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GitHub Action

Deploy to Heroku

v3.12.12 Latest version
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Deploy to Heroku

Deploy an app to Heroku

Installation

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

- name: Deploy to Heroku
  uses: AkhileshNS/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12
Learn more about this action in AkhileshNS/heroku-deploy
Choose a version

Heroku Deploy

GitHub issues GitHub Tests

This is a very simple GitHub action that allows you to deploy to Heroku. The action works by running the following commands in shell via NodeJS:-

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started
  2. Important Note
  3. Options
  4. Examples
  5. Health Check
  6. Environment Variables
  7. Procfile Passing
  8. Deploying to a team
  9. Just Login
  10. Important Notes
  11. License

Getting Started

To get started using the action, just make sure to have a Procfile or a Dockerfile in your project and then create a folder called .github and inside it, create another folder called workflows. Finally inside the workflows folder, create a file called main.yml with the following contents:

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"

Now go to your Heroku account and go to Account Settings. Scroll to the bottom until you see API Key. Copy this key and go to your project's repository on GitHub.

In your Repo, go to Settings -> Secrets and click on "New Secret". Then enter HEROKU_API_KEY as the name and paste the copied API Key as the value.

You can now push your project to GitHub and it will be automatically deployed to Heroku henceforth.

You learn more about GitHub Secrets here and GitHub Actions here

Important Note

Please Note: Git has recently announced that it is planning to switch the default branch's name from "master" to "main". For this reason, the Action also pushes to the "main" branch in the heroku origin by default and if your Heroku App is still using the "master" branch, then the Action will automatically switch your Heroku remote to use "main" as the default branch. There is No Action Needed from you, just keep in mind that this change is occurring as you continue to use the App and if you ever need to manually deploy the App, you can do so using the following command:

git push heroku YOUR_BRANCH:refs/heads/main

Also the remote_branch property no longer exists in the latest release of the Action. If you still have this as part of the 3.10.9 release. Please remove it as it may cause problems in your workflow

Please Note: While creating a new project on Heroku, do not enable the option for Automatic Deployments as this would result in an error when the GitHub Action is triggered.

Options

The action comes with additional options that you can use to configure your project's behavior on Heroku. You can setup these options under the "with" object as presented above:

Name Required Description Example
heroku_api_key true This will be used for authentication. You can find it in your heroku homepage account settings ***
heroku_email true Email that you use with heroku nsakhilesh02@gmail.com
heroku_app_name true The appname to use for deploying/updating demo-rest-api
buildpack false An optional buildpack to use when creating the heroku application https://github.com/heroku/heroku-buildpack-static.git
branch false The branch that you would like to deploy to Heroku. Defaults to "HEAD" master, dev, test
dontautocreate false Set this to true if you don't want to automatically create the Heroku app true or false
dontuseforce false Set this to true if you don't want to use --force when switching branches true or false
usedocker false Will deploy using Dockerfile in project root true or false
docker_heroku_process_type false Type of heroku process (web, worker, etc). This option only makes sense when usedocker enabled. Defaults to "web" (Thanks to singleton11 for adding this feature) web, worker
docker_build_args false A list of args to pass into the Docker build. This option only makes sense when usedocker enabled. NODE_ENV
appdir false Set if your app is located in a subdirectory api, apis/python
healthcheck false A URL to which a healthcheck is performed (checks for 200 request) https://demo-rest-api.herokuapp.com
checkstring false Value to check for when conducting healthcheck requests ok
delay false Time (in seconds) to wait before performing healthcheck. Defaults to 0 seconds 5
procfile false Contents of the Procfile to save and deploy web: npm start
rollbackonhealthcheckfailed false When set to true this will attempt to rollback to the previous release if the healthcheck fails true or false
env_file false path to an env file (with respect to appdir) /.env
justlogin false Set to true if you want the action to just login to Heroku and nothing else true or false
region false The region in which you would like to deploy a server eu or dublin
stack false Set stack of your heroku app if you need to change. Default: heroku-20 container
team false If deploying to an organization, then specify the name of the team or organization here team-xyz

Examples

Deploy with Docker

Heroku now allows users to deploy docker containers. To use this feature, simply add a Dockerfile to your project and add a CMD command at the end of the Dockerfile. This is the command used by heroku to start the webserver inside the container. Finally make sure to set the usedocker flag to true before deploying.

