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Travis CI implemented in Buildbot

Project description

This is a setup of Buildbot steps, factories and configuration helpers that give you the best of buildbot and the best of Travis CI:

  • Builder configuration that lives with the source code

  • Private builds

  • non-github SCM support (gerrit, gitlab, github, github enterpris)

  • unlimitted build parallelization on your own infra

Basically we provide a compatibility shim in buildbot that allows it to consume a .travis.yml file.

buildbot_travis does however not support the full .travis.yml format.

travis-badge codecov-badge


First you need to make sure you have the proper python 2.7 environment. On ubuntu 16.04, that would mean:

sudo apt-get install build-essential python-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev python-pip
pip install virtualenv

Then you create a virtualenv and install buildbot_travis via pip:

mkdir bbtravis
cd bbtravis
virtualenv sandbox
. ./sandbox/bin/activate
pip install buildbot_travis

Now you can create a new master:

bbtravis create-master master

Now you can start that new master:

buildbot start master

And then go to the UI: http://localhost:8010 which has an administration panel where to configure the projects.

QuickStart With Docker

docker run -p 8010:8010 -p 9989:9989 buildbot/buildbot-travis

QuickStart With Hyper

container=`hyper run -d -e buildbotURL=http://$IP/ -p 9989:9989 -p 80:8010 buildbot/buildbot-travis`
hyper fip attach $IP $container
echo go to http://$IP/#/bbtravis/config/auth  to configure admin access
echo go to http://$IP/#/bbtravis/config/workers to configure

Buildbot Nine UI Plugin

buildbot_travis is configurable via the web UI.

You can edit the project list, environment variables, not_important files, deployment environments, all through the web UI.

high level configuration is either stored in a yaml file or directly in the configured database.

The per project config file

This is a .travis.yml for a typical buildout project:

language: python

before_install: python
script: ./bin/test

You can read more about this file format on the travis-ci website:

But features not also mentioned on this page might not currently be supported.

Supported languages

The list of supported language is depending on your build worker configuration.

With the help of docker, you can create as many images as you need worker configuration.

Actually the language parameter of the defacto travis format does not fully leverage the full possibilities of what you can do with buildbot.

You could think of selecting a different docker image according to the version of software you want to check. This can avoid the time to setup the worker environment at the beginning of your travis.yml (as you would do in travis saas)

Build Steps

Travis provides 6 hook points for your builds:

  • before_install

  • install

  • after_install

  • before_script

  • script

  • after_script

We really don’t care what you run from these hooks as long as exit code 0 means success and anything else means fail.

You can provide a single command like this:

install: ./bin/buildout

Or multiple commands like this:

  - ./configure
  - ./bin/buildout

Each element of the list in the yaml will create a single step, which is named with the first characters of your command line.

If you want to create a custom name, buildbot_travis supports following syntax:

  - |
      # build
  - |
      # tests
      make tests

Buildbot specific features

Steps as dictionary

Original Travis just create a simple shell script to run the whole CI script. Buildbot is a little bit more powerful, and buildbot_travis can make use of it. For this you need to go out of the travis “de-facto” standard. e.g:

  - |
      # build

  - title: tests
    shell: dash
    condition: TESTS=='tests'
    cmd: make tests

If yaml parser encounters a dictionary, then it will use the following keys:

  • title: the title of the step in the UI

  • shell: run the cmd inside the given shell (default is bash)

  • condition: a condition to run the step.

    It is evaluated as a python expression, with variables beiing the environment variable generated by your matrix. The condition is evaluated at the time of the parsing of the yaml file. If the condition is not met, then the step is just not inserted in the step list.

  • cmd: The command to run.

  • step: The buildbot step create.

    See below for detailled description. if defined, shell, title and cmd keys are ignored.


In order to keep working with buildbot_travis and at the same time, buildbot travis will look for a .bbtravis.yml before .travis.yml. With this, you can keep your .travis.yml without any buildbot specific feature.

