Passing data between build steps

This page explains how to pass data between build steps. If you're new to Cloud Build, read the Build quickstart and the Build configuration overview first.

Cloud Build runs your tasks as a series of build steps, which execute in isolated and containerized environments. After each step, the container is discarded. This allows you to have totally different tools and environments for each step, and by default, any data created in one step can't contaminate the next step. But sometimes you may need to persist state from one step of a build to use in subsequent steps.

For such cases, Cloud Build provides volumes, which are read-write file paths that you can attach to any build step. Volumes retain their contents throughout the duration of the build. You can define your own volume or use /workspace, which is the default volume that Cloud Build provides for you. Anything written to user-defined volumes and /workspace by any step will be available to subsequent steps.

Passing data using workspaces

To pass data between build steps, store the assets produced by the build step in /workspace and these assets will be available to any subsequent build steps.

In the following example build config file, the first build step stores the string "First Value" in /workspace/first.txt and the value 2 in /workspace/second.txt. The second build step reads and prints the values in /workspace/first.txt and /workspace/second.txt.

YAML

steps:
- id: "Store Values"
  name: ubuntu
  entrypoint: bash
  args:
    - -c
    - |
      # Save a value to persistent volume mount: "/workspace"
      echo "First Value" > /workspace/first.txt &&
      # Save another
      expr 1 + 1 > /workspace/second.txt
# In the next step, everything in the environment is discarded
# EXCEPT items on "/workspace"
- id: "Read Values"
  name: ubuntu
  entrypoint: bash
  args:
    - -c
    - |
      # Read from "/workspace"
      echo "First we saved " $(cat /workspace/first.txt) &&
      echo "Then we saved " $(cat /workspace/second.txt)

JSON

{
  "steps": [
  {
    "id": "Store Values",
    "name": "ubuntu",
    "entrypoint": "bash",
    "args": [
      "-c",
      "echo \"First Value\" > /workspace/first.txt &&\nexpr 1 + 1 > /workspace/second.txt\n"
    ]
    },
    {
      "id": "Read Values",
      "name": "ubuntu",
      "entrypoint": "bash",
      "args": [
        "-c",
        "echo \"First we saved \" $(cat /workspace/first.txt) &&\necho \"Then we saved \" $(cat /workspace/second.txt)\n"
      ]
    }
    ]
}

Passing data using user-specified volumes

Instead of using the default /workspace volume provided by Cloud Build, you can define your own volume to persist data between build steps.

To define and use your own volume:

  • In the build step where you want to store the data:
    • Add a volumes block and set the following fields:
      • name: Set the value of this field to the desired volume name.
      • path: Set the value of this field to the file path to store your data.
    • Store the data in the file path specified in path.
  • In the build step where you want to consume the data:
    • Add a volumes block with the values for name and path.
    • Consume the data from the file path specified in path.

In following example build config file, the first build step defines a volume named myvolume and stores data in /persistent_volume/file. The second build step prints the value stored in /persistent_volume/file.

YAML

steps:
- name: 'ubuntu'
  entrypoint: 'bash'
  args:
    - '-c'
    - |
      echo "Hello, world!" > /persistent_volume/file
  volumes:
  - name: 'myvolume'
    path: '/persistent_volume'
- name: 'ubuntu'
  entrypoint: 'bash'
  args:
    - '-c'
    - |
      cat /persistent_volume/file
  volumes:
  - name: 'myvolume'
    path: '/persistent_volume'

JSON

{
  "steps": [
  {
    "name": "ubuntu",
    "entrypoint": "bash",
    "args": [
      "-c",
      "echo \"Hello, world!\" > /persistent_volume/file\n"
     ],
     "volumes": [
     {
       "name": "myvolume",
       "path": "/persistent_volume"
     }
     ]
  },
  {
    "name": "ubuntu",
    "entrypoint": "bash",
    "args": [
      "-c",
      "cat /persistent_volume/file\n"
    ],
    "volumes": [
    {
      "name": "myvolume",
      "path": "/persistent_volume"
    }
    ]
  }
]
}

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