Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions

A workflow is a configurable automated process made up of one or more jobs. You must create a YAML file to define your workflow configuration.

GitHub Actions is available with GitHub Free, GitHub Pro, GitHub Free for organizations, GitHub Team, GitHub Enterprise Cloud, and GitHub One. GitHub Actions is not available for private repositories owned by accounts using legacy per-repository plans. For more information, see "GitHub's products."

In this article

About YAML syntax for workflows

Workflow files use YAML syntax, and must have either a .yml or .yaml file extension. If you're new to YAML and want to learn more, see "Learn YAML in five minutes."

You must store workflow files in the .github/workflows directory of your repository.

Usage limits

There are some limits on GitHub Actions usage, and will vary depending on whether you use GitHub-hosted or self-hosted runners. These limits are subject to change.

  • Job execution time - Each job in a workflow can run for up to 6 hours of execution time. If a job reaches this limit, the job is terminated and fails to complete. This limit does not apply to self-hosted runners.

  • Workflow run time - Each workflow run is limited to 72 hours. If a workflow run reaches this limit, the workflow run is cancelled. This limit also applies to self-hosted runners.

  • Job queue time - Each job for self-hosted runners can be queued for a maximum of 24 hours. If a self-hosted runner does not start executing the job within this limit, the job is terminated and fails to complete. This limit does not apply to GitHub-hosted runners.

  • API requests - You can execute up to 1000 API requests in an hour across all actions within a repository. If exceeded, additional API calls will fail, which might cause jobs to fail. This limit also applies to self-hosted runners.

  • Concurrent jobs - The number of concurrent jobs you can run in your account depends on your GitHub plan, as indicated in the following table. If exceeded, any additional jobs are queued. There are no concurrency limits for self-hosted runners.

    GitHub planTotal concurrent jobsMaximum concurrent macOS jobs
    Free205
    Pro405
    Team605
    Enterprise18050
  • Job matrix - A job matrix can generate a maximum of 256 jobs per workflow run. This limit also applies to self-hosted runners.

name

The name of your workflow. GitHub displays the names of your workflows on your repository's actions page. If you omit name, GitHub sets it to the workflow file path relative to the root of the repository.

on

Required The name of the GitHub event that triggers the workflow. You can provide a single event string, array of events, array of event types, or an event configuration map that schedules a workflow or restricts the execution of a workflow to specific files, tags, or branch changes. For a list of available events, see "Events that trigger workflows."

Example using a single event
# Trigger on push
on: push
Example using a list of events
# Trigger the workflow on push or pull request
on: [push, pull_request]
Example using multiple events with activity types or configuration

If you need to specify activity types or configuration for an event, you must configure each event separately. You must append a colon (:) to all events, including events without configuration.

on:
  # Trigger the workflow on push or pull request,
  # but only for the master branch
  push:
    branches:
      - master
  pull_request:
    branches:
      - master
  # Also trigger on page_build, as well as release created events
  page_build:
  release:
    types: # This configuration does not affect the page_build event above
      - created

on.<event_name>.types

Selects the types of activity that will trigger a workflow run. Most GitHub events are triggered by more than one type of activity. For example, the event for the release resource is triggered when a release is published, unpublished, created, edited, deleted, or prereleased. The types keyword enables you to narrow down activity that causes the workflow to run. When only one activity type triggers a webhook event, the types keyword is unnecessary.

You can use an array of event types. For more information about each event and their activity types, see "Events that trigger workflows."

# Trigger the workflow on pull request activity
on:
  release:
    # Only use the types keyword to narrow down the activity types that will trigger your workflow.
    types: [published, created, edited]

on.<push|pull_request>.<branches|tags>

When using the push and pull_request events, you can configure a workflow to run on specific branches or tags. For a pull_request event, only branches and tags on the base are evaluated. If you define only tags or only branches, the workflow won't run for events affecting the undefined Git ref.

The branches, branches-ignore, tags, and tags-ignore keywords accept glob patterns that use the * and ** wildcard characters to match more than one branch or tag name. For more information, see the "Filter pattern cheat sheet."

Example including branches and tags

The patterns defined in branches and tags are evaluated against the Git ref's name. For example, defining the pattern mona/octocat in branches will match the refs/heads/mona/octocat Git ref. The pattern releases/** will match the refs/heads/releases/10 Git ref.

on:
  push:
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/heads
    branches:    
      # Push events on master branch
      - master
      # Push events to branches matching refs/heads/mona/octocat
      - 'mona/octocat'
      # Push events to branches matching refs/heads/releases/10
      - 'releases/**'
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/tags
    tags:        
      - v1             # Push events to v1 tag
      - v1.*           # Push events to v1.0, v1.1, and v1.9 tags

Example ignoring branches and tags

Anytime a pattern matches the branches-ignore or tags-ignore pattern, the workflow will not run. The patterns defined in branches-ignore and tags-ignore are evaluated against the Git ref's name. For example, defining the pattern mona/octocat in branches will match the refs/heads/mona/octocat Git ref. The pattern releases/**-alpha in branches will match the refs/releases/beta/3-alpha Git ref.

on:
  push:
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/heads
    branches-ignore:
      # Push events to branches matching refs/heads/mona/octocat
      - 'mona/octocat'
      # Push events to branches matching refs/heads/releases/beta/3-alpha
      - 'releases/**-alpha'
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/tags
    tags-ignore:
      - v1.*           # Push events to tags v1.0, v1.1, and v1.9

Excluding branches and tags

You can use two types of filters to prevent a workflow from running on pushes and pull requests to tags and branches.

