GitHub Packages for code packages


In the previous unit, you saw how to use GitHub Actions to build and publish container images.

In this unit, we'll take a look at the other packages supported by GitHub Packages. GitHub Packages work with your current project's ecosystem tooling: npm for npm packages; nuget.exe, or the dotnet CLI for NuGet packages, etc.

Authenticate to GitHub Packages

The way you authenticate into your package manager will depend on your project's ecosystem. Whichever ecosystem you're working with, you'll need three pieces of information:

  • Your GitHub username
  • A Personal Access Token
  • The GitHub Packages endpoint for your package ecosystem

Generate a Personal Access Token

To install, publish, or delete a package, you need an access token. When using your package manager, you must generate a Personal Access Token (PAT). You can generate a PAT via your profile settings.


Treat your tokens like passwords and keep them secret.

Log in into GitHub Packages

Before publishing or installing packages from GitHub Packages, you'll need to authenticate in your package manager. The endpoint will look like, where PACKAGE_TYPE is the type of package ecosystem you're using.

The following table shows you the command to run in order to authenticate to GitHub Packages based on your package ecosystem:

Your package ecosystem Command line to authenticate to GitHub Package
NuGet dotnet nuget add source -n github -u OWNER -p [Your PAT Token]
npm bash npm login --registry=
RubyGems echo ":github: Bearer GH_TOKEN" >> ~/.gem/credentials
Maven & Gradle You can directly authenticate while pushing.

If you want to learn more about how to use GitHub Packages with your project's environment, you can read the documentation here.

Install a package

When you're authenticated, you can easily use published packages in your projects. Each package home page shows you the command to run, depending on your project environment.

A Package page displays information about how to install it into your project, depending on the project environment.

Manage packages

GitHub Packages offer you several ways to easily manage your packages lifecycle and workflows.

You can manage GitHub Packages through the GitHub API and the GraphQL API. These APIs allows you to support advanced integrations scenarios. For example, with GitHub's Webhook feature, you can run code when a new package is published. Imagine you're a maintainer of an open-source project. With webhooks, you could automatically publish a new Tweet or a blog post when a new package is published.

Last but not least, you can use GitHub Actions to automate package management. With the delete-package-versions action, you can automatically prune the oldest version of your packages while publishing a new version.