ansible.builtin.blockinfile module – Insert/update/remove a text block surrounded by marker lines

Note

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

New in Ansible 2.0

Synopsis

  • This module will insert/update/remove a block of multi-line text surrounded by customizable marker lines.

Parameters

Parameter

Comments

attributes

aliases: attr

string

added in Ansible 2.3

The attributes the resulting filesystem object 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.

backup

boolean

Create a backup file including the timestamp information so you can get the original file back if you somehow clobbered it incorrectly.

Choices:

  • false ← (default)

  • true

block

aliases: content

string

The text to insert inside the marker lines.

If it is missing or an empty string, the block will be removed as if state were specified to absent.

Default: ""

create

boolean

Create a new file if it does not exist.

Choices:

  • false ← (default)

  • true

group

string

Name of the group that should own the filesystem object, as would be fed to chown.

When left unspecified, it uses the current group of the current user unless you are root, in which case it can preserve the previous ownership.

insertafter

string

If specified and no begin/ending marker lines are found, the block will be inserted after the last match of specified regular expression.

A special value is available; EOF for inserting the block at the end of the file.

If specified regular expression has no matches, EOF will be used instead.

The presence of the multiline flag (?m) in the regular expression controls whether the match is done line by line or with multiple lines. This behaviour was added in ansible-core 2.14.

Choices:

  • "EOF" ← (default)

  • "*regex*"

insertbefore

string

If specified and no begin/ending marker lines are found, the block will be inserted before the last match of specified regular expression.

A special value is available; BOF for inserting the block at the beginning of the file.

If specified regular expression has no matches, the block will be inserted at the end of the file.

The presence of the multiline flag (?m) in the regular expression controls whether the match is done line by line or with multiple lines. This behaviour was added in ansible-core 2.14.

Choices:

  • "BOF"

  • "*regex*"

marker

string

The marker line template.

{mark} will be replaced with the values in marker_begin (default=”BEGIN”) and marker_end (default=”END”).

Using a custom marker without the {mark} variable may result in the block being repeatedly inserted on subsequent playbook runs.

Multi-line markers are not supported and will result in the block being repeatedly inserted on subsequent playbook runs.

A newline is automatically appended by the module to marker_begin and marker_end.

Default: "# {mark} ANSIBLE MANAGED BLOCK"

marker_begin

string

added in Ansible 2.5

This will be inserted at {mark} in the opening ansible block marker.

Default: "BEGIN"

marker_end

string

added in Ansible 2.5

This will be inserted at {mark} in the closing ansible block marker.

Default: "END"

mode

any

The permissions the resulting filesystem object 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).

If mode is not specified and the destination filesystem object does not exist, the default umask on the system will be used when setting the mode for the newly created filesystem object.

If mode is not specified and the destination filesystem object does exist, the mode of the existing filesystem object will be used.

Specifying mode is the best way to ensure filesystem objects are created with the correct permissions. See CVE-2020-1736 for further details.

owner

string

Name of the user that should own the filesystem object, as would be fed to chown.

When left unspecified, it uses the current user unless you are root, in which case it can preserve the previous ownership.

path

aliases: dest, destfile, name

path / required

The file to modify.

Before Ansible 2.3 this option was only usable as dest, destfile and name.

selevel

string

The level part of the SELinux filesystem object 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 filesystem object context.

When set to _default, it will use the role portion of the policy if available.

setype

string

The type part of the SELinux filesystem object context.

When set to _default, it will use the type portion of the policy if available.

seuser

string

The user part of the SELinux filesystem object 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

Whether the block should be there or not.

Choices:

  • "absent"

  • "present" ← (default)

unsafe_writes

boolean

added in Ansible 2.2

Influence when to use atomic operation to prevent data corruption or inconsistent reads from the target filesystem object.

By default this module uses atomic operations to prevent data corruption or inconsistent reads from the target filesystem objects, but sometimes systems are configured or just broken in ways that prevent this. One example is docker mounted filesystem objects, 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 filesystem objects 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.

Choices:

  • false ← (default)

  • true

validate

string

The validation command to run before copying the updated file into the final destination.

A temporary file path is used to validate, passed in through ‘%s’ which must be present as in the examples below.

Also, the command is passed securely so shell features such as expansion and pipes will not work.

For an example on how to handle more complex validation than what this option provides, see Complex configuration validation.

Attributes

Attribute

Support

Description

check_mode

Support: full

Can run in check_mode and return changed status prediction without modifying target

diff_mode

Support: full

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

platform

Platform: posix

Target OS/families that can be operated against

safe_file_operations

Support: full

Uses Ansible’s strict file operation functions to ensure proper permissions and avoid data corruption

vault

Support: none

Can automatically decrypt Ansible vaulted files

Notes

Note

  • When using ‘with_*’ loops be aware that if you do not set a unique mark the block will be overwritten on each iteration.

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

  • Option follow has been removed in Ansible 2.5, because this module modifies the contents of the file so follow=no doesn’t make sense.

  • When more then one block should be handled in one file you must change the marker per task.

Examples

# Before Ansible 2.3, option 'dest' or 'name' was used instead of 'path'
- name: Insert/Update "Match User" configuration block in /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  ansible.builtin.blockinfile:
    path: /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    block: |
      Match User ansible-agent
      PasswordAuthentication no

- name: Insert/Update eth0 configuration stanza in /etc/network/interfaces
        (it might be better to copy files into /etc/network/interfaces.d/)
  ansible.builtin.blockinfile:
    path: /etc/network/interfaces
    block: |
      iface eth0 inet static
          address 192.0.2.23
          netmask 255.255.255.0

- name: Insert/Update configuration using a local file and validate it
  ansible.builtin.blockinfile:
    block: "{{ lookup('ansible.builtin.file', './local/sshd_config') }}"
    path: /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    backup: yes
    validate: /usr/sbin/sshd -T -f %s

- name: Insert/Update HTML surrounded by custom markers after <body> line
  ansible.builtin.blockinfile:
    path: /var/www/html/index.html
    marker: "<!-- {mark} ANSIBLE MANAGED BLOCK -->"
    insertafter: "<body>"
    block: |
      <h1>Welcome to {{ ansible_hostname }}</h1>
      <p>Last updated on {{ ansible_date_time.iso8601 }}</p>

- name: Remove HTML as well as surrounding markers
  ansible.builtin.blockinfile:
    path: /var/www/html/index.html
    marker: "<!-- {mark} ANSIBLE MANAGED BLOCK -->"
    block: ""

- name: Add mappings to /etc/hosts
  ansible.builtin.blockinfile:
    path: /etc/hosts
    block: |
      {{ item.ip }} {{ item.name }}
    marker: "# {mark} ANSIBLE MANAGED BLOCK {{ item.name }}"
  loop:
    - { name: host1, ip: 10.10.1.10 }
    - { name: host2, ip: 10.10.1.11 }
    - { name: host3, ip: 10.10.1.12 }

- name: Search with a multiline search flags regex and if found insert after
  blockinfile:
    path: listener.ora
    block: "{{ listener_line | indent(width=8, first=True) }}"
    insertafter: '(?m)SID_LIST_LISTENER_DG =\n.*\(SID_LIST ='
    marker: "    <!-- {mark} ANSIBLE MANAGED BLOCK -->"

Authors

  • Yaegashi Takeshi (@yaegashi)