oVirt Jenkins Server

jenkins.ovirt.org is a VM running in the Production cluster of the PHX data center. It serves as the project's main CI server.


ovirt.org zone has a CNAME record jenkins.ovirt.org pointing to jenkins.phx.ovirt.org

HTTP Server

The Jenkins application is running behind Apache web server which acts as a reverse proxy.


Apache serves content via both HTTP and HTTPS. The certificate is provided automatically using Puppet and Let's Encrypt based on FQDNs in hieradata/hosts/ directory.


The VM has a secondary block device connected which has no partitions and is configured under a LVM group. The device is mounted at /var/lib/data and formatted as XFS filesystem. Jenkins itself is installed on /var/lib/data/jenkins which means that all of Jenkins data is on that device. In order to increase the mount size, first increase the device(/dev/vdb) size in ovirt engine-ui and execute:

pvresize /dev/vdb

lvextend /dev/mapper/jenkins_lvm-data -LxxxxG
xfs_growfs /dev/mapper/jenkins_lvm-data

or instead of the above 2 commands use -r option:

lvextend -r /dev/mapper/jenkins_lvm-data -LxxxxG


The VM is controlled by Puppet, this includes the installation and configuration of: Apache, Jenkins, Jenkins plugins and packages dependencies. What isn't configured by Puppet is: Global Jenkins configuration, credentials and Jenkins users.

The puppet code can be found in git://gerrit.ovirt.org/infra-puppet.git under site/ovirt_jenkins directory. As jenkins.ovirt.org is part of the production Foreman environment, all code is in the respective branch of this git repo. Other branches are used for test environments.

Installing or upgrading plugins

Installation wise there are 2 types of plugins: 1. 'Regular' plugins 2. Bundled plugins - those plugins come pre-installed with Jenkins. Thier .hpi archive file is included in jenkins.war. If 'pinned' option is not used, on each Jenkins restart the bundled version will take over. Most errors we had after upgrades, were due to bundled plugins.

Do not install plugins via the GUI, the list of installed plugins is found in infra-puppet.git/heiradata/common.yaml file:

    version: '1.1.1'
    version: '1.55.0'
    version: '1.2.0'

When puppet runs it verifies these versions are found under /var/lib/data/jenkins/plugins, if a different version is found, it will download the correct version and restart Jenkins. This restart is not graceful(done immediately)

All plugins are 'pinned' by default, this ensures that the versions are managed via Puppet. Although this is automated the recommended way to see the new plugins were installed properly is: 1. Disable puppet on jenkins.ovirt.org(pkill puppet should be enough) 2. Merge the patch 3. SSH to jenkins.ovirt.org and run: puppet agent --test --trace, you should see something similar to:

    Notice: /Stage[main]/Ovirt_jenkins/Jenkins::Plugin[workflow-multibranch]/File[/var/lib/data/jenkins/plugins/workflow-multibranch.hpi.pinned]/ensure: created
    Info: /Stage[main]/Ovirt_jenkins/Jenkins::Plugin[workflow-multibranch]/File[/var/lib/data/jenkins/plugins/workflow-multibranch.hpi.pinned]: Scheduling refresh of Service[jenkins]
  1. Watch /var/log/jenkins/jenkins.log if any new exceptions were introduced by the plugin.

Take into account that puppet does not resolve dependencies between plugins, so before installing a new plugin check in its official page which other plugins it requires.

Jenkins upgrade checklist

Update staging instance


Verify the latest LTS core version at https://jenkins.io/changelog-stable/ If it is a minor version of the same X.Y release, then likely it's just a bugfix with a reduced (but existing) chance of breaking changes. The version can be used in the next step to update the hiera YAML


SSH to jenkins-staging and stop puppet there

$ ssh jenkins-staging.phx.ovirt.org
$ sudo su -
# systemctl stop puppet

Log in to the jenkins-staging web UI and update/install desired plugins:

Staging Jenkins plugin manager

Run "Check now" to update the update list (select "All" at the bottomto apply all available updates) and press "Download now and install after restart"

When the update window appears, click "Restart Jenkins when installation is complete and no jobs are running" at the very bottom and wait till it restarts

Log back in and go to the script console:

Staging Jenkins script console

Run the following groovy script to get installed plugins in a format suitable for updating the YAML file later:

  plugin ->
    println ("  '${plugin.getShortName()}':")
    println ("    version: '${plugin.getVersion()}'")

Hiera YAML

With this data on hand, the YAML file usea test patch can be created by manually editing the hiera file: Puppet configures Jenkins based on the contents of hieradata/common.yaml To test the changes, first update this file in a test environment. Currently jenkins-staging is part of the ederevea test environment and its hiera file can be edited manually on foreman.ovirt.org:


Update ovirt_jenkins::jenkins_ver with the latest LTS version and replace ovirt_jenkins::plugins with the list of plugins generated by the groovy script in the previous step.

