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Ansible - Management of Files

In this chapter you will learn how to manage files with Ansible.


Objectives: In this chapter you will learn how to:

✔ modify the content of file;
✔ upload files to the targeted servers;
✔ retrieve files from the targeted servers.

🏁 ansible, module, files

Knowledge: ⭐ ⭐
Complexity: ⭐

Reading time: 20 minutes


Depending on your needs, you will have to use different Ansible modules to modify the system configuration files.

ini_file module

When you want to modify an INI file (section between [] then key=value pairs), the easiest way is to use the ini_file module.

Note

More information can be found here.

The module requires:

  • The value of the section
  • The name of the option
  • The new value

Example of use:

- name: change value on inifile
  community.general.ini_file:
    dest: /path/to/file.ini
    section: SECTIONNAME
    option: OPTIONNAME
    value: NEWVALUE

lineinfile module

To ensure that a line is present in a file, or when a single line in a file needs to be added or modified, use the linefile module.

Note

More information can be found here.

In this case, the line to be modified in a file will be found using a regexp.

For example, to ensure that the line starting with SELINUX= in the /etc/selinux/config file contains the value enforcing:

- ansible.builtin.lineinfile:
    path: /etc/selinux/config
    regexp: '^SELINUX='
    line: 'SELINUX=enforcing'

copy module

When a file has to be copied from the Ansible server to one or more hosts, it is better to use the copy module.

Note

More information can be found here.

Here we are copying myflile.conf from one location to another:

- ansible.builtin.copy:
    src: /data/ansible/sources/myfile.conf
    dest: /etc/myfile.conf
    owner: root
    group: root
    mode: 0644

fetch module

When a file has to be copied from a remote server to the local server, it is best to use the fetch module.

Note

More information can be found here.

This module does the opposite of the copy module:

- ansible.builtin.fetch:
    src: /etc/myfile.conf
    dest: /data/ansible/backup/myfile-{{ inventory_hostname }}.conf
    flat: yes

template module

Ansible and its template module use the Jinja2 template system (http://jinja.pocoo.org/docs/) to generate files on target hosts.

Note

More information can be found here.

For example:

- ansible.builtin.template:
    src: /data/ansible/templates/monfichier.j2
    dest: /etc/myfile.conf
    owner: root
    group: root
    mode: 0644

It is possible to add a validation step if the targeted service allows it (for example apache with the command apachectl -t):

- template:
    src: /data/ansible/templates/vhost.j2
    dest: /etc/httpd/sites-available/vhost.conf
    owner: root
    group: root
    mode: 0644
    validate: '/usr/sbin/apachectl -t'

get_url module

To upload files from a web site or ftp to one or more hosts, use the get_url module:

- get_url:
    url: http://site.com/archive.zip
    dest: /tmp/archive.zip
    mode: 0640
    checksum: sha256:f772bd36185515581aa9a2e4b38fb97940ff28764900ba708e68286121770e9a

By providing a checksum of the file, the file will not be re-downloaded if it is already present at the destination location and its checksum matches the value provided.

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