Pimp my buildbot !

Edit : this post is a bit deprecated, the project is now called collective.buildbot. See: http://pypi.python.org/pypi/collective.buildbot

When a project team use Test-Driven Development to build the code (everyone should), the next step is to set up automate builds, as explained in continous integration.

This is where Buildbot is great. It is easy and flexible to install, even more since Twisted has been eggified. A few easy_install steps are now sufficient to create a buildbot waterfall. Configuring a buildbot requires writing a few Python scripts though, and this has to be done everytime a project starts.

In my work, I need to be able to set buildbots in a matter of minutes, and they are always similar. They just need a buildmaster, a buildslave, and a few rules.

A first attempt to make things easier is to write a Python Paste script that generates default files. This is not very flexible though, as upgrades are still a bit tedious.

A more interesting solution is to provide zc.buildout recipes that take care of buildmaster and buildslave generation, through a very simple configuration file.

We have started this project, in order to be able to launch buildbot within a buildout.

The project has three parts:
- iw.buildbot: a thin layer on the top of Buildbot that allows to drive it with configuration files, instead of Python code. In other words, it makes buildbot configuration based on declarative configuration file and dynamic Python code, instead of declarative Python code. - iw.recipe.buildmaster: a zc.buildout recipe that creates a buildbot instance together with configuration files.

The result is that creating a buildbot is done in a few lines in the buildout.cfg file:

parts =




recipe = iw.recipe.buildmaster

project-name = Ingeniweb Public buildbot

project-url = http://ingeniweb.com

port = 8999

wport = 9000

url = http://buildbot.ingeniweb.com

slaves =

  linux_debian    xxxxx

projects =



recipe = iw.recipe.buildslave

host = localhost

port = ${buildmaster:port}

password = xxxx






build-sequence =

    python bootstrap.py


test-sequence =

    bin/test -v --exit-with-status
  • buildmaster defines the project name and url, the buildbot web port, slave port and url, and a list of slaves and projects.
  • each project has his own section, where the Subversion path is defined, as well as the build sequence and the test sequence.
  • each slave is defined in its section

From there other buildouts can be created to group packages to be tested, and to define a script that can be used for tests. For Zope applications, that would be zopectl of course, as long as it is used with --exit-with-status.

This is the case for iw.recipes: it grabs all iw.recipes.* eggs to hook them to a testrunner.

The result can be see here: http://buildbot.ingeniweb.com

The next steps are to make sure everything works fine under Windows, and see how things goes in various projects, then make it work with all kinds of VCS and schedulers.

I will probably propose a sprint task on this in Paris sprint and see if the package meets interest.