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GitHub Action

Anchore Container Scan

v3.2.5 Latest version
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Anchore Container Scan

Scan docker containers with Grype for vulnerabilities


Copy and paste the following snippet into your .yml file.

- name: Anchore Container Scan
  uses: anchore/scan-action@v3.2.5
Learn more about this action in anchore/scan-action
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GitHub Action for Vulnerability Scanning

Test Status GitHub release License: Apache-2.0 Slack Invite

Find threats in files or containers at lightning speed

This is a GitHub Action for invoking the Grype scanner and returning the vulnerabilities found, and optionally fail if a vulnerability is found with a configurable severity level.

Use this in your workflows to quickly verify files or containers' content after a build and before pushing, allowing PRs, or deploying updates.

The action invokes the grype command-line tool, with these benefits:

  • Runs locally, without sending data outbound - no credentials required!
  • Speedy scan operations
  • Scans both paths and container images
  • Easy failure evaluation depending on vulnerability severity

The example workflows have lots of usage examples for scanning both containers and directories.

By default, a scan will produce very detailed output on system packages like an RPM or DEB, but also language-based packages. These are some of the supported packages and libraries:

Supported Linux Distributions:

  • Alpine
  • BusyBox
  • CentOS and RedHat
  • Debian and Debian-based distros like Ubuntu

Supported packages and libraries:

  • Ruby Bundles
  • Python Wheel, Egg, requirements.txt
  • JavaScript NPM/Yarn
  • Java JAR/EAR/WAR, Jenkins plugins JPI/HPI
  • Go modules

Container scanning

The simplest workflow for scanning a localbuild/testimage container:

- name: Set up Docker Buildx
  uses: docker/setup-buildx-action@v1

- name: build local container
  uses: docker/build-push-action@v2
    tags: localbuild/testimage:latest
    push: false
    load: true

 - name: Scan image
   uses: anchore/scan-action@v3
     image: "localbuild/testimage:latest"

Directory scanning

To scan a directory, add the following step:

- name: Scan current project
  uses: anchore/scan-action@v3
    path: "."

The path key allows any valid path for the current project. The root of the path ("." in this example) is the repository root.

Scanning an SBOM file

Use the sbom key to scan an SBOM file:

- name: Create SBOM
  uses: anchore/sbom-action@v0
    format: spdx-json
    output-file: "${{ }}-sbom.spdx.json"

- name: Scan SBOM
  uses: anchore/scan-action@v3
    sbom: "${{ }}-sbom.spdx.json"

Failing a build on vulnerability severity

By default, if any vulnerability at medium or higher is seen, the build fails. To have the build step fail in cases where there are vulnerabilities with a severity level different than the default, set the severity-cutoff field to one of low, high, or critical:

With a different severity level:

- name: Scan image
  uses: anchore/scan-action@v3
    image: "localbuild/testimage:latest"
    fail-build: true
    severity-cutoff: critical

Optionally, change the fail-build field to false to avoid failing the build regardless of severity:

- name: Scan image
  uses: anchore/scan-action@v3
    image: "localbuild/testimage:latest"
    fail-build: false

Action Inputs

The inputs image, path, and sbom are mutually exclusive to specify the source to scan;inputs output-format andacs-report-enable are mutually exclusive to specify the report format;all the other keys are optional. These are all the available keys to configure this action, along with the defaults:

Input Name Description Default Value
image The image to scan N/A
path The file path to scan N/A
sbom The SBOM to scan N/A
registry-username The registry username to use when authenticating to an external registry
registry-password The registry password to use when authenticating to an external registry
fail-build Fail the build if a vulnerability is found with a higher severity. That severity defaults to "medium" and can be set with severity-cutoff. true
output-format Set the output parameter after successful action execution. Valid choices are "json" and "sarif" sarif
acs-report-enable Generate a SARIF report and set the sarif output parameter (Override the output-format) after successful action execution. This report is compatible with GitHub Automated Code Scanning (ACS), as the artifact to upload for display as a Code Scanning Alert report. true
severity-cutoff With ACS reporting enabled, optionally specify the minimum vulnerability severity to trigger an "error" level ACS result. Valid choices are "negligible", "low", "medium", "high" and "critical". Any vulnerability with a severity less than this value will lead to a "warning" result. Default is "medium". "medium"

Action Outputs

Output Name Description Type
sarif Path to the SARIF report file string
report Path to the report file string

Example Workflows

Assuming your repository has a Dockerfile in the root directory:

name: Container Image CI
on: [push]
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Build the container image
        run: docker build . --file Dockerfile --tag localbuild/testimage:latest
      - uses: anchore/scan-action@v3
          image: "localbuild/testimage:latest"
          fail-build: true

Same example as above, but with Automated Code Scanning (ACS) feature enabled - with this example, the action will generate a SARIF report, which can be uploaded and then displayed as a Code Scanning Report in the GitHub UI.

💡 Code Scanning is a Github service that is currently in Beta. Follow the instructions on how to enable this service for your project.

name: Container Image CI
on: [push]
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Build the Container image
        run: docker build . --file Dockerfile --tag localbuild/testimage:latest
      - uses: anchore/scan-action@v3
        id: scan
          image: "localbuild/testimage:latest"
          acs-report-enable: true
      - name: upload Anchore scan SARIF report
        uses: github/codeql-action/upload-sarif@v2
          sarif_file: ${{ steps.scan.outputs.sarif }}

Optionally, you can add a step to inspect the SARIF report produced:

- name: Inspect action SARIF report
  run: cat ${{ steps.scan.outputs.sarif }}

Additional configuration

You may add a .grype.yaml file at your repository root for more Grype configuration such as ignoring certain matches.


A sub-action to download Grype.

Input parameters:

Parameter Description Default
grype-version An optional Grype version to download, defaults to the pinned version in GrypeVersion.js.

Output parameters:

Parameter Description
cmd a reference to the Grype binary.

cmd can be referenced in a workflow like other output parameters: ${{ steps.<step-id>.outputs.cmd }}

Example usage:

- uses: anchore/scan-action/download-grype@v3
  id: grype
- run: ${{steps.grype.outputs.cmd}} dir:.


We love contributions, feedback, and bug reports. For issues with the invocation of this action, file issues in this repository.

For contributing, see Contributing.

More Information

For documentation on Grype itself, including other output capabilities, see the grype project

Connect with the community directly on slack.


This action makes extensive use of GitHub Action debug logging, which can be enabled as described here by setting a secret in your repository of ACTIONS_STEP_DEBUG to true.