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When operating on a venture with a couple of builders, it may be irritating when one particular person pushes to a repository after which some other starts making adjustments on an out of date model of the code. Errors like those price time, which makes it profitable to arrange a script to stay your repositories in sync. You’ll be able to additionally observe this system in a manufacturing setting to push hotfixes and different adjustments briefly.

Whilst different answers exist to finish this explicit activity, writing your individual script is a versatile possibility that leaves room for personalization sooner or later.

GitHub permits you to configure webhooks to your repositories, which might be occasions that ship HTTP requests when occasions occur. As an example, you’ll use a webhook to inform you when anyone creates a pull request or pushes new code.

On this information you’re going to broaden a Node.js server that listens for a GitHub webhook notification every time you or anyone else pushes code to GitHub. This script will routinely replace a repository on a far flung server with the newest model of the code, getting rid of the want to log in to a server to drag new commits.

Must haves

To finish this educational, you’re going to want:

  • One Ubuntu 16.04 server arrange by way of following the Ubuntu 16.04 initial server setup guide, together with a non-root person with sudo privileges and a firewall.
  • Git put in for your native device. You’ll be able to apply the academic Contributing to Open Source: Getting Started with Git to put in and arrange Git for your pc.
  • Node.js and npm put in at the far flung server the usage of the reliable PPA, as defined defined in How To Install Node.js on Ubuntu 16.04. Putting in the distro-stable model is enough because it supplies us with the beneficial model with none further configuration.
  • A repository on Github that comprises your venture code. In case you do not need a venture in thoughts, be happy to fork this example which we will use in the remainder of the academic.

Step 1 — Environment Up a Webhook

We will get started by way of configuring a webhook to your repository. This step is essential as a result of with out it, Github does not know what occasions to ship when issues occur, or the place to ship them. We will create the webhook first, after which create the server that may reply to its requests.

Check in in your GitHub account and navigate to the repository you need to track. Click on at the Settings tab within the most sensible menu bar for your repository’s web page, then click on Webhooks within the left navigation menu. Click on Upload Webhook in the proper nook and input your account password if brought on. You can see a web page that appears like this:

Webhooks Page

  • Within the Payload URL box, input http://your_server_ip:8080. That is the cope with and port of the Node.js server we will write quickly.
  • Alternate the Content material kind to utility/json. The script we can write will be expecting JSON information and will not be able to know different information varieties.
  • For Secret, input a secret password for this webhook. You can use this secret for your Node.js server to validate requests and ensure they got here from GitHub.
  • For Which occasions do you want to cause this webhook, make a selection simply the rush tournament. We best want the rush tournament since this is when code is up to date and must be synced to our server.
  • Make a choice the Energetic checkbox.
  • Overview the fields and click on Upload webhook to create it.

The ping will fail in the beginning, however leisure confident your webhook is now configured. Now let’s get the repository cloned to the server.

Step 2 — Cloning the Repository to the Server

Our script can replace a repository, nevertheless it can not take care of putting in place the repository to begin with, so we will do this now. Log in in your server:

Be sure you’re in your house listing. Then use Git to clone your repository. Make sure to exchange sammy along with your GitHub username and hello_hapi with the identify of your Github venture.

  • cd
  • git clone

This may occasionally create a brand new listing containing your venture. You can use this listing in your next step.

Together with your venture cloned, you’ll create the webhook script.

Step 3 — Developing the Webhook Script

Let’s create our server to pay attention for the ones webhook requests from GitHub. We will write a Node.js script that launches a internet server on port 8080. The server will pay attention for requests from the webhook, check the name of the game we specified, and pull the most recent model of the code from GitHub.

Navigate to your own home listing:

Create a brand new listing to your webhook script referred to as NodeWebhooks:

Then navigate to the brand new listing:

Create a brand new record referred to as webhook.js within the NodeWebhooks listing.

Upload those two strains to the script:


var secret = "your_secret_here";
var repo = "/house/sammy/hello_hapi";

The primary line defines a variable to carry the name of the game you created in Step 1 which verifies that requests come from GitHub. The second one line defines a variable that holds the overall trail to the repository you need to replace for your native disk. This will have to level to the repository you looked at in Step 2.

