6 Open Source CI/CD Tools in 2024
Need an open-source tool for CI/CD? Here are the top 6, with their benefits and features laid out.

If you’re trying to find the top open-source CI/CD tools in 2024, look no further.

CI/CD, which means Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, is a software development approach that aims to streamline and automate the entire process of building, testing, and deploying software.

Continuous Integration refers to regularly integrating code changes into a shared repository, where they are automatically tested and verified. This helps to catch bugs and errors early on before they become more complex and costly.

CI/CD has become increasingly important in software development due to several reasons:

  1. Speed: CI/CD practices allow software development teams to move faster by automating the process of building, testing, and deploying code. This results in faster feedback loops, quicker bug fixes, and more frequent releases.
  2. Quality: By catching and fixing bugs early in the development process, CI/CD practices help to improve the overall quality of software. Automated testing and continuous monitoring also help to ensure that software remains stable and reliable over time.
  3. Collaboration: CI/CD practices encourage collaboration and communication between team members, as everyone has visibility into the same codebase and testing environment. This helps to reduce the risk of conflicts or errors caused by miscommunication.
  4. Continuous Improvement: these practices allow teams to improve their software development process over time continuously. By collecting metrics and feedback on each release, teams can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about how to optimize their workflows.

What is open-source software?

This means software that has its source code publicly available for use, modification, and distribution under a license that allows for these actions. This means that anyone can view, copy, modify, and distribute the code without restrictions, provided they follow the license terms.

The benefits of open source software are numerous, including:

  1. Cost: Open-source software is often available free of charge, which can significantly reduce the cost of software development and deployment.
  2. Customization: it can be customized to meet specific needs and requirements, as the source code is freely available for modification.
  3. Innovation: Open-source software fosters innovation by encouraging collaboration and sharing ideas and code between developers.
  4. Flexibility: it is often designed to be modular and flexible, allowing for easy integration with other systems and tools.
  5. Transparency: The open nature of the source code provides transparency and accountability, making it easier to audit and verify the behavior of the software.

The purpose of this article is to introduce the six popular open-source ci cd pipeline tools in 2024 and get you acquainted with their features and use cases.

Let’s get started.

GitLab CI/CD

GitLab, a web-based Git repository management, provides the continuous integration and delivery technology known as GitLab CI/CD. It is a DevOps tool that aids in automating all stages of software development, from creation and testing to deployment and monitoring.

Developers can specify a set of stages and jobs to run each time a change is made to the source code using GitLab CI/CD. These tasks include building the code, carrying out testing, and deploying the program to multiple environments. Developers may observe each task's output in real time while keeping track of the status of each stage and job using the pipeline view offered by GitLab CI/CD.

By automating the software development process, GitLab CI/CD helps teams to reduce errors, speed up the release cycle, and improve collaboration. It integrates with various tools and services, such as Kubernetes, AWS, and Docker, making it easy to deploy applications to different environments.

Features of GitLab as a CI/CD tool

GitLab CI/CD provides a variety of features to help streamline the software development process, including:

  1. Continuous Integration: it allows developers to automatically build and test their code every time they push changes to a Git repository.
  2. Continuous Delivery: it automates the process of deploying code to staging and production environments.
  3. Container Registry: it provides a built-in container registry, allowing developers to store, manage, and deploy Docker images easily.
  4. Code Quality: it supports a variety of code quality tools, including static analysis, code coverage, and security scanning.
  5. GitLab Runner: It uses GitLab Runner, a tool that runs tests and deploys code, to automate the entire development process.
  6. Integration with GitLab: The GitLab platform allows developers to access all of its features from within GitLab easily.

Some of the common use cases of GitLab CI/CD include:

  1. Continuous Integration (CI): it can be used to automate the process of building and testing code changes as they are committed to a repository. This ensures that code is always in a deployable state and reduces the likelihood of errors and conflicts.
  2. Continuous Delivery (CD): it can automate the deployment of code changes to staging and production environments. This ensures that the latest changes are always available to users without requiring manual intervention.
  3. Automated Testing: it can be used to automate various types of tests, such as unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests. This ensures that code changes are thoroughly tested before they are deployed.
  4. Containerization: it can be used to build and deploy Docker containers. This allows developers to create consistent and reproducible environments for their applications.
  5. Security Scanning: it can be used to perform automated security scans on code changes and infrastructure resources. This helps identify vulnerabilities and ensures that code changes and deployments are secure.

Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source automation server used to automate building, testing, and deploying software projects. It is written in Java and is designed to be highly extensible through its plugin architecture. Developers use Jenkins to automate various aspects of the software development process, including building and testing code, continuous integration and delivery, and deployment.

Jenkins provides a web-based interface that allows users to configure and manage jobs that define the steps in a software development process. Jobs can be triggered automatically based on events, such as code changes, or manually by users. Jenkins can integrate with various other tools and services, including version control systems, testing frameworks, and deployment tools, making it a versatile tool for managing software projects.

