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Machine runner 3.0 manual installation

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This page describes how to manually start CircleCI’s machine runner 3.0 on macOS and Linux.


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. Download the CircleCI machine runner

export RUNNERVERSION='current'
export CPUARCH=$(/usr/bin/arch | grep 'x86_64' >/dev/null 2>/dev/null && echo 'amd64' || echo 'arm64')
export OSTARGET=$(uname -s | tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]')
curl -s -L "${RUNNERVERSION}/circleci-runner_${OSTARGET}_${CPUARCH}.tar.gz" -o $HOME/circleci-runner.tar.gz && tar -zxvf $HOME/circleci-runner.tar.gz

3. Mark the CircleCI machine runner as executable

Update permissions for your CircleCI machine runner to enable running its binary:

chmod +x $HOME/circleci-runner

4. Create the CircleCI machine runner configuration and working directory

  1. Create the directory in which CircleCI machine runner jobs will start:

    mkdir $HOME/circleci
  2. Create a CircleCI runner configuration file:

    touch $HOME/circleci-runner-config.yaml
  3. Populate the newly created file with the configuration for your runner. An example can be seen below.

    nano $HOME/circleci-runner-config.yaml
      name: "my-macos-runner"
      working_directory: "$HOME/circleci"
      cleanup_working_directory: true
      auth_token: "your-auth-token"
  4. If you are using CircleCI server you will need to provide the URL for your install. You can do this by adding the URL to $HOME/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.

5. Start the CircleCI machine runner

$HOME/circleci-runner machine --config $HOME/circleci-runner-config.yaml

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