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4.8.8 Try Schedulers

This scheduler allows developers to use the buildbot try command to trigger builds of code they have not yet committed. See try for complete details.

Two implementations are available: Try_Jobdir and Try_Userpass. The former monitors a job directory, specified by the jobdir parameter, while the latter listens for PB connections on a specific port, and authenticates against userport.

The buildmaster must have a scheduler instance in the config file's c['schedulers'] list to receive try requests. This lets the administrator control who may initiate these “trial” builds, which branches are eligible for trial builds, and which Builders should be used for them.

The scheduler has various means to accept build requests. All of them enforce more security than the usual buildmaster ports do. Any source code being built can be used to compromise the buildslave accounts, but in general that code must be checked out from the VC repository first, so only people with commit privileges can get control of the buildslaves. The usual force-build control channels can waste buildslave time but do not allow arbitrary commands to be executed by people who don't have those commit privileges. However, the source code patch that is provided with the trial build does not have to go through the VC system first, so it is important to make sure these builds cannot be abused by a non-committer to acquire as much control over the buildslaves as a committer has. Ideally, only developers who have commit access to the VC repository would be able to start trial builds, but unfortunately the buildmaster does not, in general, have access to VC system's user list.

As a result, the try scheduler requires a bit more configuration. There are currently two ways to set this up:

jobdir (ssh)
This approach creates a command queue directory, called the “jobdir”, in the buildmaster's working directory. The buildmaster admin sets the ownership and permissions of this directory to only grant write access to the desired set of developers, all of whom must have accounts on the machine. The buildbot try command creates a special file containing the source stamp information and drops it in the jobdir, just like a standard maildir. When the buildmaster notices the new file, it unpacks the information inside and starts the builds.

The config file entries used by 'buildbot try' either specify a local queuedir (for which write and mv are used) or a remote one (using scp and ssh).

The advantage of this scheme is that it is quite secure, the disadvantage is that it requires fiddling outside the buildmaster config (to set the permissions on the jobdir correctly). If the buildmaster machine happens to also house the VC repository, then it can be fairly easy to keep the VC userlist in sync with the trial-build userlist. If they are on different machines, this will be much more of a hassle. It may also involve granting developer accounts on a machine that would not otherwise require them.

To implement this, the buildslave invokes 'ssh -l username host buildbot tryserver ARGS', passing the patch contents over stdin. The arguments must include the inlet directory and the revision information.

user+password (PB)
In this approach, each developer gets a username/password pair, which are all listed in the buildmaster's configuration file. When the developer runs buildbot try, their machine connects to the buildmaster via PB and authenticates themselves using that username and password, then sends a PB command to start the trial build.

The advantage of this scheme is that the entire configuration is performed inside the buildmaster's config file. The disadvantages are that it is less secure (while the “cred” authentication system does not expose the password in plaintext over the wire, it does not offer most of the other security properties that SSH does). In addition, the buildmaster admin is responsible for maintaining the username/password list, adding and deleting entries as developers come and go.

For example, to set up the “jobdir” style of trial build, using a command queue directory of MASTERDIR/jobdir (and assuming that all your project developers were members of the developers unix group), you would first set up that directory:

     mkdir -p MASTERDIR/jobdir MASTERDIR/jobdir/new MASTERDIR/jobdir/cur MASTERDIR/jobdir/tmp
     chgrp developers MASTERDIR/jobdir MASTERDIR/jobdir/*
     chmod g+rwx,o-rwx MASTERDIR/jobdir MASTERDIR/jobdir/*

and then use the following scheduler in the buildmaster's config file:

     from buildbot.schedulers.trysched import Try_Jobdir
     s = Try_Jobdir(name="try1",
                    builderNames=["full-linux", "full-netbsd", "full-OSX"],
     c['schedulers'] = [s]

Note that you must create the jobdir before telling the buildmaster to use this configuration, otherwise you will get an error. Also remember that the buildmaster must be able to read and write to the jobdir as well. Be sure to watch the twistd.log file (see Logfiles) as you start using the jobdir, to make sure the buildmaster is happy with it.

To use the username/password form of authentication, create a Try_Userpass instance instead. It takes the same builderNames argument as the Try_Jobdir form, but accepts an addtional port argument (to specify the TCP port to listen on) and a userpass list of username/password pairs to accept. Remember to use good passwords for this: the security of the buildslave accounts depends upon it:

     from buildbot.schedulers.trysched import Try_Userpass
     s = Try_Userpass(name="try2",
                      builderNames=["full-linux", "full-netbsd", "full-OSX"],
                      userpass=[("alice","pw1"), ("bob", "pw2")] )
     c['schedulers'] = [s]

Like most places in the buildbot, the port argument takes a strports specification. See twisted.application.strports for details.