  • branches or branches-ignore - You cannot use both the branches and branches-ignore filters for the same event in a workflow. Use the branches filter when you need to filter branches for positive matches and exclude branches. Use the branches-ignore filter when you only need to exclude branch names.
  • tags or tags-ignore - You cannot use both the tags and tags-ignore filters for the same event in a workflow. Use the tags filter when you need to filter tags for positive matches and exclude tags. Use the tags-ignore filter when you only need to exclude tag names.

Example using positive and negative patterns

You can exclude tags and branches using the ! character. The order that you define patterns matters.

  • A matching negative pattern (prefixed with !) after a positive match will exclude the Git ref.
  • A matching positive pattern after a negative match will include the Git ref again.

The following workflow will run on pushes to releases/10 or releases/beta/mona, but not on releases/10-alpha or releases/beta/3-alpha because the negative pattern !releases/**-alpha follows the positive pattern.

on:
  push:
    branches:    
    - 'releases/**'
    - '!releases/**-alpha'

on.<push|pull_request>.paths

When using the push and pull_request events, you can configure a workflow to run when at least one file does not match paths-ignore or at least one modified file matches the configured paths. Path filters are not evaluated for pushes to tags.

The paths-ignore and paths keywords accept glob patterns that use the * and ** wildcard characters to match more than one path name. For more information, see the "Filter pattern cheat sheet."

Example ignoring paths

Anytime a path name matches a pattern in paths-ignore, the workflow will not run. GitHub evaluates patterns defined in paths-ignore against the path name. A workflow with the following path filter will only run on push events that include at least one file outside the docs directory at the root of the repository.

on:
  push:
    paths-ignore:
    - 'docs/**'

Example including paths

If at least one path matches a pattern in the paths filter, the workflow runs. To trigger a build anytime you push a JavaScript file, you can use a wildcard pattern.

on:
  push:
    paths:
    - '**.js'

Excluding paths

You can exclude paths using two types of filters. You cannot use both of these filters for the same event in a workflow.

  • paths-ignore - Use the paths-ignore filter when you only need to exclude path names.
  • paths - Use the paths filter when you need to filter paths for positive matches and exclude paths.

Example using positive and negative patterns

You can exclude paths using the ! character. The order that you define patterns matters:

  • A matching negative pattern (prefixed with !) after a positive match will exclude the path.
  • A matching positive pattern after a negative match will include the path again.

This example runs anytime the push event includes a file in the sub-project directory or its subdirectories, unless the file is in the sub-project/docs directory. For example, a push that changed sub-project/index.js or sub-project/src/index.js will trigger a workflow run, but a push changing only sub-project/docs/readme.md will not.

on:
  push:
    paths:
    - 'sub-project/**'
    - '!sub-project/docs/**'

Git diff comparisons

Note: If you push more than 1,000 commits, or if GitHub does not generate the diff due to a timeout (diffs that are too large diffs), the workflow will always run.

The filter determines if a workflow should run by evaluating the changed files and running them against the paths-ignore or paths list. If there are no files changed, the workflow will not run.

GitHub generates the list of changed files using two-dot diffs for pushes and three-dot diffs for pull requests:

  • Pull requests: Three-dot diffs are a comparison between the most recent version of the topic branch and the commit where the topic branch was last synced with the base branch.
  • Pushes to existing branches: A two-dot diff compares the head and base SHAs directly with each other.
  • Pushes to new branches: A two-dot diff against the parent of the ancestor of the deepest commit pushed.

For more information, see "About comparing branches in pull requests."

on.schedule

You can schedule a workflow to run at specific UTC times using POSIX cron syntax. Scheduled workflows run on the latest commit on the default or base branch. The shortest interval you can run scheduled workflows is once every 5 minutes.

This example triggers the workflow every 15 minutes:

on:
  schedule:
    # * is a special character in YAML so you have to quote this string
    - cron:  '*/15 * * * *'

For more information about cron syntax, see "Events that trigger workflows."

env

A map of environment variables that are available to all jobs and steps in the workflow. You can also set environment variables that are only available to a job or step. For more information, see jobs.<job_id>.env and jobs.<job_id>.steps.env.

When more than one environment variable is defined with the same name, GitHub uses the most specific environment variable. For example, an environment variable defined in a step will override job and workflow variables with the same name, while the step executes. A variable defined for a job will override a workflow variable with the same name, while the job executes.

Example

env:
  SERVER: production

defaults

A map of default settings that will apply to all jobs in the workflow. You can also set default settings that are only available to a job. For more information, see jobs.<job_id>.defaults.

