How to Update Ansible Inventory Dynamically?

How to Update Ansible Inventory Dynamically?

Ansible, a powerful open-source automation tool, enables IT professionals to manage and configure systems efficiently. One of its key components is the inventory, a file containing information about the systems Ansible manages. In dynamic environments where hosts frequently change or scale, manually updating the inventory file can be tedious and error-prone. This article will guide you through the process of dynamically updating Ansible inventory, ensuring your automation remains agile and responsive.

1. Understanding Dynamic Inventory:

Ansible supports dynamic inventories, allowing you to generate or pull inventory information dynamically from external sources like cloud providers, databases, or custom scripts. Dynamic inventories provide flexibility in managing hosts in dynamic environments.

2. Configuring Dynamic Inventory:

To configure dynamic inventory, create a script that outputs JSON or YAML with host information. Ansible will then parse this output and use it as the inventory. Below is an example Python script, '':

#!/usr/bin/env python
import json

# Your logic to fetch dynamic inventory information goes here

inventory_data = {
'_meta': {
'hostvars': {}
'all': {
'hosts': ['host1', 'host2'],
'children': ['web', 'db']
'web': {
'hosts': ['host1']
'db': {
'hosts': ['host2']


3. Making the Script Executable:

Make the script executable:

chmod +x

4. Testing the Dynamic Inventory:

Test the dynamic inventory script to ensure it produces the expected output:

./ --list

This command should display the dynamic inventory in JSON format.

5. Integrating Dynamic Inventory with Ansible:

Edit your Ansible configuration file (ansible.cfg) to point to the dynamic inventory script:

inventory = /path/to/

6. Running Ansible Playbooks:

Now, you can run Ansible playbooks as usual, and they will use the dynamically generated inventory. For example:

ansible-playbook -i your_playbook.yml

7. Advanced Dynamic Inventory:

Enhance your dynamic inventory script to fetch information from your infrastructure, cloud providers, or external systems. Leverage environment variables and authentication mechanisms to secure sensitive data.

Updating Ansible inventory dynamically provides a scalable and efficient way to manage hosts in dynamic environments. By integrating dynamic inventories, you ensure that your automation workflows remain adaptable to changes, reducing manual efforts and minimizing the risk of errors.

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