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Ansible Inventory from VMWare

Published: 06-01-2014 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article

Table of Contents

This is a simple script which lets you use VMWare vCenter as a dynamic inventory for Ansible.

Github repository
Official Website

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Install PySphere:

pip install -U pysphere

Edit the script's login data and VCenter server FQDN:

server_fqdn = ""
server_username = "jdoe"
server_password = "secure_passw0rd"

Test it:

Get all powered on VM's:

python2 --list


    "no_group": {
        "hosts": [
    "local": [

Get one VM:

python2 --host vm0032


    "admin": "",
    "source_database": "VMWare"

Nonexistent VM:

python2 --host nonexist


[Error]: [Object Not Found]: Could not find a VM named 'notexist'

Do a simple ansible ping:

ANSIBLE_HOSTS="/home/remy/git/vmware-ansible/" ansible all -m ping


vm0032 | success >> {
    "changed": false,
    "ping": "pong"

vm0034 | success >> {
    "changed": false,
    "ping": "pong"


Either export the ANSIBLE_HOSTS variable to always use the VMWare inventory:

export ANSIBLE_HOSTS="/home/remy/git/vmware-ansible/"

Or preface each ansible command:

ANSIBLE_HOSTS="/home/remy/git/vmware-ansible/" ansible all -m apt -a "upgrade=safe"


Tested with both vCenter 5.1 and 5.5, Python 2.

Does not support grouping by datacenter or resource group

Thanks to JP Mens's article for the inspiration.

Tags: ansible , deployment , devops , python , software , vmware