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GitHub Actions

Read time: 2 minutes
Last edited: Dec 06, 2021
Code references is an Enterprise feature

Code references is available to customers on an Enterprise plan. To learn more, read about our pricing. To upgrade your plan, contact Sales.


This topic explains how to use the ld-find-code-refs utility with GitHub Actions to automatically populate code references in LaunchDarkly. To learn more about the utility and check for the latest version, read LaunchDarkly Code References with GitHub Actions.


To complete this procedure, you must have the following prerequisites:

  • An API access token with writer permissions, stored as a repository secret titled LD_ACCESS_TOKEN. To learn more, read API access tokens.

Setting up GitHub Actions

To set up GitHub Actions:

  1. Log into GitHub and navigate to your repo.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Secrets and click Add a new secret.
  3. Paste in your access token to the field that appears and click Save secret.
  4. Return to your GitHub repository to create a new Actions workflow.
  • If you already have an action.yml file: Copy and paste the launchDarklyCodeReferences job declaration below into the jobs section in your action.yml file.
  • If you don't already have a workflow file: Create a new file titled action.yml in the .github/workflows directory of your repository. Paste the following code in the Edit file section:
1on: push
2name: Example Workflow
4 launchDarklyCodeReferences:
5 name: LaunchDarkly Code References
6 runs-on: ubuntu-latest
7 steps:
8 - uses: actions/checkout@v2
9 with:
10 fetch-depth: 11 # This value must be set if the lookback configuration option is not disabled for find-code-references. Read more: https://github.com/launchdarkly/ld-find-code-refs#searching-for-unused-flags-extinctions
11 - name: LaunchDarkly Code References
12 uses: launchdarkly/find-code-references@v13
13 with:
14 githubToken: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
15 accessToken: ${{ secrets.LD_ACCESS_TOKEN }}
Best practices for configuring an Actions file

We strongly recommend that you update the second uses attribute value to reference the most recent tag in the launchdarkly/find-code-references repository. This pins your workflow to a particular version of the launchdarkly/find-code-references action.

  1. Commit this file under a new branch and submit as a PR to your code reviewers to be merged into your master branch.
Code references are not blocked by PR approval

You do not need to have this branch merged into the master branch for code references to appear in the LaunchDarkly user interface (UI). Code references will appear for this newly created branch.

As shown in the example above, the workflow should run on the push event and contain an action provided by the launchdarkly/find-code-references repository.

Include both the LD_ACCESS_TOKEN as a secret and a new environment variable containing your LaunchDarkly project key. Find the project key in Account Settings > Projects in the LaunchDarkly dashboard.


After you create the workflow, you can confirm that it's working correctly by creating a new pull request with the workflow file and verifying that the newly created action succeeds.

If the action fails, there may be a problem with your configuration. To investigate, review the action's logs to view any error messages.

Additional configuration options

You can configure ld-find-code-refs with additional inputs to enable more functionality.

In addition to inputs, you can skip searching files and directories using a .ldignore file.

You can also use the .launchdarkly/coderefs.yaml file for advanced configuration options, such as configuring custom delimiters and aliases for your flag keys.

This table explains the configuration variables:

accessTokenA LaunchDarkly access token with writer-level access, or access to the code-reference-repository custom role resource. Supply this as a GitHub repository secret.Yes
projKeyA LaunchDarkly project key. Found under Account Settings -> Projects in the LaunchDarkly dashboard.Yes
repoNameSets the repository name for this project. This is useful if you have a single monorepo containing multiple YAML configurations each mapping to its own projKey. Each YAML configuration must have a unique LD_PROJ_KEY and LD_REPO_NAME combination so it displays correctly in the LaunchDarkly dashboard. Defaults to the current Github repository.No
contextLinesThe number of context lines above and below a code reference for the flag finder to send to LaunchDarkly.
If < 0, no source code will be sent to LaunchDarkly.
If 0, only the lines containing flag references will be sent.
If > 0, will send that number of context lines above and below the flag reference.
A maximum of 5 context lines may be provided. Defaults to 2.
baseUriSet the base URL of the LaunchDarkly server for this configuration. Defaults to https://app.launchdarkly.com.No
allowTagsEnables storing references for tags. The tag is listed as a branch. Defaults to false.No
debugEnables verbose default logging. Defaults to false.No
ignoreServiceErrorsIf enabled, the scanner will terminate with exit code 0 when the LaunchDarkly API is unreachable or returns an unexpected response. Defaults to false.No
lookbackSets the number of Git commits to search in history for whether a feature flag was removed from code. May be set to 0 to disabled this feature. Setting this option to a high value will increase search time. Defaults to 10.No