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Aveek Saha
Aveek Saha

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Deploying Svelte apps to Firebase with GitHub actions

Use GitHub actions to automate deployment of Svelte applications to Firebase hosting.


In this tutorial we’ll be deploying a Svelte application to Firebase hosting. We’ll also be automating the deploy process using GitHub actions so that it deploys every time we push changes to GitHub. For those of you not familiar with Svelte, I’ve already written a beginners guide on Svelte that you can check out here. It’s fairly easy to learn the basics so be sure to go through that first.

If you haven’t checked it out already, read the first part of this series where I set up a Firebase cloud function as a backend for our application.

Even if your use case is different and you’re only interested in Automating the deploy process to firebase hosting you can still follow along and modify the steps to suit you choice of frontend framework. Alternatively you can also skip ahead to the Continuous Deployment section below.


In the last part we created a backend Firebase function that accepts an image along with a few other parameters in order to convert that image into ascii art and sends it back as a string.

Now that we have our cloud function set up, let’s create the frontend from where we can upload the image and get the converted result. For this we’ll first need to set up firebase hosting to deploy the frontend.

Setting up Firebase

0. Initial setup-

If you’ve come here from the previous part you can skip step 0, otherwise first follow these steps:

  1. Create a Firebase project- Go to the firebase console and create a new project. You can choose to set up Google analytics for the project, but it’s not really important for this application.

  2. Set up Firebase CLI- You’ll need to have Node.js installed already on your system. Install the cli through npm by running npm install -g firebase-tools

  3. Initialize the Firebase SDK- Run firebase login to log in to the CLI via the browser using the account your new project is linked to.

1. Check your directory-

Go to the root directory of your Firebase project.

2. Run Firebase init-

Once in the root directory, run firebase init, If you’ve been following along from the previous article it’ll tell you that you’re already in a firebase project but that’s fine, setting up hosting won’t affect the function you created. When prompted for which features you want to set up, select hosting.

3. Config options-

What do you want to use as your public directory?, leave as default (public). Configure as a single-page app?, yes

Svelte Setup

We’ll be using a tool called degit to get the basic template for our Svelte app, so first install that if you don’t already have it installed.

npm install -g degit
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Create a svelte application in the Firebase project directory

npx degit sveltejs/template client
cd client
npm i
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To run the dev server run

npm run dev
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If you visit http://localhost:5000 the default startup page should be displayed and this means your setup was successful.

Configure Svelte

In order to deploy Svelte to Firebase hosting we need to make some changes first.

If you look at your file structure, you should see two public folders that are placed something like this.

| |--public/
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The public folder created by firebase hosting needs to be replaced by the one generated by Svelte. That means replace ./public with ./client/public. This is done because the ./public folder is the one deployed to Firebase hosting and we want this to be our compiled Svelte code.

Just copying the folder won’t do however, we need to configure the rollup script client/client/rollup.config.js so that Svelte compiles 0ur frontend to the new public/build/ folder. To do this replace this section of the config file-

export default {
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With this-

export default {
    input: 'src/main.js',
    output: {
        sourcemap: true,
        format: 'iife',
        name: 'app',
    // Change Js bundle location
        file: '../public/build/bundle.js'
    plugins: [
            dev: !production,
            // Change css bundle location
            css: css => {
            browser: true,
            dedupe: ['svelte']
        !production && serve(),

        // Watch the new `public` directory and refresh
        // the browser on changes
        !production && livereload('../public'),

        production && terser()
    watch: {
        clearScreen: false
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Svelte uses sirv to host the application on your localhost and we’ll have to change the target folder that sirv serves to the new public folder. To do this go to the scripts section of client/package.json and look for the "start" script. Replace it with the following-

"scripts": {
    "start": "sirv ../public"
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Now if you run npm run dev to serve your application again you should see the same default starting page when you visit http://localhost:5000 if everything is set up correctly.

Frontend code

I will not be explaining the code for the frontend in detail as the main objective of this post is to show you how to set up and deploy the application. The frontend is basically a multipart form where the user has to upload the image, specify the number of characters used to represent one row of the resulting ascii image(width) and select the set of characters that the ascii art will be made from(charset).

Once all this information has been submitted by the user, an AJAX request is sent to the cloud function at https://us-central1-<project> and the resulting ascii art string in the response is printed on the screen.

You can see a demo of this in action at Pix2Ascii or check out the Code on GitHub. You can very easily implement this functionality using another framework or your own UI.

This ends the Svelte portion of this tutorial.

Continuous Deployment

Now we’ll be looking at how we can deploy our code automatically on every push by using GitHub actions so obviously you’ll be needing a GitHub repository for this. To set up a GitHub action we need to create a new workflow, and there are 2 ways to do this-

  1. In your GitHub repository, go to the actions tab, and select set up a workflow yourself. This will take you to an editor with a basic workflow that you can replace with the workflow we’ll be creating below.

  2. If it doesn’t already exist, in your repository directory, create a .github folder and then a folder called workflows in it. Create a workflow file there under .github/workflows/ and name it deploy.yml.

In order to authenticate our deploys to firebase, we’ll need an auth token from firebase first. To get the token, run firebase login:ci in your terminal and copy the token it returns. Then add this token to your repository by going to Settings > Secrets > New secret. Name the token FIREBASE_TOKEN and paste the token you copied from the terminal.

In the .yml file we’ll specify the steps for our workflow.

name: CI/CD

# When the workflow will run, in this case
# on push or pull request to the master branch
    branches: [ master ]
    branches: [ master ]

# Jobs are a sequence of steps
  # This workflow has only one Job, build
    # The type of container the workflow will run on 
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

    # The sequence of steps for this job
    # Checks-out your repository so your job can access it
    - uses: actions/checkout@v2

    # First install dependencies for the front end and then 
    # for the cloud function. If you only have frontend remove the lines 
    # from after "npm run build" till the next step i.e. "Firebase Deploy"
    - name: Build
      run: |
        cd client
        npm i
        npm run build
        cd ..
        cd functions
        npm i

    # Install firebase tools and deploy to firebase
    # using the token we created earlier
    - name: Firebase Deploy
      run: |
        sudo npm install -g firebase-tools
        firebase deploy --token ${{ secrets.FIREBASE_TOKEN }}
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Now every time you push changes to your GitHub repository a new job will be started to deploy your application to Firebase. Though this example is for Cloud functions and Hosting you can use the same logic to automatically deploy changes to other Firebase services too.

The website will be hosted at <your-project-name> after it’s been deployed successfully and you can view the final result there.

Code & Demo

GitHub logo Aveek-Saha / pix2ascii

Convert an image into ASCII art

Check the live demo here - pix2ascii.

Read the previous part here: Getting started with Firebase Functions

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