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          usedocker: true

Keep in mind that if you deploy once using docker, the same heroku app is not compatible with a non-docker setup and similarly, you cannot deploy a dockerized setup to a non-docker heroku app.

If you need to pass in any ARGs for the Docker build, you may provide a list of arg names which automatically pull from the environment.

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          usedocker: true
          docker_build_args: |
            NODE_ENV
            SECRET_KEY
        env:
          NODE_ENV: production
          SECRET_KEY: ${{ secrets.MY_SECRET_KEY }}

Also, thanks to Olav Sundfør for adding the Docker feature and Matt Stavola for adding the ability to pass in build args.

Deploy with custom Buildpacks

Taken from the official heroku website:

"Heroku Buildpacks are sets of open source scripts that are used for compiling apps on Heroku. They form the backbone of Heroku’s polyglot platform. Buildpacks enable you to extend Heroku's build system to support your language or customizations, or to make particular binary packages available to the runtime. Heroku Buildpacks give you the freedom to code in the languages and frameworks that work best for your app and your team"

To use a custom buildpack in the action, simply add the url of the buildpack to the action:

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          buildpack: "https://github.com/HashNuke/heroku-buildpack-elixir.git"

Deploy Subdirectory

If you are using a complex application which has both frontend and backend applications in separate folders, you can specify a path to the directory to deploy using the appdir option:

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          appdir: "api" # <- This will point to the api folder in your project

Thanks to meszarosdezso for adding the appdir feature

Deploy custom branch

You can use the branch option to deploy an app in another branch

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          branch: "dev"

Though this is also possible to do with GitHub Actions, click here for more information

Deploy custom remote branch

You can use the remote_branch option to deploy an app to another remote branch

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          remote_branch: "main"

Though this is also possible to do with GitHub Actions, click here for more information

Set stack for your app

In some cases, you need to change the default stack - heroku-20. For example, If you are building docker images with heroku yml, you need to change the stack to container. You can use the stack option to change stack for your app.

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          stack: "container"

Though this is also possible to do with GitHub Actions, click here for more information

Health Check

Sometimes you will run into issues where the action has successfully deployed the project but because of some error in code or the like, the Heroku App crashes or fails to launch. To counter this, you can setup a healthcheck in the action:

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          healthcheck: "https://[YOUR APP's NAME].herokuapp.com/health"

Adding the url to the healthcheck option of the action will make the action attempt to perform a GET Request to that url and print the response if successful. Else it will fail the action to indicate that the deploy was not successful.

P.S: It is recommended that you setup a specific route such as /health for performing healthchecks

Advanced Usage

Additionally, if you are using a custom route for performing healthchecks, you can check for a specific value from this url using the checkstring option of the action like so:

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          healthcheck: "https://[YOUR APP's NAME].herokuapp.com/health"
          checkstring: "ok"

This will essentially check if the value returned by sending a GET request to the healthcheck url is equal to the checkstring

Adding Delay

In some cases, a healthcheck ends up being performed before the application has been setup on Heroku. To counter this, you can manually set the delay option in the action to make the action wait a certain period of time (in seconds) before performing the healthcheck

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          healthcheck: "https://[YOUR APP's NAME].herokuapp.com/health"
          checkstring: "ok"
          delay: 5

By default, the delay will be 0 if you choose to not set it

Rollback on healthcheck failure

You can set the rollbackonhealthcheckfailed option to ensure that your application is rolled back if the healthcheck fails. .github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          healthcheck: "https://[YOUR APP's NAME].herokuapp.com/health"
          checkstring: "ok"
          rollbackonhealthcheckfailed: true

By default, the application will not be rolled back if the healthcheck fails.

Thanks to FridaTveit for adding this feature

Environment Variables

Heroku offers a means of passing sensitive information to your app (such as api keys etc) via something it calls config vars which you can find in the settings of your heroku app. But sometimes you might want to store sensitive information (api keys etc) in GitHub Secrets instead just to ensure platform independence. If you choose to this, you can then pass those secrets to your heroku app by using the "env" object of the action:-

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
        env:
          HD_FIREBASE_API_KEY: ${{secrets.FIREBASE_API_KEY}}
          HD_RANDOM_DATA: "Hello"

Note that the variables must start with "HD_". This is is important so the action can tell your environment variable apart from multiple other variables (passed by your language, github actions etc) which you probably don't want sitting in your heroku app's config vars.

