How to Fix GitHub Action "Permission Denied" Error When Executing a File?

Why Does This Happen?

While running a file from a GitHub action, the "Permission denied" error, like the following, can happen when the file you are trying to execute does not have execution permissions:

/home/runner/work/_temp/ line 1: Permission denied
Error: Process completed with exit code 126.

An example workflow yml file that potentially causes the issue may look like the following:

name: CI

on: [push]

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

      - name: Running PHPUnit Tests

How to Fix the Issue?

You can fix this issue by:

  • Adding execution permissions to the file, and;
  • Pushing the changes to the remote repository.

For example, on Linux or macOS, you can run the following command to set execution permission on the file:

$ chmod +x

On Windows, you can do the same using the following command:

$ git update-index --chmod=+x

Once you've done that, you should push your changes to the remote repository, for example, like so:

$ git add
$ git commit -m '...'
$ git push

Once you have completed these steps, you can retry running your GitHub action, and the "Permission denied" error should no longer occur.

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