Why I Switched From CircleCI to GitHub Actions


Jonathan Wong / September 15, 2019

2 min read––– views

GitHub Actions Checks

I recently switched my Continuous Integration (CI) provider from CircleCI to GitHub Actions. My primary use for CI is running linting/tests on every pull request. Nothing too crazy.

I've used CircleCI as my go-to provider for a while now. When I'm trying to get a project off the ground, I don't want to worry about reinventing the wheel every time I need to set up CI.

GitHub recently came out with Actions, which appeared to solve the same problem without relying on an external service. Then, there was a security incident with CircleCI on August 31st. I decided to sign up for the beta of GitHub Actions and give it a shot.


Here's the CircleCI config I was using. It installs the dependencies and runs yarn test.

version: 2
      - image: circleci/node:10.15.0
      - checkout
      - restore_cache:
          name: Restoring dependencies
            - dependencies-v1-{{ checksum "yarn.lock" }}
      - run:
          name: Installing dependencies
          command: yarn
      - save_cache:
          name: Saving dependencies
            - ~/.cache/yarn
            - node_modules
          key: dependencies-v1-{{ checksum "yarn.lock" }}
      - run:
          name: Running tests
          command: yarn test

Github Actions#

GitHub Actions supports Node.js, Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, Go, Rust, .NET, and more. Build, test, and deploy applications in your language of choice.

I can achieve the exact configuration as CircleCI with GitHub Actions 🎉

name: CI
on: pull_request
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v1
          fetch-depth: 1
      - name: Setup Node.js
        uses: actions/setup-node@v1
          node-version: 10.15.0
      - name: Installing dependencies
        run: yarn install --frozen-lockfile
      - name: Running tests
        run: yarn test

After adding this file at .github/workflows/workflow.yml, you'll be able to see each run show up under the "Actions" tab.

GitHub Actions Tab

I've defined my check to happen on every pull request.

GitHub Actions Checks


GitHub Actions has been excellent so far. Plus, there's a lot more I could do with Actions. You can run a workflow on any GitHub event (e.g. push, issue creation, releases, etc) and even:

I'm looking forward to seeing the adoption of GitHub Actions as it releases to the public.

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