Exit Code 1: Process Terminated with Error on Github Action

If you have cloned repositories containing .git folders, there may be conflicts. It’s important to identify the commands you used in your YAML file as they may be the cause.


My aim is to configure the
GitHub Action
for the purpose of deploying my application.

This is what the script for initiating the deployment process appears like, utilizing the



set -e
(git push) || true
git checkout production
git merge master
git push origin production
git checkout master

Upon running the script mentioned above, the following output is displayed:

The file with


appears in the following manner:

name: CD
    branches: [ production ]
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
          token: ${{ secrets.PUSH_TOKEN }}
#      - name: Set up Node
#       uses: actions/setup-node@v1
#        with:
#          node-version: '12.x'
#      - run: npm install
#      - run: npm run production
      - name: Commit built assets
        run: |
          git config --local user.email "[email protected]"
          git config --local user.name "GitHub Action"
          git checkout -B deploy
          git add -f public/
          git commit -m "Build front-end assets"
          git push -f origin deploy
      - name: Deploy to production
        uses: appleboy/ssh-action@master
          username: root
          host: ****.****.****.****
          password: ${{ secrets.SSH_PASSWORD }}
          script: 'cd /var/www/myProject && ./server_deploy.sh'

Upon executing the script, the unprocessed log displayed as follows.

