Publishing and installing a package with GitHub Actions

You can configure a workflow in GitHub Actions to automatically publish or install a package from GitHub Packages.

GitHub Packages is available with GitHub Free, GitHub Pro, GitHub Free for organizations, GitHub Team, GitHub Enterprise Cloud, GitHub Enterprise Server, and GitHub AE.

Note: GitHub Packages is currently in beta for GitHub Enterprise Server 2.22. To join the beta for your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, use the sign-up form.

About GitHub Packages with GitHub Actions

GitHub Actions help you automate your software development workflows in the same place you store code and collaborate on pull requests and issues. You can write individual tasks, called actions, and combine them to create a custom workflow. With GitHub Actions you can build end-to-end continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) capabilities directly in your repository. For more information, see "About GitHub Actions."

You can extend the CI and CD capabilities of your repository by publishing or installing packages as part of your workflow.

Authenticating to package registries on GitHub

To authenticate to package registries on GitHub Enterprise Server, we recommend using the GITHUB_TOKEN that GitHub Enterprise Server automatically creates for your repository when you enable GitHub Actions instead of a personal access token for authentication. It has read and write permissions for packages in the repository where the workflow runs. For forks, the GITHUB_TOKEN is granted read access for the parent repository. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

You can reference the GITHUB_TOKEN in your workflow file using the {{secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN}} context. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

About permissions and package access for repository-owned packages

Note: Repository-owned packages include RubyGems, npm, Apache Maven, NuGet, Gradle, and Docker packages that use the package namespace docker.pkg.github.com.

When you enable GitHub Actions, GitHub installs a GitHub App on your repository. The GITHUB_TOKEN secret is a GitHub App installation access token. You can use the installation access token to authenticate on behalf of the GitHub App installed on your repository. The token's permissions are limited to the repository that contains your workflow. For more information, see "Permissions for the GITHUB_TOKEN."

GitHub Packages allows you to push and pull packages through the GITHUB_TOKEN available to a GitHub Actions workflow.

Publishing a package using an action

You can use GitHub Actions to automatically publish packages as part of your continuous integration (CI) flow. This approach to continuous deployment (CD) allows you to automate the creation of new package versions, if the code meets your quality standards. For example, you could create a workflow that runs CI tests every time a developer pushes code to a particular branch. If the tests pass, the workflow can publish a new package version to GitHub Packages.

Configuration steps vary by package client. For general information about configuring a workflow for GitHub Actions, see "Configuring a workflow."

The following example demonstrates how you can use GitHub Actions to build and test your app, and then automatically create a Docker image and publish it to GitHub Packages.

Create a new workflow file in your repository (such as .github/workflows/deploy-image.yml), and add the following YAML:

YAML
name: Create and publish a Docker image

# This workflow uses actions that are not certified by GitHub.
# They are provided by a third-party and are governed by
# separate terms of service, privacy policy, and support
# documentation.

on:
  push:
    branches: ['release']

jobs:
  run-npm-build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: npm install and build webpack
        run: |
          npm install
          npm run build
      - uses: actions/upload-artifact@main
        with:
          name: webpack artifacts
          path: public/

  run-npm-test:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    needs: run-npm-build
    strategy:
      matrix:
        os: [ubuntu-latest]
        node-version: [12.x, 14.x]
    steps: 
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Use Node.js ${{ matrix.node-version }}
        uses: actions/setup-node@v2
        with:
          node-version: ${{ matrix.node-version }}
      - uses: actions/download-artifact@main
        with:
          name: webpack artifacts
          path: public
      - name: npm install, and test
        run: |
          npm install
          npm test
        env:
          CI: true

  build-and-push-image:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    needs: run-npm-test 
    steps:
      - name: Checkout
        uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Log in to GitHub Docker Registry
        uses: docker/login-action@f054a8b539a109f9f41c372932f1ae047eff08c9
        with:
          registry: docker.pkg.github.com
          username: ${{ github.actor }}
          password: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
      - name: Build and push Docker image
        uses: docker/build-push-action@ad44023a93711e3deb337508980b4b5e9bcdc5dc
        with:
          push: true
          tags: |
            docker.pkg.github.com/${{ github.repository }}/octo-image:${{ github.sha }}

The relevant settings are explained in the following table. For full details about each element in a workflow, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

on:
  push:
    branches: ['release']
Configures the Create and publish a Docker image workflow to run every time a change is pushed to the branch called release.
run-npm-build:
  runs-on: ubuntu-latest
  steps:
    - uses: actions/checkout@v2
    - name: npm install and build webpack
      run: |
        npm install
        npm run build
    - uses: actions/upload-artifact@main
      with:
        name: webpack artifacts
        path: public/
This job installs NPM and uses it to build the app.
run-npm-test:
  runs-on: ubuntu-latest
  needs: run-npm-build
  strategy:
    matrix:
      os: [ubuntu-latest]
      node-version: [12.x, 14.x]
  steps:
    - uses: actions/checkout@v2
    - name: Use Node.js ${{ matrix.node-version }}
      uses: actions/setup-node@v2
      with:
        node-version: ${{ matrix.node-version }}
    - uses: actions/download-artifact@main
      with:
        name: webpack artifacts
        path: public
    - name: npm install, and test
      run: |
        npm install
        npm test
      env:
        CI: true
This job uses npm test to test the code. The needs: run-npm-build command makes this job dependent on the run-npm-build job.
build-and-push-image:
  runs-on: ubuntu-latest
  needs: run-npm-test
This job publishes the package. The needs: run-npm-test command makes this job dependent on the run-npm-test job.
- name: Log in to GitHub Docker Registry
  uses: docker/login-action@f054a8b539a109f9f41c372932f1ae047eff08c9
  with:
    registry: docker.pkg.github.com
    username: ${{ github.actor }}
    password: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
Creates a new step called Log in to GitHub Docker Registry, which logs in to the registry using the account and password that will publish the packages. Once published, the packages are owned by the account defined here.
- name: Build and push Docker image
Creates a new step called Build and push Docker image. This step runs as part of the build-and-push-image job.
uses: docker/build-push-action@ad44023a93711e3deb337508980b4b5e9bcdc5dc
Uses the Docker build-push-action action to build the image, based on your repository's Dockerfile. If the build succeeds, it pushes the image to GitHub Packages.
with:
Sends the required parameters to the build-push-action action. These are defined in the subsequent lines.
push: true
Pushes this image to the registry if it is built successfully.
tags: |
docker.pkg.github.com/${{ github.repository }}/octo-image:${{ github.sha }}
Tags the image with the SHA of the commit that triggered the workflow.

This new workflow will run automatically every time you push a change to a branch named release in the repository. You can view the progress in the Actions tab.

A few minutes after the workflow has completed, the new package will visible in your repository. To find your available packages, see "Viewing a repository's packages."

Installing a package using an action

You can install packages as part of your CI flow using GitHub Actions. For example, you could configure a workflow so that anytime a developer pushes code to a pull request, the workflow resolves dependencies by downloading and installing packages hosted by GitHub Packages. Then, the workflow can run CI tests that require the dependencies.

Installing packages hosted by GitHub Packages through GitHub Actions requires minimal configuration or additional authentication when you use the GITHUB_TOKEN.

Configuration steps vary by package client. For general information about configuring a workflow for GitHub Actions, see "Configuring a workflow."

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