When more than one default setting is defined with the same name, GitHub uses the most specific default setting. For example, a default setting defined in a job will override a default setting that has the same name defined in a workflow.

defaults.run

You can provide default shell and working-directory options for all run steps in a workflow. You can also set default settings for run that are only available to a job. For more information, see jobs.<job_id>.defaults.run. You cannot use contexts or expressions in this keyword.

When more than one default setting is defined with the same name, GitHub uses the most specific default setting. For example, a default setting defined in a job will override a default setting that has the same name defined in a workflow.

Example

defaults:
  run:
    shell: bash
    working-directory: scripts

jobs

A workflow run is made up of one or more jobs. Jobs run in parallel by default. To run jobs sequentially, you can define dependencies on other jobs using the jobs.<job_id>.needs keyword.

Each job runs in an environment specified by runs-on.

You can run an unlimited number of jobs as long as you are within the workflow usage limits. For more information, see "Usage limits."

If you need to find the unique identifier of a job running in a workflow run, you can use the GitHub API. For more information, see "Workflow Jobs."

jobs.<job_id>

Each job must have an id to associate with the job. The key job_id is a string and its value is a map of the job's configuration data. You must replace <job_id> with a string that is unique to the jobs object. The <job_id> must start with a letter or _ and contain only alphanumeric characters, -, or _.

Example

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    name: My first job
  my_second_job:
    name: My second job

jobs.<job_id>.name

The name of the job displayed on GitHub.

jobs.<job_id>.needs

Identifies any jobs that must complete successfully before this job will run. It can be a string or array of strings. If a job fails, all jobs that need it are skipped unless the jobs use a conditional statement that causes the job to continue.

Example

jobs:
  job1:
  job2:
    needs: job1
  job3:
    needs: [job1, job2]

In this example, job1 must complete successfully before job2 begins, and job3 waits for both job1 and job2 to complete.

The jobs in this example run sequentially:

  1. job1
  2. job2
  3. job3

jobs.<job_id>.runs-on

Required The type of machine to run the job on. The machine can be either a GitHub-hosted runner, or a self-hosted runner.

GitHub-hosted runners

If you use a GitHub-hosted runner, each job runs in a fresh instance of a virtual environment specified by runs-on.

Available GitHub-hosted runner types are:

Virtual environmentYAML workflow label
Windows Server 2019windows-latest or windows-2019
Ubuntu 20.04ubuntu-20.04
Ubuntu 18.04ubuntu-latest or ubuntu-18.04
Ubuntu 16.04ubuntu-16.04
macOS Catalina 10.15macos-latest or macos-10.15

Note: The Ubuntu 20.04 virtual environment is currently provided as a preview only. The ubuntu-latest YAML workflow label still uses the Ubuntu 18.04 virtual environment.

Example
runs-on: ubuntu-latest

For more information, see "Virtual environments for GitHub-hosted runners."

Self-hosted runners

To specify a self-hosted runner for your job, configure runs-on in your workflow file with self-hosted runner labels.

All self-hosted runners have the self-hosted label, and you can select any self-hosted runner by providing only the self-hosted label. Alternatively, you can use self-hosted in an array with additional labels, such as labels for a specific operating system or system architecture, to select only the runner types you specify.

Example
runs-on: [self-hosted, linux]

For more information, see "About self-hosted runners" and "Using self-hosted runners in a workflow."

jobs.<jobs_id>.outputs

A map of outputs for a job. Job outputs are available to all downstream jobs that depend on this job. For more information on defining job dependencies, see jobs.<job_id>.needs.

Job outputs are strings, and job outputs containing expressions are evaluated on the runner at the end of each job. Outputs containing secrets are redacted on the runner and not sent to GitHub Actions.

To use job outputs in a dependent job, you can use the needs context. For more information, see "Context and expression syntax for GitHub Actions."

Example

jobs:
  job1:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    # Map a step output to a job output
    outputs:
      output1: ${{ steps.step1.outputs.test }}
      output2: ${{ steps.step2.outputs.test }}
    steps:
    - id: step1
      run: echo "::set-output name=test::hello"
    - id: step2
      run: echo "::set-output name=test::world"
  job2:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    needs: job1
    steps:
    - run: echo ${{needs.job1.outputs.output1}} ${{needs.job1.outputs.output2}}

jobs.<job_id>.env

A map of environment variables that are available to all steps in the job. You can also set environment variables for the entire workflow or an individual step. For more information, see env and jobs.<job_id>.steps.env.

When more than one environment variable is defined with the same name, GitHub uses the most specific environment variable. For example, an environment variable defined in a step will override job and workflow variables with the same name, while the step executes. A variable defined for a job will override a workflow variable with the same name, while the job executes.

Example

jobs:
  job1:
    env:
      FIRST_NAME: Mona

jobs.<job_id>.defaults

A map of default settings that will apply to all steps in the job. You can also set default settings for the entire workflow. For more information, see defaults.

When more than one default setting is defined with the same name, GitHub uses the most specific default setting. For example, a default setting defined in a job will override a default setting that has the same name defined in a workflow.

jobs.<job_id>.defaults.run

Provide default shell and working-directory to all run steps in the job. Context and expression are not allowed in this section.

