Migrate from GitHub Actions
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This document provides an overview of how to migrate from GitHub Actions to CircleCI.
Jobs and workflows
Both GitHub Actions and CircleCI share similar concepts around "jobs" and "workflows". A workflow is an end-to-end flow of connected jobs, which in turn consist of commands to achieve an atomic task (e.g. "run unit tests" or "build a Docker image").
CircleCI differs primarily in configuration syntax, setting up workflow and job dependencies in a separate section as opposed to inline in the job.
Actions vs. orbs
CircleCI offers similar functionality in our orbs. The primary difference is that CircleCI orbs are just packaged, reusable YAML, so you can orbify reusable jobs, executors, or commands, and use them however you see fit in any of your jobs or workflows.
Runners vs. executors
In GitHub, you can specify your builds to run in Linux, macOS, and Windows environments via a
runs-on key in the YAML, and if you want to run anything in a container, you specify an additional
In CircleCI, you have the same choice of environments (called Executors), with additional options and features for Docker.
For each of the executor types, you have a choice of different versions which will subsequently have various versions of base software installed.
See the table in the next section to compare configuration.
|Using Docker? Authenticating Docker pulls from image registries is recommended when using the Docker execution environment. Authenticated pulls allow access to private Docker images, and may also grant higher rate limits, depending on your registry provider. For further information see Using Docker authenticated pulls.|
|GitHub Config||CircleCI Config|
Specifying execution environment. While container execution is specified separately in GitHub,
Specifying dependencies/services. All images specified after the first in CircleCI are treated as dependencies.
Specifying steps to run in a job. Similar functionality, different syntax.
Using shared tasks (Actions for GitHub, orbs for CircleCI). In CircleCI, you declare orbs at the top level
Using conditional steps in the workflow. CircleCI offers basic conditions on steps (e.g., on_success [default],
Since the configuration between GitHub Actions and CircleCI is similar, it should be fairly trivial to migrate your jobs and workflows. However, for best chances of success, we recommend migrating over items in the following order:
Help make this document better
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