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Choosing the runner for a job

Define the type of machine that will process a job in your workflow.


Use jobs.<job_id>.runs-on to define the type of machine to run the job on. The machine can be either a GitHub-hosted runner or a self-hosted runner. You can provide runs-on as a single string or as an array of strings. If you specify an array of strings, your workflow will run on a self-hosted runner whose labels match all of the specified runs-on values, if available. If you would like to run your workflow on multiple machines, use jobs.<job_id>.strategy.

Choosing GitHub-hosted runners

If you use a GitHub-hosted runner, each job runs in a fresh instance of a virtual environment specified by runs-on.

Available GitHub-hosted runner types are:

Virtual environment YAML workflow label Notes
Windows Server 2022 windows-latest or windows-2022 The windows-latest label currently uses the Windows Server 2022 runner image.
Windows Server 2019 windows-2019
Ubuntu 22.04 ubuntu-22.04 Ubuntu 22.04 is currently in public beta.
Ubuntu 20.04 ubuntu-latest or ubuntu-20.04
Ubuntu 18.04 ubuntu-18.04
macOS Monterey 12 macos-12 macOS 12 is currently in public beta.
macOS Big Sur 11 macos-latest or macos-11 The macos-latest label currently uses the macOS 11 runner image.
macOS Catalina 10.15 macos-10.15

Note: The -latest virtual environments are the latest stable images that GitHub provides, and might not be the most recent version of the operating system available from the operating system vendor.

Note: Beta and Deprecated Images are provided "as-is", "with all faults" and "as available" and are excluded from the service level agreement and warranty. Beta Images may not be covered by customer support.

Example: Specifying an operating system

runs-on: ubuntu-latest

For more information, see "Virtual environments for GitHub-hosted runners."

Choosing self-hosted runners

To specify a self-hosted runner for your job, configure runs-on in your workflow file with self-hosted runner labels.

All self-hosted runners have the self-hosted label. Using only this label will select any self-hosted runner. To select runners that meet certain criteria, such as operating system or architecture, we recommend providing an array of labels that begins with self-hosted (this must be listed first) and then includes additional labels as needed. When you specify an array of labels, jobs will be queued on runners that have all the labels that you specify.

Although the self-hosted label is not required, we strongly recommend specifying it when using self-hosted runners to ensure that your job does not unintentionally specify any current or future GitHub-hosted runners.

Example: Using labels for runner selection

runs-on: [self-hosted, linux]

For more information, see "About self-hosted runners" and "Using self-hosted runners in a workflow."