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Introduction

Many Jenkins plugins add builders or post-build actions (collectively, build steps) for use in freestyle and similar projects. (Jenkins core also adds a few of these, though most have been split off into their own plugins or could be split off.)

In many cases these build steps would be valuable to use from Pipelines, but it would be overkill to define a separate Pipeline-only step. Therefore selected build steps can be called directly from Pipelines.

Syntax

As an example, you can write a Pipeline script:

node {
    sh 'make something'
    step([$class: 'ArtifactArchiver', artifacts: 'something'])
}

Here we are running the standard Archive the artifacts post-build action (hudson.tasks.ArtifactArchiver), and configuring the Files to archive property (artifacts) to archive our file something produced in an earlier step. The easiest way to see what class and field names to use is to use the Snippet Generator feature in the Pipeline configuration page.

See the compatibility list for the list of currently supported steps.

Simplified syntax

Build steps and post-build actions in Jenkins core as of 2.2, and in some plugins according to their individual changelogs, have defined symbols which allow for a more concise syntax. Snippet Generator will offer this when available. For example, the above script may also be written:

node {
    sh 'make something'
    archiveArtifacts 'something'
}

Interacting with build status

Builders generally have a simple mode of operation: they run, and either pass or fail. So you can call these at any point in your pipeline.

Post-build actions (also known as publishers) are divided into two classes:

  • Recorders like the JUnit publisher add something to the build, and might affect its status.
  • Notifiers like the mailer cannot affect the build’s status, though they may behave differently depending on its status.

When a recorder is run from a pipeline, it might set the build’s status (for example to unstable), but otherwise is likely to work intuitively. Running a notifier is trickier since normally a pipeline in progress has no status yet, unlike a freestyle project whose status is determined before the notifier is called. To help interoperate better with these, you can use the catchError step, or manually set a build status using currentBuild.result. See the help for the catchError step for examples.

Plain catch blocks

Some important publishers also have dedicated Pipeline steps, so that you can use a more flexible idiom. For example, mail lets you unconditionally send mail of your choice:

node {
    try {
        sh 'might fail'
        mail subject: 'all well', to: 'admin@somewhere', body: 'All well.'
    } catch (e) {
        def w = new StringWriter()
        e.printStackTrace(new PrintWriter(w))
        mail subject: "failed with ${e.message}", to: 'admin@somewhere', body: "Failed: ${w}"
        throw e
    }
}

though this would not automatically adjust the message according to the status of previous builds as the standard mail notifier does. For that, check if currentBuild.previousBuild exists, what its .result is, etc.

The Pipeline Model Definition plugin (“Declarative Pipeline”) has a built-in construct for running selected publishers under certain conditions.

Build wrappers

The wrap step may be used to run a build wrapper defined originally for freestyle projects. In a Pipeline, any block of code (inside node) may be wrapped in this way, not necessarily the whole build.

For example, the Xvnc plugin allows a headless build server to run GUI tests by allocating an in-memory-only X11 display. To use this plugin from a Pipeline, assuming a version with the appropriate update:

node('linux') {
  wrap([$class: 'Xvnc', useXauthority: true]) {
    // here $DISPLAY is set to :11 or similar, and $XAUTHORITY too
    sh 'make selenium-tests' // or whatever
  }
  // now the display is torn down and the environment variables gone
}

Adding support from plugins

See the compatibility guide.