GitLab CI

Introduction

GitLab CI is a powerful Continuous Integration system integrated into GitLab.

The tasks of the CI system are configured in scripts inside the OGS source code. The entry point is defined in .gitlab-ci.yml. Scripting and versioning the configuration together with the source code is very powerful, e.g. if you introduce a new OGS CMake configuration in a merge request even the change of the CI jobs configuration or jobs environment (Docker container definition) can be part of the merge request.

GitLab Pipeline

A CI run consists of a pipeline which contains stages which in turn contain jobs. A job runs a set of instructions (e.g. checking out the source code, building the code, testing the code) on a runner.

Each pipeline run is visualized as follows: GitLab pipeline visualization

Jobs belong to a stage and each job will get a status (success, warnings, failure). Some jobs are optional (see the gear icon) and can be manually triggered by pressing the play button.

Automatic testing

The master-branch of the main repository as well as all merge requests on that repository are automatically tested. See the pipelines page.

Skip automatic testing

If you want to skip a pipeline run for a push add the -o ci.skip git push option. Example:

git push -o ci.skip

Or add [ci skip] to the commit message to skip the pipeline for this commit. Example:

git commit -m "Added feature X [ci skip]"

Or use the merge request label ci::skip.

(Temporarily) reduce pipeline run time

During work on MR you may want to reduce the pipeline run time to get feedback faster. You can use a pre-configured reduced pipeline or manually editing the pipeline configuration files.

Pre-configured reduced pipelines

These pipelines can be selected by using merge request labels:

  • ci::web only: Runs Jupyter notebook ctests only and builds the web site.
  • ci::linux only and ci::mac only and ci::win only: Runs platform specific builds only.

More MR labels affecting CI pipelines

  • ci_large for enabling large ctests in merge request pipelines. Combine with ci::linux only for faster feedback on the benchmarks.

Manually editing .gitlab-ci.yml and scripts/ci/pipelines/regular.yml

You can change the pipeline by editing the .gitlab-ci.yml and scripts/ci/jobs/*.yml files. It is good practice to mark these changes with commits starting with drop: ... in the commit message so they can be removed later easily.

These variables in .gitlab-ci.yml modify the pipeline:

  • BUILD_TESTS: Set this to false to disable unit tests.
  • BUILD_CTEST: Set this to false to disable CTest (benchmark) tests.
  • CTEST_ARGS: Supply additional arguments to the ctest-command to select which benchmarks are run, e.g.:
    • -R nb would select all notebook-based tests and would disable all other benchmarks
    • -LE large would exclude all tests with label large

All jobs get included in the include:-section in the file scripts/ci/pipelines/regular.yml. You can simple comment out files to disable jobs defined in that files. Please note that some jobs depend on other jobs.

scripts/ci/jobs/*.yml

All jobs are defined in these files. You can disable a single job by prefixing its name with a dot, e.g.:

# enabled job:
build linux arch:

# disabled job:
.build linux arch:

This article was written by Lars Bilke. If you are missing something or you find an error please let us know.
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