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InfoQ Homepage News GitHub Launches Actions-Powered CI/CD Service, Free for Public Repos

GitHub Launches Actions-Powered CI/CD Service, Free for Public Repos

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Based on developer feedback, GitHub has just introduced its own Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) service for GitHub Actions. Currently in beta, the new service will be free for public repos and will support self-hosting.

In a nutshell, GitHub CI/CD for GitHub Actions will enable building, testing, and deploying user projects on a variety of platforms, including Linux, macOS, and Windows. Supported languages and frameworks include Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, C/C++, .NET, Android, and iOS. You can also use the docker-compose command in case your application requires multiple coordinated services. Additionally, GitHub CI/CD will make it easy to run multiple, parallel tests using a combination of environments, runtime versions, e.g., different versions of node, and OSes.

Previous to GitHub introducing its own CI/CD service, developers could already use third-party CI/CD services, such as those offered by CircleCI. The new GitHub service promises to make using CI/CD even more straightforward, by suggesting developers configure CI/CD when enabling Actions on their repos.

GitHub Actions are workflows that you create either using a visual editor by composing basic building blocks called steps, or writing them as YAML code. Workflows are then packaged in Docker containers and run on GitHub's or other provider's servers, including your own self-hosted servers. Workflows are triggered when specific lifecycle events occur, such as creating a branch or tag, modifying an issue, adding a new member, etc., and can use the GitHub API to access their repo.

Among the advantages of GitHub Actions is the fact that workflows and steps are defined using code stored in a repository, which makes it easy to share and evolve them within or across projects just as with other project deliverables.

Since their introduction last year, GitHub Actions have been widely used for a number of tasks including managing issues, automating releases and package publishing, collaborating with users, etc. Besides the already mentioned CircleCI, many other companies have also been providing their own Actions-integrated services, including LaunchDarkly, Code Climate, mabl, etc.

GitHub CI/CD is available in beta now, free for all users, and will become generally available on November 13. Outside of beta, it will remain free for public repositories and when self-hosting GitHub's CI/CD runners.

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