Alternatives to TeamCity logo

Alternatives to TeamCity

Jenkins, Appveyor, Hudson, Octopus Deploy, and FinalBuilder are the most popular alternatives and competitors to TeamCity.
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What is TeamCity and what are its top alternatives?

TeamCity is a user-friendly continuous integration (CI) server for professional developers, build engineers, and DevOps. It is trivial to setup and absolutely free for small teams and open source projects.
TeamCity is a tool in the Continuous Integration category of a tech stack.

Top Alternatives to TeamCity

  • Jenkins

    Jenkins

    In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project. ...

  • Appveyor

    Appveyor

    AppVeyor aims to give powerful Continuous Integration and Deployment tools to every .NET developer without the hassle of setting up and maintaining their own build server. ...

  • Hudson

    Hudson

    It monitors the execution of repeated jobs, such as building a software project or jobs run by cron. Among those things, currently it focuses on the two jobs ...

  • Octopus Deploy

    Octopus Deploy

    Octopus Deploy helps teams to manage releases, automate deployments, and operate applications with automated runbooks. It's free for small teams. ...

  • FinalBuilder

    FinalBuilder

    With FinalBuilder you don't need to edit xml, or write scripts. Visually define and debug your build scripts, then schedule them with windows scheduler, or integrate them with Continua CI, Jenkins or any other CI Server. ...

  • Bamboo

    Bamboo

    Focus on coding and count on Bamboo as your CI and build server! Create multi-stage build plans, set up triggers to start builds upon commits, and assign agents to your critical builds and deployments. ...

  • GitLab

    GitLab

    GitLab offers git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds and wikis. Enterprises install GitLab on-premise and connect it with LDAP and Active Directory servers for secure authentication and authorization. A single GitLab server can handle more than 25,000 users but it is also possible to create a high availability setup with multiple active servers. ...

  • CircleCI

    CircleCI

    Continuous integration and delivery platform helps software teams rapidly release code with confidence by automating the build, test, and deploy process. Offers a modern software development platform that lets teams ramp. ...

TeamCity alternatives & related posts

Jenkins logo

Jenkins

43.3K
35.9K
2.2K
An extendable open source continuous integration server
43.3K
35.9K
+ 1
2.2K
PROS OF JENKINS
  • 522
    Hosted internally
  • 465
    Free open source
  • 314
    Great to build, deploy or launch anything async
  • 243
    Tons of integrations
  • 210
    Rich set of plugins with good documentation
  • 109
    Has support for build pipelines
  • 72
    Open source and tons of integrations
  • 63
    Easy setup
  • 61
    It is open-source
  • 54
    Workflow plugin
  • 11
    Configuration as code
  • 10
    Very powerful tool
  • 9
    Many Plugins
  • 8
    Continuous Integration
  • 8
    Great flexibility
  • 8
    Git and Maven integration is better
  • 6
    Github integration
  • 6
    100% free and open source
  • 6
    Slack Integration (plugin)
  • 5
    Easy customisation
  • 5
    Self-hosted GitLab Integration (plugin)
  • 4
    Docker support
  • 3
    Excellent docker integration
  • 3
    Platform idnependency
  • 3
    Fast builds
  • 3
    Pipeline API
  • 2
    Customizable
  • 2
    Can be run as a Docker container
  • 2
    It`w worked
  • 2
    JOBDSL
  • 2
    Hosted Externally
  • 2
    It's Everywhere
  • 2
    AWS Integration
  • 1
    NodeJS Support
  • 1
    PHP Support
  • 1
    Ruby/Rails Support
  • 1
    Universal controller
  • 1
    Easily extendable with seamless integration
  • 1
    Build PR Branch Only
CONS OF JENKINS
  • 12
    Workarounds needed for basic requirements
  • 8
    Groovy with cumbersome syntax
  • 6
    Limited abilities with declarative pipelines
  • 6
    Plugins compatibility issues
  • 5
    Lack of support
  • 4
    No YAML syntax
  • 2
    Too tied to plugins versions

related Jenkins posts

Tymoteusz Paul
Devops guy at X20X Development LTD · | 23 upvotes · 4.6M views

Often enough I have to explain my way of going about setting up a CI/CD pipeline with multiple deployment platforms. Since I am a bit tired of yapping the same every single time, I've decided to write it up and share with the world this way, and send people to read it instead ;). I will explain it on "live-example" of how the Rome got built, basing that current methodology exists only of readme.md and wishes of good luck (as it usually is ;)).

