ARM Your GitHub Actions

ARM Your GitHub Actions

Building ARM64 Artifacts with Self-Hosted Action Runners

Jul 17, 2023Β·

3 min read

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Cost-Effective Github Actions. This is a short article that covers: | by  Vishnu Deva | Medium

Who doesn't love Github Actions? We can't even live without them anymore!

Perfect in any way, and essentially free to use, they only have a limitation: They are x86 only and offer no native ARM64 support - if not through super-slow emulation.

For chDB this is quite a limitation since our build process is heavy and demanding!

How can we build native ARM64 binaries without QEMU and with no extra costs?

Hello, Oracle. Now, I'm not their biggest fan but respect where it's due:

Their "Always-Free” Oracle Cloud tier generously allows running ARM Ampere A1 instances with 3,000 CPU hours and 18,000 GB hours per month, which affords exactly 4 CPUs and 24GB of RAM with a ~100GB of storage volume. For free. Forever.

.... what's next is obvious!

Grab a FREE AMPERE ARM64 Instance

First, sign up to Oracle Cloud to gain access to their Always-Free Tier.

Once ready, jump to the Compute section and Create a New Instance

Compute section

Next, modify the parameters in the Image and Shape section by clicking Edit

From the options, choose an AMPERE shape, and max out the resources:

A few more clicks and you're ready to go. Refer to the Oracle docs for more options!

πŸ’‘
Do NOT forget to download the generated keys for SSH access!

Configure ARM64 Self-Hosted Runner

It's time to use our instance for our self-hosted runner using your GitHub account:

Always make sure to use the latest instructions! For reference, here's the procedure:

sudo apt-get install gcc libz-dev build-essential
mkdir actions-runner && cd actions-runner
curl -o actions-runner-linux-arm64-2.296.1.tar.gz -L https://github.com/actions/runner/releases/download/v2.296.1/actions-runner-linux-arm64-2.296.1.tar.gz
echo "ce11e5d9c1cc299bd8a197b7807f6146fbe7494abb19765fb04664afbdb3755e  actions-runner-linux-arm64-2.296.1.tar.gz" | shasum -a 256 -c
tar xzf ./actions-runner-linux-arm64-2.296.1.tar.gz
./config.sh --url https://github.com/your-org/your-repo --token your-token
./run.sh
πŸ’‘
Labels are super important! Make sure the ARM64 label is included!

If you want to run your Runner as a service, use the following extra commands:

sudo ./svc.sh install
sudo ./svc.sh start
sudo ./svc.sh status

Once the setup procedure is complete, your Action Runner should be ready!

Public Repositories

If your repository is public you'll need to enable the following option:

πŸ’€ WARNING

πŸ’‘
Adding self-hosted runners is super simple but quite insecure! so you might want to limit the scope of your runner to a specific repository at first!

Your Actions will run ON THE INSTANCE. Not Docker. Every step will be VERY real!

It's Action Time!

It's time to configure our Action to use our ARM64 self-hosted runner:

jobs:
  build_arm64_linux:
    runs-on:
    - self-hosted
    - ARM64

πŸ‘ That's it!

Simple and powerful. Enjoy your fast, native & free ARM64 builds!

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