Getting Started with GoLang GitHub Action Runners

Creating GitHub actions with GoLang can be efficient and fairly straightforward. This post will guide you through creating a simple "Hello, World!" action using GoLang and Docker. Firstly, let's start with the GoLang program that prints "Hello, World!" on the console.

main.go file:

This is a very basic GoLang program, stored in the file main.go:

package main

import "fmt"

func main() {
    fmt.Println("Hello, World!")

Each time this program is executed, it simply prints "Hello, World!" to the console. For the GitHub Action, we define a Dockerfile and action.yml.


Our Dockerfile creates a Docker image using the golang:1.21.5-alpine3.19 image as the base copies our application into the image downloads any dependencies, and compiles our GoLang program:

FROM golang:1.21.5-alpine3.19 AS builder
COPY . /app
RUN go get -d -v
RUN CGO_ENABLED=0 GOOS=linux go build -a -installsuffix cgo -o hello-world .

# final stage
FROM alpine:3.19
RUN apk --no-cache add ca-certificates
COPY --from=builder /app/hello-world /app/
CMD sh -c 'pwd; ls -ltrh; ls -ltrh /app; /app/hello-world'

action.yml File:

In action.yml, we declare the metadata, specify that the action will run inside a Docker container, and specify the Dockerfile as the image to be used:

name: "Hello World Action"
description: "Runs a hello world golang program"
  using: "docker"
  image: "Dockerfile"

Note that the image field points directly to Dockerfile in the same repository. Finally, we must stitch this together in a GitHub Actions workflow.

main.yaml Workflow File:

Our workflow file main.yaml in .github/workflows directory specifies an action to run for every push event. This action checks out our code repository using actions/checkout@v2 and executes the hello-world action:

name: Example Workflow

on: [push]

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - name: Check out repository
        uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Run the hello world action
        uses: <your_github_username>/<github_repo_name>@v1

The second step is where you'll use custom action. You need to replace <your_github_username>/<github_repo_name>@v1 it with an appropriately formatted reference to action.

To use your GitHub username and repo name, replace <your_github_username> it with your GitHub username, and replace <github_repo_name> it with the name of the repository containing your GitHub action. The @v1 at the end specifies the version of the action to use, in this case, version 1.

To push changes from local to the GitHub repository with the correct tag:

  1. First, commit your changes locally using git. For example, you can use git add . it to stage all changes and then git commit -m "Your commit message" to commit them.

  2. You then need to tag this commit with the correct version. This could be done using git tag v1 to create a new tag named v1.

  3. Finally, you need to push your changes, including the tags, to your repository. Use git push origin master --tags for this (assuming you're on the 'master' branch). The --tags flag ensures that your tags are also pushed to the repository.

We're specifying the runHelloWorld job to run on GitHub's servers (runs-on: ubuntu-latest) and using Docker to run our application within that environment.

And voila! You've set up your first GoLang runner for GitHub Actions. Remember to push your main.go, Dockerfile, and action.yml to your GitHub repository and specify the correct path in main.yaml. Happy coding!