Ansible Inventory Variables – ansible_sftp_extra_args with Examples

Ansible Inventory Variables – ansible_sftp_extra_args with Examples

Ansible’s strength lies in its customization capabilities and extensive configuration options. This is evident when using the Ansible inventory file, a list of nodes managed by Ansible and a medium to specify numerous variables that control the behavior of Ansible operations. Within this file, the ansible_sftp_extra_args variable has a special significance. This blog post will provide an overview and practical examples of how to use the ansible_sftp_extra_args variable.

Understanding ansible_sftp_extra_args

The ansible_sftp_extra_args variable allows users to specify extra arguments to be passed to SFTP when Ansible connects to a target host. These options can include any additional SFTP flags or parameters you wish to use.

Defining ansible_sftp_extra_args in the Inventory File

To use ansible_sftp_extra_args, you need to define it in your inventory file. The format is alias ansible_host=your_actual_host ansible_user=your_user ansible_sftp_extra_args='your_arguments'. Here is an example:

Example with SFTP Extra Arguments

Suppose you have a server with the IP address, and you want Ansible to connect as the user deploy with specific SFTP options. Here’s how you’d define this in your inventory file:

In this example, Ansible will pass the specified ControlPath option to the SFTP command when connecting to my_server.

Using ansible_sftp_extra_args in a Playbook

Once you define ansible_sftp_extra_args in your inventory file, Ansible will use these extra SFTP arguments when it connects to the specified host. For example, consider the following playbook:

When you run this playbook, Ansible will connect to my_server (IP: as the deploy user with the specified SFTP arguments and perform the file upload operation.


The ansible_sftp_extra_args inventory variable allows you to specify extra SFTP arguments, providing enhanced control and flexibility when Ansible connects to your hosts. As you continue your Ansible journey, understanding and using these inventory variables can enhance your ability to manage complex automation tasks effectively.