Every app can either be deployed stand-alone, or combined with other apps in one deployment.

Heads up! Note that most apps in the @probot organization have an official hosted app that you can use for your open source project. Use the hosted instance if you don't want to deploy your own.


Register the GitHub App

Every deployment will need a GitHub App registration.

  1. Register a new GitHub App with:

    • Homepage URL: the URL to the GitHub repository for your app
    • Webhook URL: Use for now, we'll come back in a minute to update this with the URL of your deployed app.
    • Webhook Secret: Generate a unique secret with (e.g. with openssl rand -base64 32) and save it because you'll need it in a minute to configure your Probot app.
  2. Download the private key from the app.

  3. Make sure that you click the green Install button on the top left of the app page. This gives you an option of installing the app on all or a subset of your repositories.

Deploy the app

To deploy an app to any cloud provider, you will need 3 environment variables:

  • APP_ID: the ID of the app, which you can get from the app settings page.
  • WEBHOOK_SECRET: the Webhook Secret that you generated when you created the app.

And one of:

  • PRIVATE_KEY: the contents of the private key you downloaded after creating the app, OR...
  • PRIVATE_KEY_PATH: the path to a private key file.

PRIVATE_KEY takes precedence over PRIVATE_KEY_PATH.

As node app

Probot can run your app function using the probot binary. If your app function lives in ./app.js, you can start it as node process using probot run ./app.js


Glitch lets you host node applications for free and edit them directly in your browser. It’s great for experimentation and entirely sufficient for simple apps.

  1. Create a new app on Glitch.
  2. Click on your app name on the top-right, press on advanced options and then on Import from GitHub (You will need to login with your GitHub account to enable that option). Enter the full repository name you want to import, e.g. for the welcome app it would be behaviorbot/new-issue-welcome. The new-issue-welcome app is a great template to get started with your own app, too!
  3. Next open the .env file and replace its content with
    APP_ID=<your app id>
    WEBHOOK_SECRET=<your app secret>
    Replace the two <...> placeholders with the values from your app. The .env file cannot be accessed or seen by others.
  4. Press the New File button and enter .data/private-key.pem. Paste the content of your GitHub App’s private-key.pem in there and save it. Files in the .data folder cannot be seen or accessed by others, so your private key is safe.
  5. That’s it, your app should have already started :thumbsup: Press on the Show button on top and paste the URL as the value of Webhook URL. Ensure that you remove /probot from the end of the Webhook URL that was just pasted.



Probot runs like any other Node app on Heroku. After creating the GitHub App:

  1. Make sure you have the Heroku CLI client installed.

  2. Clone the app that you want to deploy. e.g. git clone

  3. Create the Heroku app with the heroku create command:

    $ heroku create
    Creating arcane-lowlands-8408... done, stack is cedar |
    Git remote heroku added

  4. Go back to your app settings page and update the Webhook URL to the URL of your deployment, e.g.

  5. Configure the Heroku app, replacing the APP_ID and WEBHOOK_SECRET with the values for those variables, and setting the path for the PRIVATE_KEY:

    $ heroku config:set APP_ID=aaa
    PRIVATE_KEY="$(cat ~/Downloads/*.private-key.pem)"

  6. Deploy the app to heroku with git push:

    $ git push heroku main
    -----> Node.js app detected
    -----> Launching... done deployed to Heroku

  7. Your app should be up and running! To verify that your app
    is receiving webhook data, you can tail your app's logs:

    $ heroku config:set LOG_LEVEL=trace
    $ heroku logs --tail

As serverless function

When deploying your Probot app to a serverless/function environment, you don't need to worry about handling the http webhook requests coming from GitHub, the platform takes care of that. In many cases you can use createNodeMiddleware directly, e.g. for Vercel or Google Cloud Function.

import { Probot, createProbot } from "probot";
import { createMyMiddleware } from "my-probot-middleware";
import myApp from "./my-app.js";

export default createMyMiddleware(myApp, { probot: createProbot() });

For other environments such as AWS Lambda, Netlify Functions or GitHub Actions, you can use one of Probot's adapters.

