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Is the only way to run self hosted ruuners for bitbucket pipelines with docker?

In all the documentation pages that I see for how to run bitbucket pipelines self-hosted runners, it always gives the docker command to run your runner. Is that the only way?

Is it possible to also run it on a regular VM or EC2 instance for example, without running docker inside that VM? My concern is with the docker-on-docker situation, since I run builds of docker images, etc...


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Mark C
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Mar 08, 2022 • edited Sep 24, 2023

Hi @kalib

Thank you for reaching out to the community.

I'm afraid installing Docker is part of the requirements when using Linux Docker.
For that, you can't use Linux Docker in an environment (VM, EC2, or local machine) without Docker installed.
This is because you'll need to run a docker container run command to start a Runner and it will be run in a Docker daemon.

Do let me know if you have further questions.

Mark C

EDIT: The response above is only applicable to Linux Docker

Hi @Mark C ,

In view of Kristoffer's response re Windows and the fact we're a good 18 months on, could you clarify the situation as it currently stands for Windows, please? I haven't been able to determine what's possible for our specific situation from the Atlassian self-hosted Runners documentation and web searches haven't turned up anything that's relevant.

We have to run code compilation multiple times a day for an old-but-stable data processing platform (one of those no-one's heard of but is almost everywhere in banking and government) via the software vendor's Windows-only command-line interface that is, sadly, Docker-hostile (for reasons I won't bore you with here).

Currently we use Bamboo Plans and our own custom Bamboo-native plugins to achieve CI / CD automation for Atlassian customers that also use this old system. However, we would like to get things running using Bitbucket Pipelines if possible, hence the above question.

With thanks.

Mark C
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 24, 2023

Hi @Justin McCamish

Thanks for reaching out to the community.

I have updated my response and I'd like to clarify that the response above is only applicable to Linux Docker.

We do have existing Runners that support the Windows operation system.

Mark C

From what I can see the Windows version of the self-hosted runner does not involve Docker at all. Rather it seems to be some sort of Java application.

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