/Ansible 2.9

IOS-XR Platform Options

IOS-XR supports multiple connections. This page offers details on how each connection works in Ansible and how to use it.


Connections Available



only for modules iosxr_banner, iosxr_interface, iosxr_logging, iosxr_system, iosxr_user

Protocol SSH XML over SSH

uses SSH keys / SSH-agent if present

accepts -u myuser -k if using password

uses SSH keys / SSH-agent if present

accepts -u myuser -k if using password

Indirect Access via a bastion (jump host) via a bastion (jump host)
Connection Settings ansible_connection: network_cli ansible_connection: netconf
Enable Mode
(Privilege Escalation)
not supported not supported
Returned Data Format Refer to individual module documentation Refer to individual module documentation

For legacy playbooks, Ansible still supports ansible_connection=local on all IOS-XR modules. We recommend modernizing to use ansible_connection=netconf or ansible_connection=network_cli as soon as possible.

Using CLI in Ansible

Example CLI inventory [iosxr:vars]

ansible_ssh_common_args='-o ProxyCommand="ssh -W %h:%p -q bastion01"'
  • If you are using SSH keys (including an ssh-agent) you can remove the ansible_password configuration.
  • If you are accessing your host directly (not through a bastion/jump host) you can remove the ansible_ssh_common_args configuration.
  • If you are accessing your host through a bastion/jump host, you cannot include your SSH password in the ProxyCommand directive. To prevent secrets from leaking out (for example in ps output), SSH does not support providing passwords via environment variables.

Example CLI Task

- name: Retrieve IOS-XR version
    commands: show version
  when: ansible_network_os == 'iosxr'

Using NETCONF in Ansible

Enabling NETCONF

Before you can use NETCONF to connect to a switch, you must:

  • install the ncclient python package on your control node(s) with pip install ncclient
  • enable NETCONF on the Cisco IOS-XR device(s)

To enable NETCONF on a new switch via Ansible, use the iosxr_netconf module via the CLI connection. Set up your platform-level variables just like in the CLI example above, then run a playbook task like this:

- name: Enable NETCONF
  connection: network_cli
  when: ansible_network_os == 'iosxr'

Once NETCONF is enabled, change your variables to use the NETCONF connection.

Example NETCONF inventory [iosxr:vars]

ansible_password=!vault |
ansible_ssh_common_args='-o ProxyCommand="ssh -W %h:%p -q bastion01"'

Example NETCONF Task

- name: Configure hostname and domain-name
    hostname: iosxr01
    domain_name: test.example.com
      - ansible.com
      - redhat.com
      - cisco.com


Never store passwords in plain text. We recommend using SSH keys to authenticate SSH connections. Ansible supports ssh-agent to manage your SSH keys. If you must use passwords to authenticate SSH connections, we recommend encrypting them with Ansible Vault.

© 2012–2018 Michael DeHaan
© 2018–2019 Red Hat, Inc.
Licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3.