A vim plugin for syntax highlighting Ansible's common filetypes
VimL Python
Latest commit 8540ad7 Oct 27, 2016 @pearofducks committed on GitHub Merge pull request #27 from robinro/add-path-files-templates
Add 'templates' and 'files' directories to path



This is a vim syntax plugin for Ansible 2.0, it supports YAML playbooks, Jinja2 templates, and Ansible's hosts files.

  • YAML playbooks are detected if:
    • they are in the group_vars or host_vars folder
    • they are in the tasks, roles, or handlers folder and have either a .yml or .yaml suffix
    • they are named playbook.y(a)ml, site.y(a)ml, or main.y(a)ml
  • Jinja2 templates are detected if they have a .j2 suffix
  • Files named hosts will be treated as Ansible hosts files

You can also set the filetype to ansible, ansible_template, or ansible_hosts if auto-detection does not work (e.g. :set ft=ansible). Note: If you want to detect a custom pattern of your own, you can easily add this in your .vimrc using this method - you do not need to fork just to do this! :)

This plugin should be quite reliable, as it sources the original formats and simply modifies the highlights as appropriate. This also enables a focus on simplicity and configurability instead of patching bad syntax detection.

examples (with solarized colorscheme)
Bright (and selective highlight) Dim

Use your favorite plugin manager, or try vim-plug if you're looking for a really nice one!

vim-plug: Plug 'pearofducks/ansible-vim'

vundle: Plugin 'pearofducks/ansible-vim'

pathogen: git clone https://github.com/pearofducks/ansible-vim ~/.vim/bundle/ansible-vim



let g:ansible_extra_syntaxes = "sh.vim ruby.vim"

The space-separated options specified must be the actual syntax files, not the filetype - typically these are in something like /usr/share/vim/syntax. For example Bash is not bash.vim but seems to live in sh.vim.

This flag enables extra syntaxes to be loaded for Jinja2 templates. If you frequently work with specific filetypes in Ansible, this can help get highlighting in those files.

This will always load these syntaxes for all .j2 files, and should be considered a bit of a (temporary?) hack/workaround.


let g:ansible_attribute_highlight = "ob"

Ansible modules use a key=value format for specifying module-attributes in playbooks. This highlights those as specified. This highlight option is also used when highlighting key/value pairs in hosts files.

Available flags (bold are defaults):

  • a: highlight all instances of key=
  • o: highlight only instances of key= found on newlines
  • d: dim the instances of key= found
  • b: brighten the instances of key= found
  • n: turn this highlight off completely

let g:ansible_name_highlight = 'd'

Ansible modules commonly start with a name: key for self-documentation of playbooks. This option enables/changes highlight of this.

Available flags (this feature is off by default):

  • d: dim the instances of name: found
  • b: brighten the instances of name: found

let g:ansible_extra_keywords_highlight = 1

Note: This option is enabled when set, and disabled when not set.

Highlight the following additional keywords in playbooks: register always_run changed_when failed_when no_log args vars delegate_to ignore_errors

By default we only highlight: include until retries delay when only_if become become_user block rescue always notify

bugs, suggestions/requests, & contributions


It's unlikely that there will be bugs in highlighting that don't exist in the core format. Where appropriate these will be fixed in this plugin, but if the problem is with the original syntax we should probably focus on fixing that instead.

Indenting a full document - e.g with gg=G - will not be supported and is not a goal of this plugin (unless someone else develops it!). Please do not file a bug report on this.


Suggestions for improvements are welcome, pull-requests with completed features even more so. :)


Thanks to:

  • The developers of salt-vim for parts of the original YAML implementation this is based on