Comparing Buildkite and GitHub Actions

Understanding Buildkite’s Scalable, Hybrid Infrastructure

  • Scalability

    Buildkite is a hybrid SaaS platform designed for enterprise scale. Run as many jobs as you need and we’ll manage the orchestration and reporting. You’re in charge of your builds, Buildkite is in charge of the platform.

  • Extensibility

    Buildkite makes it easy to create, find, and implement integrations with third-party technologies, with an extensive library of plugins and deep native support for major source control, containers, and dev tool solutions.

  • Security

    Buildkite jobs are run in your environments, behind your firewall. Because your source code is never shared with us, Buildkite provides the control and security of on-prem combined with the convenience of hosted.

Buildkite named a High Performer by G2

BuildkiteGitHub Actions
Product type


Buildkite provides a SaaS platform to define and visualize pipelines, and an agent to execute jobs on customer-managed infrastructure.


GitHub Actions allows the option of fully SaaS pipelines or end-user hosting and configuration.

Self-Hosted Job Support


Including: team permission management, robust CLI & API controls, built-in DataDog integration, and automatic AWS & Google Cloud tagging/labelling.

Limited Options

Enterprise account required for multiple self-hosted runner groups. Minimal API for management

Pipeline Creation


Pipelines can be defined via an in-UI step builder, as a YAML file, or dynamically via scripts in your source repository.


Static YAML with interpolation only.

Job Concurrency


Self-hosted agents give you full control to parallelize your CI tasks at any scale.


Concurrency limits are based on customer plan and operating system. (GitHub-hosted runners)

Usage Limits


No usage caps on paid plans. Deploy with confidence whether you need to run 10 or 10,000 builds at a time.


Tasks will automatically fail if they exceed a hard limit for workflow runs (100/repository), jobs (256/run), or API Requests (1,000/hour).

Job Queue Limits


Queue up as much work as you need for as long as you need it.


A job can be queued for a maximum of 24 hours, at which time it is terminated if job execution has not started. (Self-hosted runners.) Workflow run times are limited to 72 hours and will be canceled once reaching that limit.

Two people launching a pod

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