It always starts with an app, whatever it may be and reading the readmes available while Vagrant and VirtualBox is installing and updating. Following that is the first hurdle to go over - convert all the instruction/scripts into Ansible playbook(s), and only stopping when doing a clear vagrant up or vagrant reload we will have a fully working environment. As our Vagrant environment is now functional, it's time to break it! This is the moment to look for how things can be done better (too rigid/too lose versioning? Sloppy environment setup?) and replace them with the right way to do stuff, one that won't bite us in the backside. This is the point, and the best opportunity, to upcycle the existing way of doing dev environment to produce a proper, production-grade product.

I should probably digress here for a moment and explain why. I firmly believe that the way you deploy production is the same way you should deploy develop, shy of few debugging-friendly setting. This way you avoid the discrepancy between how production work vs how development works, which almost always causes major pains in the back of the neck, and with use of proper tools should mean no more work for the developers. That's why we start with Vagrant as developer boxes should be as easy as vagrant up, but the meat of our product lies in Ansible which will do meat of the work and can be applied to almost anything: AWS, bare metal, docker, LXC, in open net, behind vpn - you name it.

We must also give proper consideration to monitoring and logging hoovering at this point. My generic answer here is to grab Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash. While for different use cases there may be better solutions, this one is well battle-tested, performs reasonably and is very easy to scale both vertically (within some limits) and horizontally. Logstash rules are easy to write and are well supported in maintenance through Ansible, which as I've mentioned earlier, are at the very core of things, and creating triggers/reports and alerts based on Elastic and Kibana is generally a breeze, including some quite complex aggregations.

If we are happy with the state of the Ansible it's time to move on and put all those roles and playbooks to work. Namely, we need something to manage our CI/CD pipelines. For me, the choice is obvious: TeamCity. It's modern, robust and unlike most of the light-weight alternatives, it's transparent. What I mean by that is that it doesn't tell you how to do things, doesn't limit your ways to deploy, or test, or package for that matter. Instead, it provides a developer-friendly and rich playground for your pipelines. You can do most the same with Jenkins, but it has a quite dated look and feel to it, while also missing some key functionality that must be brought in via plugins (like quality REST API which comes built-in with TeamCity). It also comes with all the common-handy plugins like Slack or Apache Maven integration.

The exact flow between CI and CD varies too greatly from one application to another to describe, so I will outline a few rules that guide me in it: 1. Make build steps as small as possible. This way when something breaks, we know exactly where, without needing to dig and root around. 2. All security credentials besides development environment must be sources from individual Vault instances. Keys to those containers should exist only on the CI/CD box and accessible by a few people (the less the better). This is pretty self-explanatory, as anything besides dev may contain sensitive data and, at times, be public-facing. Because of that appropriate security must be present. TeamCity shines in this department with excellent secrets-management. 3. Every part of the build chain shall consume and produce artifacts. If it creates nothing, it likely shouldn't be its own build. This way if any issue shows up with any environment or version, all developer has to do it is grab appropriate artifacts to reproduce the issue locally. 4. Deployment builds should be directly tied to specific Git branches/tags. This enables much easier tracking of what caused an issue, including automated identifying and tagging the author (nothing like automated regression testing!).

Speaking of deployments, I generally try to keep it simple but also with a close eye on the wallet. Because of that, I am more than happy with AWS or another cloud provider, but also constantly peeking at the loads and do we get the value of what we are paying for. Often enough the pattern of use is not constantly erratic, but rather has a firm baseline which could be migrated away from the cloud and into bare metal boxes. That is another part where this approach strongly triumphs over the common Docker and CircleCI setup, where you are very much tied in to use cloud providers and getting out is expensive. Here to embrace bare-metal hosting all you need is a help of some container-based self-hosting software, my personal preference is with Proxmox and LXC. Following that all you must write are ansible scripts to manage hardware of Proxmox, similar way as you do for Amazon EC2 (ansible supports both greatly) and you are good to go. One does not exclude another, quite the opposite, as they can live in great synergy and cut your costs dramatically (the heavier your base load, the bigger the savings) while providing production-grade resiliency.

See more
Thierry Schellenbach

Releasing new versions of our services is done by Travis CI. Travis first runs our test suite. Once it passes, it publishes a new release binary to GitHub.

