Configuring Apache Maven for use with GitHub Packages

You can configure Apache Maven to publish packages to GitHub Packages and to use packages stored on GitHub Packages as dependencies in a Java project.

GitHub Packages is available with GitHub Free, GitHub Pro, GitHub Free for organizations, GitHub Team, GitHub Enterprise Cloud, GitHub Enterprise Server 2.22, and GitHub One.


GitHub Packages is not available for private repositories owned by accounts using legacy per-repository plans. Also, accounts using legacy per-repository plans cannot access GitHub Container Registry since these accounts are billed by repository. For more information, see "GitHub's products."

In this article

Authenticating to GitHub Packages

You need an access token to publish, install, and delete packages. You can use a personal access token to authenticate with your username directly to GitHub Packages or the GitHub API. When you create a personal access token, you can assign the token different scopes depending on your needs.

To authenticate using a GitHub Actions workflow:

  • For package registries (PACKAGE-REGISTRY.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY/IMAGE-NAME), you can use a GITHUB_TOKEN.
  • For the container registry (ghcr.io/OWNER/IMAGE-NAME), you must use a personal access token.

Authenticating with a personal access token

You must use a personal access token with the appropriate scopes to publish and install packages in GitHub Packages. For more information, see "About GitHub Packages."

You can authenticate to GitHub Packages with Apache Maven by editing your ~/.m2/settings.xml file to include your personal access token. Create a new ~/.m2/settings.xml file if one doesn't exist.

In the servers tag, add a child server tag with an id, replacing USERNAME with your GitHub username, and TOKEN with your personal access token.

In the repositories tag, configure a repository by mapping the id of the repository to the id you added in the server tag containing your credentials. Replace REPOSITORY with the name of the repository you'd like to publish a package to or install a package from, and OWNER with the name of the user or organization account that owns the repository. Because uppercase letters aren't supported, you must use lowercase letters for the repository owner even if the GitHub user or organization name contains uppercase letters.

If you want to interact with multiple repositories, you can add each repository to separate repository children in the repositories tag, mapping the id of each to the credentials in the servers tag.

GitHub Packages supports SNAPSHOT versions of Apache Maven. To use a repository for downloading this type of artifact, you must enable SNAPSHOTS in your ~/.m2/settings.xml file.

<settings xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/SETTINGS/1.0.0"
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/SETTINGS/1.0.0
                      http://maven.apache.org/xsd/settings-1.0.0.xsd">

  <activeProfiles>
    <activeProfile>github</activeProfile>
  </activeProfiles>

  <profiles>
    <profile>
      <id>github</id>
      <repositories>
        <repository>
          <id>central</id>
          <url>https://repo1.maven.org/maven2</url>
          <releases><enabled>true</enabled></releases>
          <snapshots><enabled>true</enabled></snapshots>
        </repository>
        <repository>
          <id>github</id>
          <name>GitHub OWNER Apache Maven Packages</name>
          <url>https://maven.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY</url>
        </repository>
      </repositories>
    </profile>
  </profiles>

  <servers>
    <server>
      <id>github</id>
      <username>USERNAME</username>
      <password>TOKEN</password>
    </server>
  </servers>
</settings>

Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN

If you are using a GitHub Actions workflow, you can use a GITHUB_TOKEN to publish and consume packages in GitHub Packages without needing to store and manage a personal access token. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

Publishing a package

By default, GitHub publishes the package to an existing repository with the same name as the package. For example, GitHub will publish a package named com.example:test in a repository called OWNER/test.

If you would like to publish multiple packages to the same repository, you can include the URL of the repository in the <distributionManagement> element of the pom.xml file. GitHub will match the repository based on that field. Since the repository name is also part of the distributionManagement element, there are no additional steps to publish multiple packages to the same repository.

For more information on creating a package, see the maven.apache.org documentation.

  1. Edit the distributionManagement element of the pom.xml file located in your package directory, replacing OWNER with the name of the user or organization account that owns the repository and REPOSITORY with the name of the repository containing your project.

    <distributionManagement>
       <repository>
         <id>github</id>
         <name>GitHub OWNER Apache Maven Packages</name>
         <url>https://maven.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY</url>
       </repository>
    </distributionManagement>
    
  2. Publish the package.

    $ mvn deploy

After you publish a package, you can view the package on GitHub. For more information, see "Viewing packages."

Installing a package

To install an Apache Maven package from GitHub Packages, edit the pom.xml file to include the package as a dependency. If you want to install packages from more than one repository, add a repository tag for each. For more information on using a pom.xml file in your project, see "Introduction to the POM" in the Apache Maven documentation.

  1. Authenticate to GitHub Packages. For more information, see "Authenticating to GitHub Packages."

  2. Add the package dependencies to the dependencies element of your project pom.xml file, replacing com.example:test with your package.

    <dependencies>
      <dependency>
        <groupId>com.example</groupId>
        <artifactId>test</artifactId>
        <version>1.0.0-SNAPSHOT</version>
      </dependency>
    </dependencies>
    
  3. Install the package.

    $ mvn install

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