ansible.builtin.lineinfile – Manage lines in text files

Note

This module is part of ansible-base and included in all Ansible installations. In most cases, you can use the short module name lineinfile even without specifying the collections: keyword. Despite that, 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 version 0.7: of ansible.builtin

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 ansible.builtin.replace module if you want to change multiple, similar lines or check ansible.builtin.blockinfile if you want to insert/update/remove a block of lines in a file. For other cases, see the ansible.builtin.copy or ansible.builtin.template modules.

Parameters

Parameter Choices/Defaults Comments
attributes
string
added in 2.3 of ansible.builtin
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
added in 1.1 of ansible.builtin
    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 does not 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 of ansible.builtin
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Used with insertafter or insertbefore.
If set, insertafter and insertbefore will work with the first line that matches the given regular expression.
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 insertbefore is set, default value EOF will be ignored.
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 or insertbefore.
insertbefore
string
added in 1.1 of ansible.builtin
    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 or insertafter.
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.

aliases: value
mode
raw
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).
others
string
All arguments accepted by the ansible.builtin.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
added in 1.7 of ansible.builtin
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 https://docs.python.org/3/library/re.html.

aliases: regex
selevel
string
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 of ansible.builtin
    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

ansible.builtin.blockinfile

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

ansible.builtin.copy

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

ansible.builtin.file

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

ansible.builtin.replace

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

ansible.builtin.template

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

community.windows.win_lineinfile

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

Examples

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

- name: Make sure group wheel is not in the sudoers configuration
  lineinfile:
    path: /etc/sudoers
    state: absent
    regexp: '^%wheel'

- name: Replace a localhost entry with our own
  lineinfile:
    path: /etc/hosts
    regexp: '^127\.0\.0\.1'
    line: 127.0.0.1 localhost
    owner: root
    group: root
    mode: '0644'

- name: Ensure the default Apache port is 8080
  lineinfile:
    path: /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
    regexp: '^Listen '
    insertafter: '^#Listen '
    line: Listen 8080

- name: Ensure we have our own comment added to /etc/services
  lineinfile:
    path: /etc/services
    regexp: '^# port for http'
    insertbefore: '^www.*80/tcp'
    line: '# port for http by default'

- name: 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

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

# NOTE: Fully quoted because of the ': ' on the line. See the Gotchas in the YAML docs.
- name: 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

# See https://docs.python.org/3/library/re.html for further details on syntax
- name: Use backrefs with alternative group syntax to avoid conflicts with variable values
  lineinfile:
    path: /tmp/config
    regexp: ^(host=).*
    line: \g<1>{{ hostname }}
    backrefs: yes

Authors

  • Daniel Hokka Zakrissoni (@dhozac)

  • Ahti Kitsik (@ahtik)