Common tasks such as installing dependencies for the Go project, or building a binary are automated using plain old Makefiles. (We know, crazy old school, right?) Our binaries are compressed using UPX.

Travis has come a long way over the past years. I used to prefer Jenkins in some cases since it was easier to debug broken builds. With the addition of the aptly named “debug build” button, Travis is now the clear winner. It’s easy to use and free for open source, with no need to maintain anything.

#ContinuousIntegration #CodeCollaborationVersionControl

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Appveyor logo

Appveyor

119
120
93
Continuous Integration and Deployment service for busy Windows developers
119
120
+ 1
93
PROS OF APPVEYOR
  • 20
    Github integration
  • 18
    Simple, reliable & powerful
  • 11
    Hosted
  • 11
    YML-based configuration
  • 10
    Nuget support
  • 6
    Windows support
  • 4
    Automatic deployment
  • 4
    Free for open source
  • 3
    Great product, responsive people, free for open-source
  • 2
    Easy PowerShell support
  • 2
    Easy handling of secret keys
  • 1
    Advanced build workers available
  • 1
    Remote Desktop into Build Worker
CONS OF APPVEYOR
  • 1
    Complex user interface
  • 1
    Poor documentation

related Appveyor posts

Shared insights
on
Travis CITravis CIAppveyorAppveyorGitHubGitHub

I recommend using Travis CI and/or Appveyor in all projects.

Projects using these tools have given me confidence to know that I don't cause any breaking changes. Travis CI and Appveyor have functionality to test components of a project across multiple installation projects to ensure that modifications don't break a project. These tools integrate easily with GitHub and are useful in open source projects that must review contributions from many different people.

See more
Hudson logo

Hudson

11
12
0
Extensible continuous Integration Server
11
12
+ 1
0
PROS OF HUDSON
    Be the first to leave a pro
    CONS OF HUDSON
      Be the first to leave a con

      related Hudson posts

      Octopus Deploy logo

      Octopus Deploy

      346
      385
      114
      A single place to release, deploy and operate your software
      346
      385
      + 1
      114
      PROS OF OCTOPUS DEPLOY
      • 30
        Powerful
      • 25
        Simplicity
      • 19
        Easy to learn
      • 15
        .Net oriented
      • 14
        Easy to manage releases and rollback
      • 7
        Allows multitenancy
      • 4
        Nice interface
      CONS OF OCTOPUS DEPLOY
      • 4
        Poor UI
      • 2
        Config & variables not versioned (e.g. in git)
      • 2
        Management of Config

      related Octopus Deploy posts

      Oliver Burn

      We recently added new APIs to Jira to associate information about Builds and Deployments to Jira issues.

      The new APIs were developed using a spec-first API approach for speed and sanity. The details of this approach are described in this blog post, and we relied on using Swagger and associated tools like Swagger UI.

      A new service was created for managing the data. It provides a REST API for external use, and an internal API based on GraphQL. The service is built using Kotlin for increased developer productivity and happiness, and the Spring-Boot framework. PostgreSQL was chosen for the persistence layer, as we have non-trivial requirements that cannot be easily implemented on top of a key-value store.

      The front-end has been built using React and querying the back-end service using an internal GraphQL API. We have plans of providing a public GraphQL API in the future.

      New Jira Integrations: Bitbucket CircleCI AWS CodePipeline Octopus Deploy jFrog Azure Pipelines

      See more
      Shared insights
      on
      Octopus DeployOctopus DeployJenkinsJenkins

      What is the difference between Jenkins deployment and Octopus Deploy? Please suggest which is better?

      See more
      FinalBuilder logo

      FinalBuilder

      8
      9
      0
      Automating your Build process
      8
      9
      + 1
      0
      PROS OF FINALBUILDER
        Be the first to leave a pro
        CONS OF FINALBUILDER
        • 1
          No way to undo actions in the editor
        • 1
          Hard to solve merge conflicts

        related FinalBuilder posts

        Bamboo logo

        Bamboo

        463
        441
        17
        Tie automated builds, tests, and releases together in a single workflow
        463
        441
        + 1
        17
        PROS OF BAMBOO
        • 10
          Integrates with other Atlassian tools
        • 4
          Great notification scheme
        • 2
          Great UI
        • 1
          Has Deployment Projects
        CONS OF BAMBOO
        • 5
          Expensive

        related Bamboo posts

        xie zhifeng
        Shared insights
        on
        BambooBambooJenkinsJenkinsGitLabGitLab
        at

        I am choosing a DevOps toolset for my team. GitLab is open source and quite cloud-native. Jenkins has a very popular environment system but old-style technicals. Bamboo is very nice but integrated only with Atlassian products.

