Documentation

lineinfile – Manage lines in text files

Synopsis

  • This module ensures a particular line is in a file, or replace an existing line using a back-referenced regular expression.
  • This is primarily useful when you want to change a single line in a file only.
  • See the replace module if you want to change multiple, similar lines or check blockinfile if you want to insert/update/remove a block of lines in a file. For other cases, see the copy or template modules.

Parameters

Parameter Choices/Defaults Comments
attributes
string
added in 2.3
The attributes the resulting file or directory should have.
To get supported flags look at the man page for chattr on the target system.
This string should contain the attributes in the same order as the one displayed by lsattr.
The = operator is assumed as default, otherwise + or - operators need to be included in the string.

aliases: attr
backrefs
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Used with state=present.
If set, line can contain backreferences (both positional and named) that will get populated if the regexp matches.
This parameter changes the operation of the module slightly; insertbefore and insertafter will be ignored, and if the regexp doesn't match anywhere in the file, the file will be left unchanged.
If the regexp does match, the last matching line will be replaced by the expanded line parameter.
backup
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Create a backup file including the timestamp information so you can get the original file back if you somehow clobbered it incorrectly.
create
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Used with state=present.
If specified, the file will be created if it does not already exist.
By default it will fail if the file is missing.
firstmatch
boolean
added in 2.5
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Used with insertafter or insertbefore.
If set, insertafter and inserbefore find a first line has regular expression matches.
group
string
Name of the group that should own the file/directory, as would be fed to chown.
insertafter
string
    Choices:
  • EOF ←
  • *regex*
Used with state=present.
If specified, the line will be inserted after the last match of specified regular expression.
If the first match is required, use(firstmatch=yes).
A special value is available; EOF for inserting the line at the end of the file.
If specified regular expression has no matches, EOF will be used instead.
If regular expressions are passed to both regexp and insertafter, insertafter is only honored if no match for regexp is found.
May not be used with backrefs.
insertbefore
string
    Choices:
  • BOF
  • *regex*
Used with state=present.
If specified, the line will be inserted before the last match of specified regular expression.
If the first match is required, use firstmatch=yes.
A value is available; BOF for inserting the line at the beginning of the file.
If specified regular expression has no matches, the line will be inserted at the end of the file.
If regular expressions are passed to both regexp and insertbefore, insertbefore is only honored if no match for regexp is found.
May not be used with backrefs.
line
string
The line to insert/replace into the file.
Required for state=present.
If backrefs is set, may contain backreferences that will get expanded with the regexp capture groups if the regexp matches.
mode
string
The permissions the resulting file or directory should have.
For those used to /usr/bin/chmod remember that modes are actually octal numbers. You must either add a leading zero so that Ansible's YAML parser knows it is an octal number (like 0644 or 01777) or quote it (like '644' or '1777') so Ansible receives a string and can do its own conversion from string into number.
Giving Ansible a number without following one of these rules will end up with a decimal number which will have unexpected results.
As of Ansible 1.8, the mode may be specified as a symbolic mode (for example, u+rwx or u=rw,g=r,o=r).
As of Ansible 2.6, the mode may also be the special string preserve.
When set to preserve the file will be given the same permissions as the source file.
others
string
All arguments accepted by the file module also work here.
owner
string
Name of the user that should own the file/directory, as would be fed to chown.
path
path / required
The file to modify.
Before Ansible 2.3 this option was only usable as dest, destfile and name.

aliases: dest, destfile, name
regexp
string
The regular expression to look for in every line of the file.
For state=present, the pattern to replace if found. Only the last line found will be replaced.
For state=absent, the pattern of the line(s) to remove.
If the regular expression is not matched, the line will be added to the file in keeping with insertbefore or insertafter settings.
When modifying a line the regexp should typically match both the initial state of the line as well as its state after replacement by line to ensure idempotence.
Uses Python regular expressions. See http://docs.python.org/2/library/re.html.

