Skip to main content

Managing access to self-hosted runners using groups

You can use policies to limit access to self-hosted runners that have been added to an organization or enterprise.

Note: GitHub-hosted runners are not currently supported on GitHub Enterprise Server. You can see more information about planned future support on the GitHub public roadmap.

About self-hosted runner groups

Self-hosted runner groups are used to control access to self-hosted runners at the organization and enterprise level. Enterprise owners can configure access policies that control which organizations and workflows in an enterprise have access to the runner group. Organization owners can configure access policies that control which repositories and workflows in an organization have access to the runner group.

When an enterprise owner grants an organization access to a runner group, organization owners can see the runner group listed in the organization's self-hosted runner settings. The organization owners can then assign additional granular repository and workflow access policies to the enterprise runner group.

When new runners are created, they are automatically assigned to the default group. Runners can only be in one group at a time. You can move runners from the default group to another group. For more information, see "Moving a self-hosted runner to a group."

Creating a self-hosted runner group for an organization

All organizations have a single default self-hosted runner group. Organizations within an enterprise account can create additional self-hosted groups. Organization admins can allow individual repositories access to a runner group. For information about how to create a self-hosted runner group with the REST API, see "Self-hosted runner groups."

Self-hosted runners are automatically assigned to the default group when created, and can only be members of one group at a time. You can move a runner from the default group to any group you create.

When creating a group, you must choose a policy that defines which repositories and workflows have access to the runner group.

  1. On your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, navigate to the main page of the organization.

  2. Under your organization name, click Settings.

    Organization settings button

  3. In the left sidebar, click Actions, then click Runner groups.

  4. In the "Runner groups" section, click New runner group.

  5. Enter a name for your runner group.

  6. Assign a policy for repository access.

    You can configure a runner group to be accessible to a specific list of repositories, or to all repositories in the organization. By default, only private repositories can access runners in a runner group, but you can override this. This setting can't be overridden if configuring an organization's runner group that was shared by an enterprise.

    Warning: We recommend that you only use self-hosted runners with private repositories. This is because forks of your repository can potentially run dangerous code on your self-hosted runner machine by creating a pull request that executes the code in a workflow.

    For more information, see "About self-hosted runners."

  7. Assign a policy for workflow access.

    You can configure a runner group to be accessible to a specific list of workflows, or to all workflows. This setting can't be overridden if you are configuring an organization's runner group that was shared by an enterprise. If you specify what workflow can access the runner group, you must use the full path to the workflow, including the repository name and owner, and you must pin the workflow to a branch, tag, or full SHA. For example: octo-org/octo-repo/.github/workflows/build.yml@v2, octo-org/octo-repo/.github/workflows/deploy.yml@d6dc6c96df4f32fa27b039f2084f576ed2c5c2a5, monalisa/octo-test/.github/workflows/test.yml@main.

    Only jobs directly defined within the selected workflows will have access to the runner group. Organization-owned runner groups cannot access workflows from a different organization in the enterprise; instead, you must create an enterprise-owned runner group.

  8. Click Create group to create the group and apply the policy.

Creating a self-hosted runner group for an enterprise

Enterprises can add their self-hosted runners to groups for access management. Enterprises can create groups of self-hosted runners that are accessible to specific organizations in the enterprise account or to specific workflows. Organization owners can then assign additional granular repository or workflow access policies to the enterprise runner groups. For information about how to create a self-hosted runner group with the REST API, see the enterprise endpoints in the GitHub Actions REST API.

Self-hosted runners are automatically assigned to the default group when created, and can only be members of one group at a time. You can assign the runner to a specific group during the registration process, or you can later move the runner from the default group to a custom group.

When creating a group, you must choose a policy that defines which organizations have access to the runner group.