You can provide default shell and working-directory options for all run steps in a job. You can also set default settings for run for the entire workflow. For more information, see jobs.defaults.run. You cannot use contexts or expressions in this keyword.

When more than one default setting is defined with the same name, GitHub uses the most specific default setting. For example, a default setting defined in a job will override a default setting that has the same name defined in a workflow.

Example

jobs:
  job1:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    defaults:
      run:
        shell: bash
        working-directory: scripts

jobs.<job_id>.if

You can use the if conditional to prevent a job from running unless a condition is met. You can use any supported context and expression to create a conditional.

When you use expressions in an if conditional, you may omit the expression syntax (${{ }}) because GitHub automatically evaluates the if conditional as an expression. For more information, see "Context and expression syntax for GitHub Actions."

jobs.<job_id>.steps

A job contains a sequence of tasks called steps. Steps can run commands, run setup tasks, or run an action in your repository, a public repository, or an action published in a Docker registry. Not all steps run actions, but all actions run as a step. Each step runs in its own process in the runner environment and has access to the workspace and filesystem. Because steps run in their own process, changes to environment variables are not preserved between steps. GitHub provides built-in steps to set up and complete a job.

You can run an unlimited number of steps as long as you are within the workflow usage limits. For more information, see "Usage limits."

Example

name: Greeting from Mona

on: push

jobs:
  my-job:
    name: My Job
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
    - name: Print a greeting
      env:
        MY_VAR: Hi there! My name is
        FIRST_NAME: Mona
        MIDDLE_NAME: The
        LAST_NAME: Octocat
      run: |
        echo $MY_VAR $FIRST_NAME $MIDDLE_NAME $LAST_NAME.

jobs.<job_id>.steps.id

A unique identifier for the step. You can use the id to reference the step in contexts. For more information, see "Context and expression syntax for GitHub Actions."

jobs.<job_id>.steps.if

You can use the if conditional to prevent a step from running unless a condition is met. You can use any supported context and expression to create a conditional.

When you use expressions in an if conditional, you may omit the expression syntax (${{ }}) because GitHub automatically evaluates the if conditional as an expression. For more information, see "Context and expression syntax for GitHub Actions."

Example using contexts

This step only runs when the event type is a pull_request and the event action is unassigned.

steps:
 - name: My first step
   if: ${{ github.event_name == 'pull_request' && github.event.action == 'unassigned' }}
   run: echo This event is a pull request that had an assignee removed.
Example using status check functions

The my backup step only runs when the previous step of a job fails. For more information, see "Context and expression syntax for GitHub Actions."

steps:
  - name: My first step
    uses: monacorp/action-name@master
  - name: My backup step
    if: ${{ failure() }}
    uses: actions/heroku@master

jobs.<job_id>.steps.name

A name for your step to display on GitHub.

jobs.<job_id>.steps.uses

Selects an action to run as part of a step in your job. An action is a reusable unit of code. You can use an action defined in the same repository as the workflow, a public repository, or in a published Docker container image.

We strongly recommend that you include the version of the action you are using by specifying a Git ref, SHA, or Docker tag number. If you don't specify a version, it could break your workflows or cause unexpected behavior when the action owner publishes an update.

  • Using the commit SHA of a released action version is the safest for stability and security.
  • Using the specific major action version allows you to receive critical fixes and security patches while still maintaining compatibility. It also assures that your workflow should still work.
  • Using the master branch of an action may be convenient, but if someone releases a new major version with a breaking change, your workflow could break.

Some actions require inputs that you must set using the with keyword. Review the action's README file to determine the inputs required.

Actions are either JavaScript files or Docker containers. If the action you're using is a Docker container you must run the job in a Linux environment. For more details, see runs-on.

Example using versioned actions
steps:    
  # Reference a specific commit
  - uses: actions/setup-node@74bc508
  # Reference the major version of a release
  - uses: actions/setup-node@v1
  # Reference a minor version of a release
  - uses: actions/setup-node@v1.2
  # Reference a branch
  - uses: actions/setup-node@master
Example using a public action

{owner}/{repo}@{ref}

You can specific branch, ref, or SHA in a public GitHub repository.

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: My first step
        # Uses the master branch of a public repository
        uses: actions/heroku@master
      - name: My second step
        # Uses a specific version tag of a public repository
        uses: actions/aws@v2.0.1
Example using a public action in a subdirectory

{owner}/{repo}/{path}@{ref}

A subdirectory in a public GitHub repository at a specific branch, ref, or SHA.

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: My first step
        uses: actions/aws/ec2@master
Example using action in the same repository as the workflow

./path/to/dir

The path to the directory that contains the action in your workflow's repository. You must check out your repository before using the action.

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: Check out repository
        uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Use local my-action
        uses: ./.github/actions/my-action
Example using a Docker Hub action

docker://{image}:{tag}

A Docker image published on Docker Hub.

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: My first step
        uses: docker://alpine:3.8
Example using a Docker public registry action

docker://{host}/{image}:{tag}

A Docker image in a public registry.

