In ansible, I would like to manipulate files/directories/archive that are composed or to composed like this:

How would I do that. It seem Ansible is not able to handler that. (I doubt). So, what I do wrong ?


- name: create file with a date in name
  file: path=/path/somefile.`date +%y_%m_%d`

- name: unzip a file
  unarchive: path=/path/zomezip.`date +%y_%m_%d`.tar.gz bla bla....

Set a variable, then use it with Ansible's Jinja2 templating system (it looks like you're trying to do PHP with the dot operator and the backticks)

    date: "{{ lookup('pipe', 'date +%Y%m%d-%H%M') }}"
  - name: create file with a date in name
    file: path="/path/somefile{{ date }}"

Or use the lookup itself in the templates:

  - name: create file with a date in name
    file: path="/path/somefile{{ lookup('pipe', 'date +%Y%m%d-%H%M') }}"
  • Yeah ! This is exactly what I was looking for ! Thank`s a lot ! – yield Oct 13 '15 at 16:26
  • one problem I had with this approach: the var seems to be more like a macro than a thing that executes once and caches. using it multiple times during one run and I got different answers. (this was from a var in a playbook) – tenpn Feb 21 '17 at 11:39
  • 1
    @tenpn for that you would have to set fact (store into variable) like: - set_fact: my_time: "{{ lookup('pipe', 'date +%Y%m%d-%H%M') }}" – jhutar Jun 29 '17 at 8:45

Starting with 2.4, you can also use the strftime filter (doc):

# Display year-month-day
{{ '%Y-%m-%d' | strftime }}

# Display hour:min:sec
{{ '%H:%M:%S' | strftime }}

# Use ansible_date_time.epoch fact
{{ '%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S' | strftime(ansible_date_time.epoch) }}

# Use arbitrary epoch value
{{ '%Y-%m-%d' | strftime(0) }}          # => 1970-01-01

You could try..

  - a_timestamp: "{{ timestamp.stdout }}"

  - name: Get a timestamp
    command: date +%Y%m%d%H%M%S
    register: timestamp

then add the variable where needed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.