Possible to pull github actions images?


This might be a FAQ and my search-fu is failing me, but I couldn’t find it. Namely, sometimes I need to try and debug what’s happening in my GitHub Actions when they fail. Unlike CircleCI, I can’t ssh into the run, so my thought was “Can I pull the image locally and issue the action commands?”

That is, is it possible to docker pull github-actions/ubuntu-20.04 or whatever my yaml file is asking for and get the image that GitHub Actions uses?


There is no official Docker image for that, because the GitHub runners are VMs. You should be able to find more about them here: GitHub - actions/virtual-environments: GitHub Actions virtual environments

There is a (non GitHub!) tool to run Actions locally using Docker, and there are some Docker images mentioned in its README. I haven’t used them, so I can’t say exactly how close to the VMs they are, but you can take a look here: GitHub - nektos/act: Run your GitHub Actions locally 🚀

Ohhh. I feel a bit dumb. I thought maybe I just didn’t know Docker speak well and it was just a GitHub-y way of talking about containers, etc. Explains why I couldn’t find anyone saying "just do docker pull ghcp.io/...

Maybe I should go find a “Please let us ssh in” issue and vote on that! :slight_smile:

1 Like

You may also give this action a try to ssh into the virtual environment: Debugging with tmate · Actions · GitHub Marketplace · GitHub