Using Runner as a Python Module Interface to Ansible

Ansible Runner is intended to provide a directly importable and usable API for interfacing with Ansible itself and exposes a few helper interfaces.

The modules center around the Runner object. The helper methods will return an instance of this object which provides an interface to the results of executing the Ansible command.

Ansible Runner itself is a wrapper around Ansible execution and so adds plugins and interfaces to the system in order to gather extra information and process/store it for use later.

Helper Interfaces

The helper interfaces provides a quick way of supplying the recommended inputs in order to launch a Runner process.

run() helper function

When called, this function will take the inputs (either provided as direct inputs to the function or from the Runner Input Directory Hierarchy), and execute Ansible. It will run in the foreground and return the Runner object when finished.

run_async() helper function


Takes the same arguments as but will launch Ansible asynchronously and return a tuple containing the thread object and a Runner object. The Runner object can be inspected during execution.

The Runner object

The Runner object is returned as part of the execution of Ansible itself. Since it wraps both execution and output it has some helper methods for inspecting the results. Other than the methods and indirect properties, the instance of the object itself contains two direct properties:

  • rc will represent the actual return code of the Ansible process
  • status will represent the state and can be one of:
    • unstarted: This is a very brief state where the Runner task has been created but hasn’t actually started yet.
    • successfull: The ansible process finished successfully.
    • failed: The ansible process failed.


The Runner object contains a property ansible_runner.runner.Runner.stdout which will return an open file handle containing the stdout of the Ansible process. is a generator that will return the Playbook and Host Events as Python dict objects.


ansible_runner.runner.Runner.stats is a property that will return the final playbook stats event from Ansible in the form of a Python dict

Runner.host_events ansible_runner.runner.Runner.host_events() is a method that, given a hostname, will return a list of only Ansible event data executed on that Host.

Usage examples

import ansible_runner
r ='/tmp/demo', playbook='test.yml')
print("{}: {}".format(r.status, r.rc))
# successful: 0
for each_host_event in
print("Final status:")

Providing custom behavior and inputs


The helper methods are just one possible entrypoint, extending the classes used by these helper methods can allow a lot more custom behavior and functionality.


  • How Runner Config is used and how overriding the methods and behavior can work
  • Show how custom cancel and status callbacks can be supplied.