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Ansible ansible.builtin.tree Callback Saving Host Events to Files

Unveiling the Power of ansible.builtin.tree Callback: Enhanced Visibility and Control in Ansible Automation

December 10, 2023
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Ansible, an open-source automation tool, is renowned for its ability to streamline IT tasks and configuration management. One of Ansible’s powerful features is its extensible callback system, which allows users to capture and handle events triggered during playbook execution. In this article, we’ll delve into the ansible.builtin.tree callback, introduced in Ansible-core version 2.11, and explore how it can be utilized to save host events to files.

Understanding the Callback Parameters

directory Parameter

The directory parameter is a crucial component of the ansible.builtin.tree callback. It specifies the path to the directory where per-host JSON files will be saved. When using ad-hoc commands, this directory can be set using the --tree option. The default directory is “~/.ansible/tree.”

Let’s break down the relevant details:

Practical Example

To illustrate the usage of the ansible.builtin.tree callback, consider the following example playbook and configuration:

Inventory (inventory)

localhost ansible_connection=local

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Playbook (ping.yml)

- name: Ping module demo
  hosts: all
    - name: Test connection

Ansible Configuration (ansible.cfg)


directory = ~/.ansible/tree

In this example:


When the playbook is executed, the ansible.builtin.tree callback will save host events to per-host JSON files in the specified directory (~/.ansible/tree in this case). This information can be invaluable for troubleshooting, auditing, and reviewing the execution flow of Ansible playbooks.

By utilizing this callback, users can gain insights into the details of each host’s execution, providing a structured and organized way to capture events during playbook runs.

cat ~/.ansible/tree/localhost    
{"changed": false, "ping": "pong"}


In conclusion, the ansible.builtin.tree callback is a powerful tool for saving host events to files, enhancing Ansible’s capabilities for logging and analysis. Users can leverage this feature to improve the transparency and traceability of their automation workflows. As Ansible continues to evolve, exploring and understanding such features becomes essential for mastering the tool’s capabilities.

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