Edgar Martinez Edgar Martinez - 1 month ago 52
Bash Question

How to do multiline shell script in Ansible

right now I am using a shell script in ansible that would be much more readable if it was on multiple lines

- name: iterate user groups
shell: groupmod -o -g {{ item['guid'] }} {{ item['username'] }} ....more stuff to do
with_items: "{{ users }}"


Just not sure how to allow multiline script in Ansible shell module

Answer

Anisble uses YAML syntax in its playbooks. YAML has a number of block operators:

  • The > is a folding block operator. That is, it joins multiple lines together by spaces. The following syntax:

    key: >
      This text
      has multiple
      lines
    

    Would assign the value This text has multiple lines\n to key.

  • The | character is a literal block operator. This is probably what you want for multi-line shell scipts. The following syntax:

    key: |
      This text
      has multiple
      lines
    

    Would assign the value This text\nhas multiple\nlines\n to key.

You can use this for multiline shell scripts like this:

- name: iterate user groups
  shell: |
    groupmod -o -g {{ item['guid'] }} {{ item['username'] }} 
    do_some_stuff_here
    and_some_other_stuff
  with_items: "{{ users }}"

There is one caveat: Ansible does some janky manipulation of arguments to the shell command, so while the above will generally work as expected, the following won't:

- shell: |
    cat <<EOF
    This is a test.
    EOF

Ansible will actually render that text with leading spaces, which means the shell will never find the string EOF at the beginning of a line. You can avoid Ansible's unhelpful heuristics by using the cmd parameter like this:

- shell:
    cmd: |
      cat <<EOF
      This is a test.
      EOF
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