Authoring PipelineRun

Authoring PipelineRuns in .tekton/ directory #

  • Pipelines-as-Code will always try to be as close to the tekton template as possible. Usually you will write your template and save them with a .yaml extension and Pipelines-as-Code will run them.

  • The .tekton directory must be at the top level of the repo. You can reference YAML files in other repos using remote URLs (see Remote HTTP URLs for more information), but PipelineRuns will only be triggered by events in the repository containing the .tekton directory.

  • Using its resolver Pipelines-as-Code will try to bundle the PipelineRun with all its Task as a single PipelineRun with no external dependencies.

  • Inside your pipeline you need to be able to check out the commit as received from the webhook by checking it out the repository from that ref. Most of the time you want to reuse the git-clone task from the tektoncd/catalog.

    To be able to specify the parameters of your commit and URL, Pipelines-as-Code allows you to have those “dynamic” variables expanded. Those variables look like this {{ var }} and those are the one you can use:

VariableDescriptionExampleExample Output
bodyThe full payload body (see below){{ }}[email protected]
event_typeThe event type (eg: pull_request or push){{event_type}}pull_request
git_auth_secretThe secret name auto generated with provider token to check out private repos.{{git_auth_secret}}pac-gitauth-xkxkx
headersThe request headers (see below){{headers['x-github-event']}}push
pull_request_numberThe pull or merge request number, only defined when we are in a pull_request event type.{{pull_request_number}}1
repo_nameThe repository name.{{repo_name}}pipelines-as-code
repo_ownerThe repository owner.{{repo_owner}}openshift-pipelines
repo_urlThe repository full URL.{{repo_url}}https:/
revisionThe commit full sha revision.{{revision}}1234567890abcdef
senderThe sender username (or accountid on some providers) of the commit.{{sender}}johndoe
source_branchThe branch name where the event come from.{{source_branch}}main
source_urlThe source repository URL from which the event come from (same as repo_url for push events).{{source_url}}https:/
target_branchThe branch name on which the event targets (same as source_branch for push events).{{target_branch}}main
target_namespaceThe target namespace where the Repository has matched and the PipelineRun will be created.{{target_namespace}}my-namespace
  • For Pipelines-as-Code to process your PipelineRun, you must have either an embedded PipelineSpec or a separate Pipeline object that references a YAML file in the .tekton directory. The Pipeline object can include TaskSpecs, which may be defined separately as Tasks in another YAML file in the same directory. It’s important to give each PipelineRun a unique name to avoid conflicts. PipelineRuns with duplicate names will never be matched.

Matching an event to a PipelineRun #

Each PipelineRun can match different Git provider events through some special annotations on the PipelineRun. For example when you have these metadatas in your PipelineRun:

  name: pipeline-pr-main
annotations: "[main]" "[pull_request]"

Pipelines-as-Code will match the pipelinerun pipeline-pr-main if the Git provider events target the branch main and it’s coming from a [pull_request]

Multiple target branch can be specified separated by comma, i.e:

[main, release-nightly]

You can match on pull_request events as above, and you can as well match pipelineRuns on push events to a repository

For example this will match the pipeline when there is a push to a commit in the main branch :

  name: pipeline-push-on-main
  annotations: "[refs/heads/main]" "[push]"

You can specify the full refs like refs/heads/main or the shortref like main. You can as well specify globs, for example refs/heads/* will match any target branch or refs/tags/1.* will match all the tags starting from 1..

A full example for a push of a tag :

name: pipeline-push-on-1.0-tags
annotations: "[refs/tags/1.0]" "[push]"

This will match the pipeline pipeline-push-on-1.0-tags when you push the 1.0 tags into your repository.

Matching annotations are currently mandated or Pipelines-as-Code will not match your PipelineRun.

If there are multiple pipelinerun matching an event, it will run all of them in parallel and posting the results to the provider as soon the PipelineRun finishes.

The matching on payload can only occur on the events Pipelines-as-Code responds too, it will only be matched when a Pull Request is opened or updated or on a Push to a branch

Advanced event matching #

If you need to do some advanced matching, Pipelines-as-Code supports CEL filtering.

If you have the annotation in your PipelineRun, the CEL expression will be used and the on-target-branch or on-target-branch annotations will be skipped.

This example will match a pull_request event targeting the branch main coming from a branch called wip: |
    event == "pull_request" && target_branch == "main" && source_branch == "wip"

The fields available are :

  • event: push or pull_request
  • target_branch: The branch we are targeting.
  • source_branch: The branch where this pull_request come from. (on push this is the same as target_branch).
  • target_url: The URL of the repository we are targeting.
  • source_url: The URL of the repository where this pull_request come from. (on push this is the same as target_url).
  • event_title: Match the title of the event. When doing a push this will match the commit title and when matching on PR it will match the Pull or Merge Request title. (only GitHub, Gitlab and BitbucketCloud providers are supported)
  • body: The full body as passed by the Git provider. (example: body.pull_request.number will get the pull request number on GitHub)
  • headers: The full set of headers as passed by the Git provider. (example: headers['x-github-event'] will get the event type on GitHub)
  • .pathChanged: a suffix function to a string which can be a glob of a path to check if changed (only GitHub and Gitlab provider is supported)
  • files: The list of files that changed in the event (all, added, deleted, modified and renamed). Example files.all or files.deleted. On pull request every file belonging to the pull request will be listed.

Compared to the simple “on-target” annotation matching, the CEL expression allows you to complex filtering and most importantly express negation.