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: My first step
        uses: docker://gcr.io/cloud-builders/gradle

jobs.<job_id>.steps.run

Runs command-line programs using the operating system's shell. If you do not provide a name, the step name will default to the text specified in the run command.

Commands run using non-login shells by default. You can choose a different shell and customize the shell used to run commands. For more information, see "Using a specific shell."

Each run keyword represents a new process and shell in the runner environment. When you provide multi-line commands, each line runs in the same shell. For example:

  • A single-line command:

    - name: Install Dependencies
      run: npm install
    
  • A multi-line command:

    - name: Clean install dependencies and build
      run: |
        npm ci
        npm run build
    

Using the working-directory keyword, you can specify the working directory of where to run the command.

- name: Clean temp directory
  run: rm -rf *
  working-directory: ./temp
Using a specific shell

You can override the default shell settings in the runner's operating system using the shell keyword. You can use built-in shell keywords, or you can define a custom set of shell options.

Supported platformshell parameterDescriptionCommand run internally
AllbashThe default shell on non-Windows platforms with a fallback to sh. When specifying a bash shell on Windows, the bash shell included with Git for Windows is used.bash --noprofile --norc -eo pipefail {0}
AllpwshThe PowerShell Core. GitHub appends the extension .ps1 to your script name.pwsh -command "& '{0}'"
AllpythonExecutes the python command.python {0}
Linux / macOSshThe fallback behavior for non-Windows platforms if no shell is provided and bash is not found in the path.sh -e {0}
WindowscmdGitHub appends the extension .cmd to your script name and substitutes for {0}.%ComSpec% /D /E:ON /V:OFF /S /C "CALL "{0}"".
WindowspowershellThis is the default shell used on Windows. The Desktop PowerShell. GitHub appends the extension .ps1 to your script name.powershell -command "& '{0}'".
Example running a script using bash
steps:
  - name: Display the path
    run: echo $PATH
    shell: bash
Example running a script using Windows cmd
steps:
  - name: Display the path
    run: echo %PATH%
    shell: cmd
Example running a script using PowerShell Core
steps:
  - name: Display the path
    run: echo ${env:PATH}
    shell: pwsh
Example running a python script
steps:
  - name: Display the path
    run: |
      import os
      print(os.environ['PATH'])
    shell: python
Custom shell

You can set the shell value to a template string using command […options] {0} [..more_options]. GitHub interprets the first whitespace-delimited word of the string as the command, and inserts the file name for the temporary script at {0}.

Exit codes and error action preference

For built-in shell keywords, we provide the following defaults that are executed by GitHub-hosted runners. You should use these guidelines when running shell scripts.

  • bash/sh:

    • Fail-fast behavior using set -e o pipefail: Default for bash and built-in shell. It is also the default when you don't provide an option on non-Windows platforms.
    • You can opt out of fail-fast and take full control by providing a template string to the shell options. For example, bash {0}.
    • sh-like shells exit with the exit code of the last command executed in a script, which is also the default behavior for actions. The runner will report the status of the step as fail/succeed based on this exit code.
  • powershell/pwsh

    • Fail-fast behavior when possible. For pwsh and powershell built-in shell, we will prepend $ErrorActionPreference = 'stop' to script contents.
    • We append if ((Test-Path -LiteralPath variable:\LASTEXITCODE)) { exit $LASTEXITCODE } to powershell scripts so action statuses reflect the script's last exit code.
    • Users can always opt out by not using the built-in shell, and providing a custom shell option like: pwsh -File {0}, or powershell -Command "& '{0}'", depending on need.
  • cmd

    • There doesn't seem to be a way to fully opt into fail-fast behavior other than writing your script to check each error code and respond accordingly. Because we can't actually provide that behavior by default, you need to write this behavior into your script.
    • cmd.exe will exit with the error level of the last program it executed, and it will and return the error code to the runner. This behavior is internally consistent with the previous sh and pwsh default behavior and is the cmd.exe default, so this behavior remains intact.

jobs.<job_id>.steps.with

A map of the input parameters defined by the action. Each input parameter is a key/value pair. Input parameters are set as environment variables. The variable is prefixed with INPUT_ and converted to upper case.

Example

Defines the three input parameters (first_name, middle_name, and last_name) defined by the hello_world action. These input variables will be accessible to the hello-world action as INPUT_FIRST_NAME, INPUT_MIDDLE_NAME, and INPUT_LAST_NAME environment variables.

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: My first step
        uses: actions/hello_world@master
        with:
          first_name: Mona
          middle_name: The
          last_name: Octocat      

jobs.<job_id>.steps.with.args

A string that defines the inputs for a Docker container. GitHub passes the args to the container's ENTRYPOINT when the container starts up. An array of strings is not supported by this parameter.

Example
steps:
  - name: Explain why this job ran
    uses: monacorp/action-name@master
    with:
      entrypoint: /bin/echo
      args: The ${{ github.event_name }} event triggered this step.

