Skip to content

Solution to Process completed with exit code 128 on GitHub Actions

There are a lot of names this issue might go by:

  • Process completed with exit code 128
  • Permission to [username]/[repository].git denied to github-actions[bot].
  • The requested URL returned error: 403

But they're all the same thing!

The problem

If you're running a GitHub Actions scraper, every time you run it you might end up getting an error that looks something like this:

403 error image

Run git config "Automated"
[main 8611d99] Latest data: Sat Jan 14 22:14:56 UTC 2023
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)
remote: Permission to jsoma/autoupdating.git denied to github-actions[bot].
fatal: unable to access '': The requested URL returned error: 403
Error: Process completed with exit code 128.

Even if it worked before, it might not work now!

In this case, the problem is that github-actions[bot] is trying to send changes to the repository, but it doesn't have permission to do so.

The solution

First, make sure you're using actions/checkout@2 in your steps section. It's older than actions/checkout@v3, but it's the one that works for me.

Second, add a permissions section with writing enabled. This allows your action to make changes to the repository.

The full workflow file might look something like this. The lines I added or edited are highlighted:

name: scrape
    - cron: '*/5 * * * *'
  contents: write
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - name: Check out this repo
        uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Set up Python
        uses: actions/setup-python@v2
          python-version: '3.9'
      - name: Install necessary Python packages
        run: pip install pandas jupyter lxml playwright beautifulsoup4 requests
      - name: Run the scraping script
        run: python
      - name: Commit and push if content changed
        run: |-
          git config "Automated"
          git config ""
          git add -A
          timestamp=$(date -u)
          git commit -m "Latest data: ${timestamp}" || exit 0
          git push

What doesn't work

One suggestion you'll see is to adding a GITHUB_TOKEN to the workflow file. This is a token that GitHub Actions automatically generates for you, and it's supposed to give you access to the repository.

Honestly: maybe it's also a solution, I don't know! Generating a token is too complicated to try when there's an easier fix that works perfectly.