Quickstart for GitHub Actions

Add a GitHub Actions workflow to an existing repository in 5 minutes or less.

In this article

Did this doc help you?


You only need an existing GitHub repository to create and run a GitHub Actions workflow. In this guide, you'll add a workflow that lints multiple coding languages using the GitHub Super-Linter action. The workflow uses Super-Linter to validate your source code every time a new commit is pushed to your repository.

Creating your first workflow

  1. From your repository on GitHub, create a new file in the .github/workflows directory named superlinter.yml. For more information, see "Creating new files."

  2. Copy the following YAML contents into the superlinter.yml file. Note: If your default branch is not main, update the value of DEFAULT_BRANCH to match your repository's default branch name.

    name: Super-Linter
    # Run this workflow every time a new commit pushed to your repository
    on: push
      # Set the job key. The key is displayed as the job name
      # when a job name is not provided
        # Name the Job
        name: Lint code base
        # Set the type of machine to run on
        runs-on: ubuntu-latest
          # Checks out a copy of your repository on the ubuntu-latest machine
          - name: Checkout code
            uses: actions/checkout@v2
          # Runs the Super-Linter action
          - name: Run Super-Linter
            uses: github/super-linter@v3
              DEFAULT_BRANCH: main
              GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
  3. To run your workflow, scroll to the bottom of the page and select Create a new branch for this commit and start a pull request. Then, to create a pull request, click Propose new file.

    Commit workflow file

Committing the workflow file in your repository triggers the push event and runs your workflow.

Viewing your workflow results

  1. Under your repository name, click Actions.
    Actions tab in the main repository navigation
  2. In the left sidebar, click the workflow you want to see.
    Workflow list in left sidebar
  3. From the list of workflow runs, click the name of the run you want to see.
    Name of workflow run
  4. In the left sidebar, click the Lint code base job.
    Lint code base job
  5. Expand the Run Super-Linter step to view the results.
    Super linter workflow results

More starter workflows

GitHub provides preconfigured workflow templates that you can start from to automate or create a continuous integration workflows. You can browse the full list of workflow templates in the actions/starter-workflows repository.

Next steps

The super-linter workflow you just added runs any time code is pushed to your repository to help you spot errors and inconsistencies in your code. But, this is only the beginning of what you can do with GitHub Actions. Your repository can contain multiple workflows that trigger different jobs based on different events. GitHub Actions can help you automate nearly every aspect of your application development processes. Ready to get started? Here are some helpful resources for taking your next steps with GitHub Actions:

Did this doc help you?