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Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions

In this article

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.

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 Y minutes."

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

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

To automatically trigger a workflow, use on to define which events can cause the workflow to run. For a list of available events, see "Events that trigger workflows."

You can define single or multiple events that can a trigger workflow, or set a time schedule. You can also restrict the execution of a workflow to only occur for specific files, tags, or branch changes. These options are described in the following sections.

Using a single event

For example, a workflow with the following on value will run when a push is made to any branch in the workflow's repository:

on: push

Using multiple events

You can specify a single event or multiple events. For example, a workflow with the following on value will run when a push is made to any branch in the repository or when someone forks the repository:

on: [push, fork]

If you specify multiple events, only one of those events needs to occur to trigger your workflow. If multiple triggering events for your workflow occur at the same time, multiple workflow runs will be triggered.

Using activity types

Some events have activity types that give you more control over when your workflow should run. Use on.<event_name>.types to define the type of event activity that will trigger a workflow run.

For example, the issue_comment event has the created, edited, and deleted activity types. If your workflow triggers on the label event, it will run whenever a label is created, edited, or deleted. If you specify the created activity type for the label event, your workflow will run when a label is created but not when a label is edited or deleted.

on:
  label:
    types:
      - created

If you specify multiple activity types, only one of those event activity types needs to occur to trigger your workflow. If multiple triggering event activity types for your workflow occur at the same time, multiple workflow runs will be triggered. For example, the following workflow triggers when an issue is opened or labeled. If an issue with two labels is opened, three workflow runs will start: one for the issue opened event and two for the two issue labeled events.

on:
  issues:
    types:
      - opened
      - labeled

For more information about each event and their activity types, see "Events that trigger workflows."

Using filters

Some events have filters that give you more control over when your workflow should run.

For example, the push event has a branches filter that causes your workflow to run only when a push to a branch that matches the branches filter occurs, instead of when any push occurs.

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - main
      - 'releases/**'

Using activity types and filters with multiple events

If you specify activity types or filters for an event and your workflow triggers on multiple events, you must configure each event separately. You must append a colon (:) to all events, including events without configuration.

For example, a workflow with the following on value will run when:

  • A label is created
  • A push is made to the main branch in the repository
  • A push is made to a GitHub Pages-enabled branch
on:
  label:
    types:
      - created
  push:
    branches:
      - main
  page_build:

on.<event_name>.types

Use on.<event_name>.types to define the type of activity that will trigger a workflow run. Most GitHub events are triggered by more than one type of activity. For example, the label is triggered when a label is created, edited, or deleted. 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."

on:
  label:
    types: [created, edited]

on.<pull_request|pull_request_target>.<branches|branches-ignore>

When using the pull_request and pull_request_target events, you can configure a workflow to run only for pull requests that target specific branches.

Use the branches filter when you want to include branch name patterns or when you want to both include and exclude branch names patterns. Use the branches-ignore filter when you only want to exclude branch name patterns. You cannot use both the branches and branches-ignore filters for the same event in a workflow.

If you define both branches/branches-ignore and paths, the workflow will only run when both filters are satisfied.

The branches and branches-ignore keywords accept glob patterns that use characters like *, **, +, ?, ! and others to match more than one branch name. If a name contains any of these characters and you want a literal match, you need to escape each of these special characters with \. For more information about glob patterns, see the "Filter pattern cheat sheet."

Example: Including branches

The patterns defined in branches are evaluated against the Git ref's name. For example, the following workflow would run whenever there is a pull_request event for a pull request targeting:

  • A branch named main (refs/heads/main)
  • A branch named mona/octocat (refs/heads/mona/octocat)
  • A branch whose name starts with releases/, like releases/10 (refs/heads/releases/10)
on:
  pull_request:
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/heads
    branches:    
      - main
      - 'mona/octocat'
      - 'releases/**'

Example: Excluding branches

When a pattern matches the branches-ignore pattern, the workflow will not run. The patterns defined in branches are evaluated against the Git ref's name. For example, the following workflow would run whenever there is a pull_request event unless the pull request is targeting:

  • A branch named mona/octocat (refs/heads/mona/octocat)
  • A branch whose name matches releases/**-alpha, like releases/beta/3-alpha (refs/heads/releases/beta/3-alpha)
on:
  pull_request:
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/heads
    branches-ignore:    
      - 'mona/octocat'
      - 'releases/**-alpha'

Example: Including and excluding branches

You cannot use branches and branches-ignore to filter the same event in a single workflow. If you want to both include and exclude branch patterns for a single event, use the branches filter along with the ! character to indicate which branches should be excluded.

If you define a branch with the ! character, you must also define at least one branch without the ! character. If you only want to exclude branches, use branches-ignore instead.

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 pull_request events for pull requests that target releases/10 or releases/beta/mona, but not for pull requests that target releases/10-alpha or releases/beta/3-alpha because the negative pattern !releases/**-alpha follows the positive pattern.

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

on.push.<branches|tags|branches-ignore|tags-ignore>

When using the push event, you can configure a workflow to run on specific branches or tags.

Use the branches filter when you want to include branch name patterns or when you want to both include and exclude branch names patterns. Use the branches-ignore filter when you only want to exclude branch name patterns. You cannot use both the branches and branches-ignore filters for the same event in a workflow.

Use the tags filter when you want to include tag name patterns or when you want to both include and exclude tag names patterns. Use the tags-ignore filter when you only want to exclude tag name patterns. You cannot use both the tags and tags-ignore filters for the same event in a workflow.

If you define only tags/tags-ignore or only branches/branches-ignore, the workflow won't run for events affecting the undefined Git ref. If you define neither tags/tags-ignore or branches/branches-ignore, the workflow will run for events affecting either branches or tags. If you define both branches/branches-ignore and paths, the workflow will only run when both filters are satisfied.

