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Managing prebuilds

You can review, modify, and delete the prebuild configurations for your repository.

Checking, changing, and deleting your prebuild configurations

The prebuilds that you configure for a repository are created and updated using a GitHub Actions workflow, managed by the GitHub Codespaces service.

Depending on the settings in a prebuild configuration, the workflow to update the prebuild may be triggered by these events:

  • Creating or updating the prebuild configuration
  • Pushing a commit or a pull request to a branch that's configured to have prebuilds
  • Changing any of the dev container configuration files
  • A schedule that you've defined in the prebuild configuration
  • Manually triggering the workflow

The settings in the prebuild configuration determine which events automatically trigger an update of the prebuild. For more information, see "Configuring prebuilds."

People with admin access to a repository can check the progress of prebuilds, edit, and delete prebuild configurations.

Viewing the progress of prebuilds

You can view the current status of the latest workflow run for each prebuild configuration you've set up on the GitHub Codespaces page of your repository settings. For example, "Currently running" or "Last run 1 hour ago."

To see the log output for the latest prebuild workflow run, click See output.

The 'See output' button

This displays the output of the most recent run of the workflow in the Actions tab.

The prebuild workflow output

Alternatively, to view all prebuild workflow runs associated with the specified branch, click the ellipsis button and choose View runs from the dropdown menu.

The 'View runs' option in the dropdown menu

This displays the workflow run history for prebuilds for the associated branch.

The workflow run history

Editing a prebuild configuration

  1. On the Codespaces page of your repository settings, click the ellipsis to the right of the prebuild configuration you want to edit.

  2. In the dropdown menu, click Edit.

    The 'Edit' option in the dropdown menu

  3. Make the required changes to the prebuild configuration, then click Update.

    If the dev container configuration for the repository specifies permissions for accessing other repositories, you will be shown an authorization page. For more information on how this is specified in the devcontainer.json file, see "Managing access to other repositories within your codespace."

    Click to view the details of the requested permissions.

    Screenshot of the authorization page for prebuilds

    Click Authorize and continue to grant these permissions for creation of prebuilds. Alternatively, you can click Continue without authorizing but, if you do so, codespaces created from the resulting prebuilds may not work properly.

    Note: Users who create codespaces using this prebuild will also be asked to grant these permisssions.

Disabling a prebuild configuration

To pause the update of prebuilds for a configuration, you can disable workflow runs for the configuration. Disabling the workflow runs for a prebuild configuration does not delete any previously created prebuilds for that configuration and, as a result, codespaces will continue to be generated from an existing prebuild.

Disabling the workflow runs for a prebuild configuration is useful if you need to investigate prebuild creation failures.

  1. On the Codespaces page of your repository settings, click the ellipsis to the right of the prebuild configuration you want to disable.

  2. In the dropdown menu, click Disable runs.

    The 'Disable runs' option in the dropdown menu

  3. To confirm that you want to disable this configuration, click OK.

Deleting a prebuild configuration

Deleting a prebuild configuration also deletes all previously created prebuilds for that configuration. As a result, shortly after you delete a configuration, prebuilds generated by that configuration will no longer be available when you create a new codespace.

After you delete a prebuild configuration, workflow runs for that configuration that have been queued or started will still run. They will be listed in the workflow run history, along with previously completed workflow runs.

  1. On the Codespaces page of your repository settings, click the ellipsis to the right of the prebuild configuration you want to delete.

  2. In the dropdown menu, click Delete.

    The 'Delete' option in the dropdown menu

  3. Click OK to confirm the deletion.

Manually trigger prebuilds

It may be useful to manually trigger a workflow run for a prebuild configuration. Generally this is only necessary if you are debugging a problem with the workflow for a prebuild configuration.

  1. On the Codespaces page of your repository settings, click the ellipsis to the right of the prebuild configuration whose workflow you want to trigger.

  2. In the dropdown menu, click Manually trigger.

    The 'Manually trigger' option in the dropdown menu

Further reading