        See more
        GitLab logo

        GitLab

        42.6K
        34.9K
        2.3K
        Open source self-hosted Git management software
        42.6K
        34.9K
        + 1
        2.3K
        PROS OF GITLAB
        • 491
          Self hosted
        • 420
          Free
        • 334
          Has community edition
        • 238
          Easy setup
        • 238
          Familiar interface
        • 131
          Includes many features, including ci
        • 107
          Nice UI
        • 81
          Good integration with gitlabci
        • 53
          Simple setup
        • 33
          Has an official mobile app
        • 31
          Free private repository
        • 26
          Continuous Integration
        • 19
          Open source, great ui (like github)
        • 15
          Slack Integration
        • 11
          Full CI flow
        • 9
          Free and unlimited private git repos
        • 8
          User, group, and project access management is simple
        • 7
          Built-in CI
        • 7
          All in one (Git, CI, Agile..)
        • 7
          Intuitive UI
        • 4
          Both public and private Repositories
        • 3
          Mattermost Chat client
        • 3
          Issue system
        • 3
          Integrated Docker Registry
        • 2
          I like the its runners and executors feature
        • 2
          Unlimited free repos & collaborators
        • 2
          One-click install through DigitalOcean
        • 2
          It's powerful source code management tool
        • 2
          CI
        • 2
          Free private repos
        • 2
          Excellent
        • 2
          Build/pipeline definition alongside code
        • 2
          On-premises
        • 2
          Security and Stable
        • 2
          So easy to use
        • 2
          Great for team collaboration
        • 2
          Low maintenance cost due omnibus-deployment
        • 2
          It's fully integrated
        • 1
          Many private repo
        • 1
          Published IP list for whitelisting (gl-infra#434)
        • 1
          Powerful Continuous Integration System
        • 1
          Kubernetes Integration
        • 1
          Kubernetes integration with GitLab CI
        • 1
          Review Apps feature
        • 1
          Built-in Docker Registry
        • 1
          The dashboard with deployed environments
        • 1
          Multilingual interface
        • 1
          Native CI
        • 1
          HipChat intergration
        • 1
          It includes everything I need, all packaged with docker
        • 1
          Powerful software planning and maintaining tools
        • 1
          Groups of groups
        • 1
          Dockerized
        • 1
          Beautiful
        • 1
          Wounderful
        • 1
          Opensource
        • 1
          Because is the best remote host for git repositories
        • 1
          Not Microsoft Owned
        • 1
          Full DevOps suite with Git
        • 0
          Supports Radius/Ldap & Browser Code Edits
        CONS OF GITLAB
        • 27
          Slow ui performance
        • 7
          Introduce breaking bugs every release
        • 5
          Insecure (no published IP list for whitelisting)
        • 1
          Built-in Docker Registry
        • 0
          Review Apps feature

        related GitLab posts

        Tim Abbott
        Shared insights
        on
        GitHubGitHubGitLabGitLab
        at

        I have mixed feelings on GitHub as a product and our use of it for the Zulip open source project. On the one hand, I do feel that being on GitHub helps people discover Zulip, because we have enough stars (etc.) that we rank highly among projects on the platform. and there is a definite benefit for lowering barriers to contribution (which is important to us) that GitHub has such a dominant position in terms of what everyone has accounts with.

        But even ignoring how one might feel about their new corporate owner (MicroSoft), in a lot of ways GitHub is a bad product for open source projects. Years after the "Dear GitHub" letter, there are still basic gaps in its issue tracker:

        • You can't give someone permission to label/categorize issues without full write access to a project (including ability to merge things to master, post releases, etc.).
        • You can't let anyone with a GitHub account self-assign issues to themselves.
        • Many more similar issues.

        It's embarrassing, because I've talked to GitHub product managers at various open source events about these things for 3 years, and they always agree the thing is important, but then nothing ever improves in the Issues product. Maybe the new management at MicroSoft will fix their product management situation, but if not, I imagine we'll eventually do the migration to GitLab.

        We have a custom bot project, http://github.com/zulip/zulipbot, to deal with some of these issues where possible, and every other large project we talk to does the same thing, more or less.

