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Quick hack: Speed up your GitLab CI

Xavier Claessens avatar

Posted on 06/11/2018 by Xavier Claessens

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GNOME GitLab has AWS runners, but they are used only when pushing code into a GNOME upstream repository, not when you push into your personal fork. For personal forks there is only one (AFAIK) shared runner and you could be waiting for hours before it picks your job.

But did you know you can register your own PC, or a spare laptop collecting dust in a drawer, to get instant continuous integration (CI) going? It's really easy to setup!

1. Install docker

apt install docker.io

2. Install gitlab-runner

Follow the instructions here:
https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-runner/blob/master/docs/install/linux-repository.md#installing-the-runner

(Note: The Ubuntu 18.04 package doesn't seem to work.)

3. Install & start the GitLab runner service

sudo gitlab-runner install
sudo gitlab-runner start

4. Find the registration token

Go to your gitlab project page, settings -> CI/CD -> expand "runners"

5. Register your runner

sudo gitlab-runner register --non-interactive --url https://gitlab.gnome.org --executor docker --docker-image fedora:27 --registration-token ****


You can repeat step 5 with the registration token of all your personal forks in the same GitLab instance. To make this easier, here's a snippet I wrote in my ~/.bashrc to register my "builder.local" machine on a new project. Use it as gitlab-register <token>.

function gitlab-register {
  host=$1
  token=$2

  case "$host" in
    gnome)
      host=https://gitlab.gnome.org
      ;;
    fdo)
      host=https://gitlab.freedesktop.org
      ;;
    collabora)
      host=https://gitlab.collabora.com
      ;;
    *)
      host=https://gitlab.gnome.org
      token=$1
  esac

  cmd="sudo gitlab-runner register --non-interactive --url $host --executor docker --docker-image fedora:27 --registration-token $token"

  #$cmd

  ssh builder.local -t "$cmd"
}

Not only will you now get faster CI, but you'll also reduce the queue on the shared runner for others!


Visit Xavier's blog.

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