The branches, branches-ignore, tags, and tags-ignore keywords accept glob patterns that use characters like *, **, +, ?, ! and others to match more than one branch or tag name. If a name contains any of these characters and you want a literal match, you need to escape each of these special characters with \. For more information about glob patterns, 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, the following workflow would run whenever there is a push event to:

  • A branch named main (refs/heads/main)
  • A branch named mona/octocat (refs/heads/mona/octocat)
  • A branch whose name starts with releases/, like releases/10 (refs/heads/releases/10)
  • A tag named v2 (refs/tags/v2)
  • A tag whose name starts with v1., like v1.9.1 (refs/tags/v1.9.1)
on:
  push:
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/heads
    branches:    
      - main
      - 'mona/octocat'
      - 'releases/**'
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/tags
    tags:        
      - v2
      - v1.*

Example: Excluding branches and tags

When a pattern matches the branches-ignore or tags-ignore pattern, the workflow will not run. The patterns defined in branches and tags are evaluated against the Git ref's name. For example, the following workflow would run whenever there is a push event, unless the push event is to:

  • A branch named mona/octocat (refs/heads/mona/octocat)
  • A branch whose name matches releases/**-alpha, like beta/3-alpha (refs/releases/beta/3-alpha)
  • A tag named v2 (refs/tags/v2)
  • A tag whose name starts with v1., like v1.9 (refs/tags/v1.9)
on:
  push:
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/heads
    branches-ignore:    
      - 'mona/octocat'
      - 'releases/**-alpha'
    # Sequence of patterns matched against refs/tags
    tags-ignore:        
      - v2
      - v1.*

Example: Including and excluding branches and tags

You can't use branches and branches-ignore to filter the same event in a single workflow. Similarly, you can't use tags and tags-ignore to filter the same event in a single workflow. If you want to both include and exclude branch or tag patterns for a single event, use the branches or tags filter along with the ! character to indicate which branches or tags should be excluded.

If you define a branch with the ! character, you must also define at least one branch without the ! character. If you only want to exclude branches, use branches-ignore instead. Similarly, if you define a tag with the ! character, you must also define at least one tag without the ! character. If you only want to exclude tags, use tags-ignore instead.

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|pull_request_target>.<paths|paths-ignore>

When using the push and pull_request events, you can configure a workflow to run based on what file paths are changed. Path filters are not evaluated for pushes of tags.

Use the paths filter when you want to include file path patterns or when you want to both include and exclude file path patterns. Use the paths-ignore filter when you only want to exclude file path patterns. You cannot use both the paths and paths-ignore filters for the same event in a workflow.

If you define both branches/branches-ignore and paths, the workflow will only run when both filters are satisfied.

The paths and paths-ignore 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: Including paths

If at least one path matches a pattern in the paths filter, the workflow runs. For example, the following workflow would run anytime you push a JavaScript file (.js).

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

Note: If a workflow is skipped due to path filtering, branch filtering or a commit message, then checks associated with that workflow will remain in a "Pending" state. A pull request that requires those checks to be successful will be blocked from merging. For more information, see "Handling skipped but required checks."

Example: Excluding paths

When all the path names match patterns in paths-ignore, the workflow will not run. If any path names do not match patterns in paths-ignore, even if some path names match the patterns, the workflow will run.

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 and excluding paths

You can not use paths and paths-ignore to filter the same event in a single workflow. If you want to both include and exclude path patterns for a single event, use the paths filter along with the ! character to indicate which paths should be excluded.

If you define a path with the ! character, you must also define at least one path without the ! character. If you only want to exclude paths, use paths-ignore instead.

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, 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.

Diffs are limited to 300 files. If there are files changed that aren't matched in the first 300 files returned by the filter, the workflow will not run. You may need to create more specific filters so that the workflow will run automatically.

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

on.schedule

You can use on.schedule to define a time schedule for your workflows. 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 day at 5:30 and 17:30 UTC:

on:
  schedule:
    # * is a special character in YAML so you have to quote this string
    - cron:  '30 5,17 * * *'

A single workflow can be triggered by multiple schedule events. You can access the schedule event that triggered the workflow through the github.event.schedule context. This example triggers the workflow to run at 5:30 UTC every Monday-Thursday, but skips the Not on Monday or Wednesday step on Monday and Wednesday.

on:
  schedule:
    - cron: '30 5 * * 1,3'
    - cron: '30 5 * * 2,4'

jobs:
  test_schedule:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - name: Not on Monday or Wednesday
        if: github.event.schedule != '30 5 * * 1,3'
        run: echo "This step will be skipped on Monday and Wednesday"
      - name: Every time
        run: echo "This step will always run"

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

on.workflow_call

Use on.workflow_call to define the inputs and outputs for a reusable workflow. You can also map the secrets that are available to the called workflow. For more information on reusable workflows, see "Reusing workflows."

on.workflow_call.inputs

When using the workflow_call keyword, you can optionally specify inputs that are passed to the called workflow from the caller workflow. For more information about the workflow_call keyword, see "Events that trigger workflows."

In addition to the standard input parameters that are available, on.workflow_call.inputs requires a type parameter. For more information, see on.workflow_call.inputs.<input_id>.type.

If a default parameter is not set, the default value of the input is false for a boolean, 0 for a number, and "" for a string.

Within the called workflow, you can use the inputs context to refer to an input.

If a caller workflow passes an input that is not specified in the called workflow, this results in an error.

Example

on:
  workflow_call:
    inputs:
      username:
        description: 'A username passed from the caller workflow'
        default: 'john-doe'
        required: false
        type: string

jobs:
  print-username:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

    steps:
      - name: Print the input name to STDOUT
        run: echo The username is ${{ inputs.username }}

For more information, see "Reusing workflows."

on.workflow_call.inputs.<input_id>.type

Required if input is defined for the on.workflow_call keyword. The value of this parameter is a string specifying the data type of the input. This must be one of: boolean, number, or string.

on.workflow_call.outputs

A map of outputs for a called workflow. Called workflow outputs are available to all downstream jobs in the caller workflow. Each output has an identifier, an optional description, and a value. The value must be set to the value of an output from a job within the called workflow.