        See more
        Joshua Dean Küpper
        CEO at Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) · | 18 upvotes · 290.4K views

        We use GitLab CI because of the great native integration as a part of the GitLab framework and the linting-capabilities it offers. The visualization of complex pipelines and the embedding within the project overview made Gitlab CI even more convenient. We use it for all projects, all deployments and as a part of GitLab Pages.

        While we initially used the Shell-executor, we quickly switched to the Docker-executor and use it exclusively now.

        We formerly used Jenkins but preferred to handle everything within GitLab . Aside from the unification of our infrastructure another motivation was the "configuration-in-file"-approach, that Gitlab CI offered, while Jenkins support of this concept was very limited and users had to resort to using the webinterface. Since the file is included within the repository, it is also version controlled, which was a huge plus for us.

        See more
        CircleCI logo

        CircleCI

        9.3K
        5.4K
        961
        Automate your development process quickly, safely, and at scale
        9.3K
        5.4K
        + 1
        961
        PROS OF CIRCLECI
        • 224
          Github integration
        • 176
          Easy setup
        • 152
          Fast builds
        • 94
          Competitively priced
        • 74
          Slack integration
        • 54
          Docker support
        • 44
          Awesome UI
        • 33
          Great customer support
        • 18
          Ios support
        • 14
          Hipchat integration
        • 12
          SSH debug access
        • 11
          Free for Open Source
        • 5
          Mobile support
        • 5
          Bitbucket integration
        • 4
          Nodejs support
        • 4
          AWS CodeDeploy integration
        • 3
          YAML configuration
        • 3
          Free for Github private repo
        • 3
          Great support
        • 2
          Clojure
        • 2
          Simple, clean UI
        • 2
          Clojurescript
        • 2
          OSX support
        • 2
          Continuous Deployment
        • 1
          Android support
        • 1
          Autoscaling
        • 1
          Fair pricing
        • 1
          All inclusive testing
        • 1
          Helpful documentation
        • 1
          Japanese in rspec comment appears OK
        • 1
          Favorite
        • 1
          Build PR Branch Only
        • 1
          Really easy to use
        • 1
          Unstable
        • 1
          So circular
        • 1
          Easy setup, easy to understand, fast and reliable
        • 1
          Parallel builds for slow test suites
        • 1
          Easy setup. 2.0 is fast!
        • 1
          Parallelism
        • 1
          Extremely configurable
        • 1
          Easy to deploy to private servers
        • 1
          Works
        CONS OF CIRCLECI
        • 12
          Unstable
        • 6
          Scammy pricing structure
        • 0
          Aggressive Github permissions

        related CircleCI posts

        Tymoteusz Paul
        Devops guy at X20X Development LTD · | 23 upvotes · 4.6M views

        Often enough I have to explain my way of going about setting up a CI/CD pipeline with multiple deployment platforms. Since I am a bit tired of yapping the same every single time, I've decided to write it up and share with the world this way, and send people to read it instead ;). I will explain it on "live-example" of how the Rome got built, basing that current methodology exists only of readme.md and wishes of good luck (as it usually is ;)).

        It always starts with an app, whatever it may be and reading the readmes available while Vagrant and VirtualBox is installing and updating. Following that is the first hurdle to go over - convert all the instruction/scripts into Ansible playbook(s), and only stopping when doing a clear vagrant up or vagrant reload we will have a fully working environment. As our Vagrant environment is now functional, it's time to break it! This is the moment to look for how things can be done better (too rigid/too lose versioning? Sloppy environment setup?) and replace them with the right way to do stuff, one that won't bite us in the backside. This is the point, and the best opportunity, to upcycle the existing way of doing dev environment to produce a proper, production-grade product.

        I should probably digress here for a moment and explain why. I firmly believe that the way you deploy production is the same way you should deploy develop, shy of few debugging-friendly setting. This way you avoid the discrepancy between how production work vs how development works, which almost always causes major pains in the back of the neck, and with use of proper tools should mean no more work for the developers. That's why we start with Vagrant as developer boxes should be as easy as vagrant up, but the meat of our product lies in Ansible which will do meat of the work and can be applied to almost anything: AWS, bare metal, docker, LXC, in open net, behind vpn - you name it.

