Runs Ansible playbooks, executing the defined tasks on the targeted hosts.


usage: ansible-playbook [-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]
                     [--force-handlers] [--flush-cache] [-b]
                     [--become-method BECOME_METHOD]
                     [--become-user BECOME_USER]
                     [-K | --become-password-file BECOME_PASSWORD_FILE]
                     [-t TAGS] [--skip-tags SKIP_TAGS] [-C] [-D]
                     [-i INVENTORY] [--list-hosts] [-l SUBSET]
                     [-e EXTRA_VARS] [--vault-id VAULT_IDS]
                     [-J | --vault-password-file VAULT_PASSWORD_FILES]
                     [-f FORKS] [-M MODULE_PATH] [--syntax-check]
                     [--list-tasks] [--list-tags] [--step]
                     [--start-at-task START_AT_TASK]
                     playbook [playbook ...]


the tool to run Ansible playbooks, which are a configuration and multinode deployment system. See the project home page ( for more information.

Common Options

--become-method <BECOME_METHOD>

privilege escalation method to use (default=sudo), use ansible-doc -t become -l to list valid choices.

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

Become password file

--become-user <BECOME_USER>

run operations as this user (default=root)

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

Connection password file


clear the fact cache for every host in inventory


run handlers even if a task fails


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


list all available tags


list all tasks that would be executed

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

use this file to authenticate the connection

--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. This argument may be specified multiple times.

--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)

--start-at-task <START_AT_TASK>

start the playbook at the task matching this name


one-step-at-a-time: confirm each task before running


perform a syntax check on the playbook, but do not execute it


the vault identity to use. This argument may be specified multiple times.

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

vault password file


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

-C, --check

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

-D, --diff

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

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

ask for vault password

-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” }}). This argument may be specified multiple times.

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

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

-b, --become

run operations with become (does not imply password prompting)

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

connection type to use (default=ssh)

-e, --extra-vars

set additional variables as key=value or YAML/JSON, if filename prepend with @. This argument may be specified multiple times.

-f <FORKS>, --forks <FORKS>

specify number of parallel processes to use (default=5)

-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. This argument may be specified multiple times.

-k, --ask-pass

ask for connection password

-l <SUBSET>, --limit <SUBSET>

further limit selected hosts to an additional pattern

-t, --tags

only run plays and tasks tagged with these values. This argument may be specified multiple times.


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. This argument may be specified multiple times.


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-pull(1), ansible-vault(1)