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CircleCI Self-hosted Runner Overview

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CircleCI self-hosted runner enables you to use your own infrastructure for running jobs. This means you will be able to build and test on a wider variety of architectures, as well as have additional control over the environment. The diagram below illustrates how CircleCI self-hosted runner extends our existing systems.

CircleCI Self-hosted Runner Architecture
Figure 1. Self-hosted Runner Architecture

CircleCI runner use cases

There are two key use cases CircleCI aims to meet with the self-hosted runner:

  • Privileged access & controls - CircleCI understands that some customers require running jobs on on-premises or limited-access infrastructure due to stricter isolation requirements. Some things the self-hosted runner enables are:

    • IP restrictions - Runners can have static IP addresses that you can control

    • Identity Access Management (IAM) permissions - If you set up runners in AWS, they can be assigned IAM permissions

    • Monitor the operating system

    • Connect to private networks

  • Unique compute requirements - Customers who need to run jobs on an environment or architecture that CircleCI does not offer as a resource class can use the runner to fill that need.

Getting started

To get started with CircleCI self-hosted runners:

CircleCI self-hosted runner operation

Once a CircleCI self-hosted runner is installed, the self-hosted runner polls for work, runs jobs, and returns status, logs, and artifacts to CircleCI. When the self-hosted runner is not running a job, it will auto-update itself when a new version is released.


Almost all standard CircleCI features are available for use with self-hosted runner jobs, however, a few features are not yet supported. If these features are important for you to make use of self-hosted runner jobs, please let us know via the relevant canny page.

  • The following built in environment variables are not populated within runner executors:


    • All deprecated cloud environment variables

Learn more

Take the runner course with CircleCI Academy to learn more about running jobs on your infrastructure.

Help make this document better

This guide, as well as the rest of our docs, are open source and available on GitHub. We welcome your contributions.

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Our support engineers are available to help with service issues, billing, or account related questions, and can help troubleshoot build configurations. Contact our support engineers by opening a ticket.

You can also visit our support site to find support articles, community forums, and training resources.