community.windows.psexec module – Runs commands on a remote Windows host based on the PsExec model

Note

This module is part of the community.windows collection (version 1.11.1).

You might already have this collection installed if you are using the ansible package. It is not included in ansible-core. To check whether it is installed, run ansible-galaxy collection list.

To install it, use: ansible-galaxy collection install community.windows. You need further requirements to be able to use this module, see Requirements for details.

To use it in a playbook, specify: community.windows.psexec.

Synopsis

  • Runs a remote command from a Linux host to a Windows host without WinRM being set up.

  • Can be run on the Ansible controller to bootstrap Windows hosts to get them ready for WinRM.

Requirements

The below requirements are needed on the host that executes this module.

  • pypsexec

  • smbprotocol[kerberos] for optional Kerberos authentication

Parameters

Parameter

Comments

arguments

string

Any arguments as a single string to use when running the executable.

asynchronous

boolean

Will run the command as a detached process and the module returns immediately after starting the process while the process continues to run in the background.

The stdout and stderr return values will be null when this is set to yes.

The stdin option does not work with this type of process.

The rc return value is not set when this is yes

Choices:

  • false ← (default)

  • true

connection_password

string

The password for connection_user.

Required if the Kerberos requirements are not installed or the username is a local account to the Windows host.

Can be omitted to use a Kerberos principal ticket for the principal set by connection_user if the Kerberos library is installed and the ticket has already been retrieved with the kinit command before.

connection_timeout

integer

The timeout in seconds to wait when receiving the initial SMB negotiate response from the server.

Default: 60

connection_username

string

The username to use when connecting to the remote Windows host.

This user must be a member of the Administrators group of the Windows host.

Required if the Kerberos requirements are not installed or the username is a local account to the Windows host.

Can be omitted to use the default Kerberos principal ticket in the local credential cache if the Kerberos library is installed.

If process_username is not specified, then the remote process will run under a Network Logon under this account.

encrypt

boolean

Will use SMB encryption to encrypt the SMB messages sent to and from the host.

This requires the SMB 3 protocol which is only supported from Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8, older versions like Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 (R2) must set this to no and use no encryption.

When setting to no, the packets are in plaintext and can be seen by anyone sniffing the network, any process options are included in this.

Choices:

  • false

  • true ← (default)

executable

string / required

The executable to run on the Windows host.

hostname

string / required

The remote Windows host to connect to, can be either an IP address or a hostname.

integrity_level

string

The integrity level of the process when process_username is defined and is not equal to System.

When default, the default integrity level based on the system setup.

When elevated, the command will be run with Administrative rights.

When limited, the command will be forced to run with non-Administrative rights.

Choices:

  • "limited"

  • "default" ← (default)

  • "elevated"

interactive

boolean

Will run the process as an interactive process that shows a process Window of the Windows session specified by interactive_session.

The stdout and stderr return values will be null when this is set to yes.

The stdin option does not work with this type of process.

Choices:

  • false ← (default)

  • true

interactive_session

integer

The Windows session ID to use when displaying the interactive process on the remote Windows host.

This is only valid when interactive is yes.

The default is 0 which is the console session of the Windows host.

Default: 0

load_profile

boolean

Runs the remote command with the user’s profile loaded.

Choices:

  • false

  • true ← (default)

port

integer

The port that the remote SMB service is listening on.

Default: 445

priority

string

Set the command’s priority on the Windows host.

See https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms683211.aspx for more details.

Choices:

  • "above_normal"

  • "below_normal"

  • "high"

  • "idle"

  • "normal" ← (default)

  • "realtime"

process_password

string

The password for process_username.

Required if process_username is defined and not System.

process_timeout

integer

The timeout in seconds that is placed upon the running process.

A value of 0 means no timeout.

Default: 0

process_username

string

The user to run the process as.

This can be set to run the process under an Interactive logon of the specified account which bypasses limitations of a Network logon used when this isn’t specified.

If omitted then the process is run under the same account as connection_username with a Network logon.

Set to System to run as the builtin SYSTEM account, no password is required with this account.

