Deploy to AWS EC2 using GitHub Actions

This article helps you understand how you can automatically deploy your code to AWS EC2 from GitHub

Sat Jan 22 2022

Deploy to AWS EC2 using GitHub Actions

This article helps you understand how you can automatically deploy your code to AWS EC2 from GitHub using GitHub Actions.

GitHub Actions

Automate, customize, and execute your software development workflows right in your repository with GitHub Actions. You can discover, create, and share actions to perform any job you'd like, including CI/CD, and combine actions in a completely customized workflow.

AWS EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) offers the broadest and deepest compute platform, with over 475 instances and choice of the latest processor, storage, networking, operating system, and purchase model to help you best match the needs of your workload. We are the first major cloud provider that supports Intel, AMD, and Arm processors, the only cloud with on-demand EC2 Mac instances, and the only cloud with 400 Gbps Ethernet networking.

How to automatically Deploy to AWS EC2 using GitHub Actions

Creating your first workflow

  1. Create a .github/workflows directory in your repository on GitHub if this directory does not already exist.
  2. In the .github/workflows directory, create a file named github-actions-ec2.yml.

Now your github-actions-ec2.yml should be present in .github/workflows/github-actions-ec2.yml in your repository

Start your file by defining jobs, jobs are the steps that you can define and see individual status reports when you see the logs in your Actions tab

jobs:
  deploy:
    name: Deploy to EC2
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

In the above block we have defined our job with name Deploy to EC2 and enforced it to run on latest Ubuntu by runs-on: ubuntu-latest line

Now, we need to checkout the pushed code to the runner by using a predefined action named actions/[email protected]. The code responsible for this step should look like the following

steps:
  - name: Checkout the files
    uses: actions/[email protected]

Now, we are deploying the code to the server, in order to to do this we need to access the EC2 using ssh and perform rsync form the runner. For this we are going to use another GitHub action easingthemes/ssh-deploy

- name: Deploy to Server 1
  uses: easingthemes/ssh-[email protected]
  env:
    SSH_PRIVATE_KEY: ${ { secrets.EC2_SSH_KEY }}
    REMOTE_HOST: ${ { secrets.HOST_DNS }}
    REMOTE_USER: ${ { secrets.USERNAME }}
    TARGET: ${ { secrets.TARGET_DIR }}

Note: You need to put the double parentheses together; I had to leave a space because my code formatter refuses to print it (:facepalm)

You need to fill in the secrets using GitHub Secrets that you can add in your repo, read GitHub Secrets

  • EC2_SSH_KEY: This will be your .pem file which you will use to login to the instance
  • HOST_DNS: Public DNS record of the instance, it will look something like this ec2-xx-xxx-xxx-xxx.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com
  • USERNAME: Will be the username of the EC2 instance, usually ubuntu
  • TARGET_DIR: Is where you want to deploy your code.

Once you add all these information your repo will look like this GitHub Secrets

Trigger deployment only on push to master branch

Add the following code so that your actions only run when you push to master branch.

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

The final .github/workflows/github-actions-ec2.yml should looks like the following

name: Push-to-EC2

# Trigger deployment only on push to master branch
on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  deploy:
    name: Deploy to EC2 on master branch push
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

    steps:
      - name: Checkout the files
        uses: actions/[email protected]

      - name: Deploy to Server 1
        uses: easingthemes/ssh-[email protected]
        env:
          SSH_PRIVATE_KEY: ${{ secrets.EC2_SSH_KEY }}
          REMOTE_HOST: ${{ secrets.HOST_DNS }}
          REMOTE_USER: ${{ secrets.USERNAME }}
          TARGET: ${{ secrets.TARGET_DIR }}

Stay tuned if you want to know how to execute custom ssh commands after you deploy the code in the EC2 instance. For eg yarn install

Here is how to Deploy React app to AWS EC2 using GitHub Actions

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Nikhil M
Nikhil M

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