FreeKB - Ansible file module (change owner group mode permissions chown chgrp chmod)
Ansible - file module (change owner group mode permissions chown chgrp chmod)

If you are not familiar with modules, check out Ansible - Getting Started with Modules.

The file module can be used to change the owner, group, and/or mode of a file on a managed node (e.g. target system). 

Before using the file module to update the owner, group, or mode of a file, you may want to use the stat module to determine the current owner, group, and mode of the file. In this example, the stat module reads the foo.txt file, and the register module is used to store the stats in a variable named "out".

- name: store the stats of foo.txt in the 'out' variable
  stat:
    path: /tmp/foo.txt
  register: out

 

The debug module can be used to output the raw stats. Notice the double curley braces {{ ... }}. Jinja2 uses double curley braces for variables.

- name: output the contents of the 'out' variable
  debug: 
    msg: "{{ out }}"

 

Which should output something like this. 

  • pw_name = owner (root in this example)
  • gr_name = group (wheel in this example)
  • mode = mode (0644 in this example)
TASK [output the contents of the 'out' variable] *******************************
ok: [server1.example.com] => {
    "msg": {
        "changed": false,
        "failed": false,
        "stat": {
            "atime": 1597271585.646168,
            "attr_flags": "",
            "attributes": [],
            "block_size": 4096,
            "blocks": 8,
            "charset": "us-ascii",
            "checksum": "648a6a6ffffdaa0badb23b8baf90b6168dd16b3a",
            "ctime": 1597271585.646168,
            "dev": 64768,
            "device_type": 0,
            "executable": false,
            "exists": true,
            "gid": 10,
            "gr_name": "wheel",
            "inode": 26964623,
            "isblk": false,
            "ischr": false,
            "isdir": false,
            "isfifo": false,
            "isgid": false,
            "islnk": false,
            "isreg": true,
            "issock": false,
            "isuid": false,
            "md5": "e59ff97941044f85df5297e1c302d260",
            "mimetype": "text/plain",
            "mode": "0644",
            "mtime": 1597271585.646168,
            "nlink": 1,
            "path": "/tmp/example.txt",
            "pw_name": "root",
            "readable": true,
            "rgrp": true,
            "roth": true,
            "rusr": true,
            "size": 12,
            "uid": 1000,
            "version": "891153635",
            "wgrp": false,
            "woth": false,
            "writeable": true,
            "wusr": true,
            "xgrp": false,
            "xoth": false,
            "xusr": false
        }
    }
}

 

Here is how you would update the owner, group and mode of /tmp/foo.txt using the file module.

- name: update foo.txt owner group mode
  file:
    path: /tmp/foo.txt
    owner: john.doe
    group: admins
    mode: "0770"

 

If the playbook is being invoked by the user that owns /tmp/foo.txt (root in this example), then the owner, group and mode will be updated. 

TASK [update foo.txt owner group mode]
changed: [server1.example.com]

 

On the other hand, if the playbook is being invoked by anyone other than root, a fatal error "Operation not permitted" would be returned. Or, become could be used to become root.

TASK [update /tmp/foo.txt owner group mode]
fatal: [server1.example.com]: FAILED! => {"changed": false, "gid": 10, "group": "root", "mode": "0644", "msg": "chown failed: [Errno 1] Operation not permitted: '/tmp/foo.txt'", "owner": "root", "path": "/tmp/foo.txt", "secontext": "unconfined_u:object_r:user_tmp_t:s0", "size": 0, "state": "file", "uid": 0}

 


Recursive directory

state: directory and recurse: yes can be used to update the owner of every file and directory below a certain directory. In this example, every file and directory below the /tmp directory will be updated to be owned by root.

- name: recursively update /tmp directory owner
  file:
    path: /tmp
    state: directory
    recurse: yes
    owner: root

 

Or like this, to give "group" the "write" permission.

- name: recursively update /tmp directory
  file:
    path: /tmp
    state: directory
    recurse: yes
    mode: g+w

 


Optional Parameters

Refer to the following articles for more details on the owner, group, and mode parameters.

  • owner (e.g. owner: "root")
  • group (e.g. group: "wheel")
  • mode (e.g. mode: "2775")


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