2021-03-14T16:04:06.7573174Z ##[section]Starting: Request a runner to run this job
2021-03-14T16:04:07.1344029Z Can't find any online and idle self-hosted runner in current repository that matches the required labels: 'ubuntu-latest'
2021-03-14T16:04:07.1344097Z Can't find any online and idle self-hosted runner in current repository's account/organization that matches the required labels: 'ubuntu-latest'
2021-03-14T16:04:07.1344652Z Found online and idle hosted runner in current repository's account/organization that matches the required labels: 'ubuntu-latest'
2021-03-14T16:04:07.2661405Z ##[section]Finishing: Request a runner to run this job
2021-03-14T16:04:17.0975920Z Current runner version: '2.277.1'
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9082004Z ##[group]Operating System
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9083391Z Ubuntu
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9084015Z 20.04.2
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9084509Z LTS
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9085154Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9085790Z ##[group]Virtual Environment
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9086576Z Environment: ubuntu-20.04
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9087226Z Version: 20210302.0
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9088413Z Included Software: https://github.com/actions/virtual-environments/blob/ubuntu20/20210302.0/images/linux/Ubuntu2004-README.md
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9090008Z Image Release: https://github.com/actions/virtual-environments/releases/tag/ubuntu20%2F
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9091225Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9093732Z ##[group]GITHUB_TOKEN Permissions
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9095423Z Actions: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9096121Z Checks: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9096752Z Contents: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9097367Z Deployments: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9098205Z Issues: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9098869Z Metadata: read
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9099572Z OrganizationPackages: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9100326Z Packages: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9100966Z PullRequests: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9101747Z RepositoryProjects: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9102476Z SecurityEvents: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9103267Z Statuses: write
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9103974Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:17.9108171Z Prepare workflow directory
2021-03-14T16:04:18.3861957Z Prepare all required actions
2021-03-14T16:04:18.3875377Z Getting action download info
2021-03-14T16:04:18.7415606Z Download action repository 'actions/checkout@v2'
2021-03-14T16:04:19.4196162Z Download action repository 'appleboy/ssh-action@master'
2021-03-14T16:04:20.1340765Z ##[group]Build container for action use: '/home/runner/work/_actions/appleboy/ssh-action/master/Dockerfile'.
2021-03-14T16:04:20.1449431Z ##[command]/usr/bin/docker build -t 5588e4:46e0c05d2f1c4fbf93b7f69ca6a2f1b5 -f "/home/runner/work/_actions/appleboy/ssh-action/master/Dockerfile" "/home/runner/work/_actions/appleboy/ssh-action/master"
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6962547Z Sending build context to Docker daemon  293.9kB
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6963632Z Step 1/4 : FROM appleboy/drone-ssh:1.6.3-linux-amd64
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6964381Z 1.6.3-linux-amd64: Pulling from appleboy/drone-ssh
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6965036Z 188c0c94c7c5: Pulling fs layer
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6965576Z 66fca843054b: Pulling fs layer
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6966101Z f62e9573bab1: Pulling fs layer
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6966632Z 06a0f34100cd: Pulling fs layer
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6967110Z 06a0f34100cd: Waiting
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6967633Z f62e9573bab1: Verifying Checksum
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6968295Z f62e9573bab1: Download complete
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6968871Z 66fca843054b: Verifying Checksum
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6969544Z 66fca843054b: Download complete
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6970079Z 188c0c94c7c5: Verifying Checksum
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6970589Z 188c0c94c7c5: Download complete
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6971347Z 06a0f34100cd: Verifying Checksum
2021-03-14T16:04:21.6971878Z 06a0f34100cd: Download complete
2021-03-14T16:04:22.0484952Z 188c0c94c7c5: Pull complete
2021-03-14T16:04:22.2702074Z 66fca843054b: Pull complete
2021-03-14T16:04:22.3773889Z f62e9573bab1: Pull complete
2021-03-14T16:04:22.6271473Z 06a0f34100cd: Pull complete
2021-03-14T16:04:22.6379226Z Digest: sha256:aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
2021-03-14T16:04:22.6402600Z Status: Downloaded newer image for appleboy/drone-ssh:1.6.3-linux-amd64
2021-03-14T16:04:22.6418359Z  ---> 47f94d42e479
2021-03-14T16:04:22.6422631Z Step 2/4 : COPY entrypoint.sh /entrypoint.sh
2021-03-14T16:04:23.2992272Z  ---> 894dff86e37f
2021-03-14T16:04:23.3137154Z Step 3/4 : RUN chmod +x /entrypoint.sh
2021-03-14T16:04:23.3492501Z  ---> Running in 8b348a5718bd
2021-03-14T16:04:25.0149456Z Removing intermediate container 8b348a5718bd
2021-03-14T16:04:25.0167277Z  ---> 2bc40f78951d
2021-03-14T16:04:25.0168110Z Step 4/4 : ENTRYPOINT ["/entrypoint.sh"]
2021-03-14T16:04:25.0374209Z  ---> Running in be0a69eed1dc
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0155734Z Removing intermediate container be0a69eed1dc
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0157218Z  ---> e08d3462082b
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0218123Z Successfully built e08d3462082b
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0355661Z Successfully tagged 5588e4:46e0c05d2f1c4fbf93b7f69ca6a2f1b5
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0368493Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0761189Z ##[group]Run actions/checkout@v2
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0761944Z with:
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0763619Z   token: ***
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0764261Z   repository: myUser/myProject
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0764899Z   ssh-strict: true
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0765450Z   persist-credentials: true
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0765987Z   clean: true
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0766410Z   fetch-depth: 1
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0766837Z   lfs: false
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0767254Z   submodules: false
2021-03-14T16:04:26.0767708Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5724570Z Syncing repository: myUser/myProject
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5725598Z ##[group]Getting Git version info
