[Buildbot-devel] Starting slaves on demand?

Axel Hecht l10n.moz at googlemail.com
Sun Dec 7 12:29:05 UTC 2008

I don't think that this is within the design of buildbot. The infrastructure
that buildbot uses to dispatch work onto a slave is that the buildbot slave
is running there.

Anything else seems to be out of scope.

For the pipol use-case, I'd suggest to have a builder that runs on a
priviledged slave (maybe the same machine as the master) that goes through
the steps of reserving and booting, and then triggers a dependent scheduler
once the relevant slave is up.

How that could be done depends largely on pipol and their setup. But it
should be possible to code master-side steps at least to wait for a
particularly named slave to connect, for example.

In a similar fashion, you should be able to code up a builder that shuts
down a pipol-hosted slave.

What that doesn't do, and what I had on my wishlist for buildbot, is to
actually have a backbone in buildbot to gracefully drop a slave. That be
great to have for many purposed, in particular my use case would be that I'd
like to be able to do rolling blackouts on slaves to do system maintainance
on those.


2008/12/6 john gale <john at smadness.com>

> On Nov 12, 2008, at 3:56 PM, Bruce Stephens wrote:
> >> I'd like to setup some slaves that can be started on need from the
> >> master. The context is that I want to use the
> http://pipol.inrialpes.fr/
> >> machines to run tests, but they have to be first reserved for a while
> >> when you want to use them and then rebooted on the operating system
> >> you
> >> want to use.
> >
> > Another (perhaps more common) situation is where you have a bunch of
> > virtual machines which you can start (but don't want to be running
> > permanently).  (I guess for the VM situation you'd want to have some
> > configurable idle-times so VMs aren't bouncing just because there's
> > nothing for them to do for 30 seconds.)
> >
> > [...]
> >
> >> Did someone have an easier solution for such a situation?
> >
> > I've got no idea how to implement it, but I agree it would be a very
> > nice feature to have.
> Similarly, I'd love to see a feature of being able to sleep the build
> slaves after they're done, and wake them up before starting the next
> job.  This could be abstracted to allowing a slave to "exist" in the
> master control program even if it doesn't respond to a ping...  then a
> pre-buildStep could be a wakeup command.
> Maybe in the next few months I'll have time to help out with this.
>        ~ john
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