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Uno Platform .NET WebAssembly apps on GitHub Pages

Uno Platform .NET WebAssembly apps on GitHub Pages

In this post, I’m going to cover how you can build a .NET WebAssembly app using the Uno Platform and use GitHub actions to publish it to GitHub pages.

The Uno Platform is C# based cross platform framework that utilizes XAML for building apps. For anyone acquainted with WPF, Xamarin or UWP, this will all look familiar.

While the apps can be deployed on a number of different platforms and devices, the platform of interest to me is WebAssembly. In particular, being able to run C# on a static site hosted on GitHub Pages.

GitHub pages allow you to host static sites for free, and because it is deployed straight from the repository, setting up an action to deploy is very easy.

Getting Started

In order to run tests on GitHub we will need these prerequisites;

  • GitHub account You can join here if you don't have an account
  • GitHub Repository If you don’t have a repo, take a look at the following article to get setup: Create a repo
  • Repository cloned locally If you don’t already have a setup with favourite git client, try the official docs: Cloning a repository
  • VSCode - IDE to edit and debug the app

Setting up your Uno WebAssembly project

First, install the project templates from Uno

dotnet new -i Uno.ProjectTemplates.Dotnet
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Now we can create a new Uno project from a template with the following command.

I have disabled a number of targets, if you intend to run this app on another platform, you can flip the respective false option to true

dotnet new unoapp -o GitHub.UnoPages -wasm=true -android=false -macos=false -uwp=false -ios=false -skia-wpf=false -skia-gtk=false -st=false -v=true
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After running this, you should see a new folder created call GitHub.UnoPages

To test the project is working

  1. Open the GitHub.UnoPages folder in VSCode,
  2. Open GitHub.UnoPages.Shared>MainPage.xaml and change the following line of XAML From <TextBlock Text="Hello, world!" Margin="20" FontSize="30" /> To <TextBlock Text="Hello, Pages!" Margin="20" FontSize="30" />
  3. Save the change
  4. Switch to the debug tab
    • From the 'RUN AND DEBUG' menu select .NET Core Launch
    • Press the green start button, or press F5Screenshot of VSCode debugging menu
  5. Once the project builds and starts running, you should see Now listening on: http://localhost:5000 in the console
  6. Open http://localhost:5000 in the browser and you should see Hello, Pages! Screenshot of App in local browser
  7. With the app working, we can now stop debugging
  8. Commit your changes, and push to your GitHub Repository.

For simplicity in this post, I am pushing directly to the main branch, In practice it is advisable to protect your main branch, and create a feature branch, and subsequent PR

Build Pipeline

We are now going to set up a pipeline to automatically build and publish our app.

  1. On the main page of your GitHub repo, press the Actions tab.
  2. On the actions page, click *set up a workflow yourself *
  3. Delete the pre populated Yaml
  4. Copy and Paste the following Yaml
name: UnoPages App
    branches: [ main ]
    branches: [ main ]   
  workflow_dispatch:  # Allows workflow to be ran via a button
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    name: Build
      config: 'Release'
      framework: 'netstandard2.0'
    - uses: actions/checkout@v2
    - name: Setup .NET
      uses: actions/setup-dotnet@v1
        dotnet-version: 5.0.x
    - name: Restore Dependencies
      run: dotnet restore ./GitHub.UnoPages/GitHub.UnoPages.Wasm/GitHub.UnoPages.Wasm.csproj
    - name: Build 
      run: dotnet build ./GitHub.UnoPages/GitHub.UnoPages.Wasm/GitHub.UnoPages.Wasm.csproj --no-restore -f $framework -c $config
    - name: Publish Artifacts
      uses: actions/upload-artifact@v1.0.0
      if: github.event_name == 'workflow_dispatch' # Only deploy if Workflow manually ran
        name: pages
        path: ./GitHub.UnoPages/GitHub.UnoPages.Wasm/bin/${{env.config}}/${{env.framework}}/dist/        
    needs: build 
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    name: Deploy
    if: github.event_name == 'workflow_dispatch' # Only deploy if Workflow manually ran
    - name: Download artifacts
      uses: actions/download-artifact@v2
        name: pages
        path: dist        
    - name: Deploy to GitHub Pages
      uses: crazy-max/ghaction-github-pages@v2
        target_branch: gh-pages
        build_dir: ./dist/
        jekyll: false
        GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
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  1. Save the workflow, with the following details - again for simplicity, I'm going to commit this directly to main.
    • Press the 'Start commit' button
    • Add the description 'CI: Build workflow'
    • Leave the options as 'Commit directly to the main branch' (or create a new branch if required)
    • Press the 'Commit new file' button
  2. Now, switch to the actions tab, and you should see your build that was triggered by the push to main
  3. Take a look at the workflow by clicking on the run CI: Build workflow Screenshot of Build and Deploy Jobs inside an action, where only build has ran
  4. You should now see that the build job ran, but not the deploy job. This in intentional, if you take another look at our workflow you can see that we have the condition on the event that triggered the build, which needs to be a workflow_dispatch.
   needs: build 
   runs-on: ubuntu-latest
   name: Deploy
   if: github.event_name == 'workflow_dispatch' # Only deploy if Workflow manually ran
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Triggering a deployment

As covered in the pipeline section, we are only deploying when a workflow dispatch event occurs.

Switching back to main Actions tab:

  1. Select from the workflow list UnoPages App
  2. You should see a Run workflow drop down button, click this
  3. From the drop down panel, click the Run workflow button, and keep the branch as MainScreenshot of GitHub workflow
  4. Wait for the workflow to complete, and you should now see the deploy job ran tooScreenshot of Build and Deploy Jobs inside an action
  5. This deployment should have built our Uno Wasm app, and pushed it to a branch called gh-pages

With our app built, and pipeline in place, there's one final step covered in the next section Enabling GitHub Pages

Enabling GitHub Pages

In order to use pages, you will need to enable it for your repo.

On your repo:

Click Settings, then on the Options page, scroll right down until you see the GitHub Pages header

In the source panel,

  1. Select from the branch dropdown gh-pages
  2. Leave the folder as /(root)
  3. Press Save
  4. After the page refreshes you should now see your GitHub pages url
  5. Click the link and you should see your deployed app!

Screenshot of GitHub pages settings

Sample deployed version here:
Full Repository here:

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