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5726878Z Working directory is '/home/runner/work/myProject/myProject'
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5728059Z [command]/usr/bin/git version
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5892765Z git version 2.30.1
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5894282Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5903587Z Deleting the contents of '/home/runner/work/myProject/myProject'
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5905407Z ##[group]Initializing the repository
2021-03-14T16:04:26.5909187Z [command]/usr/bin/git init /home/runner/work/myProject/myProject
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6029092Z hint: Using 'master' as the name for the initial branch. This default branch name
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6030401Z hint: is subject to change. To configure the initial branch name to use in all
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6031533Z hint: of your new repositories, which will suppress this warning, call:
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6032386Z hint: 
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6033943Z hint:  git config --global init.defaultBranch 
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6034638Z hint: 
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6035442Z hint: Names commonly chosen instead of 'master' are 'main', 'trunk' and
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6036651Z hint: 'development'. The just-created branch can be renamed via this command:
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6037336Z hint: 
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6037909Z hint:  git branch -m 
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6041711Z Initialized empty Git repository in /home/runner/work/myProject/myProject/.git/
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6053565Z [command]/usr/bin/git remote add origin https://github.com/myUser/myProject
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6112480Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6113335Z ##[group]Disabling automatic garbage collection
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6121163Z [command]/usr/bin/git config --local gc.auto 0
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6165369Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6176967Z ##[group]Setting up auth
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6187245Z [command]/usr/bin/git config --local --name-only --get-regexp core.sshCommand
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6246287Z [command]/usr/bin/git submodule foreach --recursive git config --local --name-only --get-regexp 'core.sshCommand' && git config --local --unset-all 'core.sshCommand' || :
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6900209Z [command]/usr/bin/git config --local --name-only --get-regexp http.https://github.com/.extraheader
2021-03-14T16:04:26.6940390Z [command]/usr/bin/git submodule foreach --recursive git config --local --name-only --get-regexp 'http.https://github.com/.extraheader' && git config --local --unset-all 'http.https://github.com/.extraheader' || :
2021-03-14T16:04:26.7216178Z [command]/usr/bin/git config --local http.https://github.com/.extraheader AUTHORIZATION: basic ***
2021-03-14T16:04:26.7266677Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:26.7268826Z ##[group]Fetching the repository
2021-03-14T16:04:26.7277912Z [command]/usr/bin/git -c protocol.version=2 fetch --no-tags --prune --progress --no-recurse-submodules --depth=1 origin +ea9bc17ea94e3e6c966f65eadaab92e81b90346c:refs/remotes/origin/production
2021-03-14T16:04:27.4292763Z remote: Enumerating objects: 2050, done.         
2021-03-14T16:04:27.5051531Z remote: Counting objects: 100% (2050/2050), done.         
2021-03-14T16:04:27.6195514Z remote: Compressing objects: 100% (1621/1621), done.          
2021-03-14T16:04:28.5762484Z Receiving objects: 100% (2050/2050), 2.44 MiB | 4.84 MiB/s
2021-03-14T16:04:28.5763176Z Receiving objects: 100% (2050/2050), 13.82 MiB | 14.48 MiB/s, done.
2021-03-14T16:04:28.6012285Z Resolving deltas: 100% (469/469)
2021-03-14T16:04:28.6012872Z Resolving deltas: 100% (469/469), done.
2021-03-14T16:04:28.8206899Z From https://github.com/myUser/myProject
2021-03-14T16:04:28.8208438Z  * [new ref]         ea9bc17ea94e3e6c966f65eadaab92e81b90346c -> origin/production
2021-03-14T16:04:28.8229099Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:28.8229852Z ##[group]Determining the checkout info
2021-03-14T16:04:28.8232088Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:28.8232766Z ##[group]Checking out the ref
2021-03-14T16:04:28.8236775Z [command]/usr/bin/git checkout --progress --force -B production refs/remotes/origin/production
2021-03-14T16:04:28.9951267Z Switched to a new branch 'production'
2021-03-14T16:04:28.9952452Z Branch 'production' set up to track remote branch 'production' from 'origin'.
2021-03-14T16:04:28.9961000Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0014527Z [command]/usr/bin/git log -1 --format='%H'
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0046451Z 'ea9bc17ea94e3e6c966f65eadaab92e81b90346c'
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0162817Z ##[group]Run git config --local user.email "[email protected]"
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0163849Z [36;1mgit config --local user.email "[email protected]"[0m
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0164730Z [36;1mgit config --local user.name "GitHub Action"[0m
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0165375Z [36;1mgit checkout -B deploy[0m
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0165987Z [36;1mgit add -f public/[0m
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0166580Z [36;1mgit commit -m "Build front-end assets"[0m
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0167255Z [36;1mgit push -f origin deploy[0m
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0215326Z shell: /usr/bin/bash -e {0}
2021-03-14T16:04:29.0215807Z ##[endgroup]
2021-03-14T16:04:29.3153383Z Switched to a new branch 'deploy'
2021-03-14T16:04:29.3313550Z On branch deploy
2021-03-14T16:04:29.3316648Z nothing to commit, working tree clean
2021-03-14T16:04:29.3381472Z ##[error]Process completed with exit code 1.
2021-03-14T16:04:29.3653154Z Post job cleanup.
2021-03-14T16:04:29.4723616Z [command]/usr/bin/git version
2021-03-14T16:04:29.4777037Z git version 2.30.1
2021-03-14T16:04:29.4815499Z [command]/usr/bin/git config --local --name-only --get-regexp core.sshCommand
2021-03-14T16:04:29.4854852Z [command]/usr/bin/git submodule foreach --recursive git config --local --name-only --get-regexp 'core.sshCommand' && git config --local --unset-all 'core.sshCommand' || :
2021-03-14T16:04:29.5117676Z [command]/usr/bin/git config --local --name-only --get-regexp http.https://github.com/.extraheader
2021-03-14T16:04:29.5149269Z http.https://github.com/.extraheader
2021-03-14T16:04:29.5160054Z [command]/usr/bin/git config --local --unset-all http.https://github.com/.extraheader
2021-03-14T16:04:29.5197186Z [command]/usr/bin/git submodule foreach --recursive git config --local --name-only --get-regexp 'http.https://github.com/.extraheader' && git config --local --unset-all 'http.https://github.com/.extraheader' || :
2021-03-14T16:04:29.5497217Z Cleaning up orphan processes