Features of Jenkins as a CI/CD tool

  1. Easy installation and configuration: it can be easily installed on various platforms like Windows, Linux, and macOS. It has a user-friendly web interface that makes it easy to configure.
  2. Large plugin ecosystem: it has a huge library of plugins that allow you to integrate with various tools and services like Git, Docker, AWS, and many more.
  3. Pipeline as Code: this tool offers a Pipeline as Code approach that enables you to define your CI/CD pipeline as code using a domain-specific language.
  4. Distributed builds: it can distribute builds across multiple machines, allowing you to scale your build capacity.
  5. Customizable: it can also be customized to suit your specific needs. You can customize its UI, workflows, and reports.

Use cases of Jenkins

  1. DevOps: it is often used as a key tool in a DevOps workflow. It helps teams automate and streamline their software development and deployment processes, enabling them to release software faster and with higher quality.
  2. Monitoring: it can be used to monitor the health and performance of software applications. Teams can use Jenkins to monitor various metrics such as response time, error rate, and resource utilization and set up alerts when any of these metrics fall outside of acceptable ranges.
  3. Continuous Integration: it is commonly used for building and testing software continuously. Developers use Jenkins to automatically compile and test their code as they work on it, ensuring that the code is always ready to be deployed.
  4. Automated Testing: it can be used to automate the testing of software applications. Teams can use Jenkins to run automated tests for their applications and get instant feedback on any issues that arise.
  5. Release Management: it can be used to manage the release process of software applications. Teams can use Jenkins to ensure that their software is properly tested and deployed to production environments without any manual intervention.

CircleCI

Software development teams may automate their build, test, and deployment processes with CircleCI, a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform that is hosted in the cloud. With its integration with well-known version control programs like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, teams can quickly and easily set up pipelines for developing, testing, and deploying their applications.

Features of CircleCI as a CI/CD tool

  1. Scalability: this tool is a highly scalable platform that can handle projects of any size, from small personal projects to large enterprise applications.
  2. Easy setup and configuration: it has a simple and intuitive user interface that makes it easy to set up and configure your CI/CD pipelines.
  3. Customizability: it allows you to customize your CI/CD workflows and pipelines to fit your specific needs and requirements.
  4. Integrations: CircleCI integrates with a wide range of tools and services, including GitHub, Bitbucket, JIRA, Slack, and many others.
  5. Continuous deployment: it provides continuous deployment capabilities, allowing you to automate the deployment of your code to your production environment.

Use cases of CircleCI

  1. Mobile App Development: it supports the building and testing of mobile applications for iOS and Android, enabling teams to integrate and deliver updates to their mobile apps continuously.
  2. Containerization: it's simple to package and deploy programs in a consistent and repeatable manner. CircleCI can be used to develop and deploy Docker containers.
  3. Infrastructure as Code: using applications like Terraform or AWS CloudFormation, CircleCI can help automate the provisioning and setup of infrastructure resources.
  4. Automated Testing: it supports a wide range of testing frameworks and can run automated tests on every code change. This ensures that code changes are thoroughly tested before they are deployed, reducing the risk of introducing bugs or breaking changes.

Travis CI

A continuous integration service called Travis CI automates software application development, testing, and deployment. It enables developers to quickly integrate their code repositories with Travis CI, triggering tests and inspections each time there is a change to the code. 

This makes it simpler to address bugs and other problems before they worsen during the development process and helps to catch them early on. Several programming languages are supported by Travis CI, which also offers a number of configuration options for adjusting the build and test procedures. It is frequently used in the continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline of software development teams.

Features and benefits of Travis CI as a CI/CD tool

  1. Easy to use: it is easy to set up and use, with a user-friendly interface that allows you to create and configure builds for your projects quickly.
  2. Community support: Travis CI has a large and active community of developers who share their knowledge and best practices, making it easier to get help and learn from others.
  3. Customization: it is highly customizable, with support for custom build scripts, environment variables, and deployment scripts, allowing you to tailor the tool to your specific needs and requirements.
  4. Platform support: supports a wide range of platforms, including Linux, macOS, and Windows, as well as various programming languages and frameworks, such as Python, Ruby, Java, and Node.js.

Use cases of Travis CI

  1. Continuous Integration: it is primarily used for continuous integration, which involves automatically building and testing code changes whenever they are pushed to a version control repository such as GitHub or Bitbucket.
  2. Automated Testing: this tool can be used to automate the execution of unit tests, integration tests, and other types of automated tests. This helps to ensure that the code is functioning correctly and that any new changes have not introduced any regressions.
  3. Deployment: it can also be used to automate the deployment of code to production servers or other environments. This can include deploying to cloud platforms such as AWS or Heroku or deploying to on-premise servers.
  4. Code Quality Checks: Travis CI can be configured to run various code quality checks such as linting, static code analysis, and code formatting checks. This helps to ensure that the code is maintainable, readable, and adheres to best practices.
  5. Continuous Delivery: it can be used to implement a continuous delivery workflow, which involves automatically deploying code changes to production servers as soon as they pass automated tests and other quality checks.