Shallow Clone

  • Original travis supports clone depth configuration inside the yml file (aka shallow clone). As the git clone is made before buildbot has a chance to parse the yaml, this configuration is done in the per project config in buildbot travis. Two options are available in the cfg.yml (shallow and retryFetch) e.g:

    -   branches:
        - master
        name: buildbot
        shallow: 200
        mode: "full"
        method: "clobber"
        stages: []
        tags: []
        vcs_type: github


Buildbot has a very useful Interpolate utility. If you prepend your scripts by `!i or !interpolate, then buildbot_travis will automatically create an Interpolate object:

- title: make dist
  cmd: !i make REVISION=%(prop:got_revision:-%(src::revision:-unknown)s)s dist

Commands without shell

If cmd is a list, it will run without use of shell (this can avoid to have to shell quote variables):

  - title: make dist
    cmd: [ "make", !i "REVISION=%(prop:got_revision:-%(src::revision:-unknown)s)s", "dist" ]

Buildbot Steps Batteries

Buildbot comes with battery included. It has a tons of steps in it that you could use. What if you could contruct those steps in the bbtravis.yml? Guess what? You can.

  - condition: TESTS=='trial'
    step: !Trial
        name: trial
        tests: buildbot.test

Every Buildbot steps from the buildbot.plugins.steps module is available by default. If you want to use your own customs steps, you can do it with 2 methods.

  • Create a buildbot plugin. If it is installed in your master virtual environment and recognised inside buildbot.plugins.steps, it will be available in buildbot_travis yaml parser.

  • If you want to define your custom step in your master.cfg directly, you will need to register your step directly in the yaml parser.

from buildbot_travis.travisyml import registerStepClass

class FancyStep(steps.ShellSequence):

registerStepClass("FancyStep", FancyStep)

then in your yaml:

  - step: !FancyStep
  - step: !ShellCommand "true"

  - step: !ShellCommand
        - "true"

  - step: !ShellCommand
        command: "true"

Status context

If github_token is specified, bbtravis will create a github status for each of the builds of the matrix, with direct link to the sub build. The name of the status (aka context) is calculated using reporter_context of the project configuration. The default is "bb%(prop:matrix_label:+/)s%(prop:matrix_label)s".

matrix_label is computed by the Trigger step, and is the concatenation of key and values of the matrix. because matrix can be large, and github context is limited in size, bbtravis implements a way for projects to define abbreviations for the labels. e.g .bbtravis.yml such as:

language: python

  latest: l
  python: py

Will generate context like: bb/py:2.6/sqla:l/sqlam:0.7.1/tw:11.1.0

Installing dependencies

The docker image that is used is throw away, and will start from clean state for each build.

You can create a docker image with passwordless sudo, as travis does, so that you can use apt-get:

  - sudo apt-get update
  - sudo apt-get install -y -q mydependency

It is however a better practice and more optimized to just provide a prebuilt docker image which contain what you need.


You might want to perform multiple builds of the same piece of software. Travis delivers:

 - FLAVOUR=blue
 - FLAVOUR=green
 - FLAVOUR=red

  - ./configure -f $FLAVOUR
  - ./bin/buildout

Commits to this code base will cause builds for blue, green and red flavours. The environment variables can be used like ordinary environment variables inside the scripts you run from your .travis.yml and can be used in the .travis.yml itself.

env is a list of environment variables. You can specify multiple variables on a single line like this:

 - PROP1=foo PROP2=bar

Build Matrix

Your options for language and env create an implicit build matrix. A build matrix is a collection of all the possible combinations of the env options and language versions. You can fine tine this matrix by excluding certain combinations, or inserting additional ones.

Here is an example of excluding a combination and inserting an additional build:

  - 2.6
  - 2.7

  - FLAVOUR=apple
  - FLAVOUR=orange

    - python: 2.7
      env: FLAVOUR=orange
    - python: 2.7
      env: FLAVOUR=banana

This will do an additional build of the banana build but only for python 2.7. And it will turn off the build for the orange flavour, again only for python 2.7.


A Deploy section is available in the left side menu. In this section, a Deployment dashboard will be available once configured.

