5 Best Free and Open Source Continuous Integration Systems

Continuous integration (CI) is the practice of merging all developers’ working copies to a shared mainline several times a day.

Modern application development dictates that multiple developers work simultaneously on different aspects of the same app. If the various code changes are merged on a merge day, the resulting work is often tedious, time-consuming, and manual. The longer development continues on a branch without merging back to the mainline, the greater the risk of multiple integration conflicts and failures when the developer branch is eventually merged back. This is even more likely if each developer uses their own local integrated development environment (IDE) rather than a single cloud-based IDE.

If automated testing discovers a conflict between new and existing code, CI makes it easier to fix those bugs quickly and often.

Successful CI means new code changes to an app are regularly built, tested, and merged to a shared repository.

Here are our recommended CI systems. Many of the systems also provide continuous delivery (CD). We only feature free and open source software.

Best Free and Open Source Continuous Integration Systems

Let’s explore the 5 CI tools. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Continuous Integration Tools
JenkinsSelf-contained, open source automation server with an awesome array of plugins
BuildbotPython-based continuous integration testing framework
TektonPowerful and flexible framework for creating CI/CD systems
GoCDEasily model and visualize complex workflows
ConcoursePresents a general approach to automation for CI/CD

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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