psexec – Runs commands on a remote Windows host based on the PsExec model

New in version 2.6.

Synopsis

  • Runs a remote command from a Linux host to a Windows host without WinRM being set up.
  • Can be run on the Ansible controller to bootstrap Windows hosts to get them ready for WinRM.

Requirements

The below requirements are needed on the host that executes this module.

  • pypsexec
  • smbprotocol[kerberos] for optional Kerberos authentication

Parameters

Parameter Choices/Defaults Comments
arguments
string
Any arguments as a single string to use when running the executable.
asynchronous
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Will run the command as a detached process and the module returns immediately after starting the process while the process continues to run in the background.
The stdout and stderr return values will be null when this is set to yes.
The stdin option does not work with this type of process.
The rc return value is not set when this is yes
connection_password
string
The password for connection_user.
Required if the Kerberos requirements are not installed or the username is a local account to the Windows host.
Can be omitted to use a Kerberos principal ticket for the principal set by connection_user if the Kerberos library is installed and the ticket has already been retrieved with the kinit command before.
connection_timeout
integer
Default:
60
The timeout in seconds to wait when receiving the initial SMB negotiate response from the server.
connection_username
string
The username to use when connecting to the remote Windows host.
This user must be a member of the Administrators group of the Windows host.
Required if the Kerberos requirements are not installed or the username is a local account to the Windows host.
Can be omitted to use the default Kerberos principal ticket in the local credential cache if the Kerberos library is installed.
If process_username is not specified, then the remote process will run under a Network Logon under this account.
encrypt
boolean
    Choices:
  • no
  • yes ←
Will use SMB encryption to encrypt the SMB messages sent to and from the host.
This requires the SMB 3 protocol which is only supported from Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8, older versions like Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 (R2) must set this to no and use no encryption.
When setting to no, the packets are in plaintext and can be seen by anyone sniffing the network, any process options are included in this.
executable
string / required
The executable to run on the Windows host.
hostname
string / required
The remote Windows host to connect to, can be either an IP address or a hostname.
integrity_level
string
    Choices:
  • limited
  • default ←
  • elevated
The integrity level of the process when process_username is defined and is not equal to System.
When default, the default integrity level based on the system setup.
When elevated, the command will be run with Administrative rights.
When limited, the command will be forced to run with non-Administrative rights.
interactive
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Will run the process as an interactive process that shows a process Window of the Windows session specified by interactive_session.
The stdout and stderr return values will be null when this is set to yes.
The stdin option does not work with this type of process.
interactive_session
integer
Default:
0
The Windows session ID to use when displaying the interactive process on the remote Windows host.
This is only valid when interactive is yes.
The default is 0 which is the console session of the Windows host.
load_profile
boolean
    Choices:
  • no
  • yes ←
Runs the remote command with the user's profile loaded.
port
integer
Default:
445
The port that the remote SMB service is listening on.
priority
string
    Choices:
  • above_normal
  • below_normal
  • high
  • idle
  • normal ←
  • realtime
Set the command's priority on the Windows host.
process_password
string
The password for process_username.
Required if process_username is defined and not System.
process_timeout
integer
Default:
0
The timeout in seconds that is placed upon the running process.
A value of 0 means no timeout.
process_username
string
The user to run the process as.
This can be set to run the process under an Interactive logon of the specified account which bypasses limitations of a Network logon used when this isn't specified.
If omitted then the process is run under the same account as connection_username with a Network logon.
Set to System to run as the builtin SYSTEM account, no password is required with this account.
If encrypt is no, the username and password are sent as a simple XOR scrambled byte string that is not encrypted. No special tools are required to get the username and password just knowledge of the protocol.
show_ui_on_logon_screen
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Shows the process UI on the Winlogon secure desktop when process_username is System.
stdin
string
Data to send on the stdin pipe once the process has started.
This option has no effect when interactive or asynchronous is yes.
working_directory
string
Default:
"C:\\Windows\\System32"
Changes the working directory set when starting the process.

Notes

Note

See Also

See also

raw – Executes a low-down and dirty command
The official documentation on the raw module.
win_command – Executes a command on a remote Windows node
The official documentation on the win_command module.
win_psexec – Runs commands (remotely) as another (privileged) user
The official documentation on the win_psexec module.
win_shell – Execute shell commands on target hosts
The official documentation on the win_shell module.

Examples

- name: Run a cmd.exe command
  psexec:
    hostname: server
    connection_username: username
    connection_password: password
    executable: cmd.exe
    arguments: /c echo Hello World

- name: Run a PowerShell command
  psexec:
    hostname: server.domain.local
    connection_username: [email protected]
    connection_password: password
    executable: powershell.exe
    arguments: Write-Host Hello World

- name: Send data through stdin
  psexec:
    hostname: 192.168.1.2
    connection_username: username
    connection_password: password
    executable: powershell.exe
    arguments: '-'
    stdin: |
      Write-Host Hello World
      Write-Error Error Message
      exit 0

- name: Run the process as a different user
  psexec:
    hostname: server
    connection_user: username
    connection_password: password
    executable: whoami.exe
    arguments: /all
    process_username: anotheruser
    process_password: anotherpassword

- name: Run the process asynchronously
  psexec:
    hostname: server
    connection_username: username
    connection_password: password
    executable: cmd.exe
    arguments: /c rmdir C:\temp
    asynchronous: yes

- name: Use Kerberos authentication for the connection (requires smbprotocol[kerberos])
  psexec:
    hostname: host.domain.local
    connection_username: [email protected]
    executable: C:\some\path\to\executable.exe
    arguments: /s

- name: Disable encryption to work with WIndows 7/Server 2008 (R2)
  psexec:
    hostanme: windows-pc
    connection_username: Administrator
    connection_password: Password01
    encrypt: no
    integrity_level: elevated
    process_username: Administrator
    process_password: Password01
    executable: powershell.exe
    arguments: (New-Object -ComObject Microsoft.Update.Session).CreateUpdateInstaller().IsBusy

- name: Download and run ConfigureRemotingForAnsible.ps1 to setup WinRM
  psexec:
    hostname: '{{ hostvars[inventory_hostname]["ansible_host"] | default(inventory_hostname) }}'
    connection_username: '{{ ansible_user }}'
    connection_password: '{{ ansible_password }}'
    encrypt: yes
    executable: powershell.exe
    arguments: '-'
    stdin: |
      $ErrorActionPreference = "Stop"
      $sec_protocols = [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::SystemDefault
      $sec_protocols = $sec_protocols -bor [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12
      [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = $sec_protocols
      $url = "https://github.com/ansible/ansible/raw/devel/examples/scripts/ConfigureRemotingForAnsible.ps1"
      Invoke-Expression ((New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString($url))
      exit
  delegate_to: localhost

Return Values

Common return values are documented here, the following are the fields unique to this module:

Key Returned Description
msg
string
module failed
Any exception details when trying to run the process

Sample:
Received exception from remote PAExec service: Failed to start "invalid.exe". The system cannot find the file specified. [Err=0x2, 2]
pid
integer
success and asynchronous is 'yes'
The process ID of the asynchronous process that was created

Sample:
719
rc
integer
success and asynchronous is 'no'
The return code of the remote process

stderr
string
success and interactive or asynchronous is 'no'
The stderr from the remote process

Sample:
Error [10] running process
stdout
string
success and interactive or asynchronous is 'no'
The stdout from the remote process

Sample:
Hello World


Status

Authors

  • Jordan Borean (@jborean93)

Hint

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