SaaS runners on macOS (Beta)

SaaS runners on macOS are in Beta for approved open source programs and customers in Premium and Ultimate plans.

SaaS runners on macOS provide an on-demand macOS build environment integrated with GitLab SaaS CI/CD. Use these runners to build, test, and deploy apps for the Apple ecosystem (macOS, iOS, tvOS). You can take advantage of all the capabilities of the GitLab single DevOps platform and not have to manage or operate a build environment.

Jobs handled by macOS shared runners on time out after 3 hours, regardless of the timeout configured in a project.

Access request process

While in beta, to run CI jobs on the macOS runners, you must specify the GitLab SaaS customer personal or group namespaces in the macOS allow-list. These are the namespaces that use the macOS runners.

When you specify a personal or group namespace, the top level group is not added unless you specify it.

After you add your namespace, you can use the macOS runners for any projects under the namespace you included.

To request access, open an access request. The expected turnaround for activation is two business days.


To start using SaaS runners on macOS, you must be an active GitLab SaaS Premium or Ultimate customer. Participants in the GitLab Open Source program are also eligible to use the service.

Configuring your pipeline

To start using the SaaS runners on macOS to run your CI jobs, you must configure your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

  1. Add a .gitlab-ci.yml file to your project repository.
  2. Specify the image you want to use.
  3. Commit a change to your repository.

The runners automatically run your build.

Example .gitlab-ci.yml file

The following sample .gitlab-ci.yml file shows how to start using the SaaS runners on macOS:

    - shared-macos-amd64
  image: macos-11-xcode-12

  - build
  - test

  - echo "started by ${GITLAB_USER_NAME}"

    - .macos_saas_runners
  stage: build
    - echo "running scripts in the build job"

    - .macos_saas_runners
  stage: test
    - echo "running scripts in the test job"
You can specify a different Xcode image to run a job. To do so, replace the value for the image keyword with the value of the virtual machine image name from the list of available images.

SaaS runners on macOS service level objective

In SaaS runners on macOS, the objective is to make 90% of CI jobs start executing in 120 seconds or less. The error rate should be less than 0.5%.

Known Limitations and Usage Constraints

  • If the VM image does not include the specific software version you need for your job, then the job execution time will increase as the required software needs to be fetched and installed.
  • At this time, it is not possible to bring your own OS image.
  • The keychain for user gitlab is not publicly available. You must create a keychain instead.