Flutter CI/CD with Codemagic

Roshan Chapagain
February 28, 2021
6 minutes min read
Do you spend too much time deploying your Flutter app to the apple and android store instead of adding awesome features? Do you sometimes forget to deploy the app or just want a streamlined workflow you can set it up with Codemagic? Read on.
CI/CD with Codemagic

Codemagic allows you to easily integrate CI/CD for Flutter, essentially free. Their free plan provides a 500 minute build time each month. So, if you use them properly and efficiently the free plan will be enough.

What do you need?

  • A project hosted on Github, GitLab or Bitbucket
  • Google play console if you are planning to release your application in the Playstore

Let’s Go

1. Sign Up

You can easily signup with your Github, Bitbucket or Gitlab account.

I am signing up with my Bitbucket account.

Signup to Codemagic

After you have signed up. You see all the projects hosted by the provider associated with the account.

What if you do not see the project you are trying to use?

You can simply put the repository URL.  

You will have to provide the username and the password if you are accessing a Private repository.

And voilà.

Creating a workflow

Select Flutter App

Select Flutter App
Select Flutter App

Let us assume we are building a production workflow

The right menu is self-explanatory. What you might consider is naming your workflow for future use.

Naming your CI/CD Workflow
Naming Your Workflow

2. Build Triggers

Build triggers are as the name suggest, triggers that start the build.

You can set the build to start whenever:

  • You push to a specific branch
  • On pull request update
    • For this, you can specify whether each branch pattern matches the source or the target branch of the pull request
  • On tag creation

Here I am setting the build to start when I push to the production branch.

Setting up branch

Instead of entering the exact name of the branch, you can also use wildcard symbols to select more than one branch with one pattern.

Select “Show Pattern Examples” for how to.

Additional Patterns

3. Environment Variables

Environment Variables can be useful when you might have to pass a secret api key to your application or something similar.

Using Environment Variables

We are not going to be using any environment variables for the sake of this tutorial.

4. Dependency Caching

Codemagic allows storing dependency storing so you can speed up your builds.

$FLUTTER_ROOT/.pub-cacheDart cache
$HOME/.gradle/cachesGradle Cache
$HOME/Library/Caches/CocoaPodsCocoaPods Cache
Common Dependency Paths
Dependency Caching

For the Next Steps..

For the next three steps, Codemagic allows you to add a ‘Post script’ and ‘Pre Script’. ‘Post Script’ allows you to add scripts that are set to run before the particular phase and after the completion of the previous phase. Whereas, ‘Post script’ allows you to add scripts that are set to run after the particular phase has completed and before the next phase.

You can use these to do different things like:

  • Creating a directory and storing environment variables
  • Starting emulator beforehand and more
Post and Pre Scripts

5. Test

Codemagic runs your tests for you. It even does static code analysis with flutter analyze. You have to “Enable Flutter analyzer” for this.

Integration Testing

You can select one of the several options for running integration testing during the build.

  • Ios Simulator
  • Android Emulator
  • AWS Device Farm

6. Build

There are multiple settings that you can set before starting your build.

Build Section

You can change Flutter, Xcode and CocaPods version. You can also easily select what you are building your application for. And if you are building for android, the build format.

Build Mode

The build arguments allow you to do things like build versioning and choosing an alternate main file to run your project.

7. Publish


Codemagic allows easy publishing of all the generated artifacts to external services. Covering publishing thoroughly is a whole blog in itself. So we will only look onto the android sides of things for now.

For android publishing, the first thing you have to do is Android code signing. Find how to do that here.

Android Code Signing

Then, select Android Code Signing. Upload your keystore file, set keystore password, key alias and key password.

Add keystore

For publishing into Google Play. You have to upload a credentials.json. Find how to get it here. Set the appropriate track.  You can also set the Update Priority and Rollout Fraction within Codemagic.

Google Play Publishing

Congrats. You are done with setting CI/CD for flutter using Codemagic. You can manually start a build. By going to your Codemagic home page and clicking on Start new build, and choosing the appropriate branch and recently created workflow.

Starting Build