GitHub offers self-hosted runners and internal repositories


GitHub has pushed out a beta of self-hosted runner support in its Actions workflow tool for eager users to evaluate, while GitHub Enterprise users can now take advantage of full visibility for internal repositories.

Self-hosted runner support is touted as a new way to get flexibility and control with GitHub Actions, offering several advantages when a user’s hosted virtual environment doesn’t meet all their needs.

This could be because the workflow may require software that’s proprietary, expensive, or difficult to install on virtual environments, according to GitHub. The ability to self-host also allows users to configure the specific hardware required adding more memory or CPU cores, or even GPUs or ARM-based CPUs.

The self-hosted runners are accessed from a new section in the Actions tab of a user’s repository’s settings. Actions also now features a new read-only label self-hosted that is used with the runs-on key to enable users to specify self-hosted runners in workflows.


Meanwhile, GitHub announced that internal repository visibility for GitHub Enterprise is now generally available as of the end of October.

Internal repository visibility means that an enterprise-owned repository can be read by any member of any organisation that belongs to the same enterprise account.

GitHub said that it had “received over 100 unique enterprise customer requests and countless more individual developer reports, all enthusiastic about bringing the innersource methodology to their businesses.”

Changes made during the beta for the feature included updates to the repository creation dialog to not only let users create an internal repository, but also to understand the differences between the internal, public, or private options.

This was apparently due to confusion among some beta testers over the scope of who could access an internal repository.

“During the beta, one of the most interesting things we learned is that the members of organizations belonging to an enterprise account didn’t really notice that they were members of an enterprise account rather than a collection of GitHub organizations,” wrote Senior Product Manager Greg Padak on the GitHub blog.

To address this, a distinct role description for enterprise members was added that is linked to directly in the new repository creation dialog.

GitHub said that the internal repository visibility is coming to the on-premises offering in the upcoming release of GHES 2.20, creating a uniform experience across both Cloud and Server platforms.

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