Best practices for Porter in a CI Pipeline

Best practices for Porter in a CI Pipeline

To properly test your bundle in a CI pipeline, you can utilize a GitHub workflow. You can have the workflow run when you create a pull request, when you merge into main, or both. We will go through the best practices of a CI pipeline for your bundle and show you how to set up the GitHub workflow. Here is the full working example workflow explained in this article.

Parts of the Workflow

We will go through each of the following components of the workflow.

Check out code

In order to test your bundle in a workflow, you need to checkout your repo. We used the GitHub action Checkout to do this. By default, the action checks out the single commit that triggered the workflow. You can customize what you want to happen in the checkout action based on their documentation, but if you do not need to customize, the code below in a step in your workflow is all that is needed.

- uses: actions/checkout@v1

Set up Porter

After checking out the code in the repository, you need to install porter in the workflow so that you can run porter commands. The Porter GitHub Action takes care of installing Porter for you. Adding this action to your workflow will install Porter for you. For example:

- name: Setup Porter
  uses: getporter/gh-action@v0.1.1
    porter_version: v0.27.2

The porter_version should be the version of Porter you want installed. You can check our releases for the list of recent versions of Porter. When not specified, porter_version defaults to latest version of Porter.

Login to DockerHub

Next, you will want to login to Docker Hub so that you can publish your bundle to a Docker Hub registry. If you do not wish to publish your bundle to a Docker Hub registry, you can configure another registry in this step instead. In order to do this, you can use the docker-login action to do it. Below is an example of how it is used:

- uses: azure/docker-login@v1
  name: Docker Login
    username: ${{ secrets.DOCKER_USERNAME }}
    password: ${{ secrets.DOCKER_PASSWORD }}

You will need to set your docker username and password as secrets in the repository you are setting up the workflow in.

Install mixins

Next, you should install any mixins your bundle will use so that it can be tested properly. You can add a line as a run command to install your mixin as shown below:

run: porter mixins install az

You can also specify the version of the mixin by adding the version flag. For example:

run: porter mixins install az --version v0.4.2

Take a look at the documentation to see all available mixins and how to know what command to run to install them. The documentation provides install commands for each mixin. The command porter mixin search lists all the mixins created by the community. Depending on if the URL is an atom feed or a github url you can install the mixin using

porter mixins install NAME --feed-url ATOM_URL


porter mixins install NAME --url GITHUB_URL

Run Porter commands

The final part of the workflow is running porter commands. The commands we suggest running are porter install, porter upgrade, porter uninstall, and porter publish. Porter install will install your bundle and give an error if something is wrong. This will be useful as part of your pipeline in testing your bundle because you can go fix the problem right away instead of finding it later when users try to run your bundle. Porter upgrade and porter uninstall will execute the code and also give errors if there are problems. If all these commands run successfully, you can run porter publish to publish your working bundle image to a registry. In this example, we publish to Docker Hub, but porter publish can publish to any registry.

Set up the Workflow

Now that we know the parts that are needed in a workflow, we can learn how to set one up. Here are the steps we will go through to set up the workflow:

Make yaml files

The way you set up your yaml files depends on who will be contributing to your repository and how they will be contributing. GitHub actions and workflows do not run automatically on pull requests from forks.

So, if you are the only one working on a project and no one else can make pull requests (you have a private repository) or no one will be contributing from a fork, you can set up one yaml file to run when a pull request opens and one yaml file to run when a commit is merged. You can have the one that runs on a pull request run your bundle to test it, and you can have the second yaml file publish the bundle to Docker Hub.

If you are not the only one contributing to the repository and other contributors will be making pull requests from forks, the yaml file setup is slightly different. Since the GitHub action won’t be triggered from a fork, you will only need one yaml file that runs when a pull request is merged. You can test the bundle and publish in the same yaml file.

Use credential files

If you were using credentials in your bundle, you will need to set up a credential file in your repository to use with your workflow. For example, if you run porter credentials create mybun.json, a JSON file named mybun.json is created. The resulting credential set template file (which does not contain any sensitive credentials) is located in the current directory. You can run porter credentials apply mybun.json to apply the changes. If the specified credential set already exists, the changes will override the existing credential set, otherwise the apply command will create a new credential set. Then, to install your bundle with the newly created credential set, you would run the following:

porter install -c <name-of-the-credential-set>

Example Code

Now, we will show example code for a workflow and explain what the code does.

name: CI

# On controls when the action will run. This triggers the workflow on push event for the main branch.
# Can change push to pull_request to run when a PR is made.
# You can also change the branch name from main to the name of the branch you want the workflow to run on.
    branches: [main]

# Set up environment variables needed for the bundle.
# If these are sensitive, they should be set as secrets in the repository.
# To do this, go to settings -> secrets -> new secret.

# A workflow can be made of many jobs, but this example puts all the steps under one job.
  # Publish is the name of this job.
    # Specify the type of machine you want the job to run on. We chose ubuntu-latest.
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

      # Check out code
      - uses: actions/checkout@v1
      # Use Porter GH action to set up Porter.
      # You can specify the version of Porter that you want installed by adding the lines for with and porter_version as explained above.
      - name: Setup Porter
        uses: getporter/gh-action@v0.1.1
      # Install docker mixin needed for this bundle.
      # Add lines to install any of the mixins your bundle needs to be able to run.
      - name: Install Docker mixin
        run: porter mixins install docker
      # Run install
      - name: Porter install
        run: porter install -c ./docker-example.json --allow-docker-host-access
      # Run upgrade
      - name: Porter upgrade
        run: porter upgrade -c ./docker-example.json --allow-docker-host-access
      # Run uninstall
      - name: Porter uninstall
        run: porter uninstall -c ./docker-example.json --allow-docker-host-access
      # Login to Docker Hub to publish the bundle
      - uses: azure/docker-login@v1
        name: Docker Login
          username: ${{ secrets.DOCKER_USERNAME }}
          password: ${{ secrets.DOCKER_PASSWORD }}
      # Run publish.
      # If any of the porter commands above fail, the workflow will stop, so your bundle will only be published if it works properly.
      - name: Porter Publish
        run: porter publish