From charlesreid1

Ansible Vaults are ways of storing encrypted, sensitive data like passwords or keys.


How does it work

To use ansible vault, you execute a command to tell ansible you want to create a vault (an encrypted chunk of plain text).

Ansible prompts you for a password, then opens a text editor, where you enter your sensitive information. This way, your sensitive information will only exist in a temporary buffer. When you are done editing, you save and close, and the file is automatically encrypted before being written to disk.

This encrypted data can be stored in a public place, as it can only be decrypted with the appropriate passphrase.

Side note: this is a useful guide:

Basic Usage

There are actually two ways to use encrypted variables: one is to create a standalone vault file; the other is to embed encrypted variables directly in yaml files.

We cover both methods below.

Standalone Vault File

To create a vault, call ansible-vault create foo.yml

This will prompt you for a password

To edit a vault, call ansible-vault edit foo.yml

To view a vault, call ansible-vault view foo.yml bar.yml baz.yml

Encrypted data embedded in yaml

To embed encrypted data directly into yaml, use the command line to encrypt a string, then copy and paste into the yaml file.

In the following command lines, the --vault-id a_password_file bit just specifies that

ansible-vault encrypt_string --vault-id  a_password_file  'foobar' --name 'the_secret'
^^^^^^^^^^^   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^   ^^^^^^          ^^^^^^^^^
the command   the action                 name of a file     secret value   secret key
                                         containing just
                                         plaintext password

Using a playbook with vault encrypted data

Example of a call to a playbook that uses vault-encrypted data:

ansible-playbook site.yml --ask-vault-pass

Alternative that uses a file containing the password:

ansible-playbook site.yml --vault-password-file ~/.vault_pass.txt

Third alternative is to use an environment variable:

ANSIBLE_VAULT_PASSWORD_FILE=~/.vault_pass.txt ansible-playbook site.yml