  1. In the top-right corner of GitHub Enterprise Server, click your profile photo, then click Enterprise settings. "Enterprise settings" in drop-down menu for profile photo on GitHub Enterprise Server

  2. In the enterprise sidebar, click Policies. Policies tab in the enterprise account sidebar

  3. Under " Policies", click Actions.

  4. Click the Runner groups tab.

  5. Click New runner group.

  6. Under "Group name", type a name for your runner group.

  7. To choose a policy for organization access, select the Organization access drop-down, and click a policy. You can configure a runner group to be accessible to a specific list of organizations, or all organizations in the enterprise. By default, only private repositories can access runners in a runner group, but you can override this.

    Warning:

    We recommend that you only use self-hosted runners with private repositories. This is because forks of your repository can potentially run dangerous code on your self-hosted runner machine by creating a pull request that executes the code in a workflow.

    For more information, see "About self-hosted runners."

    Add runner group options

  8. Assign a policy for workflow access.

    You can configure a runner group to be accessible to a specific list of workflows, or to all workflows. This setting can't be overridden if you are configuring an organization's runner group that was shared by an enterprise. If you specify what workflow can access the runner group, you must use the full path to the workflow, including the repository name and owner, and you must pin the workflow to a branch, tag, or full SHA. For example: octo-org/octo-repo/.github/workflows/build.yml@v2, octo-org/octo-repo/.github/workflows/deploy.yml@d6dc6c96df4f32fa27b039f2084f576ed2c5c2a5, monalisa/octo-test/.github/workflows/test.yml@main.

    Only jobs directly defined within the selected workflows will have access to the runner group.

  9. Click Save group to create the group and apply the policy.

Changing the access policy of a self-hosted runner group

For runner groups in an enterprise, you can change what organizations in the enterprise can access a runner group or restrict what workflows a runner group can run. For runner groups in an organization, you can change what repositories in the organization can access a runner group or restrict what workflows a runner group can run.

Changing what organizations or repositories can access a runner group

  1. Navigate to where your self-hosted runner groups are located:

    • In an organization: navigate to the main page and click Settings.

    • If using an enterprise-level group:

      1. In the top-right corner of GitHub Enterprise Server, click your profile photo, then click Enterprise settings. "Enterprise settings" in drop-down menu for profile photo on GitHub Enterprise Server
  2. Navigate to the "Runner groups" settings:

    • In an organization:

      1. In the left sidebar, click Actions, then click Runner groups.
    • If using an enterprise-level group:

      1. In the enterprise sidebar, click Policies. Policies tab in the enterprise account sidebar
      2. Under " Policies", click Actions.
      3. Click the Runner groups tab.
  3. In the list of groups, click the runner group you'd like to configure.

  4. For runner groups in an enterprise, under Organization access, modify what organizations can access the runner group. For runner groups in an organization, under Repository access, modify what repositories can access the runner group.

    Warning:

    We recommend that you only use self-hosted runners with private repositories. This is because forks of your repository can potentially run dangerous code on your self-hosted runner machine by creating a pull request that executes the code in a workflow.

    For more information, see "About self-hosted runners."

Changing what workflows can access a runner group

You can configure a self-hosted runner group to run either selected workflows or all workflows. For example, you might use this setting to protect secrets that are stored on self-hosted runners or to standardize deployment workflows by restricting a runner group to run only a specific reusable workflow. This setting cannot be overridden if you are configuring an organization's runner group that was shared by an enterprise.

  1. Navigate to where your self-hosted runner groups are located:

    • In an organization: navigate to the main page and click Settings.

    • If using an enterprise-level group:

      1. In the top-right corner of GitHub Enterprise Server, click your profile photo, then click Enterprise settings. "Enterprise settings" in drop-down menu for profile photo on GitHub Enterprise Server
  2. Navigate to the "Runner groups" settings:

    • In an organization:

      1. In the left sidebar, click Actions, then click Runner groups.
    • If using an enterprise-level group:

      1. In the enterprise sidebar, click Policies. Policies tab in the enterprise account sidebar
      2. Under " Policies", click Actions.
      3. Click the Runner groups tab.
  3. In the list of groups, click the runner group you'd like to configure.

