GitHub Actions cache


This is an experimental feature. The interface and behavior are unstable and may change in future releases.

The GitHub Actions cache utilizes the GitHub-provided Action's cacheopen_in_new available from within your CI execution environment. This is the recommended cache to use inside your GitHub action pipelines, as long as your use case falls within the size and usage limits set by GitHubopen_in_new.

This cache storage backend is not supported with the default docker driver. To use this feature, create a new builder using a different driver. See Build drivers for more information.


$ docker buildx build --push -t <registry>/<image> \
  --cache-to type=gha[,parameters...] \
  --cache-from type=gha[,parameters...] .

The following table describes the available CSV parameters that you can pass to --cache-to and --cache-from.

urlcache-to,cache-fromString$ACTIONS_CACHE_URLCache server URL, see authentication.
tokencache-to,cache-fromString$ACTIONS_RUNTIME_TOKENAccess token, see authentication.
scopecache-to,cache-fromStringName of the current Git branch.Cache scope, see scope
modecache-tomin,maxminCache layers to export, see cache mode.
ignore-errorcache-toBooleanfalseIgnore errors caused by failed cache exports.


If the url or token parameters are left unspecified, the gha cache backend will fall back to using environment variables. If you invoke the docker buildx command manually from an inline step, then the variables must be manually exposed. Consider using the crazy-max/ghaction-github-runtimeopen_in_new, GitHub Action as a helper for exposing the variables.


By default, cache is scoped per Git branch. This ensures a separate cache environment for the main branch and each feature branch. If you build multiple images on the same branch, each build will overwrite the cache of the previous, leaving only the final cache.

To preserve the cache for multiple builds on the same branch, you can manually specify a cache scope name using the scope parameter. In the following example, the cache is set to a combination of the branch name and the image name, to ensure each image gets its own cache):

$ docker buildx build --push -t <registry>/<image> \
  --cache-to type=gha,url=...,token=...,scope=$GITHUB_REF_NAME-image \
  --cache-from type=gha,url=...,token=...,scope=$GITHUB_REF_NAME-image .
$ docker buildx build --push -t <registry>/<image2> \
  --cache-to type=gha,url=...,token=...,scope=$GITHUB_REF_NAME-image2 \
  --cache-from type=gha,url=...,token=...,scope=$GITHUB_REF_NAME-image2 .

GitHub's cache access restrictionsopen_in_new, still apply. Only the cache for the current branch, the base branch and the default branch is accessible by a workflow.

Using docker/build-push-action

When using the docker/build-push-actionopen_in_new, the url and token parameters are automatically populated. No need to manually specify them, or include any additional workarounds.

For example:

- name: Build and push
  uses: docker/build-push-action@v5
    context: .
    push: true
    tags: "<registry>/<image>:latest"
    cache-from: type=gha
    cache-to: type=gha,mode=max

Further reading

For an introduction to caching see Optimizing builds with cache.

For more information on the gha cache backend, see the BuildKit READMEopen_in_new.

For more information about using GitHub Actions with Docker, see Introduction to GitHub Actions