Configuring builds

Now we have our repository in ToxicBuild, lets create the build configuration. The build configuration stays in a file called toxicbuild.yml in the root directory of your repository.

Builds are simply a sequence of shell commands, called steps in ToxicBuild, that are executed sequencially. The builds are carried by builders. The build config is based in these steps and builders.

When a change is detected in the source code new builds will be created for the builders that will execute the steps.

So, let’s say you have build process consisting in two steps: make and make test. To have this executed by ToxicBuild we create a builder with these two steps. This config must be in a file called toxicbuild.yml in the root directory of your code:

# You must have a list of builders
  # Our builder will be called `My Builder`
  - name: My Builder
    # and will execute two steps
      - make
      - make test

And it is done! Commit and push this config to your repository and ToxicBuild will execute this steps when a change is detected in the source code.


If you want some specific change in the repository doesn’t trigger any builds, you can use the instruction ci: skip in the body of the commit.

These are the most basic configuration for a build, but the following parameters may be used in your builds:

Builder parameters

The following parameters may be used for a builder:

  • branches: A list containing the branches that trigger this builder. If no branches, all branches will trigger the builder. You may use wildcards here.
  • envvars: A dictionary in the form VAR: VALUE for environment variables to be used in all steps in this builder.
  • plugins: A list of plugins configurations that will be used in the builder.


  - name: My Builder

    # a list of branches that may trigger builds. If no branches, all
    # branches in the repository will be allowed to trigger builds.
    # You can use wildcars to specify the branches.
      - master
      - feature-*
      - bug-*

      # You can use interpolation in environment variables
      PATH: /some/dir:PATH
      OTHER: some-value
      # environment variables must always be strings.
      A_VAR: '10'

      - name: apt-install
          - build-essential



See Plugins for information about plugins

Step parameters

We saw steps configuration as a string that is a shell command, but we can configure steps with a few extra parameters. To do so, configure the step as a dictionary.




  # The can give a descriptive name for the step and the name will
  # be shown in the waterfall.
  - command: make
    name: Build the project

  # We can also give a timeout for the step. The timeout counts for how
  # long a step keeps running without sending any data to the output.
  - command: make test
    name: Test the whole stuff
    timeout: 300  # seconds

The following are the options accepted by the step:

  • stop_on_fail: If true, the build will halt if the step fails.
  • warning_on_fail: If true the build status will be marked as warning if the command fails (exits with a status different than 0).
  • timeout: How many seconds we should wait for the step complete. The default is 3600 seconds (one hour).


Plugins may add steps before and/or after your own steps. At the moment we have only two plugins. They are:

Python virtualenv plugin

A very common way of installing python packages is installing it inside a vitualenv using pip. This plugin enables you test your python programs inside a virutalenv and install de python dependencies usig pip.

The basic configuration of this plugin is as follows:

   - name: python-venv
     pyversion: python3.5

# your builder config
  - name: My Builder

  - plugins:
    - <<: *PY_ENV_PLUGIN


This will include two steps before your steps: First will create a virtualenv using python3.5 and then will install the dependencies using pip.


This plugin uses the external programs virtualenv and pip. You must have these installed in the slave system.

Python virtualenv parameters

The following params may be used with this plugin:

  • requirements_file: File that contais a list of dependencies to install with pip. The default is requirements.txt.
  • remove_env: Indicates if the virtualenv will be removed after are executed. Default is False.

Apt install plugin

This plugins installs a list of packages in a debian system using the apt-get command.

  - name: apt-install
      - build-essential
      - python3.6-dev


This plugin use the external program sudo. You must have this installed in the slave system.


This is a plugin that uses the APT package system, thus can only be used in debian (or debian-based) systems.

Now we have some configuration for builds and we have commited and pushed the configuration we can see the progress of the builds in the waterfall.