Ansible Pilot

Using Date, Time and Timestamp in Ansible Playbook - Ansible Tip and Tricks

How to use Date, Time, and Timestamp in ISO 8601 format in Ansible Playbook.
November 22, 2022
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How to Use Date, Time, and Timestamp in Ansible Playbook

Welcome to another episode of Ansible Pilot! I’m Luca Berton, and today we’re diving into the fascinating world of handling date, time, and timestamps in Ansible Playbooks. We’ll explore the ansible_date_time variable, conduct a live demo, and provide you with simple Ansible code to get started.

The ansible_date_time Variable

Ansible simplifies working with date and time information through the ansible_date_time variable. This built-in variable comes packed with a wealth of information, neatly organized into key-value pairs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key values it provides:

"ansible_date_time": {
    "date": "2022-05-18",
    "day": "18",
    "epoch": "1652887408",
    "hour": "15",
    "iso8601": "2022-05-18T15:23:28Z",
    "minute": "23",
    "month": "05",
    "second": "28",
    "time": "15:23:28",
    "tz": "UTC",
    "weekday": "Wednesday",
    "weekday_number": "3",
    "year": "2022"

These values cover everything from the current date, time, and timezone to more detailed information like the day of the week, month, and year. This data can be immensely useful in various scenarios within your Ansible Playbook.

One important note: to leverage the ansible_date_time variable, ensure that Ansible Facts are enabled in your playbook by including gather_facts: true.


Are you ready for a hands-on experience? Let’s jump into a quick live demo where we’ll showcase how to display the full ansible_date_time and the ISO8601 format.

Ansible Playbook Code

- name: date and time demo
  hosts: all
  gather_facts: true
    - name: date and time
        var: ansible_date_time
    - name: ISO8601
        var: ansible_date_time.iso8601


Run the following command to execute the playbook:

$ ansible-playbook -i inventory datetime_fact.yml

The output will provide detailed information about the current date and time, as well as the ISO8601 format.


Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to harness the power of date, time, and timestamp variables in your Ansible Playbooks. The ansible_date_time variable opens up a world of possibilities for managing time-related data effortlessly. Feel free to explore and integrate this knowledge into your automation workflows. Happy automating!

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