On that note, if you've set these variables and have deployed your app, you can check your Heroku App's config vars and you'll find that they have been set with the env variables you have passed.

PLEASE NOTE: The "HD_" will be scrapped from the variable your name by the action. So in your project, "FIREBASE_API_KEY" will be passed instead of "HD_FIREBASE_API_KEY" (for example) and you can see this if you check your Heroku App's config vars. We understand that this can be confusing but this is again to ensure Platform independence and so that you don't have to use HD_FIREBASE_API_KEY if you choose to stop using Heroku

ENV File

You can if you wish also pass the path to an env file (with respect to your appdir path) as an option to the action. The action will then read that file and set the config vars accordingly in Heroku

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          env_file: ".env"
        env:
          HD_FIREBASE_API_KEY: ${{secrets.FIREBASE_API_KEY}}
          HD_RANDOM_DATA: "Hello"

Example env file

HELLO=world
WORLD=hello

There are two important points to keep in mind when using the env_file option.

  1. The first is that in can be used in conjunction with env option of the action as you have seen above

  2. The second is that unlike in the env option, you do not need to prefix the env variables in the .env file with "HD_".

    (For those of you who are wondering why this is the case, when using the env option, the env variables are passed directly into the process along with all the other env variables passed by GitHub Actions, the language you are using etc and the "HD_" in that case is to help differentiate your env variables from them. But when using a file to pass the env variables, the action manually reads the file so there is no chance of stray env variables being passed by your language, github actions etc and hence no need to add the "HD_")

Also note that using a file (which can be named anything so long as it follows the format of a standard env file) can be useful if you're trying to send a very large number of env variables to Heroku, it does mean that keeping the .env file secure and private is entirely in your hands so tread with caution.

Procfile Passing

In some cases, you might want to be able to set the Procfile within the action itself instead of declaring it manually in your project. Although this approach is not recommended in favor of just using multiple branches, it might still be useful in some edge cases. You can set the Procfile in the action by using the procfile option of the action like so:

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME" #Must be unique in Heroku
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          procfile: "web: npm start"

Keep in mind this won't work if you are using Docker.

Deploying to a team

If you are an enterprise user and wish to deploy your app to a specific team, you can do so by just passing the team option to the action:

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: "YOUR APP's NAME"
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          team: "THE TEAM's NAME"

Just Login

GitHub Actions does come with the heroku cli pre-installed (this is what is used by the Action to deploy applications). So if you wish to use the heroku cli and just need to login, you can use the justlogin option of the Heroku Deploy Action

.github/workflows/main.yml

name: Deploy

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master # Changing the branch here would also work

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: akhileshns/heroku-deploy@v3.12.12 # This is the action
        with:
          heroku_api_key: ${{secrets.HEROKU_API_KEY}}
          heroku_app_name: ""
          heroku_email: "YOUR EMAIL"
          justlogin: true
      - run: heroku auth:whoami

Important Notes

  • You can check this repo's .github/workflows/main.yml for example use cases of the action in use. Additionally the APIs for these use cases can be found in the tests folder of the repo

  • You can find the secrets tab in your project's settings

  • Be careful with your appname, cuz the action either deploys to an existing app or creates a new one if it doesn't exist. So if you accidently change it after deploying it once already, the action won't fail, it'll just create a new dyno and if you are on a paid plan, heroku can be expensive. On that note, always check the logs of your actions to make sure everything is A-OK.

  • If you're using the above exact workflow code, keep in mind that it deploys whenever you make a change to the master branch (Even README updates which have nothing to do with application code) and that might not be very efficient for you, have a look through the github actions docs to customize when the action should trigger.

    (I would recommend making a separate dev branch and setting up the action to trigger upon pull request to the master branch)

  • By default, if you don't specify a branch in your action, it will default to the HEAD branch (or whichever branch the action is defined under). So you might be wondering what happens if you define the same action in a different branch under the same heroku app name (or which you try to deploy to the same appname from a different branch)? The answer is that the new branch overrides whatever your old branch was (even if the new branch is behind the old branch in terms of commits unless you set dontuseforce to true)

  • For more info on how Heroku enables deployment using Docker, check out https://www.heroku.com/deploy-with-docker

License

This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE file for details