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To be able to run Gitlab CI jobs on a Kubernetes cluster, a Gitlab Runner must be installed [1].


This sections documents the steps taken to deploy a GitLab Runner instance on a Azure Kubernetes cluster by using Helm [2].

Kubernetes Cluster

Create a Kubernetes cluster on Azure (AKS). Two node pools: "agentpool" for the Kubernetes system pods and "jobs" for the CI jobs.


Follow the docs to Install the Azure CLI.

Alternatively, run the Azure CLI in a container [3]:

podman run -it mcr.microsoft.com/azure-cli

Install the Kubernetes CLI (kubectl) [4]:

az aks install-cli

Install the Helm CLI [5]:

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/helm/helm/main/scripts/get-helm-3 | bash

Sign in

Sign in to Azure [6]:

az login

Connect to your Kubernetes Cluster. Open the Azure web dashboard for your cluster and push the "Connect" button. A list of commands will be displayed to connect to your cluster. Something like the following:

az account set --subscription ...
az aks get-credentials ...


Register the new runner [7].

Gitlab Runner

Now it's time to install the Gitlab runner with Helm [8].

Create a namespace:

kubectl create namespace "gitlab-runner"

Create a values.yaml file for your runner configuration [9] like the snippet below.

Enabling RBAC support [10] seems to be needed [11] with the default AKS configuration.

gitlabUrl: "https://gitlab.com/"
runnerRegistrationToken: ""
  create: true

Deploy the runner:

helm install --namespace gitlab-runner gitlab-runner -f values.yaml gitlab/gitlab-runner

If you change the configuration in values.yaml, apply it with the command below. Pause your runner before upgrading it to avoid service disruptions. [12]

helm upgrade --namespace gitlab-runner gitlab-runner -f values.yaml gitlab/gitlab-runner