pulls playbooks from a VCS repo and executes them for the local host


usage: ansible-pull [-h] [--version] [-v] [--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]
                 [--vault-id VAULT_IDS]
                 [--ask-vault-password | --vault-password-file VAULT_PASSWORD_FILES]
                 [-e EXTRA_VARS] [-t TAGS] [--skip-tags SKIP_TAGS]
                 [-i INVENTORY] [--list-hosts] [-l SUBSET] [-M MODULE_PATH]
                 [-K | --become-password-file BECOME_PASSWORD_FILE]
                 [--purge] [-o] [-s SLEEP] [-f] [-d DEST] [-U URL] [--full]
                 [-C CHECKOUT] [--accept-host-key] [-m MODULE_NAME]
                 [--verify-commit] [--clean] [--track-subs] [--check]
                 [playbook.yml ...]


Used to pull a remote copy of ansible on each managed node, each set to run via cron and update playbook source via a source repository. This inverts the default push architecture of ansible into a pull architecture, which has near-limitless scaling potential.

None of the CLI tools are designed to run concurrently with themselves, you should use an external scheduler and/or locking to ensure there are no clashing operations.

The setup playbook can be tuned to change the cron frequency, logging locations, and parameters to ansible-pull. This is useful both for extreme scale-out as well as periodic remediation. Usage of the ‘fetch’ module to retrieve logs from ansible-pull runs would be an excellent way to gather and analyze remote logs from ansible-pull.

Common Options


adds the hostkey for the repo url if not already added

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

ask for vault password

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

Become password file


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


modified files in the working repository will be discarded

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

Connection password file


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


Do a full clone, instead of a shallow one.


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

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

use this file to authenticate the connection


purge checkout after playbook run

--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)


only run plays and tasks whose tags do not match these values

--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)


submodules will track the latest changes. This is equivalent to specifying the –remote flag to git submodule update


the vault identity to use

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

vault password file


verify GPG signature of checked out commit, if it fails abort running the playbook. This needs the corresponding VCS module to support such an operation


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

-C <CHECKOUT>, --checkout <CHECKOUT>

branch/tag/commit to checkout. Defaults to behavior of repository module.

-K, --ask-become-pass

ask for privilege escalation password

-M, --module-path

prepend colon-separated path(s) to module library (default={{ ANSIBLE_HOME ~ “/plugins/modules:/usr/share/ansible/plugins/modules” }})

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

override the connection timeout in seconds (default depends on connection)

-U <URL>, --url <URL>

URL of the playbook repository

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

connection type to use (default=smart)

-d <DEST>, --directory <DEST>

absolute path of repository checkout directory (relative paths are not supported)

-e, --extra-vars

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

-f, --force

run the playbook even if the repository could not be updated

-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

-m <MODULE_NAME>, --module-name <MODULE_NAME>

Repository module name, which ansible will use to check out the repo. Choices are (‘git’, ‘subversion’, ‘hg’, ‘bzr’). Default is git.

-o, --only-if-changed

only run the playbook if the repository has been updated

-s <SLEEP>, --sleep <SLEEP>

sleep for random interval (between 0 and n number of seconds) before starting. This is a useful way to disperse git requests

-t, --tags

only run plays and tasks tagged with these values


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 name of one the YAML format files to run as an Ansible playbook.This can be a relative path within the checkout. By default, Ansible willlook for a playbook based on the host’s fully-qualified domain name,on the host hostname and finally a playbook named local.yml.


The following environment variables may be specified.

ANSIBLE_INVENTORY – Override the default ansible inventory file

ANSIBLE_LIBRARY – Override the default ansible module library path

ANSIBLE_CONFIG – Override the default ansible config file

Many more are available for most options in ansible.cfg


/etc/ansible/hosts – Default inventory file

/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-vault(1)