How to do multiline shell script in Ansible?

Question:

right now I am using a shell script in ansible that would be much more readable if it was on multiple lines

Just not sure how to allow multiline script in Ansible shell module

Answer:

Ansible uses YAML syntax in its playbooks. YAML has a number of block operators:

  • The > is a folding block operator. That is, it joins multiple lines together by spaces. The following syntax:

    Would assign the value This text has multiple lines\n to key.
  • The | character is a literal block operator. This is probably what you want for multi-line shell scripts. The following syntax:

    Would assign the value This text\nhas multiple\nlines\n to key.

You can use this for multiline shell scripts like this:


There is one caveat: Ansible does some janky manipulation of arguments to the shell command, so while the above will generally work as expected, the following won’t:

Ansible will actually render that text with leading spaces, which means the shell will never find the string EOF at the beginning of a line. You can avoid Ansible’s unhelpful heuristics by using the cmd parameter like this:

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