The args are used in place of the CMD instruction in a Dockerfile. If you use CMD in your Dockerfile, use the guidelines ordered by preference:

  1. Document required arguments in the action's README and omit them from the CMD instruction.
  2. Use defaults that allow using the action without specifying any args.
  3. If the action exposes a --help flag, or something similar, use that as the default to make your action self-documenting.

jobs.<job_id>.steps.with.entrypoint

Overrides the Docker ENTRYPOINT in the Dockerfile, or sets it if one wasn't already specified. Unlike the Docker ENTRYPOINT instruction which has a shell and exec form, entrypoint keyword accepts only a single string defining the executable to be run.

Example
steps:
  - name: Run a custom command
    uses: monacorp/action-name@master
    with:
      entrypoint: /a/different/executable

The entrypoint keyword is meant to use with Docker container actions, but you can also use it with JavaScript actions that don't define any inputs.

jobs.<job_id>.steps.env

Sets environment variables for steps to use in the runner environment. You can also set environment variables for the entire workflow or a job. For more information, see env and jobs.<job_id>.env.

When more than one environment variable is defined with the same name, GitHub uses the most specific environment variable. For example, an environment variable defined in a step will override job and workflow variables with the same name, while the step executes. A variable defined for a job will override a workflow variable with the same name, while the job executes.

Public actions may specify expected environment variables in the README file. If you are setting a secret in an environment variable, you must set secrets using the secrets context. For more information, see "Using environment variables" and "Context and expression syntax for GitHub Actions."

Example
steps:
  - name: My first action
    env:
      GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
      FIRST_NAME: Mona
      LAST_NAME: Octocat

jobs.<job_id>.steps.continue-on-error

Prevents a job from failing when a step fails. Set to true to allow a job to pass when this step fails.

jobs.<job_id>.steps.timeout-minutes

The maximum number of minutes to run the step before killing the process.

jobs.<job_id>.timeout-minutes

The maximum number of minutes to let a job run before GitHub automatically cancels it. Default: 360

jobs.<job_id>.strategy

A strategy creates a build matrix for your jobs. You can define different variations of an environment to run each job in.

jobs.<job_id>.strategy.matrix

You can define a matrix of different job configurations. A matrix allows you to create multiple jobs by performing variable substitution in a single job definition. For example, you can use a matrix to create jobs for more than one supported version of a programming language, operating system, or tool. A matrix reuses the job's configuration and creates a job for each matrix you configure.

A job matrix can generate a maximum of 256 jobs per workflow run. This limit also applies to self-hosted runners.

Each option you define in the matrix has a key and value. The keys you define become properties in the matrix context and you can reference the property in other areas of your workflow file. For example, if you define the key os that contains an array of operating systems, you can use the matrix.os property as the value of the runs-on keyword to create a job for each operating system. For more information, see "Context and expression syntax for GitHub Actions."

The order that you define a matrix matters. The first option you define will be the first job that runs in your workflow.

Example running with more than one version of Node.js

You can specify a matrix by supplying an array for the configuration options. For example, if the runner supports Node.js versions 6, 8, and 10, you could specify an array of those versions in the matrix.

This example creates a matrix of three jobs by setting the node key to an array of three Node.js versions. To use the matrix, the example sets the matrix.node context property as the value of the setup-node action's input parameter node-version. As a result, three jobs will run, each using a different Node.js version.

strategy:
  matrix:
    node: [6, 8, 10]
steps:
  # Configures the node version used on GitHub-hosted runners
  - uses: actions/setup-node@v1
    with:
      # The Node.js version to configure
      node-version: ${{ matrix.node }}

The setup-node action is the recommended way to configure a Node.js version when using GitHub-hosted runners. For more information, see the setup-node action.

Example running with more than one operating system

You can create a matrix to run workflows on more than one runner operating system. You can also specify more than one matrix configuration. This example creates a matrix of 6 jobs:

  • 2 operating systems specified in the os array
  • 3 Node.js versions specified in the node array

When you define a matrix of operating systems, you must set the value of runs-on to the matrix.os context property you defined.

runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
strategy:
  matrix:
    os: [ubuntu-16.04, ubuntu-18.04]
    node: [6, 8, 10]
steps:
  - uses: actions/setup-node@v1
    with:
      node-version: ${{ matrix.node }}

To find supported configuration options for GitHub-hosted runners, see "Virtual environments for GitHub-hosted runners."

Example including additional values into combinations

You can add additional configuration options to a build matrix job that already exists. For example, if you want to use a specific version of npm when the job that uses windows-latest and version 4 of node runs, you can use include to specify that additional option.

runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
strategy:
  matrix:
    os: [macos-latest, windows-latest, ubuntu-18.04]
    node: [4, 6, 8, 10]
    include:
      # includes a new variable of npm with a value of 2
      # for the matrix leg matching the os and version
      - os: windows-latest
        node: 4
        npm: 2
Example including new combinations

You can use include to add new jobs to a build matrix. Any unmatched include configurations are added to the matrix. For example, if you want to use node version 12 to build on multiple operating systems, but wanted one extra experimental job using node version 13 on Ubuntu, you can use include to specify that additional job.

runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
strategy:
  matrix:
    node: [12]
    os: [macos-latest, windows-latest, ubuntu-18.04]
    include:
      - node: 13
        os: ubuntu-18.04
        experimental: true
Example excluding configurations from a matrix

You can remove a specific configurations defined in the build matrix using the exclude option. Using exclude removes a job defined by the build matrix. The number of jobs is the cross product of the number of operating systems (os) included in the arrays you provide, minus any subtractions (exclude).

runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
strategy:
  matrix:
    os: [macos-latest, windows-latest, ubuntu-18.04]
    node: [4, 6, 8, 10]
    exclude:
      # excludes node 4 on macOS
      - os: macos-latest
        node: 4

Note: All include combinations are processed after exclude. This allows you to use include to add back combinations that were previously excluded.

jobs.<job_id>.strategy.fail-fast

When set to true, GitHub cancels all in-progress jobs if any matrix job fails. Default: true

jobs.<job_id>.strategy.max-parallel

The maximum number of jobs that can run simultaneously when using a matrix job strategy. By default, GitHub will maximize the number of jobs run in parallel depending on the available runners on GitHub-hosted virtual machines.

strategy:
  max-parallel: 2

jobs.<job_id>.continue-on-error

Prevents a workflow run from failing when a job fails. Set to true to allow a workflow run to pass when this job fails.

Example preventing a specific failing matrix job from failing a workflow run

You can allow specific jobs in a job matrix to fail without failing the workflow run. For example, if you wanted to only allow an experimental job with node set to 13 to fail without failing the workflow run.

runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
continue-on-error: ${{ matrix.experimental }}
strategy:
  fail-fast: false
  matrix:
    node: [11, 12]
    os: [macos-latest, ubuntu-18.04]
    experimental: [false]
    include:
      - node: 13
        os: ubuntu-18.04
        experimental: true

jobs.<job_id>.container

A container to run any steps in a job that don't already specify a container. If you have steps that use both script and container actions, the container actions will run as sibling containers on the same network with the same volume mounts.

If you do not set a container, all steps will run directly on the host specified by runs-on unless a step refers to an action configured to run in a container.

Example

jobs:
  my_job:
    container:
      image: node:10.16-jessie
      env:
        NODE_ENV: development
      ports:
        - 80
      volumes:
        - my_docker_volume:/volume_mount
      options: --cpus 1

When you only specify a container image, you can omit the image keyword.

jobs:
  my_job:
    container: node:10.16-jessie

jobs.<job_id>.container.image

The Docker image to use as the container to run the action. The value can be the Docker Hub image name or a public docker registry name.

jobs.<job_id>.container.env

Sets a map of environment variables in the container.

jobs.<job_id>.container.ports

Sets an array of ports to expose on the container.

jobs.<job_id>.container.volumes

Sets an array of volumes for the container to use. You can use volumes to share data between services or other steps in a job. You can specify named Docker volumes, anonymous Docker volumes, or bind mounts on the host.

To specify a volume, you specify the source and destination path:

<source>:<destinationPath>.

The <source> is a volume name or an absolute path on the host machine, and <destinationPath> is an absolute path in the container.

Example
volumes:
  - my_docker_volume:/volume_mount
  - /data/my_data
  - /source/directory:/destination/directory

jobs.<job_id>.container.options

Additional Docker container resource options. For a list of options, see "docker create options."

jobs.<job_id>.services

Note: If your workflows use Docker container actions or service containers, then you must use a Linux runner:

  • If you are using GitHub-hosted runners, you must use the ubuntu-latest runner.
  • If you are using self-hosted runners, you must use a Linux machine as your runner and Docker must be installed.

Used to host service containers for a job in a workflow. Service containers are useful for creating databases or cache services like Redis. The runner automatically creates a Docker network and manages the life cycle of the service containers.

If you configure your job to run in a container, or your step uses container actions, you don't need to map ports to access the service or action. Docker automatically exposes all ports between containers on the same Docker user-defined bridge network. You can directly reference the service container by its hostname. The hostname is automatically mapped to the label name you configure for the service in the workflow.

If you configure the job to run directly on the runner machine and your step doesn't use a container action, you must map any required Docker service container ports to the Docker host (the runner machine). You can access the service container using localhost and the mapped port.

For more information about the differences between networking service containers, see "About service containers."

Example using localhost

This example creates two services: nginx and redis. When you specify the Docker host port but not the container port, the container port is randomly assigned to a free port. GitHub sets the assigned container port in the ${{job.services.<service_name>.ports}} context. In this example, you can access the service container ports using the ${{ job.services.nginx.ports['8080'] }} and ${{ job.services.redis.ports['6379'] }} contexts.

services:
  nginx:
    image: nginx
    # Map port 8080 on the Docker host to port 80 on the nginx container
    ports:
      - 8080:80
  redis:
    image: redis
    # Map TCP port 6379 on Docker host to a random free port on the Redis container
    ports:
      - 6379/tcp

jobs.<job_id>.services.image

The Docker image to use as the service container to run the action. The value can be the Docker base image name or a public docker Hub or registry.

jobs.<job_id>.services.env

Sets a map of environment variables in the service container.

jobs.<job_id>.services.ports

Sets an array of ports to expose on the service container.

jobs.<job_id>.services.volumes

Sets an array of volumes for the service container to use. You can use volumes to share data between services or other steps in a job. You can specify named Docker volumes, anonymous Docker volumes, or bind mounts on the host.