Save the file and run puppet on jenkins-staging to apply it. This will restart jenkins once again with the new core version.

# puppet agent -t

Verify the output of this command for errors and make changes if necessary.

Test the features

After jenkins comes up, verify that slaves are connected successfully and perform the following tests to ensure that important components are working:

Go to github and trigger the webhook by commenting "ci test please" here:

GitHub staging project PR page

Check that this started Jenkins jobs and verify they ran successfully.

Go to gerrit-staging and trigger jobs by commenting "ci test please" here:

Staging gerrit patch

Check that this started Jenkins jobs and verify they ran successfully.

Submit the patch

If all tests run fine, submit the patch to the production branch of the infra-puppet repo:

infra-puppet on Gerrit

If tests were done manually, create the patch by cloning the above repo. Replace hieradata/common.yaml with the one created on Foreman and submit the resulting commit for review. After submitting verify the diff carefully. If new plugins are introduced by the change, check if they were installed as dependencies by other plugins:

Staging Jenkins plugin manager

Plugins installed as dependencies will have the "uninstall" button greyed out and dependent plugins can be identified by hovering over this button.

If this is not the case the plugin was likely installed manually. Sync with other team members on whether there is need for it in Production. Otherwise remove such plugins from the patch to keep production clean.

After the content of the update patch is verified ensure the CI passed and put it up for review (CI+1, Verified+1, Workflow+1).

Production upgrade process

Once new plugin versions are verified to work the upgrade can be scheduled. Things to consider * Prefer updating outside EMEA working hours. * Avoid weekends, first half of the week works best. * Sync with maintainters to avoid clashing with release dates.

When the change window is approaching, SSH to the production Jenkins and stop puppet on it:

$ ssh jenkins.ovirt.org
$ sudo su -
# systemctl stop puppet

Merge the patch in Gerrit and wait for the system-update-puppet job to complete.

Send a notification e-mail to inform about the planned outage:

To: infra list
CC: devel list
Subject: planned Jenkins restart
I will be performing a planned Jenkins restart within the next hour.
No new jobs will be scheduled during this maintenance period.
I will inform you once it is over.

Log in to Jenkins UI and switch it into the "prepare for shutdown" mode:

Production Jenkins configuration

This ensures no new builds are started before jenkins restarts.

Log in to Nagios and disable notifications for the jenkins host and its services:

Nagios: disable notifications

Wait for the jobs to complete (this may take time). For ones that are stuck for some reason - write them down and kill them forcefully. Note that all jobs in the build queue will be lost at restart. Any time-based jobs can be ignored: they will be triggered again by the timer.

If a system reboot is needed, this is the time for it. Otherwise skip this paragraph. Disable puppet and jenkins via systemctl, run yum update and reboot the system. Ensure this update is tested on staging first!

Once no jobs are running, run puppet from the SSH session and monitor progress:

# puppet agent -t

When the run is complete, Jenkins will be restarted by puppet. It may take up to 15 minutes for the UI to become available. Until that, monitor the log for signs of normal operation: * nodes coming online * webhooks being created * gerrit polling starting

# tail -f /var/log/jenkins/jenkins.log

As soon as the UI is back up verify that login is possible, slaves are online and jobs are defined.

To double-check, re-run the puppet agent. It should NOT change anything and NOT restart jenkins. If this happens there may be something wrong, refer to the troubleshooting paragraph.

Wrap up the maintenance by re-enabling notifications in Nagios:

Nagios: enable notifications

Also, send a follow-up e-mail to inform about completion:

Subject: Re: planned Jenkins restart
Maintenance completed, Jenkins back up and running.
<mention related changes and Jira ticket if needed>

If you see any issues please report them to Jira.


If something goes wrong during the upgrade, first of all re-run puppet as sometimes it fails due to network timeouts:

# puppet agent -t

If this does not help stop puppet to stop it from overwriting manual edits.

# systemctl stop puppet

Inspect /var/log/jenkins/jenkins.log to identify the possible root cause. Ensure plugins are not turned off due to unmet dependencies. Use the UI to install plugins manually. It can also be used to upgrade/downgrade plugins. Note that puppet does not delete plugins when they are removed from the YAML so removal is performed manually by deleting plugin files.

If Jenkins does not start at all, verify /etc/sysconfig/jenkins for errors/typos especially the JENKINS_JAVA_OPTIONS string.

Setting up a new test instance

  1. Create a new VM in foreman
  2. Setup a new puppet testing environment following this.
  3. Move your new VM to that testing environment.
  4. Attach ovirt_jenkins Puppet class to the VM(in foreman).
  5. Push your changes of common.yaml into the testing branch you created.
  6. Run puppet and iterate as needed.


Currently we have 2 types of monitoring, 1. Nagios alerts -

  1. Quantitative monitoring using Graphite and Grafana - These metrics are collected using a daemon that samples Jenkins every few seconds.