Subsequent, upload those strains which import the http and crypto libaries into the script. We will use those to create our internet server and hash the name of the game so we will be able to evaluate it with what we obtain from GitHub:


let http = require('http');
let crypto = require('crypto');

Subsequent, come with the child_process library so you’ll execute shell instructions out of your script:


const exec = require('child_process').exec;

Subsequent, upload this code to outline a brand new internet server that handles GitHub webhook requests and pulls down the brand new model of the code if it is an unique request:


http.createServer(serve as (req, res) {
    req.on('information', serve as(chew) {
        let payload = JSON.parse(chew.toString());
        let sig = "sha1=" + crypto.createHmac('sha1', secret).replace(chew.toString()).digest('hex');

        if (req.headers['x-hub-signature'] == sig) {
            exec('cd ' + repo + ' && git pull');

}).pay attention(8080);

The http.createServer() serve as begins a internet server on port 8080 which listens for incoming requests from Github. For safety functions, we validate that the name of the game integrated within the request suits the only we specified when growing the webhook in Step 1. The name of the game is handed within the x-hub-signature header as an SHA1-hashed string, so we hash our secret and evaluate it to what GitHub sends us.

If the request is unique, we execute a shell command to replace our native repository the usage of git pull.

The finished script seems like this:


const secret = "your_secret_here";
const repo = "~/your_repo_path_here/";

const http = require('http');
const crypto = require('crypto');
const exec = require('child_process').exec;

http.createServer(serve as (req, res) {
    req.on('information', serve as(chew) {
        let payload = JSON.parse(chew.toString());
        let sig = "sha1=" + crypto.createHmac('sha1', secret).replace(chew.toString()).digest('hex');

        if (req.headers['x-hub-signature'] == sig) {
            exec('cd ' + repo + ' && git pull');

}).pay attention(8080);

In case you adopted the preliminary server setup information, it is very important permit this internet server to be in contact with the out of doors internet by way of permitting visitors on port 8080:

Now that our script is in position, let’s make certain that it’s operating correctly.

Step 4 – Checking out the Webhook

We will check our webhook by way of the usage of node to run it within the command line. Get started the script and go away the method open for your terminal:

  • cd ~/NodeWebhooks
  • nodejs webhook.js

Go back in your venture’s web page on Click on at the Settings tab within the most sensible menu bar for your repository’s web page, adopted by way of clicking Webhooks within the left navigation menu. Click on Edit subsequent to the webhook you put up in Step 1. Scroll down till you notice the Fresh Deliveries segment, as proven within the following symbol:

Edit Webhook

Press the 3 dots to the a long way proper to show the Redeliver button. With the node server working, click on Redeliver to ship the request once more. If you ascertain you need to ship the request, you can see a a hit reaction. That is indicated by way of a 200 OK reaction code after redelivering the ping.

We will now transfer on to creating certain our script runs within the background and begins at boot. Use CTRL+C stops the node webhook server.

Step 5 — Putting in the Webhook as a Systemd Provider

systemd is the duty supervisor Ubuntu makes use of to keep watch over products and services. We can arrange a provider that may permit us to begin our webhook script at boot and use systemd instructions to regulate it like we might with another provider.

Get started by way of growing a brand new provider record:

  • sudo nano /and so on/systemd/machine/webhook.provider

Upload the next configuration to the provider record which tells systemd how you can run the script. This tells Systemd the place to seek out our node script and describes our provider.

Be sure to exchange sammy along with your username.

/and so on/systemd/machine/webhook.provider

Description=Github webhook

ExecStart=/usr/bin/nodejs /house/sammy/NodeWebhooks/webhook.js


Permit the brand new provider so it begins when the machine boots:

  • sudo systemctl allow webhook.provider

Now get started the provider:

  • sudo systemctl get started webhook

Make sure that the provider is began:

  • sudo systemctl standing webhook

You can see the next output indicating that the provider is energetic:


● webhook.provider - Github webhook Loaded: loaded (/and so on/systemd/machine/webhook.provider; enabled; dealer preset: enabled) Energetic: energetic (working) since Fri 2018-08-17 19:28:41 UTC; 6s in the past Major PID: 9912 (nodejs) Duties: 6 Reminiscence: 7.6M CPU: 95ms CGroup: /machine.slice/webhook.provider └─9912 /usr/bin/nodejs /house/sammy/NodeWebhooks/webhook.js

You are actually in a position to push new commits in your repository and notice the adjustments for your server.

Out of your desktop device, clone the repository:

  • git clone

Make a metamorphosis to probably the most recordsdata within the repository. Then dedicate the record and push your code to GitHub.

  • git upload index.js
  • git dedicate -m "Replace index record"
  • git push beginning grasp

The webhook will hearth and your adjustments will seem for your server.


You might have arrange a Node.js script which is able to routinely deploy new commits to a far flung repository. You’ll be able to use this procedure to arrange further repositories that you would like to observe. It’s essential even configure it to deploy a site or utility to manufacturing while you push your repository.