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InfoQ Homepage News CloudBees Releases Official Jenkins X Distribution

CloudBees Releases Official Jenkins X Distribution


CloudBees has released its official Jenkins X distribution, a CI/CD tool for cloud-native Kubernetes applications based on the GitOps approach. CloudBees will take the essential features from the open-source code with a monthly release cadence. This initial release supports GKE, pipelines, vault integration, and preview environments; additional features like DevPods will come in a future version.

Jenkins X is a tool to enable continuous delivery on Kubernetes. Users can create a CI/CD pipeline without requiring in-depth knowledge of how to use Jenkins X or Kubernetes. CloudBees’ distribution is a flavored version of the open-source project but with the option to buy support plans from CloudBees. To get the latest news from CloudBees’ distribution, users must subscribe to their newsletter.

The critical features that CloudBees' distribution release includes in its initial release are to allow teams to have preview environments after developers create or update a pull-request in git. To get started, the cluster needs the required services installed and configured, and Jenkins X configured in an existing cluster with the jx boot command. Or, users can also provision a Kubernetes cluster in GKE with the jx create cluster gke command.

Among other critical features, CloudBees is including the ability to create Jenkins X pipelines. Jenkins X uses the Tekton open-source project to declare and run CI/CD pipelines for Kubernetes based applications. A pipeline definition resides in the jenkins-x.yml file from the project repository in YAML format. Users define the pipeline type, for instance, processing merges to the master branch; and the development lifecycle to define the steps for building, testing, and releasing the application.

For users who want to create a CI/CD pipeline for an existing application, CloudBees is including the support of quickstarts via the jx create quickstart command using pre-configured templates for a limited list of languages like Go, Node.js, or Java. The quickstart command will take care of creating things like the Dockerfile, the jenkins-x.yml file, and the helm chart if they don’t exist already. It will also take care of configuring a webhook on the remote git repository to trigger the CI/CD pipeline automatically. Quickstarts use build packs, based on the draft open-source project to build and deploy applications for Kubernetes.

CloudBees’ distribution is also including support for handling security and authentication resources through HashiCorp Vault. Although, at the time being, CloudBees is not recommending the use of Vault for highly secure data as Vault doesn’t have a secure connection using HTTPS. CloudBees’ distribution installs and configures Vault by default when creating the cluster. Jenkins X uses Vault to store its secrets such as GitHub tokens or GitOps secrets, but users can use secrets in the CI/CD pipeline as well with the jx get command.

In the upcoming releases of Jenkins X, CloudBees is planning to include an enhanced user UI, support additional cloud providers like AWS EKS, and the support for DevPods for developers to use a pod as a terminal to debug their applications directly into Kubernetes.

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