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Start GitHub Actions self-hosted runner with VirtualBox and Vagrant

peaceiris
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Originally published at peaceiris.com Updated on ・3 min read

Start GitHub Actions self-hosted runner with VirtualBox and Vagrant


Overview

  • Start GitHub Actions self-hosted runner with VirtualBox and Vagrant on your local machine or a remote machine like Google Compute Engine and EC2.
  • Avoid dind (Docker in Docker)
  • Accelerate docker build (or docker-compose build) on the virtual machine with the Docker Layer Caching as the same as your local environment.
  • Host OS: Ubuntu 18.04/20.04, macOS, Windows
  • Guest OS: Ubuntu 20.04

Install VirtualBox

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Ubuntu 18.04/20.04

sudo apt install -y virtualbox
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macOS

brew cask install virtualbox
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Allow Oracle America, Inc. in the System Preferences.

Allow Oracle America, Inc.


Install Vagrant

hashicorp/vagrant: Vagrant is a tool for building and distributing development environments.

Ubuntu 18.04/20.04

curl -fsSL https://apt.releases.hashicorp.com/gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-add-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://apt.releases.hashicorp.com $(lsb_release -cs) main"
sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y vagrant
vagrant autocomplete install
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macOS

brew install vagrant
vagrant autocomplete install
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Start VM

peaceiris/actions-self-hosted-runners - GitHub

git clone https://github.com/peaceiris/actions-self-hosted-runners.git
cd ./actions-self-hosted-runners/images/ubuntu-20.04
git checkout v0.4.0
vim .env
make up
vagrant ssh
cd actions-runner
./config.sh --url https://github.com/[owner]/[repo] --token [token]
nohup ./run.sh &
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Create .env file as follows.

VB_CPUS = '4'
VB_MEMORY = '8192'
VB_DISK_SIZE = '30GB'
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  • VB_CPUS: CPU cores
  • VB_MEMORY: Memory size
  • VB_DISK_SIZE: Disk size

Screen Shot 2021-06-30 at 12.45.44


Use the VM and Accelerate docker build

Unlike the GitHub hosted runner, a self-hosted runner is not destroyed for each job, so Docker Layer Caching will work as well as local machine. You don't have to worry about tricky usage of the actions/cache and capacity limits. The docker build job became accelerated and we achieved the purpose.

name: CI frontend

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - main
  pull_request:

jobs:
  docker:
    runs-on: self-hosted
    timeout-minutes: 3
    env:
      COMPOSE_DOCKER_CLI_BUILD: 1
      DOCKER_BUILDKIT: 1
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2.3.4
      - run: hadolint ./Dockerfile
      - run: sudo docker-compose build frontend
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Slow docker-compose build job on the GitHub hosted runner.

Slow docker-compose build job on the GitHub hosted runner

Accelerated docker-compose build job on a self-hosted GitHub Actions runner.

Accelerated docker-compose build job on a self-hosted GitHub Actions runner

Enabled Docker Layer Caching on a GitHub Actions self-hosted runner.

Enabled Docker Layer Caching on a GitHub Actions self-hosted runner


Repository

GitHub logo peaceiris / actions-self-hosted-runners

GitHub Actions self-hosted runner on VirtualBox with Vagrant.

actions-self-hosted-runners

CI

GitHub Actions self-hosted runner on VirtualBox with Vagrant.

Getting Started

git clone https://github.com/peaceiris/actions-self-hosted-runners.git
cd ./actions-self-hosted-runners/images/ubuntu-20.04
git checkout v0.4.0
vim .env
make up
vagrant ssh
cd actions-runner
./config.sh --url https://github.com/[owner]/[repo] --token [token]
nohup ./run.sh &
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Create .env file as follows.

VB_CPUS = '4'
VB_MEMORY = '8192'
VB_DISK_SIZE = '30GB'
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Conclusion

  • We can start a self-hosted GitHub Actions runner on a Ubuntu 20.04 virtual machine with VirtualBox and Vagrant very easily.
  • We can accelerate docker build (or docker-compose build) on the virtual machine with the Docker Layer Caching as the same as your local environment.

Enjoy the comfortable CI/CD! Thank you.

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