Ansible: Add and remove crontab files


Ansible can be used to remotely configure cron entries or even create a crontab files in managed nodes.

The below example creates a crontab file named “/etc/cron.d/the-date-time” in the managed nodes.

First let us verify if the file already exists in the managed node.

[root@centosMYOBvm ~]# cat /etc/cron.d/the-date-time
cat: /etc/cron.d/the-date-time: No such file or directory

[root@centos9vm ~]# cat create_crontab_file.yml

= ======
– – –
– name: Playbook to create a cron file with a job
    hosts: testONE
    become: true
        – name: Task to create a crontab file with entry
                name: Add a crontab file
                cron_file: the-date-time
                minute: “*/1”
                hour: “9-16”
                weekday: “mon,tue,wed,thu,fri”
                job: “ls /var >> /home/user1/the_date_time_cron_job”
                user: user1
                state: present

==== ==

[root@centos9vm ~]# ansible-navigator run -m stdout create_crontab_file.yml

==== ==

PLAY [Playbook to create a cron file with a job] *******************************

TASK [Gathering Facts] *********************************************************
ok: []

TASK [Task to create a crontab file with entry] ********************************
changed: []

PLAY RECAP ********************************************************************* : ok=2 changed=1 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0

==== ==

Now let us verify the crontab file that got created

[root@centosMYOBvm ~]# cat /etc/cron.d/the-date-time
#Ansible: Add a crontab file
*/1     9-16     *     *         mon,tue,wed,thu,fri     user1     ls /var >> /home/user1/the_date_time_cron_job

==== ==

[root@centosMYOBvm ~]# tail -f /home/user1/the_date_time_cron_job


==== ====

In order to remove a crontab file a task similar to above needs to be written, but with the property status as absent.

name: Add date and time to a file
user: user1
cron_file: the-date-time
state: absent