Migrate Travis CI to GitHub Actions for Node.js


This article goes over how to migrate from Travis CI to GitHub Actions for a Node.js project on GitHub.

Travis CI

Given the .travis.yml:

# .travis.yml
language: node_js
node_js:
  - stable
install:
  - npm install
script:
  - npm run lint
  - npm run build
  - npm test
after_success:
  - cat coverage/lcov.info | npx coveralls

GitHub Actions

First make the directory .github/workflows/:

$ mkdir -p .github/workflows/

Create .github/workflows/build.yml:

$ touch .github/workflows/build.yml

Add the Node.js workflow:

# .github/workflows/build.yml
name: build
on: [push]
jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    strategy:
      matrix:
        node-version: [14.x]
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Use Node.js ${{ matrix.node-version }}
        uses: actions/setup-node@v1
        with:
          node-version: ${{ matrix.node-version }}
      - run: npm install
      - run: npm run lint
      - run: npm run build
      - run: npm test
      - name: Coveralls
        uses: coverallsapp/github-action@master
        with:
          github-token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}

The workflow is inspired by the template.

Workflow

Here’s a breakdown of what each YAML field does.

name

name is the workflow name. It’s optional and you can name it whatever you like:

name: CI build

on

on is the event that triggers the workflow. In our example, git push triggers our workflow.

To add the pull_request event:

on: [push, pull_request]

Which is the same thing as:

on:
  push:
    branches: [$default-branch]
  pull_request:
    branches: [$default-branch]

jobs

jobs are the jobs that the workflow runs. In our example, we have a single job named build:

jobs:
  build:
    # ...

runs-on

runs-on is the environment that the workflow runs on. To specify an OS version:

runs-on: ubuntu-18.04

strategy.matrix

strategy.matrix is the build matrix. In our example, we’re running a job for a single node version. To define jobs for multiple node versions:

strategy:
  matrix:
    node-version: [12.19.0, 14.x, 15]

steps

steps are the tasks of a job. In our example, we’re using the GitHub Actions:

actions/checkout checks out the repository and actions/setup-node sets up the Node.js environment:

steps:
  - uses: actions/checkout@v2
  - name: Use Node.js ${{ matrix.node-version }}
    uses: actions/setup-node@v1
    with:
      node-version: ${{ matrix.node-version }}

coverallsapp/github-action sends the coverage report to Coveralls:

- name: Coveralls
  uses: coverallsapp/github-action@master
  with:
    github-token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}

steps.run

steps.run runs the commands. The commands can be npm scripts from package.json or other bash commands.

steps:
  - run: npm run build --if-present

actions/setup-node@v1 installs npm, npx, and yarn. The --if-present option runs the script only if it exists:

env

env sets the environment variables for the entire workflow or an individual step. See env and jobs.<job_id>.steps.env.

Although Travis CI sets default environment variables, we don’t have to set CI=true for our job since actions/checkout@v2 does it for us:

jobs:
  build:
    env:
      CI: true

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