Ansible python programmatically provide ansible vault the vault password

When working with Ansible, there may be situations where you need to provide the Ansible Vault password programmatically. In this article, we will explore three different ways to solve this problem using Python.

Option 1: Using the subprocess module

The subprocess module in Python allows us to spawn new processes, connect to their input/output/error pipes, and obtain their return codes. We can use this module to execute the Ansible command with the vault password provided as an argument.

import subprocess

vault_password = "my_password"

command = f"ansible-vault --vault-password-file <(echo {vault_password})", shell=True)

This code snippet uses the function to execute the Ansible Vault command with the vault password provided as an argument. The --vault-password-file option allows us to specify a file containing the vault password, and in this case, we are using process substitution to pass the password as input to the command.

Option 2: Using the pexpect module

The pexpect module in Python provides a simple and efficient way to control and automate interactive programs. We can use this module to spawn a child process and interact with it, providing the vault password when prompted.

import pexpect

vault_password = "my_password"

command = "ansible-vault"

child = pexpect.spawn(command)
child.expect("Vault password:")

In this code snippet, we use the pexpect.spawn() function to spawn the Ansible Vault command as a child process. We then use the child.expect() function to wait for the prompt asking for the vault password. Once the prompt is detected, we use the child.sendline() function to send the vault password as input. Finally, we use the child.interact() function to interact with the child process.

Option 3: Using the ansible-vault Python library

The ansible-vault Python library provides a high-level interface for working with Ansible Vault files. We can use this library to programmatically decrypt and encrypt files without the need for external processes.

from ansible_vault import Vault

vault_password = "my_password"

vault = Vault(vault_password)
decrypted_data = vault.decrypt_file("encrypted_file.yml")

# Perform operations on decrypted data


In this code snippet, we create an instance of the Vault class from the ansible-vault library, passing the vault password as an argument. We then use the decrypt_file() method to decrypt an encrypted file, perform operations on the decrypted data, and finally use the encrypt_file() method to encrypt the file again.

After exploring these three options, it is clear that the third option, using the ansible-vault Python library, is the most elegant and efficient solution. It allows us to work with Ansible Vault files directly in Python, without the need for external processes or manual interaction. This approach provides better control and flexibility when working with encrypted files programmatically.

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