ansible.builtin.meta module – Execute Ansible ‘actions’


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


  • Meta tasks are a special kind of task which can influence Ansible internal execution or state.

  • Meta tasks can be used anywhere within your playbook.

  • This module is also supported for Windows targets.





string / required

This module takes a free form command, as a string. There is not an actual option named “free form”. See the examples!

flush_handlers makes Ansible run any handler tasks which have thus far been notified. Ansible inserts these tasks internally at certain points to implicitly trigger handler runs (after pre/post tasks, the final role execution, and the main tasks section of your plays).

refresh_inventory (added in Ansible 2.0) forces the reload of the inventory, which in the case of dynamic inventory scripts means they will be re-executed. If the dynamic inventory script is using a cache, Ansible cannot know this and has no way of refreshing it (you can disable the cache or, if available for your specific inventory datasource (e.g. aws), you can use the an inventory plugin instead of an inventory script). This is mainly useful when additional hosts are created and users wish to use them instead of using the ansible.builtin.add_host module.

noop (added in Ansible 2.0) This literally does ‘nothing’. It is mainly used internally and not recommended for general use.

clear_facts (added in Ansible 2.1) causes the gathered facts for the hosts specified in the play’s list of hosts to be cleared, including the fact cache.

clear_host_errors (added in Ansible 2.1) clears the failed state (if any) from hosts specified in the play’s list of hosts.

end_play (added in Ansible 2.2) causes the play to end without failing the host(s). Note that this affects all hosts.

reset_connection (added in Ansible 2.3) interrupts a persistent connection (i.e. ssh + control persist)

end_host (added in Ansible 2.8) is a per-host variation of end_play. Causes the play to end for the current host without failing it.

end_batch (added in Ansible 2.12) causes the current batch (see serial) to end without failing the host(s). Note that with serial=0 or undefined this behaves the same as end_play.


  • "clear_facts"

  • "clear_host_errors"

  • "end_host"

  • "end_play"

  • "flush_handlers"

  • "noop"

  • "refresh_inventory"

  • "reset_connection"

  • "end_batch"






Support: none

Indicates this has a corresponding action plugin so some parts of the options can be executed on the controller


Support: none

Supports being used with the async keyword


Support: none

Is usable alongside become keywords


Support: partial

Some of the subactions ignore the host loop, see the description above for each specific action for the exceptions

Forces a ‘global’ task that does not execute per host, this bypasses per host templating and serial, throttle and other loop considerations

Conditionals will work as if run_once is being used, variables used will be from the first available host

This action will not work normally outside of lockstep strategies


Support: partial

Most of the subactions ignore the task loop, see the description above for each specific action for the exceptions

These tasks ignore the loop and with_ keywords


Support: partial

While these actions don’t modify the targets directly they do change possible states of the target within the run

Can run in check_mode and return changed status prediction without modifying target, if not supported the action will be skipped.


Support: partial

Most options in this action do not use a connection, except reset_connection which still does not connect to the remote

Uses the target’s configured connection information to execute code on it


Support: full

This is a ‘core engine’ feature and is not implemented like most task actions, so it is not overridable in any way via the plugin system.


Support: none

Can be used in conjunction with delegate_to and related keywords


Support: none

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


Support: partial

Only some options support conditionals and when they do they act ‘bypassing the host loop’, taking the values from first available host

The action is not subject to conditional execution so it will ignore the when: keyword


Platforms: all

Target OS/families that can be operated against


Support: full

Allows for the ‘tags’ keyword to control the selection of this action for execution


Support: none

Denotes if this action obeys until/retry/poll keywords



See Also

See also


Asserts given expressions are true.

Fail with custom message.


# Example showing flushing handlers on demand, not at end of play
- ansible.builtin.template:
    src: new.j2
    dest: /etc/config.txt
  notify: myhandler

- name: Force all notified handlers to run at this point, not waiting for normal sync points
  ansible.builtin.meta: flush_handlers

# Example showing how to refresh inventory during play
- name: Reload inventory, useful with dynamic inventories when play makes changes to the existing hosts
  cloud_guest:            # this is fake module
    name: newhost
    state: present

- name: Refresh inventory to ensure new instances exist in inventory
  ansible.builtin.meta: refresh_inventory

# Example showing how to clear all existing facts of targeted hosts
- name: Clear gathered facts from all currently targeted hosts
  ansible.builtin.meta: clear_facts

# Example showing how to continue using a failed target
- name: Bring host back to play after failure
    src: file
    dest: /etc/file
  remote_user: imightnothavepermission

- ansible.builtin.meta: clear_host_errors

# Example showing how to reset an existing connection
- ansible.builtin.user:
    name: '{{ ansible_user }}'
    groups: input

- name: Reset ssh connection to allow user changes to affect 'current login user'
  ansible.builtin.meta: reset_connection

# Example showing how to end the play for specific targets
- name: End the play for hosts that run CentOS 6
  ansible.builtin.meta: end_host
  - ansible_distribution == 'CentOS'
  - ansible_distribution_major_version == '6'


  • Ansible Core Team