You've probably read thatAnsibleuses by default paramikofor the SSH connections to the host(s) you want to manage. But since 0.5 (quite some ago now ...) Ansible can use plain openssh binary as a transport. Why ? simple reasons : you sometimes have complex scenario and you can for example declare a ProxyCommandin your \~/.ssh/config if you need to use a JumpHost to reach the real host you want to connect to. That's fine and I was using that for some of the hosts i have to managed (specifying -c ssh when calling ansible, but having switched to a bash alias containing that string and also -i /path/to/my/inventory for those hosts).

It's great but it can lead to strange results if you don't have a full look at what's happening in the background. Here is the situation I just had yesterday : one of the remote hosts is reachable, but not a standard port (aka tcp/22) so an entry in my \~/.ssh/config was containing both HostName (for the known FQDN of the host I had to point to, not the host i wanted to reach) and Port.

Host myremotehost
Port 2222

With such entry, I was able to just "ssh user@myremotehost" and was directly on the remote box. "ansible -c ssh  -m ping myremotehost" was happy, but in fact was not reaching the host I was thinking : running "ansible -c ssh -m setup myremotehost -vvv" showed me that ansible_fqdn (one of the ansible facts) wasn't the correct one but instead the host in front of that machine (the one declared with HostName in \~/.ssh/config). The verbose mode showed me that even if you specify the Port in your \~/.ssh/config, ansible will *always* use port 22 :

\<myremotehost> EXEC ['ssh', '-tt', '-q', '-o', 'AddressFamily=inet', '-o', 'ControlMaster=auto', '-o', 'ControlPath=/tmp/ansible-ssh-%h-%p-%r', '-o', 'StrictHostKeyChecking=no', '-o', 'Port=22', '-o', 'User=root', 'myremotehost', 'mkdir -p /var/tmp/ansible-1351603527.81-16435744643257 && echo /var/tmp/ansible-1351603527.81-16435744643257']

Hmm, quickly resolved : a quick discussion with people hanging in the #ansible IRC channel (on explained the issue to me : Port is *never* being looked at in your \~/.ssh/config, even when using -c ssh. Solution is to specify the port in your inventory file, as a variable for that host :

myremotehost ansible_ssh_port=9999

In the same vein, you can also use ansible_ssh_host , this one corresponding to the HostName of your  \~/.ssh/config.

Hope that it can save you time, if you encounter the same "issue" one day ...