Module Configuration and Parameters in Ansible

Ansible modules provide a way to automate various tasks by encapsulating specific functionalities. To utilize modules effectively, it's essential to understand their configuration and parameters. In this tutorial, we will explore module configuration and parameters in Ansible.

Introduction to Module Configuration and Parameters

Ansible modules are self-contained scripts that perform specific tasks. They offer a wide range of functionalities, such as package management, file manipulation, system configuration, and more. Each module has its own set of configuration options and parameters that allow you to customize its behavior.

Let's look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: Using the 'apt' module

ansible localhost -m apt -a 'name=nginx state=latest'

In the above command, we utilize the apt module to manage the nginx package on the localhost host. The name parameter specifies the package name, and the state parameter defines the desired state of the package.

Example 2: Using the 'copy' module

ansible localhost -m copy -a 'src=/path/to/source/file dest=/path/to/destination/file mode=0644'

In this command, we employ the copy module to transfer a file from a source location to a destination location on the localhost host. The src parameter specifies the source file path, the dest parameter defines the destination file path, and the mode parameter sets the file permissions.

Working with Module Configuration and Parameters

Here are the steps to work with module configuration and parameters in Ansible:

Step 1: Identify the Task

Determine the task you want to accomplish using Ansible. It could be installing packages, managing services, configuring files, or any other system administration task.

Step 2: Choose the Appropriate Module

Select the module that aligns with the task you identified. Refer to the Ansible documentation or use the ansible-doc -l command to explore the available modules and their functionalities.

Step 3: Understand the Module Documentation

Review the module documentation to understand the configuration options and parameters it supports. Pay attention to required parameters, default values, and any specific usage instructions provided by the module.

Step 4: Provide Module Parameters

Specify the necessary parameters for the module using the -a flag when executing the module command. Supply values for the parameters according to your desired configuration. Ensure the parameters are provided in the correct format and adhere to the module's requirements.

Step 5: Execute the Module Command

Run the module command using the ansible command-line tool. Pass the necessary parameters and specify the target hosts. Ansible will connect to the hosts and execute the module, applying the desired configuration. Monitor the output for any errors or changes made.

Common Mistakes with Module Configuration and Parameters

  • Not reading the module documentation thoroughly.
  • Providing incorrect parameter values, leading to unexpected behavior.
  • Omitting required parameters, causing module execution to fail.
  • Using deprecated or outdated parameters that are no longer supported.
  • Forgetting to specify the target hosts or specifying the incorrect hosts for the module execution.

FAQs about Module Configuration and Parameters

  1. Q: Can I pass variables to module parameters?

    A: Yes, you can use variables in module parameters to make them dynamic. Variables can be defined within playbooks, inventory files, or passed as command-line arguments.

  2. Q: How do I know the available parameters for a module?

    A: You can refer to the module documentation, which provides details about the available parameters and their descriptions. Additionally, the ansible-doc command can be used to access the documentation directly from the command line.

  3. Q: Are module parameters case-sensitive?

    A: Module parameters are case-insensitive, meaning that the parameter names can be specified in any case (e.g., uppercase, lowercase, or a mix). However, the parameter values may be case-sensitive depending on the module's implementation.


Understanding module configuration and parameters is crucial for effective automation using Ansible. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can select the appropriate module, configure the desired parameters, and execute tasks to manage your infrastructure efficiently. Take care to review module documentation and provide accurate parameter values to achieve the desired results.