For example if I want to have a PipelineRun targeting a pull_request but not the experimental branch I would have : |
    event == "pull_request" && target_branch != experimental"

You can find more information about the CEL language spec here :

Matching PipelineRun by path change #

NOTE: Pipelines-as-Code supports two ways to match files changed in a particular event. The .pathChanged suffix function supports glob pattern and does not support different types of “changes” i.e. added, modified, deleted and so on. The other option is to use the files. property (files.all, files.added, files.deleted, files.modified, files.renamed) which can target specific types of changed files and supports using CEL expressions i.e. files.all.exists(x, x.matches('renamed.go')).

If you want to have a PipelineRun running only if a path has changed you can use the .pathChanged suffix function with a glob pattern. Here is a concrete example matching every markdown files (as files who has the .md suffix) in the docs directory : |
    event == "pull_request" && "docs/*.md".pathChanged()

This example will match any changed file (added, modified, removed or renamed) that was in the tmp directory: |
            files.all.exists(x, x.matches('tmp/'))

This example will match any added file that was in the src or pkg directory: |
            files.added.exists(x, x.matches('src/|pkg/'))

This example will match modified files with the name of test.go: |
            files.modified.exists(x, x.matches('test.go'))

Matching PipelineRun on event title #

This example will match all pull request starting with the title [DOWNSTREAM]: |
    event == "pull_request && event_title.startsWith("[DOWNSTREAM]")

The event title will be the pull request title on pull_request and the commit title on push

Matching PipelineRun on body payload #

Matching PipelineRun on body payload is a Technology Preview feature only. Technology Preview features are not currently supported and might not be functionally complete. We do not recommend using them in production. These features provide early access to an upcoming Pipelines-as-Code features, enabling you to test functionality and provide feedback during the development process.

The payload body as passed by the Git provider is available in the CEL variable as body and you can use this expression to do any filtering on anything the Git provider is sending over:

For example this expression when run on GitHub: |
  body.pull_request.base.ref == "main" &&
    body.pull_request.user.login == "superuser" &&
    body.action == "synchronize"  

will only match if the pull request is targeting the main branch, the author of the pull request is called superuser and the action is synchronize (ie: an update occurred on a pull request)

When matching the body payload in a Pull Request, the GitOps comments such as /retest won’t be working as expected.

The payload body will become of the comment and not the original pull request payload.

Consequently, when a pull request event occurs, like opening or updating a pull request, the CEL body payload may not align with the defined specifications.

To be able to retest your Pull Request when using a CEL on bod payload, you can make a dummy update to the Pull Request by sending a new SHA with this git command:

# assuming you are on the branch you want to retest
# and the upstream remote are set
git commit --amend --no-edit && \
  git push --force-with-lease

or close/open the pull request.

Matching PipelineRun on request header #

You can do some further filtering on the headers as passed by the Git provider with the CEL variable headers.

The headers are available as a list and are always in lower case.

For example this is how to make sure the event is a pull_request on GitHub: |
    headers['x-github-event'] == "pull_request"

Using the body and headers in a Pipelines-as-Code parameter #

Pipelines-as-Code let you access the full body and headers of the request as a CEL expression.

This allows you to go beyond the standard variables and even play with multiple conditions and variable to output values.

For example if you want to get the title of the Pull Request in your PipelineRun you can simply access it like this:

{{ body.pull_request.title }}

You can then get creative and for example mix the variable inside a python script to evaluate the json.

This task for example is using python and will check the labels on the PR, exit 0 if it has the label called ‘bug’ on the pull request or exit 1 if it doesn’t:

    - name: check-label
      script: |
        #!/usr/bin/env python3
        import json
        labels=json.loads("""{{ body.pull_request.labels }}""")
        for label in labels:
            if label['name'] == 'bug':
              print('This is a PR targeting a BUG')
        print('This is not a PR targeting a BUG :(')

The expression are CEL expressions so you can as well make some conditional:

- name: bash
  script: |
    if {{ body.pull_request.state == "open" }}; then
      echo "PR is Open"

if the PR is open the condition then return true and the shell script see this as a valid boolean.

Headers from the payload body can be accessed from the headers keyword, for example

{{ headers['x-github-event'] }}

and then you can do the same conditional or access as described above for the body keyword.

Using the temporary GitHub APP Token for GitHub API operations #

You can use the temporary installation token that is generated by Pipelines as Code from the GitHub App to access the GitHub API.

The token value is stored into the temporary git-auth secret as generated for private repositories in the key git-provider-token.

As an example if you want to add a comment to your pull request, you can use the github-add-comment task from the Tekton Hub using a pipelines as code annotation: "github-add-comment"

you can then add the task to your tasks section (or finally tasks) of your PipelineRun :

  - name:
        name: github-add-comment
        - name: REQUEST_URL
          value: "{{ repo_url }}/pull/{{ pull_request_number }}"
        - name: COMMENT_OR_FILE
          value: "Pipelines-as-Code IS GREAT!"
          value: "{{ git_auth_secret }}"
          value: "git-provider-token"

Since we are using the dynamic variables we are able to reuse this on any PullRequest from any repositories.

and for completeness, here is another example how to set the GITHUB_TOKEN environment variable on a task step:

  - name: GITHUB_TOKEN
        name: "{{ git_auth_secret }}"
        key: "git-provider-token"
  • On GitHub apps the generated installation token will be available for 8 hours
  • On GitHub apps the token is scoped to the repository the event (payload) come from unless configured it differently on cluster.

Example #

Pipelines as code test itself, you can see the examples in its .tekton repository.

Calendar February 15, 2024
Edit Edit this page