Indrek Ots
by Indrek Ots
1 min read


  • articles


  • ansible
  • vagrant
  • provisioning

Notice! This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.

I have an Ansible playbook that I use to provision my virtual machine. Using the Ansible provisioner for Vagrant worked fine for me. But when I upgraded to Vagrant 1.8, Ansible failed because it could not SSH into the VM. On the other hand, running the playbook with anisble-playbook command seemed to work fine.

I was able to solve the problem by adding the force_remote_user setting to my Vagrantfile.

a.vm.provision :ansible do |ansible|
  ansible.playbook = 'site.yml'
  ansible.inventory_path = 'inventory/dev/hosts'
  ansible.force_remote_user = false

How did that solve the problem?

First of all, in my inventory file, I had specified which user Ansible should use when connecting via SSH. That’s all good, but Vagrant seemed to ignore that. Instead of the user I explicitly configured, the vagrant user was used. After going through Vagrant docs I found the following:

force_remote_user (boolean) - require Vagrant to set the ansible_ssh_user setting in the generated inventory, or as an extra variable when a static inventory is used. All the Ansible remote_user parameters will then be overridden by the value of config.ssh.username of the Vagrant SSH Settings. If this option is set to false Vagrant will set the Vagrant SSH username as a default Ansible remote user, but remote_user parameters of your Ansible plays or tasks will still be taken into account and thus override the Vagrant configuration.

The default value for this option is true and it was introduced in Vagrant 1.8. Versions prior to 1.8 acted as if this setting was set to false. So the obvious solution for me was to explicitly set this option to false.