In the example below, two outputs are defined for this reusable workflow: workflow_output1 and workflow_output2. These are mapped to outputs called job_output1 and job_output2, both from a job called my_job.

Example

on:
  workflow_call:
    # Map the workflow outputs to job outputs
    outputs:
      workflow_output1:
        description: "The first job output"
        value: ${{ jobs.my_job.outputs.job_output1 }}
      workflow_output2:
        description: "The second job output"
        value: ${{ jobs.my_job.outputs.job_output2 }}

For information on how to reference a job output, see jobs.<job_id>.outputs. For more information, see "Reusing workflows."

on.workflow_call.secrets

A map of the secrets that can be used in the called workflow.

Within the called workflow, you can use the secrets context to refer to a secret.

If a caller workflow passes a secret that is not specified in the called workflow, this results in an error.

Example

on:
  workflow_call:
    secrets:
      access-token:
        description: 'A token passed from the caller workflow'
        required: false

jobs:
  pass-secret-to-action:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

    steps:
      - name: Pass the received secret to an action
        uses: ./.github/actions/my-action
        with:
          token: ${{ secrets.access-token }}

on.workflow_call.secrets.<secret_id>

A string identifier to associate with the secret.

on.workflow_call.secrets.<secret_id>.required

A boolean specifying whether the secret must be supplied.

on.workflow_run.<branches|branches-ignore>

When using the workflow_run event, you can specify what branches the triggering workflow must run on in order to trigger your workflow.

The branches and branches-ignore filters accept glob patterns that use characters like *, **, +, ?, ! and others to match more than one branch name. If a name contains any of these characters and you want a literal match, you need to escape each of these special characters with \. For more information about glob patterns, see the "Filter pattern cheat sheet."

For example, a workflow with the following trigger will only run when the workflow named Build runs on a branch whose name starts with releases/:

on:
  workflow_run:
    workflows: ["Build"]
    types: [requested]
    branches:
      - 'releases/**'

A workflow with the following trigger will only run when the workflow named Build runs on a branch that is not named canary:

on:
  workflow_run:
    workflows: ["Build"]
    types: [requested]
    branches-ignore:
      - "canary"

You cannot use both the branches and branches-ignore filters for the same event in a workflow. If you want to both include and exclude branch patterns for a single event, use the branches filter along with the ! character to indicate which branches should be excluded.

The order that you define patterns matters.

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

For example, a workflow with the following trigger will run when the workflow named Build runs on a branch that is named releases/10 or releases/beta/mona but will not releases/10-alpha, releases/beta/3-alpha, or main.

on:
  workflow_run:
    workflows: ["Build"]
    types: [requested]
    branches:
      - 'releases/**'
      - '!releases/**-alpha'

on.workflow_dispatch.inputs

When using the workflow_dispatch event, you can optionally specify inputs that are passed to the workflow.

The triggered workflow receives the inputs in the inputs context. For more information, see "Contexts."

Note: The workflow will also receive the inputs in the github.event.inputs context. The information in the inputs context and github.event.inputs context is identical except that the inputs context preserves Boolean values as Booleans instead of converting them to strings.

on:
  workflow_dispatch:
    inputs:
      logLevel:
        description: 'Log level'
        required: true
        default: 'warning' 
        type: choice
        options:
        - info
        - warning
        - debug 
      print_tags:
        description: 'True to print to STDOUT'
        required: true 
        type: boolean 
      tags:
        description: 'Test scenario tags'
        required: true 
        type: string
      environment:
        description: 'Environment to run tests against'
        type: environment
        required: true 

jobs:
  print-tag:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    if:  ${{ inputs.print_tags }} 
    steps:
      - name: Print the input tag to STDOUT
        run: echo  The tags are ${{ inputs.tags }} 

permissions

You can use permissions to modify the default permissions granted to the GITHUB_TOKEN, adding or removing access as required, so that you only allow the minimum required access. For more information, see "Authentication in a workflow."

You can use permissions either as a top-level key, to apply to all jobs in the workflow, or within specific jobs. When you add the permissions key within a specific job, all actions and run commands within that job that use the GITHUB_TOKEN gain the access rights you specify. For more information, see jobs.<job_id>.permissions.

Available scopes and access values:

permissions:
  actions: read|write|none
  checks: read|write|none
  contents: read|write|none
  deployments: read|write|none
  id-token: read|write|none
  issues: read|write|none
  discussions: read|write|none
  packages: read|write|none
  pages: read|write|none
  pull-requests: read|write|none
  repository-projects: read|write|none
  security-events: read|write|none
  statuses: read|write|none

If you specify the access for any of these scopes, all of those that are not specified are set to none.

You can use the following syntax to define read or write access for all of the available scopes:

permissions: read-all|write-all

You can use the following syntax to disable permissions for all of the available scopes:

permissions: {}

You can use the permissions key to add and remove read permissions for forked repositories, but typically you can't grant write access. The exception to this behavior is where an admin user has selected the Send write tokens to workflows from pull requests option in the GitHub Actions settings. For more information, see "Managing GitHub Actions settings for a repository."

Example: Assigning permissions to GITHUB_TOKEN

This example shows permissions being set for the GITHUB_TOKEN that will apply to all jobs in the workflow. All permissions are granted read access.

name: "My workflow"

on: [ push ]

permissions: read-all

jobs:
  ...

env

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

Variables in the env map cannot be defined in terms of other variables in the map.

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

Use defaults to create 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 use defaults.run to 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: Set the default shell and working directory

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

concurrency

Use concurrency to ensure that only a single job or workflow using the same concurrency group will run at a time. A concurrency group can be any string or expression. The expression can only use the github context. For more information about expressions, see "Expressions."

You can also specify concurrency at the job level. For more information, see jobs.<job_id>.concurrency.