At present, no changes are being made to my production branch since the production process is not initiated.

Do you have any recommendations on what I might be doing incorrectly?

Why do I get this error?

I really appreciate your replies!


Why do I get this error?

“This error”, to be clear, is:

2021-03-14T16:04:29.3381472Z ##[error]Process completed with exit code 1.

The shell is the process that has been completed.

2021-03-14T16:04:29.0215326Z shell: /usr/bin/bash -e {0}

One of the commands in the script must have exited with a status code of 1 (“generic failure”), causing both it and

bash -e

to exit with the same status code.

By knowing which commands print what output, we are able to correlate each command to its corresponding output. The script is provided below for reference.

git config --local user.email "[email protected]"
git config --local user.name "GitHub Action"
git checkout -B deploy
git add -f public/
git commit -m "Build front-end assets"
git push -f origin deploy

The color-changing ESC [ …m sequences were removed as they obstruct the view, and the timestamps were eliminated since they are not significant. The commands used are the same ones provided in your YAML file.

The following are the results obtained from running each of the stated commands.

Switched to a new branch 'deploy'
On branch deploy
nothing to commit, working tree clean


git config

does not display any output. Therefore, it is likely that the two

git config

s were successful as we observed a printed statement (the initial line). The statement that was printed was

Switched to a new branch 'deploy'


The successful execution of the third command,

git checkout -B deploy

, would result in the exact output we see here. Therefore, we can conclude that the third command was indeed successful and we can proceed to the fourth command,

git add -f public/


The command known as

git add

usually does not display any output, making it hard to confirm its execution. However, we can observe additional output starting with

On branch ...

that is not related to

git add

. It is reasonable to assume that

git add

was successful, allowing us to proceed to the next command,

git commit -m [message]

. This command generates output upon success and failure; a successful attempt produces a message indicating the abbreviated hash ID of the new commit, while a failed attempt produces

git status


$ git status
On branch master
Your branch is up to date with 'origin/master'.
nothing to commit, working tree clean
$ git commit -m test
On branch master
Your branch is up to date with 'origin/master'.
nothing to commit, working tree clean

Git fails to create a new commit due to the absence of any changes to commit. This is because the current (


) commit matches Git’s index, indicating that no files have been updated. The lack of changes to commit could be a result of an empty (


) directory or files that match the ones in the (


) commit.

Upon inspection of the exit status resulting from a failed

git commit

, it can be observed that the value is 1.

$ echo $?

The reason why the

git commit

command failed is because there were no new changes to commit.

You are presented with several options on how to move forward.

  • Figure out


    there was nothing to commit, when you clearly expected there to be something to commit.

  • Check whether there is anything to commit, and if not, commit nothing.

  • Use

    git commit --allow-empty

    to instruct Git to make a new commit even if there’s no need for a new commit. (This has the advantage of being extremely simple.)

  • Forcibly assume that the

    git commit

    succeeds even when it fails, by using the

    (cmd || true)

    construct, just as you did here:

    (git push) || true

I’ve arranged these in an order that is roughly based on their level of severity, although it’s important to note that some of this may be subjective or based on personal assessment.

To diagnose a script’s failure, there are different approaches you can use if it’s not immediately clear which command failed. For example, in this case, it was evident that

git commit

failed because only

git commit

behaves like

git status

and produces a “nothing to commit” message. However, for other ambiguous failures, you can narrow them down by adding


commands to identify which parts of the script are running. Alternatively, you can include

set -x

in a bash script to print out a


line for each command that runs just before execution, which can immediately identify the command responsible for the exit status.

Frequently Asked Questions