Jenkins+FreeBSD handbooks

Marin Atanasov Nikolov dnaeon at
Mon Aug 6 18:02:27 UTC 2012

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 3:43 PM, Tilman Keskinöz <arved at> wrote:
> * Marin Atanasov Nikolov [Mon, 6 Aug 2012 13:40:52 +0300]:
>>> Redports is a public compile testing environment for FreeBSD ports. So like
>>> Ports Tinderbox but with a nice multiuser GUI, cluster functionality for
>>> scaling and an own Subversion tree for the users to commit their ports to.
>>> Before I decided to write the code myself I had a closer look at Bitten and
>>> Jenkins. Both could be made into what redports is now but they all have
>>> their weak spots. Jenkins GUI looks very cluttered and is quite hard to
>>> understand if you just want to manually schedule a few new jobs for your
>>> ports as Joe Average. It's also quite hard to understand and complex as a
>>> developer and administrator so I was concerned that fixing it if it breaks is
>>> non trivial. Not to talk about all the special customizations that we need
>>> which would require me to write extensions in Java and understand how
>>> all that jenkins internals work.
>> Like any other system Jenkins has it's own learning curve as well, but
>> once you get to know it,
>> you see how intuitive it is to use the system.
>> I agree with you on the Java stuff. That's the one thing I don't like
>> about Jenkins being Java..
>> But I can tell from my experience with it so far, that I haven't had
>> any issues with it, e.g. breaking and spending lots of time figuring
>> out how to fix it. Maybe one day I will, but so far I'm quite happy
>> with it :)
>>>> Jenkins comes with lots of ready-to-use plugins as well, which makes
>>>> it easier to integrate a particular thing easier as well and not
>>>> re-invent the wheel.

Hi Tilman,

> I am surprised you haven't run into any plugin incompatibilities.

So far not. I always try to keep my Jenkins and plugins to the latest
versions and so far didn't have any issues. If a newer version of a
plugin appears to be broken then just downgrading it solves the issue,
but such issues are noticed quickly.

> We use Jenkins at work and have frequently hard to debug issues with
> plugins being incompatible with certain jenkins versions or with other
> plugins.
> Sometimes a broken plugin manages to take down the whole Jenkins,
> sometimes there are just random Java backtraces causing build failures
> in projects.

We use Jenkins at work quite extensively as well for quite some time already.

The only major failure with Jenkins I had by this moment is when a
Jenkins instance went out of memory, but the problem itself was that
Jenkins was running on an old machine with very low resources.
Migrating it to a more recent system with enough memory solved the

We run Jenkins under a Debian GNU/Linux and FreeBSD systems.

> IMHO the whole Jenkins architecture is way too fragile to be used for
> large projects like FreeBSD.

I have to say that we use Jenkins in some very critical parts of our
infrastructure and it's been doing well so far.

Jenkins like almost every system has it's weak and strong spots and
maybe you had a different experience with it than I did.

Thank you for the feedback Tilman :)

Best regards,


Marin Atanasov Nikolov

dnaeon AT gmail DOT com
daemon AT unix-heaven DOT org

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