Jenkins is an extensible framework, which can be applied to many areas
including embedded software and even hardware development. With proper
configuration, Jenkins can be operated with hardware peripherals attached to
build agents to accelerate development of all kinds of embedded use-cases.
This page provides a brief overview of using Jenkins for automation with
embedded and hardware projects.
Jenkins has plugins for integration with common tools such as GCC, Microsoft
Visual Studio, etc. Currently there are not domain-specific embedded
development or electronic design automation tool integrations. Jenkins can
however integrate with practically any tool which can provide a command-line
interface via its shell/batch scripting integration.
These command line tools can be invoked directly, assuming the build agent
being used has the appropriate environment set up. To help configure the
environments, a few of the following approaches can be considered:
Machine-specific variables (e.g.
LM_LICENSE_FILE or port specifications for
peripherals) can be configured in Agent configuration in the Environment
Variables section. Once the variable is modified, the build agent should be
In order to integrate setup the tool environment, consider
Custom Tools Plugin.
EnvInject Plugin allows to setup custom environments at the job level.
Working with FPGA boards and hardware peripherals
Interaction with FPGA boards can be done via CLI tools as well. Care must be
taken in configuring Jenkins to prevent conflicts between parallel builds
attempting to access the same shared external peripherals at the same time.
There are a few plugins which can help manage concurrent peripherals access
such as the:
Working with computing grids
Jenkins has a limited support of computing grids, ideally for highly
parallelized tests and builds it would be useful to provision Jenkins agents
from computing grids
There is a
Plugin for LSF, but for other
grids there is no open source plugins currently available.
As a workaround, Jenkins jobs can invoke CLI tools in order to utilize
computing grid resources. Builds from such jobs should be able submit task
on computing grids, wait until their completion and then collect the
Such jobs can be implemented, but due to double scheduling there are many
potential issues with stability of the instances (e.g. runaway grid tasks if
Jenkins server shuts down during the build). Currently these issues must be
handled by the job itself.
Publishing reports in custom formats
Jenkins does not have specific plugins for parsing reports from many tools.
In such case the general recommendation is to convert the reports to formats
supported by exising Jenkins plugins.
For tools which generate some form of XML-based reports, formatting of those
reports can be implemented with an XSLT converter. Consider the following plugins for incorporating generated reports into Jenkins:
Presentation by Oleg Nenashev at Jenkins User Conference 2015 in London.
Presentation by Robert Martin at Jenkins User Conference 2014 in Berlin.