GitHub Actions Day 4: Installing Tools
This is day 4 of my GitHub Actions Advent Calendar. If you want to see the whole list of tips as they're published, see the index.
I mentioned yesterday that GitHub Actions provides Linux, Windows and macOS virtual environments where you can run your workflows.
But what's actually installed on these environments? It turns out that there's a lot installed.
The team tries to keep our runners up-to-date with a number of different platforms. So you'll find a number of different versions of Python, Ruby, .NET Core and more. But - just by virtue of the wide variety of development tools out there - they can't have absolutely everything installed.
Sometimes you'll need to install it yourself. And since you get a whole virtual machine to yourself, for each job execution, you can install whatever you want on them.
For example, you might want to install the very fine "ninja" build tool.
The Linux virtual environments are running Ubuntu, so you can use
apt to install
whatever other tools you might need. By default, you're running as an
unprivileged user, but there's passwordless
sudo available. So you
run: sudo apt-get install ninja-build
Chocolatey is the package manager of choice for Windows, and it's installed and ready to use in the GitHub Actions virtual environments.
run: choco install ninja
On macOS, Homebrew is the recommended package
manager, and it's available on the GitHub Actions virtual environments.
There's no need to run Homebrew as
root - in fact, that's frowned
upon - so you can just
run: brew install ninja
All Together Now
To put this all together, if you wanted to install ninja on all three platforms, your workflow would look like this: