Setting up Jenkins as a CI Server for .NET 3.5/4.0/4.5 projects using BitBucket

Recently, I joined a team at Tribal DDB Melbourne. I had convinced my team of developers to adopt an approach to streamline deployments of the various projects for our clients. I endeavored upon to look at Jenkins (previously named Hudson), a CI product derived from Java Sun to implement a continuous build approach for the developer teams. After a few days of google-ing up articles and blogs from places, I decided to come up with my own simple way of steps to get one up and running, along with the gotchas and traps. Considering not many blogs have documented gotchas with building projects targeting the .NET Framework 4.5, I have decided to include it here.

Step 1:
Download the latest version of Jenkins. Run the installer which automatically steps you through the wizard. The installer will automatically install the Windows Service with the user set as Local System User. Ensure that the service is running up. You can browse to Services and Settings and lookup Jenkins. It should say ‘Started’. (https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/Installing+Jenkins+as+a+Windows+service)

Step 2:
Restart your machine to ensure that the installation is performed completely.

Step 3:
Ensure that the Jenkins page can run. Fire up a browser and key in the following in the url, http:[your-machine-name]:8080. You should see landing page of your Jenkins Home page.

Step 4:
We need to install a few tools on our CI Server to support GIT since my team have already used BitBucket as their source control repository for their projects. This will require a few plugins such as Git Client and Server plugins, Jenkins GIT Plugin. This will be available on the Jenkins > Manage Plugins Page. The Jenkins GIT Plugin allows you to use MSBuild to build .NET Projects by specifying a location to the MSBuild.exe on the Jenkin’s configuration page. (https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/MSBuild+Plugin) and whilst the Jenkins GIT Plugin allows communication between Jenkins and the BitBucket server. Next install the latest versions of GitBash and GitExtensions onto your server. After all this, you will get a ‘Git Bash’ icon on your screen.

Step 5:
Setting up communication between BitBucket and Jenkins is not enough by installing the plugins in step 4. We will need to setup authentication for Jenkins to allow to perform GIT commands to BitBucket server. Because Jenkins has no means of prompting the user to enter a password each time it intends to clone or pull from BitBucket, we will need to setup SSH Keys on our CI Server and BitBucket Read up here for more info on SSH and setting up SSH for Git. (https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/BITBUCKET/Set+up+SSH+for+Git). In a nutshell, you will need to setup a private key on your CI server and a public key on your BitBucket account. Note your BitBucket account will be the admin account for Jenkins and thus it is important to remember the credentials to this account.

Step 6:
Add the SSH Keys to your CI server. Leave the passphrase blank for BitBucket to authenticate, otherwise you will be left with a hanging “Fetching upstream changes from origin” when attempting to run the build for the project. You can setup authentication later by managing users and this will be sufficient for security purpose to restrict people to particular project builds. This step got me confused as to why I left with a hanging “FUCFO” as above. Leaving the passphrase blank solved the problem for me as Jenkins will now be able to push and pull from Bitbucket.

Step 7:
Create a test project in Jenkins and setup the necessary details and configuration so that it points to your project nicely. A good test will be to check if Jenkins is able to clone your project successfully into its workspace. Once this is working successfully, you will be ready to start setting up the build on your .NET solution or .csproj.

Step 8:
Next it is time to setup your msbuild scripts. I found a good place to start is an article by Mustafa (http://www.infoq.com/articles/MSBuild-1). I never knew how easy it was to get started with MSBuild. Mustafa also explains well how to setup a proper Jenkins job, along with build triggering from a BitBucket push, etc.

Some of the recommended plugins:

Artifact Deployer Plugin
This artifact allows you to choose which directories you will like to deploy to the target destination (usually this is where you will have your websites located such as Inetpub)
https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/ArtifactDeployer+Plugin

Hopefully if you have anything else to share, feel free to drop me a comment to see how you go with setting up CI with BitBucket.

2 thoughts on “Setting up Jenkins as a CI Server for .NET 3.5/4.0/4.5 projects using BitBucket

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