When a concurrent job or workflow is queued, if another job or workflow using the same concurrency group in the repository is in progress, the queued job or workflow will be pending. Any previously pending job or workflow in the concurrency group will be canceled. To also cancel any currently running job or workflow in the same concurrency group, specify cancel-in-progress: true.

Examples: Using concurrency and the default behavior

concurrency: staging_environment
concurrency: ci-${{ github.ref }}

Example: Using concurrency to cancel any in-progress job or run

concurrency: 
  group: ${{ github.ref }}
  cancel-in-progress: true

Example: Using a fallback value

If you build the group name with a property that is only defined for specific events, you can use a fallback value. For example, github.head_ref is only defined on pull_request events. If your workflow responds to other events in addition to pull_request events, you will need to provide a fallback to avoid a syntax error. The following concurrency group cancels in-progress jobs or runs on pull_request events only; if github.head_ref is undefined, the concurrency group will fallback to the run ID, which is guaranteed to be both unique and defined for the run.

concurrency: 
  group: ${{ github.head_ref || github.run_id }}
  cancel-in-progress: true

Example: Only cancel in-progress jobs or runs for the current workflow

If you have multiple workflows in the same repository, concurrency group names must be unique across workflows to avoid canceling in-progress jobs or runs from other workflows. Otherwise, any previously in-progress or pending job will be canceled, regardless of the workflow.

To only cancel in-progress runs of the same workflow, you can use the github.workflow property to build the concurrency group:

concurrency: 
  group: ${{ github.workflow }}-${{ github.ref }}
  cancel-in-progress: true

jobs

A workflow run is made up of one or more jobs, which 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 a runner 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 and billing" for GitHub-hosted runners and "About self-hosted runners" for self-hosted runner 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>

Use jobs.<job_id> to give your job a unique identifier. 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: Creating jobs

In this example, two jobs have been created, and their job_id values are my_first_job and my_second_job.

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

jobs.<job_id>.name

Use jobs.<job_id>.name to set a name for the job, which is displayed in the GitHub UI.

jobs.<job_id>.permissions

For a specific job, you can use jobs.<job_id>.permissions to modify the default permissions granted to the GITHUB_TOKEN, adding or removing access as required, so that you only allow the minimum required access. For more information, see "Authentication in a workflow."

By specifying the permission within a job definition, you can configure a different set of permissions for the GITHUB_TOKEN for each job, if required. Alternatively, you can specify the permissions for all jobs in the workflow. For information on defining permissions at the workflow level, see permissions.

Available scopes and access values:

permissions:
  actions: read|write|none
  checks: read|write|none
  contents: read|write|none
  deployments: read|write|none
  id-token: read|write|none
  issues: read|write|none
  discussions: read|write|none
  packages: read|write|none
  pages: read|write|none
  pull-requests: read|write|none
  repository-projects: read|write|none
  security-events: read|write|none
  statuses: read|write|none

If you specify the access for any of these scopes, all of those that are not specified are set to none.

You can use the following syntax to define read or write access for all of the available scopes:

permissions: read-all|write-all

You can use the following syntax to disable permissions for all of the available scopes:

permissions: {}

You can use the permissions key to add and remove read permissions for forked repositories, but typically you can't grant write access. The exception to this behavior is where an admin user has selected the Send write tokens to workflows from pull requests option in the GitHub Actions settings. For more information, see "Managing GitHub Actions settings for a repository."

Example: Setting permissions for a specific job

This example shows permissions being set for the GITHUB_TOKEN that will only apply to the job named stale. Write access is granted for the issues and pull-requests scopes. All other scopes will have no access.

jobs:
  stale:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

    permissions:
      issues: write
      pull-requests: write

    steps:
      - uses: actions/stale@v5

jobs.<job_id>.needs

Use jobs.<job_id>.needs to identify 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 expression that causes the job to continue. If a run contains a series of jobs that need each other, a failure applies to all jobs in the dependency chain from the point of failure onwards.

Example: Requiring successful dependent jobs

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

Example: Not requiring successful dependent jobs

jobs:
  job1:
  job2:
    needs: job1
  job3:
    if: ${{ always() }}
    needs: [job1, job2]

In this example, job3 uses the always() conditional expression so that it always runs after job1 and job2 have completed, regardless of whether they were successful. For more information, see "Expressions."

jobs.<job_id>.if

You can use the jobs.<job_id>.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 "Expressions."

Example: Only run job for specific repository

This example uses if to control when the production-deploy job can run. It will only run if the repository is named octo-repo-prod and is within the octo-org organization. Otherwise, the job will be marked as skipped.

YAML
name: example-workflow
on: [push]
jobs:
  production-deploy:
    if: github.repository == 'octo-org/octo-repo-prod'
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v3
      - uses: actions/setup-node@v3
        with:
          node-version: '14'
      - run: npm install -g bats

jobs.<job_id>.runs-on

Use jobs.<job_id>.runs-on to define the type of machine to run the job on. The machine can be either a GitHub-hosted runner or a self-hosted runner. You can provide runs-on as a single string or as an array of strings. If you specify an array of strings, your workflow will run on a self-hosted runner whose labels match all of the specified runs-on values, if available. If you would like to run your workflow on multiple machines, use jobs.<job_id>.strategy.

Choosing 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 environment YAML workflow label Notes
Windows Server 2022 windows-latest or windows-2022 The windows-latest label currently uses the Windows Server 2022 runner image.
Windows Server 2019 windows-2019
Ubuntu 22.04 ubuntu-22.04 Ubuntu 22.04 is currently in public beta.
Ubuntu 20.04 ubuntu-latest or ubuntu-20.04
Ubuntu 18.04 ubuntu-18.04
macOS Monterey 12 macos-12
macOS Big Sur 11 macos-latest or macos-11 The macos-latest label currently uses the macOS 11 runner image.
macOS Catalina 10.15 macos-10.15

Note: The -latest virtual environments are the latest stable images that GitHub provides, and might not be the most recent version of the operating system available from the operating system vendor.

