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About larger runners

GitHub offers runners with more RAM, CPU, and disk space.

Who can use this feature

Larger runners are only available for organizations and enterprises using the GitHub Team or GitHub Enterprise Cloud plans.

Overview of larger runners

In addition to the standard GitHub-hosted runners, GitHub offers customers on GitHub Team and GitHub Enterprise Cloud plans a range of managed virtual machines with more RAM, CPU, and disk space. These runners are hosted by GitHub and have the runner application and other tools preinstalled.

When you add a larger runner to an organization, you are defining a type of machine from a selection of available hardware specifications and operating system images. GitHub will then create multiple instances of this runner that scale up and down to match the job demands of your organization, based on the autoscaling limits you define.

Understanding billing

Note: Larger runners are not eligible for the use of included minutes on private repositories. For both private and public repositories, when larger runners are in use, they will always be billed at the per-minute rate.

Compared to standard GitHub-hosted runners, larger runners are billed differently. Larger runners are only billed at the per-minute rate for the amount of time workflows are executed on them. There is no cost associated with creating a larger runner that is not being used by a workflow. For more information, see "About billing for GitHub Actions."

Machine sizes for larger runners

Processor (CPU)Memory (RAM)Storage (SSD)Operating system (OS)
416 GB150 GBUbuntu
832 GB300 GBUbuntu, Windows
1664 GB600 GBUbuntu, Windows
32128 GB1200 GBUbuntu, Windows
64256 GB2040 GBUbuntu, Windows

Note: macOS runners are also available in larger sizes and are billed the same way as larger runners. For information on how to access macOS runners, see "Using GitHub-hosted runners."

Additional features for larger runners

Compared to standard GitHub-hosted runners, larger runners have the following additional features:

  • For Ubuntu runners, hardware acceleration for the Android SDK tools is enabled. This makes running Android tests much faster and consumes fewer minutes. For more information on Android hardware acceleration, see Configure hardware acceleration for the Android Emulator in the Android Developers documentation.
  • Larger runners can be assigned static IP addresses from specific ranges, which enables you to use the ranges to configure a firewall allowlist. For more information, see "Networking for larger runners."
  • Larger runners can automatically scale up to a maximum limit set by you, so your workflows can run concurrently. For more information, see "Autoscaling larger runners."
  • Runner groups allow you to control access to larger runners for your organizations, repositories, and workflows. For more information, see "Controlling access to larger runners."

For a full list of included tools for each runner operating system, see the GitHub Actions Runner Images repository.

About runner groups

Runner groups enable administrators to control access to runners at the organization and enterprise levels. With runner groups, you can collect sets of runners and create a security boundary around them. You can then decide which organizations or repositories are permitted to run jobs on those sets of machines. During the larger runner deployment process, the runner can be added to an existing group, otherwise it will join a default group. You can create a group by following the steps in "Controlling access to larger runners."

Architectural overview of larger runners

Larger runners are managed at the organization level, where they are arranged into groups that can contain multiple instances of the runner. They can also be created at the enterprise level and shared with organizations in the hierarchy. Once you've created a group, you can then add a runner to the group and update your workflows to target either the group name or the label assigned to the larger runner. You can also control which repositories are permitted to send jobs to the group for processing. For more information about groups, see "Controlling access to larger runners."

In the following diagram, a class of hosted runner named ubuntu-20.04-16core has been defined with customized hardware and operating system configuration.

Diagram showing a larger runner being used by a workflow because of the runner's label.

  1. Instances of this runner are automatically created and added to a group called grp-ubuntu-20.04-16core.
  2. The runners have been assigned the label ubuntu-20.04-16core.
  3. Workflow jobs use the ubuntu-20.04-16core label in their runs-on key to indicate the type of runner they need to execute the job.
  4. GitHub Actions checks the runner group to see if your repository is authorized to send jobs to the runner.
  5. The job runs on the next available instance of the ubuntu-20.04-16core runner.

Autoscaling larger runners

Larger runners can automatically scale to suit your needs. You can provision machines to run a specified maximum number of jobs when jobs are submitted for processing. Each machine only handles one job at a time, so these settings effectively determine the number of jobs that can be run concurrently.

You can configure the maximum job concurrency, which allows you to control your costs by setting the maximum parallel number of jobs that can be run using this set. A higher value here can help avoid workflows being blocked due to parallelism. For more information, see "Managing larger runners."

Networking for larger runners

By default, larger runners receive a dynamic IP address that changes for each job run. Optionally, GitHub Enterprise Cloud customers can configure their larger runners to receive static IP addresses from GitHub's IP address pool. For more information, see "About GitHub's IP addresses."

When enabled, instances of the larger runner will receive IP addresses from specific ranges that are unique to the runner, allowing you to use the ranges to configure a firewall allowlist. You can use up to 10 larger runners with static IP address ranges in total across all your larger runners. For more information, see "Managing larger runners."

If you would like to use more than 10 larger runners with static IP address ranges, please contact GitHub Support.

Note: If runners are unused for more than 30 days, their IP address ranges are automatically removed and cannot be recovered.