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Install machine runner 3.0 on macOS

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This page describes how to install CircleCI’s machine runner 3.0 on macOS.


To install machine runners and run jobs, you will need to have root access, and have the following utilities and tools installed on your system:

Self-hosted runner terms agreement

1. Create namespace and resource class

In order to install self-hosted runners, you will need to create a namespace and authentication token by performing the steps listed below. Please note that to create resource classes and tokens you need to be an organization administrator in the VCS provider.

You can view your installed runners on the inventory page in the web app or your CircleCI server app, by clicking Self-Hosted Runners on the left navigation.

  1. Create a namespace for your organization’s self-hosted runners. Each organization can only create a single namespace. We suggest using a lowercase representation of your CircleCI organization’s account name. If you already use orbs, this namespace should be the same namespace orbs use.

    Use the following command to create a namespace:

    circleci namespace create <name> --org-id <your-organization-id>
  2. Create a resource class for your self-hosted runner’s namespace using the following command:

    circleci runner resource-class create <namespace>/<resource-class> <description> --generate-token

    Make sure to replace <namespace> and <resource-class> with your org namespace and desired resource class name, respectively. You may optionally add a description.

    Example: circleci runner resource-class create my-namespace/my-resource-class my-description --generate-token.

    The resource class token is returned after the runner resource class is successfully created.

2. Install CircleCI runner on macOS

You can install runner on macOS with Homebrew.

  1. On the target macOS machine with Homebrew installed, run the following command to add the CircleCI repository:

    brew tap circleci-public/circleci
  2. Run the following command to install the circleci-runner package:

    brew install circleci-runner
  3. Open the runner config.yaml file with the text editor of your choice, and modify the and api.auth_token values.

    nano $HOME/Library/Preferences/com.circleci.runner/config.yaml
      name: "my-macos-runner"
      working_directory: "/Users/$USER/Library/com.circleci.runner/workdir"
      cleanup_working_directory: true
      auth_token: "your-auth-token"

    Replace api.auth_token with the token generated in the steps above, and choose a name for your runner.

  4. If you are using CircleCI server you will need to provide the URL for your install. You can do this by either setting the CIRCLECI_RUNNER_API_URL environment variable:

    export CIRCLECI_RUNNER_API_URL="your server domain"

    Or by adding the URL to $HOME/Library/Preferences/com.circleci.runner/config.yaml using text editor of your choice.

      auth_token: "your-auth-token"
      # On server, set url to the hostname of your server installation.

Migrate existing configuration files

If you are migrating an existing configuration from a previous runner installation, you may move the existing launch agent file from its current path to the new path.

mv /Library/Preferences/com.circleci.runner/launch-agent-config.yaml $HOME/Library/Preferences/com.circleci.runner/config.yaml

After copying the file, you may remove the logging block to send logs to the default location for machine runner 3.0 (specified below):

# remove this block from your existing config
  file: /Library/Logs/com.circleci.runner.log

3. Review and accept the Apple signature notarization

The binary must be approved to run on your macOS system because the self-hosted runner is not compiled from source during installation. This can be done via the macOS UI by accepting the pop-up asking if you wish to run the binary from the internet, or programmatically.

  1. Verify the signature and notarization with this command:

    spctl -a -vvv -t install "$(brew --prefix)/bin/circleci-runner"

    It should return an output that looks like this:

    /opt/homebrew/bin/circleci-runner: accepted
    source=Notarized Developer ID
    origin=Developer ID Application: Circle Internet Services Inc.
  2. When ready, run the command to accept the notarization. You will need to enter the macOS system password.

    sudo xattr -r -d "$(brew --prefix)/bin/circleci-runner"

4. Start macOS machine runner 3.0

To start the macOS machine runner 3.0 for the first time, run the following commands to bootstrap and load the plist file:

launchctl bootstrap gui/`stat -f %u` $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.circleci.runner.plist
launchctl load $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.circleci.runner.plist

5. Stop macOS machine runner 3.0

To stop the machine runner service, run the following command to unload the plist file:

launchctl unload $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.circleci.runner.plist

Uninstall machine runner 3.0 on macOS

To uninstall machine runner from your macOS device, follow these steps.

  1. Stop the machine runner service by using the following command to unload the plist file:

    launchctl unload $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.circleci.runner.plist
  2. Uninstall machine runner:

Access runner logs

On your macOS machine, logs from circleci-runner are located in the following directory by default.


Machine runner configuration example

The fields you must set for a specific job to run using your machine runners are:

  • machine: true

  • resource_class: <namespace>/<resource-class>

Simple example of how you could set up a job:

version: 2.1

      - runner
    machine: true
    resource_class: <namespace>/<resource-class>
      - run: echo "Hi I'm on Runners!"

The job will then execute using your self-hosted runner when you push the .circleci/config.yml to your VCS provider.

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