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Interesting, thanks for the insight. Those are certainly valid reasons for things being the way they are, but I have to wonder how many GitLab installs are like mine: a single "git/build" server on a private network serving a small group of users. I'd wager the number of installs that fall into that category is fairly substantial, and in that situation the runner configuration feels pretty over-engineered.

I agree it is a tradeoff. It is very hard to make both local and remote easy. We opted to make the right thing the easy thing to do. That means it is harder to set up than Jenkins that default to local builds. But we hope the experience of https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ci-multi-runner/blob/ma... is a lot easier than setting up build slaves in Jenkins https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/Distributed+buil...

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