Category: CI

Integrating Pulumi Stack Output with GitHub Actions

As part of migrating Performance for Cyclists to AWS I’ve been exploring the use of Pulumi to manage the infrastructure running through GitHub Actions when I commit code (targetting dev) or to live (when I create a release). To do this I’m using the Pulumi GitHub Action available in the marketplace.

This has been fairly straightforward if a little verbose compared to Farmer (which I use to do the same with Azure) – with one exception: using a Pulumi Stack Output in a subsequent GitHub Action step. For example passing the URL of a provisioned application load balancer on to an acceptance test suite or the endpoint for a database that I want to run a migration on.

I scratched my head for a while before stumbling on the secret to doing this in a GitHub Issue. It took a little bit of tweaking to get it actually working due to the way the Pulumi Action wraps the output command – it was a bit fiddly getting the escape sequences right. In any case here are the steps.

Firstly after your pulumi up step add a step that looks like this:

- name: Extract stack output
  uses: docker://pulumi/actions
  id: pulumiStackOutput
    args: stack output -j | jq --raw-output "'"to_entries | map(\"::set-output name=\" + .key+\"::\" + (.value | tostring)+\"^\") | .[]"'" | xargs -d \"^\" echo 
    PULUMI_ROOT: aws
    PULUMI_CI: stack

Its important your step has an ID so that you can reference it subsequently. Now lets assume one of your output variables is ApiUrl then you would consume it like the below (just showing it in a dotnet run type command):

- name: Test endpoint
  run: dotnet run -- ${{ steps.pulumiStackOutput.outputs.ApiUrl }}

This seems a common task in a real world CI / CD pipeline to me so its surprising that its not supported directly in the Action. As best I can tell (and I looked in the source) it doesn’t seem to be though Pull Requests have been created for it back in April. Hopefully they’ll add this capability soon as it feels very sticking plaster and over-complex without. Really I just want to be able to add an option like PULUMI_EXPOSE_OUTPUTS in the example below:

- name: Infrastructure up
  uses: docker://pulumi/actions
    args: up --yes
    PULUMI_CI: up
    PULUMI_ROOT: aws

PowerShell, Binding Redirects, and Visual Studio Team Services

I’ve blogged previously about setting up binding redirects for Powershell with Newtonsoft.Json being a particularly troublesome package – it’s such a common dependency for NuGet packages that if you deal with a complex project you’ll almost certainly need a redirect in your app/web.config’s to get things to play ball and if you use the Azure cmdlets with others (such as your own) you’re likely to face this problem in Powershell.

I’ve recently moved my projects into Visual Studio Team Services using the new (vastly improved!) scriptable build system where I often make use of the PowerShell script task to perform custom actions. If you hit a dependency issue that requires a binding redirect to resolve then my previous approach of creating a Powershell.exe.config file for PowerShell won’t work in VSTS as unless you build a custom build agent you don’t have access to the machine at this level.

After a bit of head scratching I came up with an alternative solution that in many ways is neater and more generally portable as it doesn’t require any special machine setup. My revised approach is to hook the AssemblyResolve event and return a preloaded target assembly as shown in the example below:

Note that you can’t use the more common Register-ObjectEvent method of subscribing to events as this will balk at the need for a return value.

You can of course use this technique to deal with other assemblies that might be giving you issues.


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