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GitHub Action: auto-format

Github Action Auto-Format runs several repository "hygiene" tasks for repositories:

  • The readme target will rebuild from README.yaml.
  • The github_format target adds all of Cloud Posse's standard repository housekeeping files (including GitHub Actions workflows) to the repository's .github folder.
  • The terraform_format target ensures consistent formatting across all Terraform files in the repository.


If you haven't already, follow the steps in the quickstart section. To choose which pieces of functionality will be executed, modify the script-names: input to the cloudposse/github-action-auto-format step to be a comma-separated list of one or more targets (e.g., script-names: readme,terraform_format,github_format). This is an exhaustive list of all valid script-names:

  • readme
  • github_format
  • terraform_format If you're using the auto-format.yml workflow file distributed within this repository, then the Auto-format GitHub Action will trigger on pull request events, once a day at 7am UTC, and upon manual triggering via the workflow_dispatch mechanism.

Quick Start

Here's how to get started...

  1. Copy .github/workflows/auto-format.yml to the corresponding folder in your target repo.
  2. Generate a Personal Access Token (PAT) that with the workflow permission using a GitHub account that has write permissions in the target repo by following the directions here and selecting the workflow tick box on the token creation screen.
  3. Add this token as a GitHub secret in your target repository and set the workflow-token input of the github-action-auto-format step to the name of your secret.
  4. Set the bot-name input of the github-action-auto-format step to the GitHub username of the user who generated the token in step 2. *This user must have write permissions in the target repo.`
  5. By default, the Auto-Format GitHub Action will execute all of its scripts when run. If you'd like to use a subset of the full functionality, modify the script-names input of the github-action-auto-format step as described in the usage section.
  6. (Optional) You may want to change when the scheduled cron trigger is executed. If you'd like a guide, here's a useful resource for help in crafting cron strings -
  7. (Optional) CloudPosse recommends pinning to specific versions of actions for ease of long-term maintenance. If you care to edit the pin in auto-format.yml from main to a specific version, feel free to consult for a list of available versions.


Here's a real world example: