Configuring a self-hosted agent#

Available on: Free & OS Startup Scaleup

An agent can be configured in three ways:

  • using command line arguments
  • using a configuration file with the --config-file /path/to/config.yaml parameter
  • using environment variables, prefixed with the SEMAPHORE_AGENT prefix. For example, the --disconnect-after-job command line argument can be specified with the SEMAPHORE_AGENT_DISCONNECT_AFTER_JOB=true environment variable.

They can be used at the same time, but command line arguments take precedence over the configuration file and environment variables.

Available configuration parameters#

Parameter name Required Default
endpoint Yes Empty string
token Yes Empty string
name No Empty string
env-vars No Empty array
files No Empty array
fail-on-missing-files No False
fail-on-pre-job-hook-error No False
disconnect-after-job No False
disconnect-after-idle-timeout No 0
shutdown-hook-path No Empty string
pre-job-hook-path No Empty string
post-job-hook-path No Empty string
source-pre-job-hook No False
interruption-grace-period No 0
upload-job-logs No never
config-file No Empty string
kubernetes-executor No False
kubernetes-pod-start-timeout No 300
kubernetes-pod-spec No Empty string
kubernetes-allowed-images No Empty string


The Semaphore endpoint that the agent uses to register and sync is determined by your Semaphore organization name, e.g. <your-organization-name>


You get an agent type registration token when you create an agent type in the Semaphore UI. If the token specified is not correct, the agent will not start.


By default, the agent will generate a random name. If you want to set a custom name, you can use this configuration parameter. The name must have between 8 and 64 characters. A pre-signed AWS STS GetCallerIdentity URL can also be used, if the agent type allows it.


Environment variables are used to expose agents to jobs. When using the command line argument --env-vars, the agent expects a comma-separated list of VAR=VALUE environment variables:

agent start \
  --endpoint <org> \
  --token "..." \
  --env-vars VAR1=A,VAR2=B

When using the configuration file, the agent expects an array of strings using the same format as shown above:

# config.yaml
endpoint: "..."
token: "..."
  - VAR1=A
  - VAR2=B

This is a way of exposing secrets to your jobs via an agent, instead of using Semaphore secrets.


You can inject files into the container running the job when using docker containers. When using the command line argument --files, the agent expects a comma-separated list of /some/host/file=/some/container/file files:

agent start \
  --endpoint <org> \
  --token "..." \
  --files /tmp/host/file1:/tmp/container/file1,/tmp/host/file2:/tmp/container/file2

When using the configuration file, it expects an array of strings using the same format as above:

# config.yaml
endpoint: "..."
token: "..."
  - /tmp/host/file1:/tmp/container/file1
  - /tmp/host/file2:/tmp/container/file2

This is another way of exposing secrets to your jobs via an agent, instead of using Semaphore secrets.


By default, if files given to --files are not found in the host, they are not injected into the docker container and the job will be executed as normal. If you want to fail the job instead, set fail-on-missing-files to true.


Controls whether the agent should fail the job if the pre-job hook configured with --pre-job-hook-path fails execution. By default, the job won't fail if the pre-job hook fails.


By default, an agent does not disconnect from Semaphore and shut down after completing a job. If you want to disconnect from Semaphore instead, set disconnect-after-job to true.


By default, an agent does not disconnect after a given period of idleness. If you want an agent to disconnect after a set period of idleness, set disconnect-after-idle-timeout to the desired amount of time (in seconds).


By default, the logs for a job are not uploaded as a job artifact after a job finishes. However, you can change that behavior. This parameter accepts three values:

  • never: the default one, job logs will never be uploaded as a job artifact.
  • when-trimmed: job logs will only be uploaded as a job artifact if the logs were trimmed for being above the current limit of 16MB.
  • always: job logs will always be uploaded as a job artifact.

The artifact is uploaded using the path agent/job_logs.txt. The agent will use the artifact CLI to upload the logs to Semaphore. If the artifact CLI is not available to the agent, nothing will be uploaded.


By default, nothing else is executed before the agent starts executing the commands for a job. This parameter allows you to configure a hook to execute before a job starts. It accepts the path to a script (Bash/PowerShell) that will be run right after the job environment is set, but before the job commands start.

Additionally, you can use fail-on-pre-job-hook-error to control whether the job should proceed or fail if an error occurs while executing that script.


By default, the agent executes the pre-job hook in a new shell session, e.g., bash <pre-job-hook-path>. However, in some cases, it is useful to make environment changes made during the pre-job hook execution visible to following job commands. The source-pre-job-hook allows that. It instructs the agent to use source <pre-job-hook-path> instead.


This parameter allows you to configure a hook to execute after a job finishes. It accepts the path to a script (Bash/PowerShell) that will be run right after the job's epilogue commands. The hook is executed before terminating the PTY created for the job, so the hook has access to the environment variables exposed in the job.


By default, nothing else is executed when the agent shuts down. This parameter accepts a path to a bash script in the host to be executed when an agent shuts down. This can be useful to perform clean-up operations (e.g. pushing the agent's logs to external storage or shutting down the machine).

It can also be useful when used in conjunction with disconnect-after-job or disconnect-after-idle-timeout in order to rotate agents and make sure you get a clean one for every job you run.

For example, if you want to turn off the machine once the agent shuts down, use the following:

# config.yaml
endpoint: "..."
token: "..."
shutdown-hook-path: "/opt/semaphore/agent/hooks/"
# /opt/semaphore/agent/hooks/
sudo poweroff -f

If the path specified does not exist, an error will be logged and the agent will disconnect as usual.

Furthermore, the shutdown script will have the following environment variables available:

Environment variable Description
SEMAPHORE_AGENT_SHUTDOWN_REASON The reason why the agent is shutting down. Possible values are: IDLE, JOB_FINISHED, UNABLE_TO_SYNC, REQUESTED and INTERRUPTED


By default, if the agent receives an interruption while execution a job, it will immediately stop the job, and shut down. This configuration parameter allows you to specify a number of seconds for the agent to wait before stopping the job, after receiving an interruption signal.

Kubernetes executor configuration#

See the kubernetes executor documentation on the Semaphore agent repository.