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GitHub Announces Upgrade to Action Runners with 4-vCPU, 16 GiB Memory

MMS Founder
MMS Aditya Kulkarni

Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ

GitHub recently announced an enhancement to their GitHub Actions-hosted runners. Moving forward, workflows from public repositories on Linux or Windows that utilize GitHub’s default labels will be executed on the new 4-vCPU runners.

Larissa Fortuna, Product Manager at GitHub talked about the upgraded infrastructure in a blog post. This enhanced infrastructure allows for a performance increase of up to 25% on most CI/CD tasks, without needing any changes to configurations. Fortuna noted that GitHub Actions has been available at no cost for public repositories since its launch in 2019. Despite its widespread adoption by open source communities, the platform has consistently utilized the same 2-vCPU based virtual machines.

Starting December 1, 2023, GitHub started upgrading the Linux and Windows Action runners to 4-vCPU virtual machines with 16 GiB of memory, doubling their previous capacity. These enhancements will lead to quicker feedback on the pull requests and reduce the wait time for builds to complete. Teams handling larger workloads will benefit from machines that offer double the memory.

GitHub Actions has become essential for open-source projects that offer free, easy-to-use automation and build servers. This rapid adoption is also due to the open-source community and the GitHub Marketplace, which houses over 20,000 actions and apps. This allows developers of all organization sizes to enhance their workflows with GitHub Actions and Apps.

Earlier this year, GitHub made headlines as it integrated AI to enhance the developer experience on its platform, and offered interactive AI features through GitHub Copilot Enterprise and GitHub Copilot Chat. These tools, including a context-aware AI assistant powered by GPT-4, enable users to interact with Copilot directly in their browser and within their Integrated Development Environment (IDE), assisting with a wide range of tasks from explaining coding concepts to identifying security vulnerabilities and writing unit tests.

Martin Woodward, GitHub’s Vice President of Developer Relations, commented on the GitHub Actions-hosted runners, mentioning,

“GitHub is the home for the open source community, so I’m thrilled we’ve been able to give all open source projects access to Linux and Windows machines that have twice the v-CPUs, twice the memory and 10 times the storage for their builds, for free. This investment will give valuable time back to the maintainers of open source projects who benefited from over 7 billion build minutes with GitHub Actions in the past year alone.”

To start using the upgraded infrastructure, public repositories will need to execute the public workflows with any of the current Ubuntu or Windows labels, and they will automatically operate on the new 4-core hosted runners.

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