Bootstrap FreeKB - Ansible - --vault-password-file command line option
Ansible - --vault-password-file command line option

Updated:   |  Ansible articles

If you are not familiar with the Ansible Vault, check out my article Getting Started with the Ansible Vault.

Let's say you have created an Ansible Vault encrypted file using the ansible-vault create command. For example, perhaps you created a file named vault.yml in the group_vars/all directory.

ansible-vault create group_vars/all/vault.yml


And let's say the vault.yml files contains the postgres_pw variable.

postgres_pw: itsasecret


And you have a playbook that contains the postgres_pw variable.

- hosts: postgres
  - community.postgresql.postgresql_query:
      db: mydb
      login_user: john.doe
      login_password: "{{ postgres_pw }}"
      query: SELECT * FROM mytable


This assumes you have created the Ansible Vault password file. Let's say the password file is:



In this scenario, the vault.yml file will need to be decrypted when running the postgres playbook. This is often done by using the --vault-password-file command line option and pointing to a TXT file that contains the password that can be used to decrypt the vault.yml file, perhaps like this.

ansible-playbook postgres.yml --inventory inventory.yml --vault-password-file /usr/local/vault/.vault_password.txt


Similarly, the --vault-password-file command line option can be used with the ansible-vault command. For example, to view a vault encrypted file (foo.txt).

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


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.

  • --ask-vault-pass - prompt for the vault password
  • --vault-id - use a specific users password in a file
  • --vault-password-file - use a single password in a file


A vault password file can be used to provide the vault password when:



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