To specify a volume, you specify the source and destination path:

<source>:<destinationPath>.

The <source> is a volume name or an absolute path on the host machine, and <destinationPath> is an absolute path in the container.

Example
volumes:
  - my_docker_volume:/volume_mount
  - /data/my_data
  - /source/directory:/destination/directory

jobs.<job_id>.services.options

Additional Docker container resource options. For a list of options, see "docker create options."

Filter pattern cheat sheet

You can use special characters in path, branch, and tag filters.

  • *: Matches zero or more characters, but does not match the / character. For example, Octo* matches Octocat.
  • **: Matches zero or more of any character.
  • ?: Matches zero or one single character. For example, Octoc?t matches Octocat.
  • +: Matches one or more of the preceding character.
  • [] Matches one character listed in the brackets or included in ranges. Ranges can only include a-z, A-Z, and 0-9. For example, the range[0-9a-f] matches any digits or lowercase letter. For example, [CB]at matches Cat or Bat and [1-2]00 matches 100 and 200.
  • !: At the start of a pattern makes it negate previous positive patterns. It has no special meaning if not the first character.

The characters *, [, and ! are special characters in YAML. If you start a pattern with *, [, or !, you must enclose the pattern in quotes.

# Valid
- '**/README.md'

# Invalid - creates a parse error that
# prevents your workflow from running.
- **/README.md

For more information about branch, tag, and path filter syntax, see "on.<push|pull_request>.<branches|tags>" and "on.<push|pull_request>.paths."

Patterns to match branches and tags

PatternDescriptionExample matches
feature/*The * wildcard matches any character, but does not match slash (/).-feature/my-branch
-feature/your-branch
feature/**The ** wildcard matches any character including slash (/) in branch and tag names.-feature/beta-a/my-branch
-feature/your-branch
-feature/mona/the/octocat
-master
-releases/mona-the-octcat
Matches the exact name of a branch or tag name.-master
-releases/mona-the-octocat
'*'Matches all branch and tag names that don't contain a slash (/). The * character is a special character in YAML. When you start a pattern with *, you must use quotes.-master
-releases
'**'Matches all branch and tag names. This is the default behavior when you don't use a branches or tags filter.-all/the/branches
-every/tag
'*feature'The * character is a special character in YAML. When you start a pattern with *, you must use quotes.-mona-feature
-feature
-ver-10-feature
v2*Matches branch and tag names that start with v2.-v2
-v2.0
-v2.9
v[12].[0-9]+.[0-9]+Matches all semantic versioning tags with major version 1 or 2-v1.10.1
-v2.0.0

Patterns to match file paths

Path patterns must match the whole path, and start from the repository's root.

PatternDescription of matchesExample matches
'*'The * wildcard matches any character, but does not match slash (/). The * character is a special character in YAML. When you start a pattern with *, you must use quotes.-README.md
-server.rb
'*.jsx?'The ? character matches zero or one of the preceding character.-page.js
-page.jsx
'**'The ** wildcard matches any character including slash (/). This is the default behavior when you don't use a path filter.-all/the/files.md
'*.js'The * wildcard matches any character, but does not match slash (/). Matches all .js files at the root of the repository.-app.js
-index.js
'**.js'Matches all .js files in the repository.-index.js
-js/index.js
-src/js/app.js
docs/*All files within the root of the docs directory, at the root of the repository.-docs/README.md
-docs/file.txt
docs/**Any files in the /docs directory at the root of the repository.-docs/README.md
-docs/mona/octocat.txt
docs/**/*.mdA file with a .md suffix anywhere in the docs directory.-docs/README.md
-docs/mona/hello-world.md
-docs/a/markdown/file.md
'**/docs/**'Any files in a docs directory anywhere in the repository.-/docs/hello.md
-dir/docs/my-file.txt
-space/docs/plan/space.doc
'**/README.md'A README.md file anywhere in the repository.-README.md
-js/README.md
'**/*src/**'Any file in a folder with a src suffix anywhere in the repository.-a/src/app.js
-my-src/code/js/app.js
'**/*-post.md'A file with the suffix -post.md anywhere in the repository.-my-post.md
-path/their-post.md
'**/migrate-*.sql'A file with the prefix migrate- and suffix .sql anywhere in the repository.-migrate-10909.sql
-db/migrate-v1.0.sql
-db/sept/migrate-v1.sql
-*.md
-!README.md
Using an exclamation mark (!) in front of a pattern negates it. When a file matches a pattern and also matches a negative pattern defined later in the file, the file will not be included.-hello.md
Does not match
-README.md
-docs/hello.md
-*.md
-!README.md
-README*
Patterns are checked sequentially. A pattern that negates a previous pattern will re-include file paths.-hello.md
-README.md
-README.doc

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