If encrypt is no, the username and password are sent as a simple XOR scrambled byte string that is not encrypted. No special tools are required to get the username and password just knowledge of the protocol.

show_ui_on_logon_screen

boolean

Shows the process UI on the Winlogon secure desktop when process_username is System.

Choices:

  • false ← (default)

  • true

stdin

string

Data to send on the stdin pipe once the process has started.

This option has no effect when interactive or asynchronous is yes.

working_directory

string

Changes the working directory set when starting the process.

Default: "C:\\Windows\\System32"

Notes

Note

See Also

See also

ansible.builtin.raw

The official documentation on the ansible.builtin.raw module.

ansible.windows.win_command

The official documentation on the ansible.windows.win_command module.

community.windows.win_psexec

The official documentation on the community.windows.win_psexec module.

ansible.windows.win_shell

The official documentation on the ansible.windows.win_shell module.

Examples

- name: Run a cmd.exe command
  community.windows.psexec:
    hostname: server
    connection_username: username
    connection_password: password
    executable: cmd.exe
    arguments: /c echo Hello World

- name: Run a PowerShell command
  community.windows.psexec:
    hostname: server.domain.local
    connection_username: [email protected]
    connection_password: password
    executable: powershell.exe
    arguments: Write-Host Hello World

- name: Send data through stdin
  community.windows.psexec:
    hostname: 192.168.1.2
    connection_username: username
    connection_password: password
    executable: powershell.exe
    arguments: '-'
    stdin: |
      Write-Host Hello World
      Write-Error Error Message
      exit 0

- name: Run the process as a different user
  community.windows.psexec:
    hostname: server
    connection_user: username
    connection_password: password
    executable: whoami.exe
    arguments: /all
    process_username: anotheruser
    process_password: anotherpassword

- name: Run the process asynchronously
  community.windows.psexec:
    hostname: server
    connection_username: username
    connection_password: password
    executable: cmd.exe
    arguments: /c rmdir C:\temp
    asynchronous: yes

- name: Use Kerberos authentication for the connection (requires smbprotocol[kerberos])
  community.windows.psexec:
    hostname: host.domain.local
    connection_username: [email protected]
    executable: C:\some\path\to\executable.exe
    arguments: /s

- name: Disable encryption to work with WIndows 7/Server 2008 (R2)
  community.windows.psexec:
    hostanme: windows-pc
    connection_username: Administrator
    connection_password: Password01
    encrypt: no
    integrity_level: elevated
    process_username: Administrator
    process_password: Password01
    executable: powershell.exe
    arguments: (New-Object -ComObject Microsoft.Update.Session).CreateUpdateInstaller().IsBusy

- name: Download and run ConfigureRemotingForAnsible.ps1 to setup WinRM
  community.windows.psexec:
    hostname: '{{ hostvars[inventory_hostname]["ansible_host"] | default(inventory_hostname) }}'
    connection_username: '{{ ansible_user }}'
    connection_password: '{{ ansible_password }}'
    encrypt: yes
    executable: powershell.exe
    arguments: '-'
    stdin: |
      $ErrorActionPreference = "Stop"
      $sec_protocols = [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::SystemDefault
      $sec_protocols = $sec_protocols -bor [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12
      [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = $sec_protocols
      $url = "https://github.com/ansible/ansible/raw/devel/examples/scripts/ConfigureRemotingForAnsible.ps1"
      Invoke-Expression ((New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString($url))
      exit
  delegate_to: localhost

Return Values

Common return values are documented here, the following are the fields unique to this module:

Key

Description

msg

string

Any exception details when trying to run the process

Returned: module failed

Sample: "Received exception from remote PAExec service: Failed to start \"invalid.exe\". The system cannot find the file specified. [Err=0x2, 2]"

pid

integer

The process ID of the asynchronous process that was created

Returned: success and asynchronous is ‘yes’

Sample: 719

rc

integer

The return code of the remote process

Returned: success and asynchronous is ‘no’

Sample: 0

stderr

string

The stderr from the remote process

Returned: success and interactive or asynchronous is ‘no’

Sample: "Error [10] running process"

stdout

string

The stdout from the remote process

Returned: success and interactive or asynchronous is ‘no’

Sample: "Hello World"

Authors

  • Jordan Borean (@jborean93)