Setting the Environment (and Working With Proxies)

New in version 1.1.

The environment keyword allows you to set an environment variable for the action to be taken on the remote target. For example, it is quite possible that you may need to set a proxy for a task that does http requests. Or maybe a utility or script that are called may also need certain environment variables set to run properly.

Here is an example:

- hosts: all
  remote_user: root

  tasks:

    - name: Install cobbler
      package:
        name: cobbler
        state: present
      environment:
        http_proxy: http://proxy.example.com:8080

Note

environment: does not affect Ansible itself, ONLY the context of the specific task action and this does not include
Ansible’s own configuration settings nor the execution of any other plugins, including lookups, filters, and so on.

The environment can also be stored in a variable, and accessed like so:

- hosts: all
  remote_user: root

  # here we make a variable named "proxy_env" that is a dictionary
  vars:
    proxy_env:
      http_proxy: http://proxy.example.com:8080

  tasks:

    - name: Install cobbler
      package:
        name: cobbler
        state: present
      environment: "{{ proxy_env }}"

You can also use it at a play level:

- hosts: testhost

  roles:
     - php
     - nginx

  environment:
    http_proxy: http://proxy.example.com:8080

While just proxy settings were shown above, any number of settings can be supplied. The most logical place to define an environment hash might be a group_vars file, like so:

---
# file: group_vars/boston

ntp_server: ntp.bos.example.com
backup: bak.bos.example.com
proxy_env:
  http_proxy: http://proxy.bos.example.com:8080
  https_proxy: http://proxy.bos.example.com:8080

Working With Language-Specific Version Managers

Some language-specific version managers (such as rbenv and nvm) require environment variables be set while these tools are in use. When using these tools manually, they usually require sourcing some environment variables via a script or lines added to your shell configuration file. In Ansible, you can instead use the environment directive:

---
### A playbook demonstrating a common npm workflow:
# - Check for package.json in the application directory
# - If package.json exists:
#   * Run npm prune
#   * Run npm install

- hosts: application
  become: false

  vars:
    node_app_dir: /var/local/my_node_app

  environment:
    NVM_DIR: /var/local/nvm
    PATH: /var/local/nvm/versions/node/v4.2.1/bin:{{ ansible_env.PATH }}

  tasks:
  - name: check for package.json
    stat:
      path: '{{ node_app_dir }}/package.json'
    register: packagejson

  - name: npm prune
    command: npm prune
    args:
      chdir: '{{ node_app_dir }}'
    when: packagejson.stat.exists

  - name: npm install
    npm:
      path: '{{ node_app_dir }}'
    when: packagejson.stat.exists

Note

ansible_env: is normally populated by fact gathering (M(gather_facts)) and the value of the variables depends on the user that did the gathering action. If you change remote_user/become_user you might end up using the wrong values for those variables.

You might also want to simply specify the environment for a single task:

---
- name: install ruby 2.3.1
  command: rbenv install {{ rbenv_ruby_version }}
  args:
    creates: '{{ rbenv_root }}/versions/{{ rbenv_ruby_version }}/bin/ruby'
  vars:
    rbenv_root: /usr/local/rbenv
    rbenv_ruby_version: 2.3.1
  environment:
    CONFIGURE_OPTS: '--disable-install-doc'
    RBENV_ROOT: '{{ rbenv_root }}'
    PATH: '{{ rbenv_root }}/bin:{{ rbenv_root }}/shims:{{ rbenv_plugins }}/ruby-build/bin:{{ ansible_env.PATH }}'

See also

About Playbooks
An introduction to playbooks
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