Documentation

file - Sets attributes of files

Synopsis

  • Sets attributes of files, symlinks, and directories, or removes files/symlinks/directories. Many other modules support the same options as the file module - including copy, template, and assemble.
  • For Windows targets, use the win_file module instead.

Parameters

Parameter Choices/Defaults Comments
access_time
(added in 2.7)
This parameter indicates the time the file's access time should be set to
Should be preserve when no modification is required, YYYYMMDDHHMM.SS when using default time format, or now
Default is None meaning that preserve is the default for state=[file,directory,link,hard] and now is default for state=touch
access_time_format
(added in 2.7)
Default:
%Y%m%d%H%M.%S
When used with access_time, indicates the time format that must be used.
Based on default Python format (see time.strftime doc)
attributes
(added in 2.3)
Attributes the 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.
= operator is assumed as default, otherwise + or - operators need to be included in the string.

aliases: attr
follow
bool

(added in 1.8)
    Choices:
  • no
  • yes ←
This flag indicates that filesystem links, if they exist, should be followed.
Previous to Ansible 2.5, this was no by default.
force
bool
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
force the creation of the symlinks in two cases: the source file does not exist (but will appear later); the destination exists and is a file (so, we need to unlink the "path" file and create symlink to the "src" file in place of it).
group
Name of the group that should own the file/directory, as would be fed to chown.
mode
Mode the file or directory should be. 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 version 1.8, the mode may be specified as a symbolic mode (for example, u+rwx or u=rw,g=r,o=r).
modification_time
(added in 2.7)
This parameter indicates the time the file's modification time should be set to
Should be preserve when no modification is required, YYYYMMDDHHMM.SS when using default time format, or now
Default is None meaning that preserve is the default for state=[file,directory,link,hard] and now is default for state=touch
modification_time_format
(added in 2.7)
Default:
%Y%m%d%H%M.%S
When used with modification_time, indicates the time format that must be used.
Based on default Python format (see time.strftime doc)
owner
Name of the user that should own the file/directory, as would be fed to chown.
path
required
Path to the file being managed.

aliases: dest, name
recurse
bool
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
recursively set the specified file attributes (applies only to directories)
selevel Default:
s0
Level part of the SELinux file context. This is the MLS/MCS attribute, sometimes known as the range. _default feature works as for seuser.
serole
Role part of SELinux file context, _default feature works as for seuser.
setype
Type part of SELinux file context, _default feature works as for seuser.
seuser
User part of SELinux file context. Will default to system policy, if applicable. If set to _default, it will use the user portion of the policy if available.
src
path of the file to link to (applies only to state=link and state=hard). Will accept absolute, relative and nonexisting paths. Relative paths are relative to the file being created (path) which is how the UNIX command ln -s SRC DEST treats relative paths.
state
    Choices:
  • absent
  • directory
  • file ←
  • hard
  • link
  • touch
If directory, all intermediate subdirectories will be created if they do not exist. Since Ansible 1.7 they will be created with the supplied permissions. If file, the file will NOT be created if it does not exist; see the touch value or the copy or template module if you want that behavior. If link, the symbolic link will be created or changed. Use hard for hardlinks. If absent, directories will be recursively deleted, and files or symlinks will be unlinked. Note that absent will not cause file to fail if the path does not exist as the state did not change. If touch (new in 1.4), an empty file will be created if the path does not exist, while an existing file or directory will receive updated file access and modification times (similar to the way `touch` works from the command line).
unsafe_writes
bool

(added in 2.2)
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
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.

Notes

Note

Examples

# change file ownership, group and mode
- file:
    path: /etc/foo.conf
    owner: foo
    group: foo
    # when specifying mode using octal numbers, add a leading 0
    mode: 0644
- file:
    path: /work
    owner: root
    group: root
    mode: 01777
- file:
    src: /file/to/link/to
    dest: /path/to/symlink
    owner: foo
    group: foo
    state: link
- file:
    src: '/tmp/{{ item.src }}'
    dest: '{{ item.dest }}'
    state: link
  with_items:
    - { src: 'x', dest: 'y' }
    - { src: 'z', dest: 'k' }

# touch a file, using symbolic modes to set the permissions (equivalent to 0644)
- file:
    path: /etc/foo.conf
    state: touch
    mode: "u=rw,g=r,o=r"

# touch the same file, but add/remove some permissions
- file:
    path: /etc/foo.conf
    state: touch
    mode: "u+rw,g-wx,o-rwx"

# touch again the same file, but dont change times
# this makes the task idempotents
- file:
    path: /etc/foo.conf
    state: touch
    mode: "u+rw,g-wx,o-rwx"
    modification_time: "preserve"
    access_time: "preserve"

# create a directory if it doesn't exist
- file:
    path: /etc/some_directory
    state: directory
    mode: 0755

# updates modification and access time of given file
- file:
    path: /etc/some_file
    state: file
    mode: 0755
    modification_time: now
    access_time: now

Status

This module is flagged as stableinterface which means that the maintainers for this module guarantee that no backward incompatible interface changes will be made.

Maintenance

This module is flagged as core which means that it is maintained by the Ansible Core Team. See Module Maintenance & Support for more info.

For a list of other modules that are also maintained by the Ansible Core Team, see here.

Support

For more information about Red Hat’s support of this module, please refer to this Knowledge Base article

Author

  • Ansible Core Team
  • Michael DeHaan

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