a complete list of contributors.


Ansible is released under the terms of the GPLv3+ License.

See also

ansible(1), ansible-config(1), ansible-console(1), ansible-doc(1), ansible-galaxy(1), ansible-inventory(1), ansible-playbook(1), ansible-pull(1), ansible-vault(1),