aliases: regex
selevel
string
Default:
s0
The level part of the SELinux file context.
This is the MLS/MCS attribute, sometimes known as the range.
When set to _default, it will use the level portion of the policy if available.
serole
string
The role part of the SELinux file context.
When set to _default, it will use the role portion of the policy if available.
setype
string
The type part of the SELinux file context.
When set to _default, it will use the type portion of the policy if available.
seuser
string
The user part of the SELinux file context.
By default it uses the system policy, where applicable.
When set to _default, it will use the user portion of the policy if available.
state
string
    Choices:
  • absent
  • present ←
Whether the line should be there or not.
unsafe_writes
boolean
added in 2.2
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Influence when to use atomic operation to prevent data corruption or inconsistent reads from the target file.
By default this module uses atomic operations to prevent data corruption or inconsistent reads from the target files, but sometimes systems are configured or just broken in ways that prevent this. One example is docker mounted files, which cannot be updated atomically from inside the container and can only be written in an unsafe manner.
This option allows Ansible to fall back to unsafe methods of updating files when atomic operations fail (however, it doesn't force Ansible to perform unsafe writes).
IMPORTANT! Unsafe writes are subject to race conditions and can lead to data corruption.
validate
string
The validation command to run before copying into place.
The path to the file to validate is passed in via '%s' which must be present as in the examples below.
The command is passed securely so shell features like expansion and pipes will not work.

Notes

Note

  • As of Ansible 2.3, the dest option has been changed to path as default, but dest still works as well.

See Also

See also

blockinfile – Insert/update/remove a text block surrounded by marker lines
The official documentation on the blockinfile module.
copy – Copy files to remote locations
The official documentation on the copy module.
file – Manage files and file properties
The official documentation on the file module.
replace – Replace all instances of a particular string in a file using a back-referenced regular expression
The official documentation on the replace module.
template – Template a file out to a remote server
The official documentation on the template module.
win_lineinfile – Ensure a particular line is in a file, or replace an existing line using a back-referenced regular expression
The official documentation on the win_lineinfile module.

Examples

# Before 2.3, option 'dest', 'destfile' or 'name' was used instead of 'path'
- lineinfile:
    path: /etc/selinux/config
    regexp: '^SELINUX='
    line: SELINUX=enforcing

- lineinfile:
    path: /etc/sudoers
    state: absent
    regexp: '^%wheel'

# Searches for a line that begins with 127.0.0.1 and replaces it with the value of the 'line' parameter
- lineinfile:
    path: /etc/hosts
    regexp: '^127\.0\.0\.1'
    line: 127.0.0.1 localhost
    owner: root
    group: root
    mode: '0644'

- lineinfile:
    path: /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
    regexp: '^Listen '
    insertafter: '^#Listen '
    line: Listen 8080

- lineinfile:
    path: /etc/services
    regexp: '^# port for http'
    insertbefore: '^www.*80/tcp'
    line: '# port for http by default'

# Add a line to a file if the file does not exist, without passing regexp
- lineinfile:
    path: /tmp/testfile
    line: 192.168.1.99 foo.lab.net foo
    create: yes

# Fully quoted because of the ': ' on the line. See the Gotchas in the YAML docs.
- lineinfile:
    path: /etc/sudoers
    state: present
    regexp: '^%wheel\s'
    line: '%wheel ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL'

# Yaml requires escaping backslashes in double quotes but not in single quotes
- lineinfile:
    path: /opt/jboss-as/bin/standalone.conf
    regexp: '^(.*)Xms(\\d+)m(.*)$'
    line: '\1Xms${xms}m\3'
    backrefs: yes

# Validate the sudoers file before saving
- lineinfile:
    path: /etc/sudoers
    state: present
    regexp: '^%ADMIN ALL='
    line: '%ADMIN ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL'
    validate: /usr/sbin/visudo -cf %s

Status

Red Hat Support

More information about Red Hat’s support of this module is available from this Red Hat Knowledge Base article.

Authors

  • Daniel Hokka Zakrissoni (@dhozac)
  • Ahti Kitsik (@ahtik)

Hint

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