Ansible copy module – Copy file and directory

In this article, you will see how we can create, install and remove and copy directories from one local to the remote host and set attributes like permission and ownership and different characteristics through copy module.

1.. About Copy Module

2. Quick Syntax for and ad-hoc command

3. Copy directories – Local to Remote

  1. Copy the directory’s content recursively with an example
  2. Copy the directory and its content recursive with the example

4. Copy a file to managed hosts and Set Attributes

The best resource to read about any is ansible documentation, where you list all modules through the ansible-doc -l command with option. You can read about copy through the below command.

# ansible-doc -l copy 

1. About Copy Module

The copy module copies files from one location to managed host locations, it is similar to the file module. The copy can also set permission and other attributes like ownership, group ownership, links, etc. If would you like to copy files from a remote location to the local system then you will use the fetch module instead of copy module.

Now We will try to give most of the expected examples for copy module. Below syntax of ad-hoc and example, some content string is copying into test file in opt directory. further, we will test through copy file to the remote host.

2. Quick Syntax for and ad-hoc command

Ad-hoc command syntax :

# ansible all -m copy -a 'content="Welcome to Tech Transit \n" dest=/opt/testfile '

You can learn more from the official website Ansible Doc

Using the ansible ad-hoc command copy create a test file inside the /opt directory and add the content string “Welcome to Tech Transit \n”.

Output:


srv1.techtransit.org | CHANGED => {
"ansible_facts": {
"discovered_interpreter_python": "/usr/libexec/platform-python"
},
"changed": true,
"checksum": "8bbb8b62fd12b14f0ee73a813e50b348f25226a3",
"dest": "/opt/testfile",
"gid": 0,
"group": "root",
"md5sum": "488908a815822c1fee0df0fbe81334c3",
"mode": "0644",
"owner": "root",
"secontext": "system_u:object_r:usr_t:s0",
"size": 25,
"src": "/home/techtransit/.ansible//ansible-tmp-1663502937.4805746-1244-152772706161681/source",
"state": "file",
"uid": 0
}

The value in “changed”: true, which means the file in opt is if not created then it will create and add text provided through command.

3 Copy directories – Local to Remote :


1. Copy the directory’s content recursively with an example :

 cat directorycontent.yml 
---
- name: Copy the directory’s content recursively with an example  
  hosts: all
  tasks:
    - name: Copy  techdir content in /srv/techtransit to remote host
      copy:
        src:  /home/techtransit/copytest/techdir/
        dest: /srv/techtransit 

The above is an example of copy-only content of techdir directory, not directory because of trailing / , when we implement trailing slash / then only files will copy.

2. Copy the directory and its content recursive with the example :


Now, the directory and content both will be copied to the remote server.

Below is the to copy a directory to the remote server.

 ---
- name: Copy the directory’s content recursively with an example  
  hosts: all
  tasks:
    - name: Copy  techdir content in /srv/techtransit to remote host
      copy:
        src:  /home/techtransit/copytest/techdir
        dest: /srv/techtransit

Now trailing slash has been remote from the old example. Now it should copy the directory to /srv/techtransit .

4. Copy a file to managed hosts and Set Attributes

Below is the sample which copies the local files to the remote-managed host.

---
- name: Copy file without forcefully
  hosts: all
  tasks:
    - name: Copy  srctest.txt as srcdest.txt in the /opt to remote host
      copy:
        src:  /home/techtransit/copytest/srctest.txt
        dest: /opt/srcdest.txt
        force: no 

We set no force argument, So this will not copy if the file will already exists. Now above will copy the srctest.txt file from the/home/techtransit location and copy it to all managed hosts into /opt destination with the name srcdest.txt.

About Sachin Gupta

I am a professional freelance contributor and founder of tech transit. Love to write and lover of education, culture, and community. I have been using it, setting, supporting, and maintaining it since 2009. rocks!

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