AWS Lambda

// handler.js
import {
} from "@probot/adapter-aws-lambda-serverless";
import appFn from "./app.js";

export const webhooks = createLambdaFunction(appFn, {
  probot: createProbot(),

Learn more


Please add yours!

Azure Functions

// ProbotFunction/index.js
import {
} from "@probot/adapter-azure-functions";
import app from "../app.js";

export default createAzureFunction(app, { probot: createProbot() });

Learn more


Please add yours!

Google Cloud Functions

// function.js
import { createNodeMiddleware, createProbot } from "probot";
import app from "./app.js";

exports.probotApp = createNodeMiddleware(app, { probot: createProbot() });


Please add yours!

GitHub Actions

import { run } from "@probot/adapter-github-actions";
import app from "./app.js";


Learn more


Please add yours!


Begin is a service to deploy serverless applications build using the Architect to AWS.

  1. Add the @http pragma to your app.arc file

    post /api/github/webhooks
  2. Make sure to configure your app using environment variables

  3. Create the src/http/post-api-github-webhooks folder with the following files

      "name": "http-post-api-github-webhooks",
      "dependencies": {}

    in the new directory, install the probot and @architect/functions

    cd src/http/post-api-github-webhooks
    npm install probot @architect/functions
  4. Create src/http/post-api-github-webhooks/app.js with your Probot application function, e.g.

     * @param {import('probot').Probot} app
    export default (app) => {
      app.log("Yay! The app was loaded!");
      app.on("issues.opened", async (context) => {
        return context.octokit.issues.createComment(
          context.issue({ body: "Hello, World!" })
  5. Create src/http/post-api-github-webhooks/index.js with the request handler. See /probot/example-begin/src/http/post-api-github-webhooks/index.js for an example.


Please add yours!


// api/github/webhooks/index.js
import { createNodeMiddleware, createProbot } from "probot";

import app from "../../../app.js";

export default createNodeMiddleware(app, {
  probot: createProbot(),
  webhooksPath: "/api/github/webhooks",

Important: Set NODEJS_HELPERS environment variable to 0 in order to prevent Vercel from parsing the response body.
See Disable Helpers for detail.


Please add yours!

Netlify Functions

Netlify Functions are deployed on AWS by Netlify itself. So we can use @probot/adapter-aws-lambda-serverless adapter for Netlify Functions as well.

// functions/index.js
import {
} from "@probot/adapter-aws-lambda-serverless";
import appFn from "../src/app";

export const handler = createLambdaFunction(appFn, {
  probot: createProbot(),

Share the app

The Probot website includes a list of featured apps. Consider adding your app to the website so others can discover and use it.

Combining apps

To deploy multiple apps in one instance, create a new app that has the existing apps listed as dependencies in package.json:

  "name": "my-probot-app",
  "private": true,
  "dependencies": {
    "probot-autoresponder": "probot/autoresponder",
    "probot-settings": "probot/settings"
  "scripts": {
    "start": "probot run"
  "probot": {
    "apps": ["probot-autoresponder", "probot-settings"]

Note that this feature is only supported when run as Node app. For serverless/function deployments, create a new Probot app that combines others programmatically

// app.js
import autoresponder from "probot-autoresponder";
import settings from "probot-settings";

export default async (app, options) => {
  await autoresponder(app, options);
  await settings(app, options);

Error tracking

Probot logs messages using pino. There is a growing number of tools that consume these logs and send them to error tracking services:

By default, Probot can send errors to Sentry using its own transport @probot/pino. Set the SENTRY_DSN environment variable to enable it.

Found a mistake or want to help improve this documentation? Suggest changes on GitHub

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Code licensed ISC Docs licensed CC-BY-4.0