This dashboard enables a streamlined, fully automated delivery process, from Commit to Production environment. Latest version of your project is just one click away from users.

See the dashboard’s template below








Deliverable A

GIT rev


GIT tag

GIT tag

For example, the version 1.2.3 (specified thanks to a GIT tag) of deliverable A is deployed in DEV stage.

Here are the 5 steps to setup a Deployment dashboard in Buildbot Travis.

  1. A Deployment section is available in the Settings section. In this section, the Deployment Environment(s) is the list of target environments (or Stages) where deliverables are going to be deployed. These environments should be sorted following your development process definition. Example:

    COMMIT (merged dev), DEV, QA, PROD
    BEWARE!The first column is reserved for COMMIT stage so you do not need to define it in the Stages list.
  2. Go to the Deploy section in the left side menu. You should see a Deployment dashboard like the above example. The Stages should be the same as the ones defined in 1).

  3. Go to the Settings/Projects section. Add corresponding Stages to the different projects in the Stages field. Stages can be a subset of the Stages defined in 2).

  4. You should see a fully configured Deployment dashboard with all the deliverables, Stages, GIT revisions and GIT tags. GIT revisions and GIT tags are available in dropdown lists. When you select a specific version, a pop_up window appears to launch the deployment procedure in the specific stage.

  5. To enable push button deployments, you need to define the deployment procedures. Create deployment scripts and update the script and/or after_script sections of the .travis.yml file of each deliverable.


       - |
         # Deployment
           python ./ --repo "${repository}" --stage "${stage}" --version "${version}";
           ${repository} is the URL of the project's (or deliverable's) repo.
           ${stage} is the retrieved from the Deployment dashboard.
           ${version} is retrieved from the Deployment dashboard.

How it works

The basic behaviour is:

  • Commit is picked up (polling by default, with additional triggers via /change_hook/poller?poller=pollername web hook

  • Build is scheduled on a ‘spawner’ builder - this is a builder configured to use an ordinary slave

  • Checkout occurs - for the purposes of acquiring the .travis.yml rather than for actually performing a build

  • ‘spawner’ triggers a build on a ‘job’ builder for each environment in the build matrix defined in .travis.yml

  • ‘job’ builder does a single build in a clean latent buildslave (VM or docker)

  • setup-steps step dynamically appends ShellCommand steps based on contents of .travis.yml

  • when job is over VM orcontainer is thrown away.

  • The ‘spawner’ build acts as a way of aggregating the build results in a single pass/fail status.

  • MailNotifier subclass uses .travis.yml found in build history so that recipients list and whether or not to mail can be adapted accordingly. XXX: this needs to be adapted for nine


buildbot_travis package comes with a bbtravis command line utility.

This utility is useful to test travis.yml locally without pushing it to the CI. It allows to test either the travis.yml and the docker image used to run the workers. It allows to run only the part of the matrix that you are working on


bbtravis run -d tardyp/metabbotcfg  -j8 TESTS=trial TWISTED=latest

This will run the resulting tests in parallel using docker image tagged tardyp/metabbotcfg and will filter only the matrix environment with TESTS==’trial’ and TWISTED==’latest’

UI is using urwid console UI framework, and will split the terminal into several terminal showing each matrix run. You can scroll using mouse wheel, and click to zoom and get more details.


This special branch is the nine port of buildbot_travis. Compared to previous version following features are not yet available

  • Custom MailNotifier needs to be adapted for nine data api, in order to get the .travis.yml configuration

  • mergerequest should be adapted to the new collapseRequest api

  • SVN shall be validated (only git has been tested so far)

  • metrics facility is not really specific to travis, and should be available in buildbot master directly

  • nextBuild feature shall be reimplemented: allowed to avoid running a spawner when no ‘-job’ slave is available

Compared to original Travis format, here is a non-exaustive list of features known not to be supported

  • after_success, after_failure. Not implemented, but easy to add.

  • deploy. Deployment step would have to happen after all the matrix subbuilds are succeed

And configure your hyper keys in the default hyper worker You should also configure an authentication plugin in order to protect those keys.

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