How is the run duration calculated?


I’ve had a weird behavior on the run duration shown on the All workflows view.

For example, I see 48.0s whereas, when I click on the job detail, I have:

  • Set-up job: 2s
  • Run actions/checkout@v1: 2s
  • My job: 25s
  • Complete job: 0s

Which is a total of 29s. Why is the run duration 48s then?

For one job (from the same workflow), I even have a 5m 6.0s run duration, for 40s of “effective” run.

Is it a bug? Something badly documented? I am concerned about which run duration will be considered as build-minutes, for the pricing. I obviously don’t want to pay 5m 6s when my job takes only 40s.


Great question, we’d like to look into this.  Is the repository public?  Can you point me to one of the workflow runs so that we can investigate?

I believe that the time needed to set up the virtual environment is not calculated in the “Set-up job” step, but it is taken into account on the “Actions” tab of your repository. So what you see in the overview will always be (a little) higher then the total actual time neede by your steps. And the time needed per build also differs from run to run.

Also see for an example of this where the same build suddenly took a lot longer, since the virtual environment needed more time to get ready.

Indeed this looks worrying from a billing point of view.

I do not want to be billed for the spin up time that has nothing to do with my workflow.

Needs clarifying for sure.

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Sorry, I missed the Email me when someone replies option.

The repository is not public, but I definitely can give you or your team collaborator access, if you want.

Probably, but this is still confusing for the user, and we don’t know what we’ll pay.

Thanks for your input!