Ansible: ansible_user in inventory vs remote_user in playbook

Question:

I am trying to run an Ansible playbook against a server using an account other than the one I am logged on the control machine. I tried to specify an ansible_user in the inventory file according to the documentation on Inventory:

However Ansible called with ansible-playbook -i inventory playbook.yml -vvvv prints the following:

What worked for me was adding the remote_user argument to the playbook:

Now the same Ansible command connects as user1:

Also adding remote_user variable to ansible.cfg makes Ansible use the intended user instead of the logged-on one.

Are the ansible_user in inventory file and remote_user in playbook/ansible.cfg for different purposes?

What is the ansible_user used for? Or why doesn’t Ansible observe the setting in the inventory?

Answer:

You’re likely running into a common issue: the published ansible docs are for the development version (2.0 right now), and we don’t keep the old ones around. It’s a big point of contention… Assuming you’re using something pre-2.0, the inventory var name you need is ansible_ssh_user. ansible_user works in 2.0 (as does ansible_ssh_user– it gets aliased in).

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