The following sections describe the tasks you need to complete to set up a CI/CD process with AppVeyor, your version control system (VCS), and the ActiveState Platform. You need the appropriate access to these systems to complete the setup. In the examples below, we show configuration steps for GitHub specifically. You may need to adjust some of the tasks if you are using a different VCS.

Gathering environment variable settings

Before you begin:

  • You need an ActiveState Platform account. If you do not currently have an account you can sign up for free at:
  • You need to have the State Tool installed on your computer, and authorized with the Platform using the state auth command, in order to run the command to retrieve the API key, and to access your private.key file if you are using secrets.

The State Tool will use the following environment variables if they are defined:

  • ACTIVESTATE_API_KEY: This API key is used to authenticate the State Tool with the ActiveState Platform, as required, to download language projects, update packages, etc. If you use ActiveState Platform secrets in your build process or scripts run by the build process, you must also configure the ACTIVESTATE_PRIVATE_KEY.
  • ACTIVESTATE_PRIVATE_KEY: Optional. The private key to use for decrypting secrets.

Obtaining your API Key

You can obtain an API key by opening a command prompt and running the following State Tool command:

state export new-api-key APIKeyForCI

Example response:

Note that this key is not stored by ActiveState. Please store the value for later use as you cannot retrieve it again.

In this example, you would copy the token value on the second line to use as the ACTIVESTATE_API_KEY environment variable in your CI/CD application.

Obtaining your Private Key

You can find the private key value at <configdir>/activestate/cli-release/private.key.

The configdir varies per platform, but in most cases will be at one of:

  • Windows: %HOME%\AppData\Roaming\activestate\cli-release\
  • Linux: ~/config/activestate/cli-release/
  • macOS: ~/Library/Application\ Support/activestate/cli-release/

The private key environment variable expects the contents of the private.key file, not the filepath.

AppVeyor setup

  1. Log in to AppVeyor CI at
  2. Click New Project.
  3. Click Update Installations
  4. On the Install AppVeyor page, select the organization your code repository belongs to, and follow the steps on screen to authenticate with GitHub and configure the selected repository integration with AppVeyor. AppVeyor permissions
  5. Click Add next to the new repository entry in AppVeyor.
  6. Click the Settings tab on the project page.
  7. Click Environment.
  8. Click Add variable
  9. Enter the name and value for each API key you want to use and click the lock icon to encrypt the value. For information on the required values, see Generating an API key and, if applicable, Configuring your private key.

The ACTIVESTATE_API_KEY is used to authenticate the State Tool automatically whenever required by the CI/CD build steps.

AppVeyor API Key

ActiveState Platform project setup

You can use either the Dashboard or the State Tool to create a new project and add the language, platforms, and packages your project requires. Set up your project by:

Configure activestate.yaml

After you create an ActiveState project, complete the following steps to activate your project and add the configuration file to your code repository, so that the CI/CD has access to it.

  1. Open your command prompt and navigate to the top level folder where you want to create your ActiveState Platform project.
  2. Enter state activate <owner/project_name>. For example: state activate acmetech/python-3-6-6.
  3. Copy the activestate.yaml configuration file to the root directory of your code repository.
  4. Edit the activestate.yaml to add any scripts, variables, or secrets you want CI/CD to run or have access to.
  5. Add activestate.yaml to the repository and check in your changes.

Add an appveyor.yml file

You need to add an appveyor.yml file to the root of your code repository that includes all of the steps required to build, test, and deploy your code. The example provided demonstrates the State Tool-specific steps for installing the State Tool and running scripts that are defined in the activestate.yaml file for the project. The AppVeyor project is configured to build on Windows.

version: 1.0.{build}
image: Visual Studio 2019
- ps: ''
- ps: >-
    (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('', 'install.ps1')
    Invoke-Expression "install.ps1 -n"
- cmd: state --version
- cmd: >-
    state pull

    state run pip_install_pkgs_win

    state run build_installer_win


The scripts being executed in the appveyor.yml file are defined in the scripts section of the activestate.yaml file for the project:

  - name: clean
    description: Run the data cleaner script
    value: python3
  - name: which-python
    description: Determine which python interpreter is being used
    language: python3
    value: |
      import sys
      print("Python script running with: ", sys.executable)

If you successfully configured your AppVeyor CI project, you will see a job start and complete successfully each time someone pushes new code changes to the repository.