Github Actions Limits and Github Classroom

Hi all,

Are there any educator benefits that allow unlimited Github Actions time on private repos that are created from a Github Classroom? I seem to have hit my limit - is there any way around it?


@Scott3142 hello there! Wanted to update you.

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@Scott3142 What did you end up doing to fix this problem? I’m over 90% and about to be in the same boat.

Unfortunately I didn’t really fix it. I converted the repos to public and used it as a learning point, talked about how to appropriately ‘copy’ code, discussed open source licensing and used it as an opportunity to encourage best practice.

All my students’ repos are public now, so in theory they could view and copy each others, but in practice I find that they don’t, mainly because there’s so many of them and there’s no real reason for them to, at least in my courses.

Hm just curious: for what use case do you use actions? We aren’t ready yet for CI/CD, so we use private repo’s through github classroom for students accepting assignments. They upload everything in a gh-pages branch, start a Pull Request and enter the GH Pages URL in the first comment. I as the lecturer will be notified, will click the URL in the comment and merge the PR if the assignment is correct.

It would be nice though to have a GitHub action (again, don’t know if this is possible), to automatically respond with a comment, ones the student sends the PR. I would like to respond automatically to their comment with a comment containing a video (or other repo) how I myself fixed the assignment, so they could check/repair theirs. Is this possible with actions in combination with the classroom repo’s?

Just ran into the same issue. Ended up going with self-hosted runners, which integrate remarkably well into GitHub Actions.

For background / the curious, I teach in R and use GH-Actions just to knit the student’s Rmd documents. We’re not ready for full unit testing or anything, but just verifying their code runs on the remote machine is a pretty good starting point. Example of one of our assignments is here:

To answer the solution to my own question: this is the github action I’m using. I setup SECRETS in the organization with solution YouTube URL’s inside, so students cant see these URL’s beforehand.

name: Auto-reply

    types: [opened]
    name: "Solution"
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

    - name: Comment PR
      uses: github-actions-up-and-running/pr-comment@v1.0.1
        repo-token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
        message: |
          Nice! :tada: Check our [solution](${{ secrets.SOLUTION_BETTER_SEMANTICS }}) :movie_camera: for this assignment.
          Compare your own work and edit it when necessary :pencil2:. 
          Is your work comparable with our solution, then merge the pull request yourself! :white_check_mark:

I’ve even found this page about github-script and put it to work, runs in approx. 4-7 seconds each time:

name: Auto-reply
    types: [opened]

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/github-script@v3
          github-token: ${{secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN}}
          script: |
            await github.issues.createComment({
              issue_number: context.issue.number,
              owner: context.repo.owner,
              repo: context.repo.repo,
              body: `Nice ${}! :tada: View our [solution](${{ secrets.SOLUTION_ANIMATED_BOOK_COVER }}) for this assignment :movie_camera:.
              Compare your own work and fix or enhance it when necessary :pencil2:. 
              Merge this Pull Request yourself, when the GitHub Pages URL shows the correct result! :white_check_mark:
              Still having doubts :no_mouth: whether your work is correct? You can easily mention vincentsijben in a new comment with the @ symbol. :raising_hand:`

Edit: I’ve noticed that everytime a student would push a commit to the Pull Requests compare branch, the bot would fire. I’ve fixed it by replacing on: pull_request with

    types: [opened]

I fixed this, in the example above.


@mozzadrella My GitHub organization associated to GitHub Classroom is only showing 2000 minutes. How can I get it to the 3000 minutes limit? Thanks.

I found it:

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Hi all,

I’m extensively using GitHub Classroom in my class and hit the limit today.
I have gone through the past GitHub actions log and noticed that there are tens of empty commits in students’ repositories (see attached, where all of the commits are empty, and I don’t commit them by myself).

Has anyone else encountered this trouble and does anyone know how I can stop this automatic commits?

This is a known issue that’s being worked on:

See this thread for work arounds.

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3000 minutes per student or per org?

Minutes are per org.

Hi, all.

How can I check how many minutes I have used/left?

I have an autograding task that’s been stuck in “Starting workflow run…” for almost an hour.

I don’t know if this is related because, I think there’s no way I have used more than the allotted 3,000 minutes. I just begun using GitHub Classroom and not only specified a timeout for the autograding task but also used the timeout command to run the tests:

LANG=en_US.utf8 timeout 3m python3

Can I also verify how the time was spent (daily, by assignment, by repository, etc.)?


Visit the billing page in your org dashboard; something like

It’s not possible to break down the amount consumed per repository at the moment.

Thanks, Ugo.

I have only used 50 of the 3,000 minutes, so that’s not what’s happening. I don’t know, then, what was keeping the workflow from running (in the end, I performed the tests manually).

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