TeamCity

JetBrains built TeamCity, a server for continuous integration and deployment. It is a strong tool that aids in automating software application creation, testing, and distribution.

Programming languages and platforms supported by TeamCity include Java,.NET, Ruby, Python, and many others. In addition to running tests concurrently and automatically deploying code to various environments, it enables developers to define and manage many build configurations.

Features of TeamCity as a CI/CD tool

  1. Scalability: supports a distributed architecture and can scale to support large teams and complex projects.
  2. Test Automation: supports various testing frameworks, including JUnit, NUnit, and TestNG. It helps to automate the testing process and provides detailed reports.
  3. Integration with Other Tools: TeamCity integrates with several third-party tools, including GitHub, GitLab, Jira, and Slack, to provide seamless collaboration and communication.
  4. Continuous Integration: it provides continuous integration support for various programming languages such as Java, .NET, Python, and more. It helps to detect integration issues early in the development cycle and provides detailed reports.
  5. Code Quality Analysis: supports static code analysis tools, such as Checkstyle, PMD, and ReSharper. It helps to detect code quality issues early in the development cycle.

Use cases of TeamCity

  1. Build Automation: it automates the build process by compiling the code, running unit tests, and generating artifacts. It can build projects written in various programming languages, including Java, .NET, Ruby, and Python.
  2. Continuous Integration: integrates with version control systems like Git, Subversion, and Mercurial to automatically trigger builds and tests whenever changes are pushed to the repository.
  3. Continuous Delivery: it provides built-in support for deploying applications to various environments like test, staging, and production. It integrates with popular deployment tools like Octopus Deploy, AWS CodeDeploy, and Microsoft Azure DevOps.
  4. Code Quality: it provides code analysis tools that help teams maintain code quality. It can integrate with popular static analysis tools like SonarQube and ReSharper.
  5. Collaboration: TeamCity provides features like team management, user permissions, and notifications that enable teams to collaborate effectively. It also integrates with collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Bamboo

Bamboo is an open-source Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) tool that automates the process of building, testing, and deploying software. It was developed and maintained by Atlassian, a company that specializes in software development and collaboration tools.

With Bamboo, software development teams can create automated build and deployment pipelines for their applications, which allows them to quickly and reliably deliver new features and updates to their users. Bamboo integrates with popular source code management systems like Git, SVN, and Mercurial and supports a wide range of programming languages and platforms.

Features of Bamboo as a CI/CD tool

  1. Build and deployment automation: it allows teams to create and automate build and deployment pipelines for their applications, reducing the risk of errors and accelerating the delivery of new features and updates.
  2. Integration with popular tools: it integrates with a wide range of development tools and services, including JIRA, Bitbucket, GitHub, and more.
  3. Customizable workflows: provides a flexible and customizable workflow engine, allowing teams to tailor their CI/CD processes to meet their specific needs.
  4. Scalability: it is designed to scale to support large and complex applications and can be run on-premises or in the cloud.

Use cases of Bamboo

  1. Version Control Integration: it integrates with popular version control systems like Git, SVN, and Mercurial. This allows developers to track changes and easily manage different code versions.
  2. Continuous Integration: Developers use Bamboo to set up automatic builds whenever code changes are pushed to a repository. This ensures that new changes are integrated and tested as soon as possible, reducing the risk of errors and conflicts.
  3. Automated Testing: it provides tools for automated testing, including unit tests, functional tests, and acceptance tests. 
  4. Deployment Automation: it automates the deployment process, making it easier for developers to release updates and new features. Bamboo integrates with popular deployment tools like AWS, Docker, and Kubernetes, allowing seamless deployment to production environments.

Which CI/CD Tool is Best for Me

Each tool has its unique features and benefits, and choosing the right tool for your needs solely depends on various factors, e.g., the project's size, the project's complexity, your preferred hosting option (cloud-based or self-hosted), the development team, and lots more.

First, ask yourself if your development team has experience with any of these platforms. Keeping that in mind, use this table for a quick reference:

ToolUse for
Jenkins
  • Large projects with complex build requirements.
  • Self-hosted deployment.
GitLab CI
  • Medium to large projects with simple to complex build pipelines.
  • Cloud-based or self-hosted deployment options.
Travis CI
  • Small to medium-sized projects with simple build requirements.
  • Cloud-based deployment.
CircleCI
  • Small to medium-sized projects with simple build requirements.
  • Cloud-based deployment.
TeamCity
  • Large projects with complex build requirements.
  • Self-hosted deployment
Bamboo
  • Large projects with complex build requirements.
  • Self-hosted deployment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the six open-source CI/CD tools covered in the article are Jenkins, GitLab CI, Travis CI, CircleCI, TeamCity, and Bamboo. Additionally, evaluate the tool's features and capabilities, such as support for different platforms, integrations, and automation options.

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