Note: Beta and Deprecated Images are provided "as-is", "with all faults" and "as available" and are excluded from the service level agreement and warranty. Beta Images may not be covered by customer support.

Example: Specifying an operating system

runs-on: ubuntu-latest

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

Choosing 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. Using only this label will select any self-hosted runner. To select runners that meet certain criteria, such as operating system or architecture, we recommend providing an array of labels that begins with self-hosted (this must be listed first) and then includes additional labels as needed. When you specify an array of labels, jobs will be queued on runners that have all the labels that you specify.

Although the self-hosted label is not required, we strongly recommend specifying it when using self-hosted runners to ensure that your job does not unintentionally specify any current or future GitHub-hosted runners.

Example: Using labels for runner selection

runs-on: [self-hosted, linux]

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

jobs.<job_id>.environment

Use jobs.<job_id>.environment to define the environment that the job references. All environment protection rules must pass before a job referencing the environment is sent to a runner. For more information, see "Using environments for deployment."

You can provide the environment as only the environment name, or as an environment object with the name and url. The URL maps to environment_url in the deployments API. For more information about the deployments API, see "Deployments."

Example: Using a single environment name

environment: staging_environment

Example: Using environment name and URL

environment:
  name: production_environment
  url: https://github.com

The URL can be an expression and can use any context except for the secrets context. For more information about expressions, see "Expressions."

Example: Using output as URL

environment:
  name: production_environment
  url: ${{ steps.step_id.outputs.url_output }}

jobs.<job_id>.concurrency

Note: When concurrency is specified at the job level, order is not guaranteed for jobs or runs that queue within 5 minutes of each other.

You can use jobs.<job_id>.concurrency to ensure that only a single job or workflow using the same concurrency group will run at a time. A concurrency group can be any string or expression. The expression can use any context except for the secrets context. For more information about expressions, see "Expressions."

You can also specify concurrency at the workflow level. For more information, see concurrency.

When a concurrent job or workflow is queued, if another job or workflow using the same concurrency group in the repository is in progress, the queued job or workflow will be pending. Any previously pending job or workflow in the concurrency group will be canceled. To also cancel any currently running job or workflow in the same concurrency group, specify cancel-in-progress: true.

Examples: Using concurrency and the default behavior

concurrency: staging_environment
concurrency: ci-${{ github.ref }}

Example: Using concurrency to cancel any in-progress job or run

concurrency: 
  group: ${{ github.ref }}
  cancel-in-progress: true

Example: Using a fallback value

If you build the group name with a property that is only defined for specific events, you can use a fallback value. For example, github.head_ref is only defined on pull_request events. If your workflow responds to other events in addition to pull_request events, you will need to provide a fallback to avoid a syntax error. The following concurrency group cancels in-progress jobs or runs on pull_request events only; if github.head_ref is undefined, the concurrency group will fallback to the run ID, which is guaranteed to be both unique and defined for the run.

concurrency: 
  group: ${{ github.head_ref || github.run_id }}
  cancel-in-progress: true

Example: Only cancel in-progress jobs or runs for the current workflow

If you have multiple workflows in the same repository, concurrency group names must be unique across workflows to avoid canceling in-progress jobs or runs from other workflows. Otherwise, any previously in-progress or pending job will be canceled, regardless of the workflow.

To only cancel in-progress runs of the same workflow, you can use the github.workflow property to build the concurrency group:

concurrency: 
  group: ${{ github.workflow }}-${{ github.ref }}
  cancel-in-progress: true

jobs.<job_id>.outputs

You can use jobs.<job_id>.outputs to create 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.

Outputs are Unicode strings, and can be a maximum of 1 MB. The total of all outputs in a workflow run can be a maximum of 50 MB.

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 "Contexts."

Example: Defining outputs for a job

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

Use jobs.<job_id>.defaults to create 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

Use jobs.<job_id>.defaults.run to 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: Setting default run step options for a job

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

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 and billing" for GitHub-hosted runners and "About self-hosted runners" for self-hosted runner 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 "Contexts."

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 "Expressions."

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 "Expressions."

steps:
  - name: My first step
    uses: octo-org/action-name@main
  - name: My backup step
    if: ${{ failure() }}
    uses: actions/heroku@1.0.0

Example: Using secrets

Secrets cannot be directly referenced in if: conditionals. Instead, consider setting secrets as job-level environment variables, then referencing the environment variables to conditionally run steps in the job.

If a secret has not been set, the return value of an expression referencing the secret (such as ${{ secrets.SuperSecret }} in the example) will be an empty string.

name: Run a step if a secret has been set
on: push
jobs:
  my-jobname:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    env:
      super_secret: ${{ secrets.SuperSecret }}
    steps:
      - if: ${{ env.super_secret != '' }}
        run: echo 'This step will only run if the secret has a value set.'
      - if: ${{ env.super_secret == '' }}
        run: echo 'This step will only run if the secret does not have a value set.'

For more information, see "Context availability" and "Encrypted secrets."

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 default 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/checkout@a81bbbf8298c0fa03ea29cdc473d45769f953675
  # Reference the major version of a release
  - uses: actions/checkout@v3
  # Reference a specific version
  - uses: actions/checkout@v3.2.0
  # Reference a branch
  - uses: actions/checkout@main

Example: Using a public action

{owner}/{repo}@{ref}

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

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: My first step
        # Uses the default branch of a public repository
        uses: actions/heroku@main
      - 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@main

Example: Using an 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@v3
      - 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 the GitHub Packages Container registry

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

A Docker image in the GitHub Packages Container registry.

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: My first step
        uses: docker://ghcr.io/OWNER/IMAGE_NAME

Example: Using a Docker public registry action

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

A Docker image in a public registry. This example uses the Google Container Registry at gcr.io.

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

Example: Using an action inside a different private repository than the workflow

Your workflow must checkout the private repository and reference the action locally. Generate a personal access token and add the token as an encrypted secret. For more information, see "Creating a personal access token" and "Encrypted secrets."

