One of the main things that put Jenkins as one of the top automation tools in the industry is the plugin flexibilities. Plugins create the perfect scenario to fulfill most of your needs or all of them.
Knowing how to get the best of the initially recommended plugins will make all the difference in your automation journey. Many of them represent standard Jenkins behaviors and are also maintained and used at CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise (CJE) version. But you have the freedom to select what fits your project best.
If you have just arrived at this post you may want to read the first part showing how to install Jenkins.
Jenkins has an official site to search for plugins where some key information is shown.
The plugin page is the best place to understand how useful the plugin is. From how many installations it has per month, to notes warning that the plugin became obsolete at some point in your lifetime.
Be aware that the initial manual plugin selection will not show the full list but you will be able to add whichever you want using the Plugin Manager after the installation.
For didactic reasons, let’s cover the same topics used by Suggested Plugins page following the same order as they are suggested. So you will feel confident enough looking at the plugin installation. At the moment of this installation, version 2.73.3, there are 20 recommendations.
Manage Jenkins > Configure Global Security > Markup Formatter. OWASP = Open Web Application Security Project.
Abort the build if it’s stuckat
add timestamps to the Console Outputat the
Build Environmentsection on a job configuration.
Other cool ones not suggested:
This section is very flexible to unmark suggested plugins or mark new ones like .NET or NodeJS support according to your project needs.
Jenkinsfilein the root directory of the project or branch.
Another useful plugin not suggested is Copy Artifact. It enables a build step to copy an artifact from other projects (jobs).
This section basically handles the checkout of your project from various Source Control Management (SCM) like Bitbucket, GitHub, GitLab, and even the old CVS. Jenkins suggests only Git and Apache Subversion initially.
This is a more advanced section when the basics of Jenkins is not enough to your project. SSH Slaves is suggested to access a slave using SSH with Java implementation. And an even more specific that is not suggested is the Windows Slaves that allows connecting to Windows machines.
Another great plugin not suggested is Role-based Authorization Strategy. It is very useful for companies that handle the access by levels of roles.
Email Extension and Mailer improve in many aspects Jenkins email notification like customizing triggers and body mail content.
The plugins Publish Over SSH and SSH are not suggested but they also help to copy files and to execute scripts over SSH protocol.
Congratulations! It’s time to take a ride on Plugin Manager to look and improve your Jenkins plugins. Access this page using the menu
Manage Jenkins > Manage Plugins. From there you will be able to update, install and check what is already installed. You will also notice that there are more than the twenty suggested plugins installed due to their needed dependencies.
Out next article will cover the last part to reach the basic automation of your project, the Jenkins’ jobs.