Introduction

Github Actions, is a continuous integration tool from GitHub, offers developers a new way to automate workflows.

Each action, which is a set of custom instructions can be combined with other actions to create a workflow.

Github Actions container specifications 🏷

When I ran some tests on Github actions, I found out that these temporary containers are very powerful machines. Below are some specs (for Ubuntu 18.04):

  • CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2673 v4 (2) @ 2.294GHz
  • Memory: Around 500MB (test showed usage 470MiB / 6954MiB )
  • GPU: Microsoft Corporation Hyper-V virtual VGA
  • Free Space (approx.): 20G
  • SpeedTest:
    • Download: 1180.01 Mbit/s
    • Upload: 699.50 Mbit/s

speedtest results

That was pretty amazing ✨. Moreover it was capable of installing multiple packages and running multiple languages.


Let’s get Started 🚀

The scope of this article is to get a Temporary File Sharing Platform for short amount of time

What do we need to make this work ?

  1. A Github Account (Free tier)
  2. Ngrok Account (Free tier)

Step 1:

Create a Github Repository, can be public (as we don’t share/show Ngrok URL details with anyone)

Step 2:

Create a file named fileshare.yml under .github/workflows, so that file path will be .github/workflows/fileshare.yml

Step 3:

Below is the workflow we need to use … It’s pretty basic, you may add more params to browsepy or use pyngrok for more functionality :)

Paste the code below in fileshare.yml

name: TempFileShare

on:
    workflow_dispatch:
        # enables manual run

env:
    AUTHTOKEN: ${{ secrets.NGROK_AUTHTOKEN }}
    NGROK_LINUX_ZIP: "https://bin.equinox.io/c/4VmDzA7iaHb/ngrok-stable-linux-amd64.zip"
    # Above url may change upon newer versions available at https://ngrok.com/download

jobs:
    serve:
        runs-on: ubuntu-latest

        # Steps represent a sequence of tasks that will be executed as part of the job
        steps:
            - name: setup python
              uses: actions/setup-python@v2
              with:
                  python-version: 3.8 #install the python needed

            - name: setup
              run: |
                  wget ${NGROK_LINUX_ZIP}
                  unzip ngrok-stable-linux-amd64.zip
                  ./ngrok authtoken ${AUTHTOKEN}
                  pip install browsepy                  

            - name: start server
              run: |
                  ./ngrok http 8080 &
                  mkdir public
                  df -h public # echos free space
                  timeout 20m browsepy 0.0.0.0 8080 --directory public/ --upload public/
                  rm -rf public/
                  rm -rf ~/.ngrok2/                  

We will be using BrowsePy - a simple web file browser using Flask. This has feature that we need:

  • Simple, like Python’s SimpleHTTPServer or Apache’s Directory Listing.
  • Downloadable directories, streaming directory tarballs on the fly.
  • Optional remove for files under given path.
  • Optional upload for directories under given path.

Ngrok offers, in Free tier:

  • HTTP/TCP tunnels on random URLs/ports
  • 1 online ngrok process
  • 4 tunnels per ngrok process
  • 40 connections per minute

which is fair for this project.

I have added timeout 20m so that ‘browsepy’ will quit after 20 minutes, although github actions can run for ~50 minutes !

At last we remove uploaded files and auth-token from runner by

rm -rf public/
rm -rf ~/.ngrok2/

Step 4:

Now we have to do 2 more steps for Ngrok to work:

  1. Get the Ngrok Authtoken from https://dashboard.ngrok.com/auth/your-authtoken which will be different for each account
  2. Put the Ngrok Authtoken in https://github.com/<your repo>/settings/secrets as

setting secrets in github actions

Step 5:

We can now go to Actions Tab for Repository created

Actions Tab

And RUN the workflow

Running workflow

After Running go to ngrok dashboard to find the Tunnel Url

Tunnels Online : https://dashboard.ngrok.com/status/tunnels

Finally 🎉

Go to the https://<tunnel url>.ngrok.io/ and enjoy Temporary File Sharing

Running share service

Kudos to you if you have read so far 🙌