Replace PERSONAL_ACCESS_TOKEN in the example with the name of your secret.

jobs:
  my_first_job:
    steps:
      - name: Check out repository
        uses: actions/checkout@v3
        with:
          repository: octocat/my-private-repo
          ref: v1.0
          token: ${{ secrets.PERSONAL_ACCESS_TOKEN }}
          path: ./.github/actions/my-private-repo
      - name: Run my action
        uses: ./.github/actions/my-private-repo/my-action

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 jobs.<job_id>.steps[*].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

jobs.<job_id>.steps[*].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. The shell command that is run internally executes a temporary file that contains the commands specified in the run keyword.

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}"".
WindowspwshThis is the default shell used on Windows. The PowerShell Core. GitHub appends the extension .ps1 to your script name. If your self-hosted Windows runner does not have PowerShell Core installed, then PowerShell Desktop is used instead.pwsh -command ". '{0}'".
WindowspowershellThe PowerShell Desktop. 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: Using PowerShell Desktop to run a script

steps:
  - name: Display the path
    run: echo ${env:PATH}
    shell: powershell

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}.

For example:

steps:
  - name: Display the environment variables and their values
    run: |
      print %ENV
    shell: perl {0}

The command used, perl in this example, must be installed on the runner.

For information about the software included on GitHub-hosted runners, see "Specifications for GitHub-hosted runners."

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 -eo 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 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@main
        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: octo-org/action-name@main
    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: octo-org/action-name@main
    with:
      entrypoint: /a/different/executable

The entrypoint keyword is meant to be used 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 "Contexts."

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

If the timeout exceeds the job execution time limit for the runner, the job will be canceled when the execution time limit is met instead. For more information about job execution time limits, see "Usage limits and billing" for GitHub-hosted runners and "About self-hosted runners" for self-hosted runner usage limits.

Note: The GITHUB_TOKEN expires when a job finishes or after a maximum of 24 hours. For self-hosted runners, the token may be the limiting factor if the job timeout is greater than 24 hours. For more information on the GITHUB_TOKEN, see "About the GITHUB_TOKEN secret."

jobs.<job_id>.strategy

Use jobs.<job_id>.strategy to use a matrix strategy for your jobs. A matrix strategy lets you use variables in a single job definition to automatically create multiple job runs that are based the combinations of the variables. For example, you can use a matrix strategy to test your code in multiple versions of a language or on multiple operating systems. For more information, see "Using a matrix for your jobs."

jobs.<job_id>.strategy.matrix

Use jobs.<job_id>.strategy.matrix to define a matrix of different job configurations. Within your matrix, define one or more variables followed by an array of values. For example, the following matrix has a variable called version with the value [10, 12, 14] and a variable called os with the value [ubuntu-latest, windows-latest]:

jobs:
  example_matrix:
    strategy:
      matrix:
        version: [10, 12, 14]
        os: [ubuntu-latest, windows-latest]

A job will run for each possible combination of the variables. In this example, the workflow will run six jobs, one for each combination of the os and version variables.

By default, GitHub will maximize the number of jobs run in parallel depending on runner availability. The order of the variables in the matrix determines the order in which the jobs are created. The first variable you define will be the first job that is created in your workflow run. For example, the above matrix will create the jobs in the following order:

  • {version: 10, os: ubuntu-latest}
  • {version: 10, os: windows-latest}
  • {version: 12, os: ubuntu-latest}
  • {version: 12, os: windows-latest}
  • {version: 14, os: ubuntu-latest}
  • {version: 14, os: windows-latest}

A matrix will generate a maximum of 256 jobs per workflow run. This limit applies to both GitHub-hosted and self-hosted runners.

The variables that you define become properties in the matrix context, and you can reference the property in other areas of your workflow file. In this example, you can use matrix.version and matrix.os to access the current value of version and os that the job is using. For more information, see "Contexts."

Example: Using a single-dimension matrix

You can specify a single variable to create a single-dimension matrix.

For example, the following workflow defines the variable version with the values [10, 12, 14]. The workflow will run three jobs, one for each value in the variable. Each job will access the version value through the matrix.version context and pass the value as node-version to the actions/setup-node action.

jobs:
  example_matrix:
    strategy:
      matrix:
        version: [10, 12, 14]
    steps:
      - uses: actions/setup-node@v3
        with:
          node-version: ${{ matrix.version }}

Example: Using a multi-dimension matrix

You can specify multiple variables to create a multi-dimensional matrix. A job will run for each possible combination of the variables.

For example, the following workflow specifies two variables:

  • Two operating systems specified in the os variable
  • Three Node.js versions specified in the version variable

The workflow will run six jobs, one for each combination of the os and version variables. Each job will set the runs-on value to the current os value and will pass the current version value to the actions/setup-node action.

jobs:
  example_matrix:
    strategy:
      matrix:
        os: [ubuntu-18.04, ubuntu-20.04]
        version: [10, 12, 14]
    runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
    steps:
      - uses: actions/setup-node@v3
        with:
          node-version: ${{ matrix.version }}

Example: Using contexts to create matrices

You can use contexts to create matrices. For more information about contexts, see "Contexts."

For example, the following workflow triggers on the repository_dispatch event and uses information from the event payload to build the matrix. When a repository dispatch event is created with a payload like the one below, the matrix version variable will have a value of [12, 14, 16]. For more information about the repository_dispatch trigger, see "Events that trigger workflows."

{
  "event_type": "test",
  "client_payload": {
    "versions": [12, 14, 16]
  }
}
on:
  repository_dispatch:
    types:
      - test
 
jobs:
  example_matrix:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    strategy:
      matrix:
        version: ${{ github.event.client_payload.versions }}
    steps:
      - uses: actions/setup-node@v3
        with:
          node-version: ${{ matrix.version }}

jobs.<job_id>.strategy.matrix.include

Use jobs.<job_id>.strategy.matrix.include to expand existing matrix configurations or to add new configurations. The value of include is a list of objects.

