Ansible 2.3 Porting Guide

This section discusses the behavioral changes between Ansible 2.2 and Ansible 2.3.

It is intended to assist in updating your playbooks, plugins and other parts of your Ansible infrastructure so they will work with this version of Ansible.

We suggest you read this page along with Ansible Changelog for 2.3 to understand what updates you may need to make.

This document is part of a collection on porting. The complete list of porting guides can be found at porting guides.


Restructured async to work with action plugins

In Ansible 2.2 (and possibly earlier) the async: keyword could not be used in conjunction with the action plugins such as service. This limitation has been removed in Ansible 2.3

NEW In Ansible 2.3:

- name: Install nginx asynchronously
    name: nginx
    state: restarted
  async: 45

OpenBSD version facts

The ansible_distribution_release and ansible_distribution_version facts on OpenBSD hosts were reversed in Ansible 2.2 and earlier. This has been changed so that version has the numeric portion and release has the name of the release.

OLD In Ansible 2.2 (and earlier)

"ansible_distribution": "OpenBSD"
"ansible_distribution_release": "6.0",
"ansible_distribution_version": "release",

NEW In Ansible 2.3:

"ansible_distribution": "OpenBSD",
"ansible_distribution_release": "release",
"ansible_distribution_version": "6.0",

Names Blocks

Blocks can now have names, this allows you to avoid the ugly # this block is for… comments.

NEW In Ansible 2.3:

- name: Block test case
  hosts: localhost
   - name: Attempt to setup foo
       - debug: msg='I execute normally'
       - command: /bin/false
       - debug: msg='I never execute, cause ERROR!'
       - debug: msg='I caught an error'
       - command: /bin/false
       - debug: msg='I also never execute :-('
       - debug: msg="this always executes"

Use of multiple tags

Specifying --tags (or --skip-tags) multiple times on the command line currently leads to the last specified tag overriding all the other specified tags. This behaviour is deprecated. In the future, if you specify –tags multiple times the tags will be merged together. From now on, using --tags multiple times on one command line will emit a deprecation warning. Setting the merge_multiple_cli_tags option to True in the ansible.cfg file will enable the new behaviour.

In 2.4, the default will be to merge the tags. You can enable the old overwriting behavior through the config option. In 2.5, multiple --tags options will be merged with no way to go back to the old behaviour.

Other caveats

Here are some rare cases that might be encountered when updating. These are mostly caused by the more stringent parser validation and the capture of errors that were previously ignored.

  • Made any_errors_fatal inheritable from play to task and all other objects in between.


No major changes in this version.

Modules removed

No major changes in this version.

Deprecation notices

The following modules will be removed in Ansible 2.5. Please update your playbooks accordingly.

  • ec2_vpc

  • cl_bond

  • cl_bridge

  • cl_img_install

  • cl_interface

  • cl_interface_policy

  • cl_license

  • cl_ports

  • nxos_mtu use nxos_system instead


These modules may no longer have documentation in the current release. Please see the Ansible 2.3 module documentation if you need to know how they worked for porting your playbooks.

Noteworthy module changes

AWS lambda

Previously ignored changes that only affected one parameter. Existing deployments may have outstanding changes that this bug fix will apply.


Mount: Some fixes so bind mounts are not mounted each time the playbook runs.


No major changes in this version.

Porting custom scripts

No major changes in this version.


There have been a number of changes to number of changes to how Networking Modules operate.

Playbooks should still use connection: local.

The following changes apply to:

  • dellos6

  • dellos9

  • dellos10

  • eos

  • ios

  • iosxr

  • junos

  • sros

  • vyos

Deprecation of top-level connection arguments

OLD In Ansible 2.2:

- name: example of using top-level options for connection properties
    commands: show version
    host: "{{ inventory_hostname }}"
    username: cisco
    password: cisco
    authorize: yes
    auth_pass: cisco

Will result in:

[WARNING]: argument username has been deprecated and will be removed in a future version
[WARNING]: argument host has been deprecated and will be removed in a future version
[WARNING]: argument password has been deprecated and will be removed in a future version

NEW In Ansible 2.3:

- name: Gather facts
    gather_subset: all
      username: myuser
      password: "{{ networkpassword }}"
      transport: cli
      host: "{{ ansible_host }}"

ProxyCommand replaces delegate_to

The new connection framework for Network Modules in Ansible 2.3 that uses cli transport no longer supports the use of the delegate_to directive. In order to use a bastion or intermediate jump host to connect to network devices over cli transport, network modules now support the use of ProxyCommand.

To use ProxyCommand configure the proxy settings in the Ansible inventory file to specify the proxy host through ansible_ssh_common_args.

For details on how to do this see the network proxy guide.