Uploading a SARIF file to GitHub

You can upload SARIF files generated outside GitHub and see code scanning alerts from third-party tools in your repository.

People with write permissions to a repository can upload code scanning data generated outside GitHub.

Code scanning is available in public repositories, and in private repositories owned by organizations with an Advanced Security license. For more information, see "GitHub's products."

In this article

About SARIF file uploads for code scanning

GitHub creates code scanning alerts in a repository using information from Static Analysis Results Interchange Format (SARIF) files. SARIF files can be uploaded to a repository using the API or GitHub Actions. For more information, see "Managing code scanning alerts for your repository."

You can generate SARIF files using many static analysis security testing tools, including CodeQL. The results must use SARIF version 2.1.0. For more information, see "About SARIF support for code scanning."

You can upload the results using GitHub Actions, the code scanning API, or the CodeQL runner. The best upload method will depend on how you generate the SARIF file, for example, if you use:

  • GitHub Actions to run the CodeQL action, there is no further action required. The CodeQL action uploads the SARIF file automatically when it completes analysis.
  • GitHub Actions to run a SARIF-compatible analysis tool, you could update the workflow to include a final step that uploads the results (see below).
  • The CodeQL runner, to run code scanning in your CI system, by default the runner automatically uploads results to GitHub on completion. If you block the automatic upload, when you are ready to upload results you can use the upload command (for more information, see "Running code scanning in your CI system").
  • A tool that generates results as an artifact outside of your repository, you can use the code scanning API to upload the file (for more information, see "Upload a SARIF file").

Uploading a code scanning analysis with GitHub Actions

To use GitHub Actions to upload a third-party SARIF file to a repository, you'll need a workflow. For more information, see "Learn GitHub Actions" and "Learn GitHub Actions."

Your workflow will need to use the upload-sarif action, which is part of the github/codeql-action repository. It has input parameters that you can use to configure the upload. The main input parameter you'll use is sarif-file, which configures the file or directory of SARIF files to be uploaded. The directory or file path is relative to the root of the repository. For more information see the upload-sarif action.

The upload-sarif action can be configured to run when the push and scheduled event occur. For more information about GitHub Actions events, see "Events that trigger workflows."

If your SARIF file doesn't include partialFingerprints, the upload-sarif action will calculate the partialFingerprints field for you and attempt to prevent duplicate alerts. GitHub can only create partialFingerprints when the repository contains both the SARIF file and the source code used in the static analysis. For more information about preventing duplicate alerts, see "About SARIF support for code scanning."

Example workflow for SARIF files generated outside of a repository

You can create a new workflow that uploads SARIF files after you commit them to your repository. This is useful when the SARIF file is generated as an artifact outside of your repository.

This example workflow runs anytime commits are pushed to the repository. The action uses the partialFingerprints property to determine if changes have occurred. In addition to running when commits are pushed, the workflow is scheduled to run once per week. For more information, see "Events that trigger workflows."

This workflow uploads the results.sarif file located in the root of the repository. For more information about creating a workflow file, see "Learn GitHub Actions."

Alternatively, you could modify this workflow to upload a directory of SARIF files. For example, you could place all SARIF files in a directory in the root of your repository called sarif-output and set the action's input parameter sarif_file to sarif-output.

name: "Upload SARIF"

# Run workflow each time code is pushed to your repository and on a schedule.
# The scheduled workflow runs every at 00:00 on Sunday UTC time.
on:
  push:
  schedule:
  - cron: '0 0 * * 0'

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
    # This step checks out a copy of your repository.
    - name: Checkout repository
      uses: actions/checkout@v2
    - name: Upload SARIF file
      uses: github/codeql-action/upload-sarif@v1
      with:
        # Path to SARIF file relative to the root of the repository
        sarif_file: results.sarif

Example workflow that runs the ESLint analysis tool

If you generate your third-party SARIF file as part of a continuous integration (CI) workflow, you can add the upload-sarif action as a step after running your CI tests. If you don't already have a CI workflow, you can create one using a GitHub Actions template. For more information, see the "GitHub Actions quickstart."

This example workflow runs anytime commits are pushed to the repository. The action uses the partialFingerprints property to determine if changes have occurred. In addition to running when commits are pushed, the workflow is scheduled to run once per week. For more information, see "Events that trigger workflows."

The workflow shows an example of running the ESLint static analysis tool as a step in a workflow. The Run ESLint step runs the ESLint tool and outputs the results.sarif file. The workflow then uploads the results.sarif file to GitHub using the upload-sarif action. For more information about creating a workflow file, see "Introduction to GitHub Actions."

name: "ESLint analysis"

# Run workflow each time code is pushed to your repository and on a schedule.
# The scheduled workflow runs every at 00:00 on Sunday UTC time.
on:
  push:
  schedule:
  - cron: '0 0 * * 0'

jobs:
  build:
    steps:
    - uses: actions/checkout@v2
    - name: Run npm install
      run: npm install
    # Runs the ESlint code analysis
    - name: Run ESLint
      # eslint exits 1 if it finds anything to report
      run: node_modules/.bin/eslint build docs lib script spec-main -f node_modules/@microsoft/eslint-formatter-sarif/sarif.js -o results.sarif || true
    # Uploads results.sarif to GitHub repository using the upload-sarif action
    - uses: github/codeql-action/upload-sarif@v1
      with:
        # Path to SARIF file relative to the root of the repository
        sarif_file: results.sarif

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