Ansible Pilot

Copy files from remote hosts - Remote to Local - Ansible module fetch

Copying Files from Remote Hosts with Ansible Fetch Module

Learn how to use Ansible's fetch module to copy files from remote hosts with a practical, real-life playbook example.
August 12, 2021
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How to copy files from remote hosts with Ansible?

I’m going to show you a live demo with some simple Ansible code. I’m Luca Berton and welcome to today’s episode of Ansible Pilot

Ansible copy files from remote hosts

Today we’re talking about Ansible module fetch. The full name is ansible.builtin.fetch which means is part of the collection of modules “builtin” with ansible and shipped with it. This module is pretty stable and out for years. The purpose is to copy files from remote locations. Please note that the opposite is done by Ansible copy module.


The parameter list is pretty wide but I’ll summarize the most useful.

The only required parameter is “dest” which specifies a directory to save the file into and the “src” specifies the source files in the remote hosts. It must be a file, not a directory.

The “fail_on_missing” boolean is set to true so the task is going to fail if the file doesn’t exist.

The file is going to be transferred and validate in the source and the destination with a checksum. If we don’t want this behavior we could override with the “validate_checksum” option.

The “flat” option allows you to override the default behavior of appending hostname/path/to/file to the destination.


Let’s jump in a real-life playbook to copy files from remote hosts with Ansible

- name: fetch module demo
  hosts: all
  become: true
    log_file: "/var/log/messages"
    dump_dir: "logs"
    - name: fetch log
        src: "{{ log_file }}"
        dest: "{{ dump_dir }}"

code with ❤️ in GitHub


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