Buildkite Agent Prioritization

By setting an Agent’s priority value you determine when it gets assigned build jobs compared to other Agents. Agents with a higher value priority number are assigned work first, with the last priority being given to Agents with the default value of null.

To set an Agent’s priority you can set it in the configuration file:


or with the --priority command line flag:

buildkite-agent start --priority 9

or with the BUILDKITE_AGENT_PRIORITY an environment variable:

env BUILDKITE_AGENT_PRIORITY=9 buildkite-agent start

Load balancing

You can use the Agent priority value to load balance jobs across machines running multiple Agents.

For example if you have 2 machines with 3 Agents on each machine, you would set one Agent on each machine to priority=3, one on each to priority=2, and one on each to priority=1.

Buildkite will then automatically load balance the jobs across machines, as it will assign jobs to the high priority agents first.