Read an environment variable — Ansible lookup plugin env

How to automate the reading of HOME environmental variable and use it in your Ansible Playbook code with lookup plugin env.

Luca Berton

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How to read an environment variable on Ansible Controller with Ansible?
I’m going to show you a live demo with some simple Ansible code.
I’m Luca Berton and welcome to today’s episode of Ansible Pilot.

Ansible read an environment variable

  • ansible.builtin.env
  • Read the value of environment variables

Let’s deep dive into the Ansible lookup plugin env.
Plugins are a way to expand the Ansible functionality. With lookup plugins specifically, you can load variables or templates with information from external sources.
The full name is `ansible.builtin.env`, it’s part of `ansible-core` and is included in all Ansible installations.
The purpose of the `env` lookup plugin is to read the value of environment variables.

Parameters and Return Value

Parameters

  • _terms string — Environment variable

Return Values

  • _raw list — Values from the environment variables

The parameters of plugin env.

The only required parameter is the default “_terms”, with the name of the environment variable to read.

The normal usage is to assign the lookup plugin to a variable name but you could use it in your Ansible task directly.

demo

Read an environment variable with Ansible Playbook.

code

---
- name: environment demo
hosts: all
tasks:
- name: display HOME
ansible.builtin.debug:
msg: "{{ lookup('env', 'HOME') }}"

execution

ansible-pilot $ printenv | grep HOME
HOME=/Users/lberton
ansible-pilot $…

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Luca Berton

I help creative Automation DevOps, Cloud Engineer, System Administrator, and IT Professional to succeed with Ansible Technology to automate more things everyday