For each object in the include list, the key:value pairs in the object will be added to each of the matrix combinations if none of the key:value pairs overwrite any of the original matrix values. If the object cannot be added to any of the matrix combinations, a new matrix combination will be created instead. Note that the original matrix values will not be overwritten, but added matrix values can be overwritten.

For example, this matrix:

strategy:
  matrix:
    fruit: [apple, pear]
    animal: [cat, dog]
    include:
      - color: green
      - color: pink
        animal: cat
      - fruit: apple
        shape: circle
      - fruit: banana
      - fruit: banana
        animal: cat

will result in six jobs with the following matrix combinations:

  • {fruit: apple, animal: cat, color: pink, shape: circle}
  • {fruit: apple, animal: dog, color: green, shape: circle}
  • {fruit: pear, animal: cat, color: pink}
  • {fruit: pear, animal: dog, color: green}
  • {fruit: banana}
  • {fruit: banana, animal: cat}

following this logic:

  • {color: green} is added to all of the original matrix combinations because it can be added without overwriting any part of the original combinations.
  • {color: pink, animal: cat} adds color:pink only to the original matrix combinations that include animal: cat. This overwrites the color: green that was added by the previous include entry.
  • {fruit: apple, shape: circle} adds shape: circle only to the original matrix combinations that include fruit: apple.
  • {fruit: banana} cannot be added to any original matrix combination without overwriting a value, so it is added as an additional matrix combination.
  • {fruit: banana, animal: cat} cannot be added to any original matrix combination without overwriting a value, so it is added as an additional matrix combination. It does not add to the {fruit: banana} matrix combination because that combination was not one of the original matrix combinations.

Example: Expanding configurations

For example, the following workflow will run six jobs, one for each combination of os and node. When the job for the os value of windows-latest and node value of 16 runs, an additional variable called npm with the value of 6 will be included in the job.

jobs:
  example_matrix:
    strategy:
      matrix:
        os: [windows-latest, ubuntu-latest]
        node: [12, 14, 16]
        include:
          - os: windows-latest
            node: 16
            npm: 6
    runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
    steps:
      - uses: actions/setup-node@v3
        with:
          node-version: ${{ matrix.node }}
      - if: ${{ matrix.npm }}
        run: npm install -g npm@${{ matrix.npm }}
      - run: npm --version

Example: Adding configurations

For example, this matrix will run 10 jobs, one for each combination of os and version in the matrix, plus a job for the os value of windows-latest and version value of 17.

jobs:
  example_matrix:
    strategy:
      matrix:
        os: [macos-latest, windows-latest, ubuntu-latest]
        version: [12, 14, 16]
        include:
          - os: windows-latest
            version: 17

If you don't specify any matrix variables, all configurations under include will run. For example, the following workflow would run two jobs, one for each include entry. This lets you take advantage of the matrix strategy without having a fully populated matrix.

jobs:
  includes_only:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    strategy:
      matrix:
        include:
          - site: "production"
            datacenter: "site-a"
          - site: "staging"
            datacenter: "site-b"

jobs.<job_id>.strategy.matrix.exclude

To remove specific configurations defined in the matrix, use jobs.<job_id>.strategy.matrix.exclude. An excluded configuration only has to be a partial match for it to be excluded. For example, the following workflow will run nine jobs: one job for each of the 12 configurations, minus the one excluded job that matches {os: macos-latest, version: 12, environment: production}, and the two excluded jobs that match {os: windows-latest, version: 16}.

strategy:
  matrix:
    os: [macos-latest, windows-latest]
    version: [12, 14, 16]
    environment: [staging, production]
    exclude:
      - os: macos-latest
        version: 12
        environment: production
      - os: windows-latest
        version: 16
runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}

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

You can control how job failures are handled with jobs.<job_id>.strategy.fail-fast and jobs.<job_id>.continue-on-error.

jobs.<job_id>.strategy.fail-fast applies to the entire matrix. If jobs.<job_id>.strategy.fail-fast is set to true, GitHub will cancel all in-progress and queued jobs in the matrix if any job in the matrix fails. This property defaults to true.

jobs.<job_id>.continue-on-error applies to a single job. If jobs.<job_id>.continue-on-error is true, other jobs in the matrix will continue running even if the job with jobs.<job_id>.continue-on-error: true fails.

You can use jobs.<job_id>.strategy.fail-fast and jobs.<job_id>.continue-on-error together. For example, the following workflow will start four jobs. For each job, continue-on-error is determined by the value of matrix.experimental. If any of the jobs with continue-on-error: false fail, all jobs that are in progress or queued will be cancelled. If the job with continue-on-error: true fails, the other jobs will not be affected.

jobs:
  test:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    continue-on-error: ${{ matrix.experimental }}
    strategy:
      fail-fast: true
      matrix:
        version: [6, 7, 8]
        experimental: [false]
        include:
          - version: 9
            experimental: true

jobs.<job_id>.strategy.max-parallel

By default, GitHub will maximize the number of jobs run in parallel depending on runner availability. To set the maximum number of jobs that can run simultaneously when using a matrix job strategy, use jobs.<job_id>.strategy.max-parallel.

