[Buildbot-devel] Comparing Buildbot with Jenkins: ease of setup issues

Dmitry Nezhevenko dion at dion.org.ua
Sat Jul 14 21:11:00 UTC 2012

On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:50:06AM -0500, Dustin J. Mitchell wrote:
> * Ideas for config UIs come up periodically.  These could be
> implemented by writing config to new db tables, and then loading that
> config in master.cfg.
> * http://trac.buildbot.net/ticket/2218 describes declarative config,
> addressing some of the problems with the Python-as-config paradigm.
> * Development of the Buildbot tutorial was a good step in setting up a
> more gentle on-ramp to Buildbot.
> Keep in mind that the web config is not the single distinguishing
> factor -- in fact, it quickly becomes one of Jenkins' limitations, at
> least for UNIX people who are accustomed to text-file configurations.

+1 here. We've migrated from Hudson (previous name of Jenkins) to
buildbot. One of limitation of Jenkins is a configuration management. When
there are a lot of almost identical jobs, it's too annoying to apple some
small change for all of them by clicking to web interface. Sometimes it
was a bit easier to shutdown master and just write some script that will
modify configuration files, but they are undocumented... 

> It's also worth noting that Buildbot and Jenkins are not "competitors"
> - this is open source, and an ecosystem with two significant projects
> at different points on the usability and flexibility scales is a
> *good* thing.  

Currently Hudson/Jenkins is definitely much easier to get started. Because
it's just possible to do so without even trying to read some
documentation. Here are a few other points where Jenkins is much easier:

- Easy to setup slave nodes. Sometimes it's even enough to start slave
  node by visiting special page in browser (special "Java WebStart" app
  will be launched that will execute builds). Jenkins is able to install
  Win-based nodes by installing required stuff remotely. There is no need
  to login to machine at all. It's also able to start *nix nodes by just
  entering ssh login/pass to master. Everything else will be done

- Easy way to add builders/jobs. It's true only for "simple" very simple
  common cases.

- Some "fancy" Web UI stuff. It's easy to setup Jenkins to draw some cool
  graphs like amount of warnings, etc. 

- Ability to change everything without restarts.

But in a long term buildbot is more powerful tool (if considered not as
ready-to-use CI system, but as framework). It's much easier to implement
something non-trivial with buildbot. Also buildbot is MUCH more stable (at
least it was 1.5 years ago, comparing to Hudson). 

WBR, Dmitry
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