        We must also give proper consideration to monitoring and logging hoovering at this point. My generic answer here is to grab Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash. While for different use cases there may be better solutions, this one is well battle-tested, performs reasonably and is very easy to scale both vertically (within some limits) and horizontally. Logstash rules are easy to write and are well supported in maintenance through Ansible, which as I've mentioned earlier, are at the very core of things, and creating triggers/reports and alerts based on Elastic and Kibana is generally a breeze, including some quite complex aggregations.

        If we are happy with the state of the Ansible it's time to move on and put all those roles and playbooks to work. Namely, we need something to manage our CI/CD pipelines. For me, the choice is obvious: TeamCity. It's modern, robust and unlike most of the light-weight alternatives, it's transparent. What I mean by that is that it doesn't tell you how to do things, doesn't limit your ways to deploy, or test, or package for that matter. Instead, it provides a developer-friendly and rich playground for your pipelines. You can do most the same with Jenkins, but it has a quite dated look and feel to it, while also missing some key functionality that must be brought in via plugins (like quality REST API which comes built-in with TeamCity). It also comes with all the common-handy plugins like Slack or Apache Maven integration.

        The exact flow between CI and CD varies too greatly from one application to another to describe, so I will outline a few rules that guide me in it: 1. Make build steps as small as possible. This way when something breaks, we know exactly where, without needing to dig and root around. 2. All security credentials besides development environment must be sources from individual Vault instances. Keys to those containers should exist only on the CI/CD box and accessible by a few people (the less the better). This is pretty self-explanatory, as anything besides dev may contain sensitive data and, at times, be public-facing. Because of that appropriate security must be present. TeamCity shines in this department with excellent secrets-management. 3. Every part of the build chain shall consume and produce artifacts. If it creates nothing, it likely shouldn't be its own build. This way if any issue shows up with any environment or version, all developer has to do it is grab appropriate artifacts to reproduce the issue locally. 4. Deployment builds should be directly tied to specific Git branches/tags. This enables much easier tracking of what caused an issue, including automated identifying and tagging the author (nothing like automated regression testing!).

        Speaking of deployments, I generally try to keep it simple but also with a close eye on the wallet. Because of that, I am more than happy with AWS or another cloud provider, but also constantly peeking at the loads and do we get the value of what we are paying for. Often enough the pattern of use is not constantly erratic, but rather has a firm baseline which could be migrated away from the cloud and into bare metal boxes. That is another part where this approach strongly triumphs over the common Docker and CircleCI setup, where you are very much tied in to use cloud providers and getting out is expensive. Here to embrace bare-metal hosting all you need is a help of some container-based self-hosting software, my personal preference is with Proxmox and LXC. Following that all you must write are ansible scripts to manage hardware of Proxmox, similar way as you do for Amazon EC2 (ansible supports both greatly) and you are good to go. One does not exclude another, quite the opposite, as they can live in great synergy and cut your costs dramatically (the heavier your base load, the bigger the savings) while providing production-grade resiliency.

        See more
        Tim Abbott
        Shared insights
        on
        Travis CITravis CICircleCICircleCI
        at

        We actually started out on Travis CI, but we've migrated our main builds to CircleCI, and it's been a huge improvement.

        The reason it's been a huge improvement is that Travis CI has a fundamentally bad design for their images, where they start with a standard base Linux image containing tons of packages (several versions of postgres, every programming language environment, etc). This is potentially nice for the "get builds for a small project running quickly" use case, but it's a total disaster for a larger project that needs a decent number of dependencies and cares about the performance and reliability of their build.

        This issue is exacerbated by their networking infrastructure being unreliable; we usually saw over 1% of builds failing due to transient networking errors in Travis CI, even after we added retries to the most frequently failing operations like apt update or pip install. And they never install Ubuntu's point release updates to their images. So doing an apt update, apt install, or especially apt upgrade would take forever. We ended up writing code to actually uninstall many of their base packages and pin the versions of hundreds of others to get a semi-fast, semi-reliable build. It was infuriating.

        The CircleCI v2.0 system has the right design for a CI system: we can customize the base image to start with any expensive-to-install packages we need for our build, and we can update that image if and when we want to. The end result is that when migrating, we were able to delete all the hacky optimizations mentioned above, while still ending up with a 50% faster build latency. And we've also had 5-10x fewer issues with networking-related flakes, which means one doesn't have to constantly check whether a build failure is actually due to an issue with the code under test or "just another networking flake".

        See more