For example, the following workflow will run a maximum of two jobs at a time, even if there are runners available to run all six jobs at once.

jobs:
  example_matrix:
    strategy:
      max-parallel: 2
      matrix:
        version: [10, 12, 14]
        os: [ubuntu-latest, windows-latest]

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 15 to fail without failing the workflow run.

runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
continue-on-error: ${{ matrix.experimental }}
strategy:
  fail-fast: false
  matrix:
    node: [13, 14]
    os: [macos-latest, ubuntu-18.04]
    experimental: [false]
    include:
      - node: 15
        os: ubuntu-18.04
        experimental: true

jobs.<job_id>.container

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

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

Use jobs.<job_id>.container to create 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: Running a job within a container

YAML
name: CI
on:
  push:
    branches: [ main ]
jobs:
  container-test-job:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    container:
      image: node:14.16
      env:
        NODE_ENV: development
      ports:
        - 80
      volumes:
        - my_docker_volume:/volume_mount
      options: --cpus 1
    steps:
      - name: Check for dockerenv file
        run: (ls /.dockerenv && echo Found dockerenv) || (echo No dockerenv)

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

jobs:
  container-test-job:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    container: node:14.16

jobs.<job_id>.container.image

Use jobs.<job_id>.container.image to define the Docker image to use as the container to run the action. The value can be the Docker Hub image name or a registry name.

jobs.<job_id>.container.credentials

If the image's container registry requires authentication to pull the image, you can use jobs.<job_id>.container.credentials to set a map of the username and password. The credentials are the same values that you would provide to the docker login command.

Example: Defining credentials for a container registry

container:
  image: ghcr.io/owner/image
  credentials:
     username: ${{ github.actor }}
     password: ${{ secrets.github_token }}

jobs.<job_id>.container.env

Use jobs.<job_id>.container.env to set a map of environment variables in the container.

jobs.<job_id>.container.ports

Use jobs.<job_id>.container.ports to set an array of ports to expose on the container.

jobs.<job_id>.container.volumes

Use jobs.<job_id>.container.volumes to set 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: Mounting volumes in a container

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

jobs.<job_id>.container.options

Use jobs.<job_id>.container.options to configure additional Docker container resource options. For a list of options, see "docker create options."

Warning: The --network option is not supported.

jobs.<job_id>.services

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

  • If you are using GitHub-hosted runners, you must use an Ubuntu 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.<service_id>.image

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

jobs.<job_id>.services.<service_id>.credentials

If the image's container registry requires authentication to pull the image, you can use jobs.<job_id>.container.credentials to set a map of the username and password. The credentials are the same values that you would provide to the docker login command.

Example

services:
  myservice1:
    image: ghcr.io/owner/myservice1
    credentials:
      username: ${{ github.actor }}
      password: ${{ secrets.github_token }}
  myservice2:
    image: dockerhub_org/myservice2
    credentials:
      username: ${{ secrets.DOCKER_USER }}
      password: ${{ secrets.DOCKER_PASSWORD }}

jobs.<job_id>.services.<service_id>.env

Sets a map of environment variables in the service container.

jobs.<job_id>.services.<service_id>.ports

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

jobs.<job_id>.services.<service_id>.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.<service_id>.options

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

Warning: The --network option is not supported.

jobs.<job_id>.uses

The location and version of a reusable workflow file to run as a job. Use one of the following syntaxes:

  • {owner}/{repo}/.github/workflows/{filename}@{ref} for reusable workflows in public repositories.
  • ./.github/workflows/{filename} for reusable workflows in the same repository.

{ref} can be a SHA, a release tag, or a branch name. Using the commit SHA is the safest for stability and security. For more information, see "Security hardening for GitHub Actions." If you use the second syntax option (without {owner}/{repo} and @{ref}) the called workflow is from the same commit as the caller workflow.

Example

jobs:
  call-workflow-1-in-local-repo:
    uses: octo-org/this-repo/.github/workflows/workflow-1.yml@172239021f7ba04fe7327647b213799853a9eb89
  call-workflow-2-in-local-repo:
    uses: ./.github/workflows/workflow-2.yml
  call-workflow-in-another-repo:
    uses: octo-org/another-repo/.github/workflows/workflow.yml@v1

For more information, see "Reusing workflows."

jobs.<job_id>.with

When a job is used to call a reusable workflow, you can use with to provide a map of inputs that are passed to the called workflow.

Any inputs that you pass must match the input specifications defined in the called workflow.

Unlike jobs.<job_id>.steps[*].with, the inputs you pass with jobs.<job_id>.with are not be available as environment variables in the called workflow. Instead, you can reference the inputs by using the inputs context.

Example

jobs:
  call-workflow:
    uses: octo-org/example-repo/.github/workflows/called-workflow.yml@main
    with:
      username: mona

jobs.<job_id>.with.<input_id>

A pair consisting of a string identifier for the input and the value of the input. The identifier must match the name of an input defined by on.workflow_call.inputs.<inputs_id> in the called workflow. The data type of the value must match the type defined by on.workflow_call.inputs.<input_id>.type in the called workflow.

Allowed expression contexts: github, and needs.

jobs.<job_id>.secrets

When a job is used to call a reusable workflow, you can use secrets to provide a map of secrets that are passed to the called workflow.

Any secrets that you pass must match the names defined in the called workflow.

Example

jobs:
  call-workflow:
    uses: octo-org/example-repo/.github/workflows/called-workflow.yml@main
    secrets:
      access-token: ${{ secrets.PERSONAL_ACCESS_TOKEN }}

jobs.<job_id>.secrets.inherit

Use the inherit keyword to pass all the calling workflow's secrets to the called workflow. This includes all secrets the calling workflow has access to, namely organization, repository, and environment secrets. The inherit keyword can be used to pass secrets across repositories within the same organization, or across organizations within the same enterprise.

Example

on:
  workflow_dispatch:

jobs:
  pass-secrets-to-workflow:
    uses: ./.github/workflows/called-workflow.yml
    secrets: inherit
on:
  workflow_call:

jobs:
  pass-secret-to-action:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - name: Use a repo or org secret from the calling workflow.
        run: echo ${{ secrets.CALLING_WORKFLOW_SECRET }}

jobs.<job_id>.secrets.<secret_id>

A pair consisting of a string identifier for the secret and the value of the secret. The identifier must match the name of a secret defined by on.workflow_call.secrets.<secret_id> in the called workflow.

Allowed expression contexts: github, needs, and secrets.

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 of the preceding character.
  • +: 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-z] matches any digit 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>.<branches|tags>", "on.<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
main

releases/mona-the-octocat
Matches the exact name of a branch or tag name.main

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.main

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 branches and 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