Ansible - ansible-vault view command

The ansible-vault command can be used to perform a number of tasks.

Additionally, there are a few command line options to be aware of.


Let's say you used the ansible-vault create command to create foo.txt, and foo.txt contains "Hello World".

The ansible-vault view command is used to view the content of a file that was encrypted by the ansible-vault createansible-vault edit or ansible-vault encrypt command.

Before viewing the file, you'll want to determine if the file was encrypted using a certain vault id. In this example, the file was encrypted using the "test" id.

~]$ cat foo.txt


The following command will view the file.

ansible-vault view foo.txt


You will be prompted to for the vault password.

Vault password:


After providing the valid vault password, the content of the encrypted file will be displayed.

Hello World


Or, to avoid being prompted for the vault password, if the file is not associated with a vault id, the --vault-password-file command line option can be used.

ansible-vault view --vault-password-file /usr/local/vault/.vault_password.txt foo.txt


If the file is associated with a vault id, the --vault-id command line option can be used.

ansible-vault view --vault-id test@/usr/local/ansible/vault/.vault_password.txt foo.txt


In a playbook, the shell module could be used to invoke the ansible-vault command. In this example, the register parameter is used to store the output in the "out" variable.

- name: "ansible-vault view foo.txt"
  shell: "ansible-vault view --vault-id test@/usr/local/ansible/vault/.vault_password.txt foo.txt"
  register: out


The debug module could be used to validate that the "out" variable contains the plain text content of foo.txt.

- name: "output the 'out' variable"
    var: out


Which should output something like this.

TASK [output the 'out' variable]
ok: [] => {
    "msg": "Hello World"


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