Ansible Pilot

Simplify Ansible Output with the community.general.dense Callback Plugin

Optimizing Output with community.general.dense Callback Plugin.

December 12, 2023
Access the Complete Video Course and Learn Quick Ansible by 200+ Practical Lessons


Ansible, an open-source automation tool, simplifies complex IT tasks by orchestrating configuration management, application deployment, and task automation. One of the essential features of Ansible is its ability to provide feedback on the tasks it performs through output messages. In certain scenarios, especially when dealing with large-scale automation or integrating Ansible with other tools, reducing the verbosity of the output becomes crucial. This is where Ansible callback plugins come into play.

Understanding Ansible Inventory and Playbooks

Before diving into callback plugins, let’s quickly revisit the basic components of an Ansible setup: the inventory file and playbooks.


The inventory file defines the hosts on which Ansible will perform tasks. In the example, we see a simple inventory file with the localhost defined as the target host.

# inventory
localhost ansible_connection=local

Playbook (ping.yml)

A playbook is a YAML file that outlines a set of tasks to be executed on specified hosts. In this example, we have a playbook named ping.yml that tests the connection to the hosts using the Ansible ping module.

# ping.yml
- name: Ping module demo
  hosts: all
    - name: Test connection

Ansible Configuration (ansible.cfg)

The Ansible configuration file (ansible.cfg) allows users to customize various settings. In this case, the configuration includes a callback plugin configuration to control the output verbosity.

# ansible.cfg
callbacks_enabled = community.general.dense
stdout_callback = community.general.dense

Introducing community.general.dense Callback Plugin

The community.general.dense callback plugin is designed to minimize the standard output (stdout) of Ansible, providing a cleaner and more concise representation of task execution. Let’s explore how to leverage this plugin to streamline Ansible output.

Using community.general.dense Callback Plugin

To enable the community.general.dense callback plugin, include the following configuration in your ansible.cfg file:

callbacks_enabled = community.general.dense
stdout_callback = community.general.dense

This ensures that the dense callback plugin is set as the standard output callback.

Ansible Execution Without community.general.dense

When running an Ansible playbook without the community.general.dense callback plugin, the output can be verbose, displaying detailed information about each task.

ansible-playbook -i inventory ping.yml

The output includes information about the host, gathered facts, and the result of each task, making it suitable for debugging and detailed analysis.

The Best Resources For Ansible


Video Course

Printed Book


Ansible Execution With community.general.dense

By utilizing the community.general.dense callback plugin, the output becomes more concise, especially useful in scenarios where a brief summary is preferred.

ansible-playbook -i inventory ping.yml

The streamlined output, as shown in the example, provides a high-level overview of the playbook execution, summarizing the number of tasks executed and their outcomes.


This minimalistic representation is beneficial when dealing with a large number of tasks or integrating Ansible into systems where concise output is preferred.


Ansible callback plugins, such as community.general.dense, offer a flexible way to tailor the output of Ansible to suit different needs. By choosing the appropriate callback plugin, users can strike a balance between detailed information and streamlined summaries, optimizing their Ansible experience based on the specific requirements of their automation workflows.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel, Medium, and Website, X (formerly Twitter) to not miss the next episode of the Ansible Pilot.


Learn the Ansible automation technology with some real-life examples in my

My book Ansible By Examples: 200+ Automation Examples For Linux and Windows System Administrator and DevOps

BUY the Complete PDF BOOK to easily Copy and Paste the 250+ Ansible code

Want to keep this project going? Please donate

Access the Complete Video Course and Learn Quick Ansible by 200+ Practical Lessons
Follow me

Subscribe not to miss any new releases