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@primer/publish v1.0.0

Publish Primer projects to npm with GitHub Design Systems conventions


This GitHub Action publishes to npm with the following conventions:

  1. If we're on the master branch, the version field is used as-is and we just run npm publish --access public.
    • After publishing a new version on the master branch, we tag the commit SHA with v{version} via the GitHub API.
    • If the version in package.json is already published, we exit with a 78 code, which is Actions-speak for "neutral".
  2. If we're on a release-<version> branch, we publish a release candidate to the next npm dist-tag with the version in the form: <version>-rc.<sha>.
    • A status check is created with the context npm version noting whether the version field in package.json matches the <version> portion of the branch. If it doesn't, the check's status is marked as pending.
  3. Otherwise, we publish a "canary" release, which has a version in the form: 0.0.0-<sha>.

Status checks

Depending on the branch, a series of statuses will be created by this action in your checks: publish is the action's check, and publish {package-name} is a commit status created by the action that reports the version published and links to via "Details":


If you're on a release branch (release-<version>) and the <version> portion of the branch name doesn't match the version field in package.json, you'll get a pending status reminding you to update it:



To use this action in your own workflow, add the following snippet to your .github/main.workflow file:

action "publish" {
  uses = "primer/publish@master"
  secrets = [

You will need to provide an npm access token with publish permissions via the NPM_AUTH_TOKEN secret in the Actions visual editor if you haven't already. The GITHUB_TOKEN secret is also required to create tags after releasing on the master branch.

We suggest that you place this action after any linting and/or testing actions to catch as many errors as possible before publishing.

npm CLI arguments

It's possible to pass additional arguments to npm via the args field in your workflow action. Because the primer-publish CLI accepts options of its own (such as --dry-run), you need to prefix any npm arguments with --:

action "publish" {
  uses = "primer/publish@master"
+  args = ["--", "--registry="]


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