Buildbot no longer supports Python 2.7 on the Buildbot master.

1.1. First Run

1.1.1. Goal

This tutorial will take you from zero to running your first buildbot master and worker as quickly as possible, without changing the default configuration.

This tutorial is all about instant gratification and the five minute experience: in five minutes we want to convince you that this project works, and that you should seriously consider spending time learning the system. In this tutorial no configuration or code changes are done.

This tutorial assumes that you are running Unix, but might be adaptable to Windows.

Thanks to virtualenv, installing buildbot in a standalone environment is very easy. For those more familiar with Docker, there also exists a docker version of these instructions.

You should be able to cut and paste each shell block from this tutorial directly into a terminal.

1.1.2. Simple introduction to BuildBot

Before trying to run BuildBot it’s helpful to know what BuildBot is.

BuildBot is a continuous integration framework written in Python. It consists of a master daemon and potentially many worker daemons that usually run on other machines. The master daemon runs a web server that allows the end user to start new builds and to control the behaviour of the BuildBot instance. The master also distributes builds to the workers. The worker daemons connect to the master daemon and execute builds whenever master tells them to do so.

In this tutorial we will run a single master and a single worker on the same machine.

A more throughout explanation can be found in the manual section of the Buildbot documentation.

1.1.3. Getting ready

There are many ways to get the code on your machine. We will use the easiest one: via pip in a virtualenv. It has the advantage of not polluting your operating system, as everything will be contained in the virtualenv.

To make this work, you will need the following installed:

Preferably, use your distribution package manager to install these.

You will also need a working Internet connection, as virtualenv and pip will need to download other projects from the Internet. The master and builder daemons will need to be able to connect to via HTTPS to fetch the repo we’re testing; if you need to use a proxy for this ensure that either the HTTPS_PROXY or ALL_PROXY environment variable is set to your proxy, e.g., by executing export HTTPS_PROXY=http://localhost:9080 in the shell before starting each daemon.


Buildbot does not require root access. Run the commands in this tutorial as a normal, unprivileged user.

1.1.4. Creating a master

The first necessary step is to create a virtualenv for our master. We will also use a separate directory to demonstrate the distinction between a master and worker:

mkdir -p ~/tmp/bb-master
cd ~/tmp/bb-master

On Python 3:

python3 -m venv sandbox
source sandbox/bin/activate

Next, we need to install several build dependencies to make sure we can install buildbot and its supporting packages. These build dependencies are:

  • GCC build tools (gcc for RHEL/CentOS/Fedora based distributions, or build-essential for Ubuntu/Debian based distributions).

  • Python development library (python3-devel for RHEL/CentOS/Fedora based distributions, or python3-dev for Ubuntu/Debian based distributions).

  • OpenSSL development library (openssl-devel for RHEL/CentOS/Fedora based distributions, or libssl-dev for Ubuntu/Debian based distributions).

  • libffi development library (libffi-devel for RHEL/CentOS/Fedora based distributions, or libffi-dev for Ubuntu/Debian based distributions).

Install these build dependencies:

# if in Ubuntu/Debian based distributions:
sudo apt-get install build-essential python3-dev libssl-dev libffi-dev

# if in RHEL/CentOS/Fedora based distributions:
sudo yum install gcc python3-devel openssl-devel libffi-devel

or refer to your distribution’s documentation on how to install these packages.

Now that we are ready, we need to install buildbot:

pip install --upgrade pip
pip install 'buildbot[bundle]'

Now that buildbot is installed, it’s time to create the master:

buildbot create-master master

Buildbot’s activity is controlled by a configuration file. Buildbot by default uses configuration from file at master.cfg. Buildbot comes with a sample configuration file named master.cfg.sample. We will use the sample configuration file unchanged:

mv master/master.cfg.sample master/master.cfg

Finally, start the master:

buildbot start master

You will now see some log information from the master in this terminal. It should end with lines like these:

2014-11-01 15:52:55+0100 [-] BuildMaster is running
The buildmaster appears to have (re)started correctly.

From now on, feel free to visit the web status page running on the port 8010: http://localhost:8010/

Our master now needs (at least) a worker to execute its commands. For that, head on to the next section!

1.1.5. Creating a worker

The worker will be executing the commands sent by the master. In this tutorial, we are using the buildbot/hello-world project as an example. As a consequence of this, your worker will need access to the git command in order to checkout some code. Be sure that it is installed, or the builds will fail.

Same as we did for our master, we will create a virtualenv for our worker next to the other one. It would however be completely ok to do this on another computer - as long as the worker computer is able to connect to the master one:

mkdir -p ~/tmp/bb-worker
cd ~/tmp/bb-worker

On Python 2:

virtualenv sandbox
source sandbox/bin/activate

On Python 3:

python3 -m venv sandbox
source sandbox/bin/activate

Install the buildbot-worker command:

pip install --upgrade pip
pip install buildbot-worker
# required for `runtests` build
pip install setuptools-trial

Now, create the worker:

buildbot-worker create-worker worker localhost example-worker pass


If you decided to create this from another computer, you should replace localhost with the name of the computer where your master is running.

The username (example-worker), and password (pass) should be the same as those in master/master.cfg; verify this is the case by looking at the section for c['workers']:

cat ../bb-master/master/master.cfg

And finally, start the worker:

buildbot-worker start worker

Check the worker’s output. It should end with lines like these:

2014-11-01 15:56:51+0100 [-] Connecting to localhost:9989
2014-11-01 15:56:51+0100 [Broker,client] message from master: attached
The worker appears to have (re)started correctly.

Meanwhile, from the other terminal, in the master log (twisted.log in the master directory), you should see lines like these:

2014-11-01 15:56:51+0100 [Broker,1,] worker 'example-worker' attaching from
IPv4Address(TCP, '', 54015)
2014-11-01 15:56:51+0100 [Broker,1,] Got workerinfo from 'example-worker'
2014-11-01 15:56:51+0100 [-] bot attached

You should now be able to go to http://localhost:8010, where you will see a web page similar to:

index page

Click on “Builds” at the left to open the submenu and then Builders to see that the worker you just started (identified by the green bubble) has connected to the master:

builder runtests is active.

Your master is now quietly waiting for new commits to hello-world. This doesn’t happen very often though. In the next section, we’ll see how to manually start a build.

We just wanted to get you to dip your toes in the water. It’s easy to take your first steps, but this is about as far as we can go without touching the configuration.

You’ve got a taste now, but you’re probably curious for more. Let’s step it up a little in the second tutorial by changing the configuration and doing an actual build. Continue on to A Quick Tour.