Continuous Integration with Github Actions and Cypress

We always need to strive for constant and quick feedback about the quality of the software we build. One effective way to achieve this, is by enabling a continuous integration server to run our tests every time we create a pull request.

Cypress Integration Feedback

The cypress documentation page provides a good tutorial on how to configure the Github Integration, but it does not provide a good one to properly configure the Github Action CI. So here I’ll show you how easy is to do it by using Cypress to run end-to-end tests and the new kid on the block: Github Actions, as Continuous Integration (CI) server.

In case you don’t know these tools: Cypress is a framework that enables us to write and run end-to-end tests. It provides us APIs to manipulate DOM elements, click buttons, navigate into URLs, and perfectly emulates all sorts of end-user behaviors. It has great documentation and community as well, so if you’re planning to implement e2e tests into your application I recommend you to take a look. You will learn a bit about Cypress on this post as well. Github Actions is the workflow automation tool fully integrated with Github. It works exactly like a continuous integration server such as Jenkins, CircleCI, or TravisCI. Having its limitations though, the main advantages are the built-in integration with Github repositories, its simplicity of pipeline setup, and the workflow definition syntax.

Let’s check the steps we need to follow to accomplish this.

Overall solution

1. Configure Github Actions workflow

The first thing we need is to create a .yml file that describes which steps our CI server must follow: install dependencies, and run the end-to-end specs.

2. Configure Cypress Integration

Having the Github Actions Done, we need to configure the Cypress integration to our GitHub repository. We’ll do that by following some steps through the Cypress Dashboard UI.

Note: The Cypress Integration by itself does not trigger the tests when the pull request is opened, it only allows Cypress dashboard to output test results in some Github repository. If you read the official cypress GitHub integration documentation it might seem that it alone will do the job, but we need a CI server to trigger the integration when a push is done into a specific branch or a new pull request is opened.

Configure Github Actions

To enable the Github Action that will trigger our tests in every push, we need to create a .yml file at the root of the git repository, under the folder: .github/worflows. We’ll name this file “integration-tests.yml”.

Let’s check the content of the .github/worflows/integration-tests.yml file:

This workflow can be found at the GitHub marketplace: The file basically describe that for every push event, we want to perform 2 steps: check out the test code and run the cypress tests with some parameters (record, start, and working directory).


So to make sure cypress will run the start command in the correct place, we need to define the correct path at the working-directory.

Having it done, as soon as we perform a push in our repository, we’ll see that there is a new tab under the repository called “actions”:

Github Actions Tab

And now every time a new push is made, the configured steps will run at our integration-tests workflow.

At this point, we still don’t have the comment at our pull requests with the test results. Let’s configure the cypress GitHub integration to achieve this.

Configure Cypress Github Integration

Before starting to configure the Github integration, you need the setup our cypress project to record The cypress docs have a great tutorial on how to do that. Follow the steps and after that, get back here to continue:

Install the Cypress Github App

Having the project configured, now we’ll install the Cypress Github App:

1. Go to the Dashboard Organizations page.

2. Select the organization you wish to integrate with a GitHub account or GitHub organization.

Select an organization

3. Visit the selected organization’s Integrations page via the side navigationInstall Cypress GitHub App from Integrations

4. Click the Install the Cypress GitHub App button.

5. You will be redirected to to complete the installation. Select the desired Github organization or account to integrate with your cypress dashboard organization.

Select a GitHub organization

6. Choose the repository you want to associate with the Cypress GitHub App installation.

Select specific GitHub repositories

7. Click the Install button to complete the installation.

Activating Cypress Github Integration

After completing the Cypress GitHub App installation for your organization you can now enable GitHub Integration for any Cypress project.

1. Go to the project’s settings page.

Visit project settings

2. Scroll down to the GitHub Integration section.

Org GitHub Integration settings

3. Select a GitHub repository to associate with the project.

Associate GitHub repo with Cypress project

Once a GitHub repository is associated with a Cypress project, the GitHub integration will be immediately enabled:

GitHub integration enabled for Cypress project

You can also see all GitHub Integration enabled Cypress projects within your organizations Integrations page:

Integrations page

And that’s it! Now whenever you create a PR you should see at the status check tab, the detailed results of the tests, and a comment from the cypress bot at the comments section of your pull request.

If you liked this article, consider sharing it.