Access ansible host group var with python

When working with Ansible, it is often necessary to access host group variables using Python. In this article, we will explore three different ways to achieve this.

Method 1: Using the Ansible API

The Ansible API provides a convenient way to access host group variables in Python. Here is an example code snippet:

import ansible.inventory
from ansible.parsing.dataloader import DataLoader

# Load the inventory
loader = DataLoader()
inventory = ansible.inventory.Inventory(loader=loader, sources='inventory.ini')

# Get the host group
group = inventory.get_group('my_group')

# Access the variable
var_value = group.get_variable('my_variable')


This method requires the installation of the Ansible package and may not be suitable for all scenarios. However, it provides a powerful and flexible way to access host group variables.

Method 2: Parsing the Inventory File

If you prefer not to use the Ansible API, you can parse the inventory file directly using Python. Here is an example code snippet:

with open('inventory.ini', 'r') as file:
    inventory_lines = file.readlines()

# Find the host group
group_lines = []
for i, line in enumerate(inventory_lines):
    if '[my_group]' in line:
        group_lines = inventory_lines[i+1:]

# Find the variable
var_line = None
for line in group_lines:
    if 'my_variable' in line:
        var_line = line

# Extract the value
var_value = var_line.split('=')[1].strip()


This method is more lightweight and does not require the installation of any additional packages. However, it relies on the specific format of the inventory file and may not be as robust as the Ansible API approach.

Method 3: Using Environment Variables

Another option is to set the host group variables as environment variables and access them in Python. Here is an example code snippet:

import os

# Access the variable
var_value = os.environ.get('MY_VARIABLE')


This method is simple and does not require any external dependencies. However, it requires setting up the environment variables correctly and may not be suitable for all scenarios.

After considering these three options, the best approach depends on the specific requirements of your project. If you are already using Ansible and have access to the Ansible API, Method 1 provides the most comprehensive solution. If you prefer a lightweight approach and have control over the inventory file format, Method 2 may be a good choice. Finally, if simplicity is your priority and you can set up environment variables, Method 3 offers a straightforward solution.

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9 Responses

  1. Method 1 seems more efficient, but Method 2 offers flexibility. Which one would you choose? #ansible #python

  2. I personally find Method 2 the most convenient way to access ansible host group vars. What about you guys? 🤔

  3. Method 2 seems old-fashioned, but hey, if it works, why not? Who needs fancy APIs anyway? 🤷‍♂️

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