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Triggers overview

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Pipelines are triggered in response to actions or scheduled to run at specific times and frequencies. Each method of triggering a pipeline is described below.

Trigger a pipeline on push to your code repository

Once a project is hooked up to CircleCI, a pipeline is triggered each time a commit is pushed on a branch that has a .circleci/config.yml file included. Once the commit is pushed the running pipeline appears on the pipelines dashboard, which is accessible by selecting Dashboard from the left hand sidebar in the CircleCI web app.

Screenshot showing running pipelines in the CircleCI dashboard.
Figure 1. Pipeline running and visible on the dashboard

Trigger a pipeline from the CircleCI web app

In the CircleCI web app, when you have a specific branch selected, the Trigger Pipeline button becomes enabled:

  1. Select your branch using the branch filter at the top of the dashboard.

    screenshot showing location of branch filter on pipelines dashboard
  2. Click Trigger Pipeline. At this point you can choose whether you want to specify any pipeline parameters.

    screenshot showing the popup you will see when slicking the trigger pipeline button in the web app
  3. Click Trigger Pipeline again (or Cancel) and you will see your new pipeline start.

Trigger a pipeline using the API

  1. If you have not already, get set up to use API v2 by following the steps in the API Developers Guide.

  2. To trigger a pipeline from the command line using curl, copy and paste this sample request and replace the details in < > with your details, VCS can be gh or bb:

    curl -X POST https://circleci.com/api/v2/project/<VCS>/<your-vcs-org-or-username>/<your-repo-name>/pipeline \
      --header "Circle-Token: $CIRCLE_TOKEN" \
      --header 'content-type: application/json' \
      --data '{"branch":"<your-branch-name>"}'
  3. Head back to the CircleCI web app and see your pipeline running on the dashboard.

Schedule a pipeline

Scheduled pipelines allow you to trigger pipelines periodically based on a schedule. To get this set up for a project you can either use the CircleCI web app or use the API v2. For full details of both methods see the Scheduled Pipelines docs.

Next steps

Read about orchestrating elements of work within pipelines on the Using Workflows to Schedule Jobs page.


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