Appendix A. Working with files encrypted using Ansible Vault

Red Hat recommends encrypting the contents of deployment and management files that contain passwords and other sensitive information. Ansible Vault is one method of encrypting these files. More information about Ansible Vault is available in the Ansible documentation.

A.1. Encrypting files

You can create an encrypted file by using the ansible-vault create command, or encrypt an existing file by using the ansible-vault encrypt command.

When you create an encrypted file or encrypt an existing file, you are prompted to provide a password. This password is used to decrypt the file after encryption. You must provide this password whenever you work directly with information in this file or run a playbook that relies on the file’s contents.

Creating an encrypted file

$ ansible-vault create variables.yml
New Vault password:
Confirm New Vault password:

The ansible-vault create command prompts for a password for the new file, then opens the new file in the default text editor (defined as $EDITOR in your shell environment) so that you can populate the file before saving it.

If you have already created a file and you want to encrypt it, use the ansible-vault encrypt command.

Encrypting an existing file

$ ansible-vault encrypt existing-variables.yml
New Vault password:
Confirm New Vault password:
Encryption successful

A.2. Editing encrypted files

You can edit an encrypted file using the ansible-vault edit command and providing the Vault password for that file.

Editing an encrypted file

$ ansible-vault edit variables.yml
New Vault password:
Confirm New Vault password:

The ansible-vault edit command prompts for a password for the file, then opens the file in the default text editor (defined as $EDITOR in your shell environment) so that you can edit and save the file contents.

A.3. Rekeying encrypted files to a new password

You can change the password used to decrypt a file by using the ansible-vault rekey command.

$ ansible-vault rekey variables.yml
Vault password:
New Vault password:
Confirm New Vault password:
Rekey successful

The ansible-vault rekey command prompts for the current Vault password, and then prompts you to set and confirm a new Vault password.