ansible.builtin.setup module – Gathers facts about remote hosts


This module is part of ansible-core and included in all Ansible installations. In most cases, you can use the short module name setup even without specifying the collections keyword. However, we recommend you use the Fully Qualified Collection Name (FQCN) ansible.builtin.setup for easy linking to the module documentation and to avoid conflicting with other collections that may have the same module name.


  • This module is automatically called by playbooks to gather useful variables about remote hosts that can be used in playbooks. It can also be executed directly by /usr/bin/ansible to check what variables are available to a host. Ansible provides many facts about the system, automatically.

  • This module is also supported for Windows targets.






Path used for local ansible facts (*.fact) - files in this dir will be run (if executable) and their results be added to ansible_local facts. If a file is not executable it is read instead. File/results format can be JSON or INI-format. The default fact_path can be specified in ansible.cfg for when setup is automatically called as part of gather_facts. NOTE - For windows clients, the results will be added to a variable named after the local file (without extension suffix), rather than ansible_local.

Since Ansible 2.1, Windows hosts can use fact_path. Make sure that this path exists on the target host. Files in this path MUST be PowerShell scripts .ps1 which outputs an object. This object will be formatted by Ansible as json so the script should be outputting a raw hashtable, array, or other primitive object.

Default: "/etc/ansible/facts.d"


list / elements=string

If supplied, only return facts that match one of the shell-style (fnmatch) pattern. An empty list basically means ‘no filter’. As of Ansible 2.11, the type has changed from string to list and the default has became an empty list. A simple string is still accepted and works as a single pattern. The behaviour prior to Ansible 2.11 remains.

Default: []


list / elements=string

If supplied, restrict the additional facts collected to the given subset. Possible values: all, all_ipv4_addresses, all_ipv6_addresses, apparmor, architecture, caps, chroot,cmdline, date_time, default_ipv4, default_ipv6, devices, distribution, distribution_major_version, distribution_release, distribution_version, dns, effective_group_ids, effective_user_id, env, facter, fips, hardware, interfaces, is_chroot, iscsi, kernel, local, lsb, machine, machine_id, mounts, network, ohai, os_family, pkg_mgr, platform, processor, processor_cores, processor_count, python, python_version, real_user_id, selinux, service_mgr, ssh_host_key_dsa_public, ssh_host_key_ecdsa_public, ssh_host_key_ed25519_public, ssh_host_key_rsa_public, ssh_host_pub_keys, ssh_pub_keys, system, system_capabilities, system_capabilities_enforced, systemd, user, user_dir, user_gecos, user_gid, user_id, user_shell, user_uid, virtual, virtualization_role, virtualization_type. Can specify a list of values to specify a larger subset. Values can also be used with an initial ! to specify that that specific subset should not be collected. For instance: !hardware,!network,!virtual,!ohai,!facter. If !all is specified then only the min subset is collected. To avoid collecting even the min subset, specify !all,!min. To collect only specific facts, use !all,!min, and specify the particular fact subsets. Use the filter parameter if you do not want to display some collected facts.

Default: ["all"]



Set the default timeout in seconds for individual fact gathering.

Default: 10






Support: full

Can run in check_mode and return changed status prediction without modifying target, if not supported the action will be skipped.


Support: none

Will return details on what has changed (or possibly needs changing in check_mode), when in diff mode


Support: full

Action returns an ansible_facts dictionary that will update existing host facts


Platforms: posix, windows

Target OS/families that can be operated against



  • More ansible facts will be added with successive releases. If facter or ohai are installed, variables from these programs will also be snapshotted into the JSON file for usage in templating. These variables are prefixed with facter_ and ohai_ so it’s easy to tell their source. All variables are bubbled up to the caller. Using the ansible facts and choosing to not install facter and ohai means you can avoid Ruby-dependencies on your remote systems. (See also community.general.facter and community.general.ohai.)

  • The filter option filters only the first level subkey below ansible_facts.

  • If the target host is Windows, you will not currently have the ability to use filter as this is provided by a simpler implementation of the module.

  • This module should be run with elevated privileges on BSD systems to gather facts like ansible_product_version.

  • For more information about delegated facts, please check


# Display facts from all hosts and store them indexed by `hostname` at `/tmp/facts`.
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup --tree /tmp/facts

# Display only facts regarding memory found by ansible on all hosts and output them.
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'filter=ansible_*_mb'

# Display only facts returned by facter.
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'filter=facter_*'

# Collect only facts returned by facter.
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'gather_subset=!all,facter'

- name: Collect only facts returned by facter
      - '!all'
      - '!<any valid subset>'
      - facter

- name: Filter and return only selected facts
      - 'ansible_distribution'
      - 'ansible_machine_id'
      - 'ansible_*_mb'

# Display only facts about certain interfaces.
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'filter=ansible_eth[0-2]'

# Restrict additional gathered facts to network and virtual (includes default minimum facts)
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'gather_subset=network,virtual'

# Collect only network and virtual (excludes default minimum facts)
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'gather_subset=!all,network,virtual'

# Do not call puppet facter or ohai even if present.
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'gather_subset=!facter,!ohai'

# Only collect the default minimum amount of facts:
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'gather_subset=!all'

# Collect no facts, even the default minimum subset of facts:
# ansible all -m ansible.builtin.setup -a 'gather_subset=!all,!min'

# Display facts from Windows hosts with custom facts stored in C:\custom_facts.
# ansible windows -m ansible.builtin.setup -a "fact_path='c:\custom_facts'"

# Gathers facts for the machines in the dbservers group (a.k.a Delegating facts)
- hosts: app_servers
    - name: Gather facts from db servers
      delegate_to: "{{ item }}"
      delegate_facts: true
      loop: "{{ groups['dbservers'] }}"


  • Ansible Core Team

  • Michael DeHaan