Install GitLab Runner on macOS

GitLab Runner can be installed and updated on macOS.


There are two methods for installing GitLab Runner on macOS:

Manual installation (official)

Note: For documentation on GitLab Runner 9 and earlier, visit this documentation.
  1. Download the binary for your system:

    sudo curl --output /usr/local/bin/gitlab-runner

    You can download a binary for every available version as described in Bleeding Edge - download any other tagged release.

  2. Give it permissions to execute:

    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/gitlab-runner

The rest of commands execute as the user who will run the Runner.

  1. Register the Runner
  2. Install the Runner as service and start it:

    cd ~
    gitlab-runner install
    gitlab-runner start

Runner is installed and will be run after a system reboot.

Homebrew installation (alternative)

A Homebrew formula is available to install GitLab.

Caution: GitLab does not maintain the Homebrew formula.

To install GitLab Runner using Homebrew:

  1. Install the GitLab Runner.

    brew install gitlab-runner
  2. Install the Runner as a service and start it.

    brew services start gitlab-runner

Runner is installed and running.

Limitations on macOS

Note: The service needs to be installed from the Terminal by running its GUI interface as your current user. Only then will you be able to manage the service.

Currently, the only proven to work mode for macOS is running service in user-mode.

Since the service will be running only when the user is logged in, you should enable auto-login on your macOS machine.

The service will be launched as one of LaunchAgents. By using LaunchAgents, the builds will be able to do UI interactions, making it possible to run and test on the iOS simulator.

It’s worth noting that macOS also has LaunchDaemons, the services running completely in background. LaunchDaemons are run on system startup, but they don’t have the same access to UI interactions as LaunchAgents. You can try to run the Runner’s service as LaunchDaemon, but this mode of operation is not currently supported.

You can verify that the Runner created the service configuration file after executing the install command, by checking the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/gitlab-runner.plist file.

If Homebrew was used to install git, it may have added a /usr/local/etc/gitconfig file containing:

        helper = osxkeychain

This tells Git to cache user credentials in the keychain, which may not be what you want and can cause fetches to hang. You can remove the line from the system gitconfig with:

git config --system --unset credential.helper

Alternatively, you can just disable credential.helper for the GitLab user:

git config --global --add credential.helper ''

You can check the status of the credential.helper with:

git config credential.helper

Manual update

  1. Stop the service:

    gitlab-runner stop
  2. Download the binary to replace the Runner’s executable:

    sudo curl -o /usr/local/bin/gitlab-runner

    You can download a binary for every available version as described in Bleeding Edge - download any other tagged release.

  3. Give it permissions to execute:

    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/gitlab-runner
  4. Start the service:

    gitlab-runner start

Make sure that you read the FAQ section which describes some of the most common problems with GitLab Runner.

Upgrade the service file

In order to upgrade the LaunchAgent configuration, you need to uninstall and install the service:

gitlab-runner uninstall
gitlab-runner install
gitlab-runner start

Using codesign with the GitLab Runner Service

If you installed gitlab-runner on macOS with homebrew and your build calls codesign, you may need to set <key>SessionCreate</key><true/> to have access to the user keychains. In the following example we run the builds as the gitlab user and want access to the signing certificates installed by that user for codesigning:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">