  4. Under Workflow access, select the dropdown menu and click Selected workflows.

  5. Click .

  6. Enter a comma separated list of the workflows that can access the runner group. Use the full path, including the repository name and owner. Pin the workflow to a branch, tag, or full SHA. For example: octo-org/octo-repo/.github/workflows/build.yml@v2, octo-org/octo-repo/.github/workflows/deploy.yml@d6dc6c96df4f32fa27b039f2084f576ed2c5c2a5, monalisa/octo-test/.github/workflows/test.yml@main.

    Only jobs directly defined within the selected workflows will have access to the runner group.

    Organization-owned runner groups cannot access workflows from a different organization in the enterprise; instead, you must create an enterprise-owned runner group.

  7. Click Save.

Changing the name of a runner group

  1. Navigate to where your self-hosted runner groups are located:

    • In an organization: navigate to the main page and click Settings.

    • If using an enterprise-level group:

      1. In the top-right corner of GitHub Enterprise Server, click your profile photo, then click Enterprise settings. "Enterprise settings" in drop-down menu for profile photo on GitHub Enterprise Server
  2. Navigate to the "Runner groups" settings:

    • In an organization:

      1. In the left sidebar, click Actions, then click Runner groups.
    • If using an enterprise-level group:

      1. In the enterprise sidebar, click Policies. Policies tab in the enterprise account sidebar
      2. Under " Policies", click Actions.
      3. Click the Runner groups tab.
  3. In the list of groups, click the runner group you'd like to configure.

  4. Change the runner group name.

Automatically adding a self-hosted runner to a group

You can use the configuration script to automatically add a new self-hosted runner to a group. For example, this command registers a new self-hosted runner and uses the --runnergroup parameter to add it to a group named rg-runnergroup.

./config.sh --url $org_or_enterprise_url --token $token --runnergroup rg-runnergroup

The command will fail if the runner group doesn't exist:

Could not find any self-hosted runner group named "rg-runnergroup".

Moving a self-hosted runner to a group

If you don't specify a runner group during the registration process, your new self-hosted runners are automatically assigned to the default group, and can then be moved to another group.

  1. Navigate to where your self-hosted runner is registered:

    • In an organization: navigate to the main page and click Settings.

    • If using an enterprise-level runner:

      1. In the top-right corner of GitHub Enterprise Server, click your profile photo, then click Enterprise settings. "Enterprise settings" in drop-down menu for profile photo on GitHub Enterprise Server
  2. Navigate to the GitHub Actions settings:

    • In an organization:

      1. In the left sidebar, click Actions, then click Runners.
    • If using an enterprise-level runner:

      1. In the enterprise sidebar, click Policies. Policies tab in the enterprise account sidebar
      2. Under " Policies", click Actions.
      3. Click the Runners tab.
  3. In the "Runners" list, click the runner that you want to configure.

  4. Select the Runner group drop-down.

  5. In "Move runner to group", choose a destination group for the runner.

Removing a self-hosted runner group

Self-hosted runners are automatically returned to the default group when their group is removed.

  1. Navigate to where your self-hosted runner groups are located:

    • In an organization: navigate to the main page and click Settings.

    • If using an enterprise-level group:

      1. In the top-right corner of GitHub Enterprise Server, click your profile photo, then click Enterprise settings. "Enterprise settings" in drop-down menu for profile photo on GitHub Enterprise Server
  2. Navigate to the "Runner groups" settings:

    • In an organization:

      1. In the left sidebar, click Actions, then click Runner groups.
    • If using an enterprise-level group:

      1. In the enterprise sidebar, click Policies. Policies tab in the enterprise account sidebar
      2. Under " Policies", click Actions.
      3. Click the Runner groups tab.
  3. In the list of groups, to the right of the group you want to delete, click .

  4. To remove the group, click Remove group.

  5. Review the confirmation prompts, and click Remove this runner group.