Ansible Pilot

Download a file - Ansible module get_url

How to download a tarball from URL, verify the checksum, assign some permission with Ansible

September 13, 2021
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How to download a file with Ansible?

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

Ansible download a file

Today we’re talking about the Ansible module get_url. The full name is ansible.builtin.get_url, which means that is part of the collection of modules “builtin” with ansible and shipped with it, part of ansible-core. It’s a module pretty stable and out for years. It works in a different variety of operating systems. It downloads files from HTTP, HTTPS, or FTP to node For Windows targets, use the module instead.

Main Parameters

This module has some parameters to perform any tasks. The two required parameters are url and dest. The url parameter specifies the URL of the resource you’re going to download. The dest parameter specifies the filesystem path where the resource is going to be saved on the target node. Let’s deep dive in the “force” parameter. If “dest” is a file, Ansible is going to download every time the file. If “dest” is a directory the default behavior is not to replace a file, until you toggle to yes the force parameter. The parameter “checksum” is very useful to validate the consistency of the downloaded file. You could specify the algorithm, usually sha1 or sha256, and directly the checksum or a URL for checksum. You might need the third-party hashlib library for access to additional algorithms. Another interesting parameter is “headers” which allow you to specify some custom HTTP headers. Ansible presents himself as “ansible-httpget” in the web server logs, but you cust customize it in the “http_agent” parameter. There are some additional parameters for authentication for example to handle HTTP basic authentication with username and password or for more complex GSSAPI-Kerberos scenarios using httplib2 Python library. Let me also highlight that we could also specify the permission and SELinux properties.

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Let’s jump in a real-life playbook on how to download a file with Ansible.

- name: get_url module demo
  hosts: all
  become: false
    myurl: ""
    mycrc: "sha256:"
    mydest: "/home/devops"
    - name: download file
        url: "{{ myurl }}"
        dest: "{{ mydest }}"
        checksum: "{{ mycrc }}"
        mode: '0644'
        owner: devops
        group: wheel

code with ❤️ in GitHub


Now you know how to download a tarball, verify the checksum, assign some permission with Ansible. Subscribe to the YouTube channel, Medium, and Website, X (formerly Twitter) to not miss the next episode of the Ansible Pilot.


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