We would like to do different things on hosts that run Docker 1.12 than on Docker 1.10 in Ansible.

How can I obtain the version of Docker specified in my inventory, so that I can later say...

  • Fetch all hosts that run Docker 1.10 on environment Testing and run this Ansible playbook.

I don't know if it matters, but we mainly use VMware with CoreOS or CentOS installed on the virtual machines.


Here's an example how you could do what you want:

 - hosts: localhost
   remote_user: test
     - name: get docker version
       shell: "docker -v | cut -d ' ' -f 3 | cut -d ',' -f 1"
       register: version

     - debug: var=version.stdout

     - name: do something if version is 1.13.0
       shell: "echo it is 1.13.0"
       when: version.stdout == "1.13.0"

     - name: do nothing if version is 1.13.0
       shell: "echo nothing"
       when: version.stdout != "1.13.0"

You get the docker version and store it in a variable. Then with properly set conditions you can execute the tasks you need to. The output of the test playbook is:

[me@mac]$ ansible-playbook test.yml
 [WARNING]: Host file not found: /etc/ansible/hosts

 [WARNING]: provided hosts list is empty, only localhost is available

PLAY [localhost] ***************************************************************

TASK [setup] *******************************************************************
ok: [localhost]

TASK [get docker version] ******************************************************
changed: [localhost]

TASK [debug] *******************************************************************
ok: [localhost] => {
    "version.stdout": "1.13.0"

TASK [do something if version is 1.13.0] ***************************************
changed: [localhost]

TASK [do nothing if version is 1.13.0] *****************************************
skipping: [localhost]

PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************
localhost                  : ok=4    changed=2    unreachable=0    failed=0

I have docker 1.13.0. The playbook was run on my Mac, but it will work on CentOS too. Depending on permissions you might need to use sudo. Ansible version in the example is, but it will work on lower versions too.

You can run a similar playbook against your inventory, and do echo $HOSTNAME for all hosts which have the desired docker version - that way you will gather the information you need. Of course you may omit the output with grep.


local_facts might be an option here:

Create a file on the target systems /etc/ansible/facts.d/apps.fact with content:


The variable should than be available in Ansible as {{ ansible_local.apps.docker.version }}

You might want to update the facts file with the role used to install docker.


This is the approach I chose:

    - name: docker server version
      shell: "docker version --format '{{ '{{' }}.Server.Version{{ '}}' }}'" 
      register: docker_server_version
      changed_when: False

The --format option of the docker-version command allows you to select a json key, in this case I wanted to check the version of the server.

The problem is that the docker-version command requires the use of '{{' and '}}', for you to escape them, one option would be the following:

'{{ '{{' }}.Server.Version{{ '}}' }}'

This is explained in the jinja2 documentation: https://jinja.palletsprojects.com/en/master/templates/#escaping

Hope it helps!

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.