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Travis – a distributed build system

Travis is an attempt to create an open-source, distributed build system for the Ruby community that:

1. allows open-source projects to register their repository and have their test-suites run on demand
2. allows users to contribute build capacities by connecting a VM that runs a build agent somewhere on their underused servers


User Documentation

Developer Documentation

Other sources


Travis consists of four main parts:

  • A Backbone.js single-page application that runs client side.
  • A Rails 3 application that serves to the in-browser application and takes pings from Github.
  • A Resque worker for running a project’s test suite remotely.
  • A websocket server (we use Pusher) for tailing build results to the browser.

You can also watch this (quite old, but still valid) screencast to get an idea: 1:20 quick demo screencast


With Travis CI our vision is to become for builds (i.e. tests, for starters) what is for gems.

Our goal is to build a rock solid, but dead-easy to use open-source continuous integration service for the Ruby community.

We try to follow the 80/20 for requirements. I.e. we focus on the most common use cases for testing Ruby Gems.

Travis CI does not currently support closed in-house installations, although we know of people working on this. Ask on the IRC channel for more information.

Running the tests

Integration tests are implemented using Jasmine and can be run in the browser:

$ RAILS_ENV=jasmine rake db:migrate db:seed
$ rails s thin -e jasmine
$ open http://localhost:3000

To run the whole test suite simply do:

$ rake spec


Setup is pretty easy. You need to execute 3 commands:

$ bundle
$ rake travis:setup
$ foreman start

Application is now up & running on http://localhost:5000

Design Iterations

First spike

My first spike was using Nanite for running workers.


  • Ruby 1.8.7 or Ruby 1.9.2 (Ruby 1.9.1 is not supported)
  • PostgreSQL for the pg gem