Capture failed CI runs in Travis

Save failed CI runs


We are going to use Travis to capture the state of your CI at the end of a run.


Our examples have very basic requirements:

  1. An account with Travis
  2. A source code repository on github that Travis can retrieve.
  3. A dothub account to save your data states.

Running the Demo


  1. Set up a Travis account
  2. Connect Travis to your repository
  3. Get a dothub account and API key, and save it to travis
  4. Modify your .travis.yml to initialize dotmesh
  5. Modify your test launcher to use dotmesh volumes
  6. Modify your .travis.yml to capture data after tests are complete

Set up a Travis account

If you already have a Travis account, you can skip this step.

If you do not, go to https://travis-ci.org and sign up for an account.

Connect Your Repository

With a Travis account ready, you need to configure it to monitor your repository for changes.

NOTE: If your repository is part of a namespace that already has every repository monitored and built by Travis, you can skip this step.

To connect a single repository:

  1. Go to the Travis account page, either https://travis-ci.org or https://travis-ci.com
  2. Search for your repository
  3. Select the repository and click activate

You should feel free to use our sample repository. It has a functional travis.yml that fulfills all of the required steps.

Register for a dothub account and get your API key

Go to https://dothub.com and register for an account. Once that is done, retrieve your API key and save it. The API key is available under “Settings” -> “Api Key”.

Your testing scripts will need access to the API key. You can save it either as an environment variable under “Settings” for the individual repository, or for your entire account. Save your username as DOTHUB_USER and your API key as DOTHUB_KEY.

Modify your travis.yml to initialize dotmesh

Initializing dotmesh using the following process:

  1. Download the dotmesh client dm: sudo curl -oL /usr/local/bin/dm https://get.dotmesh.io/$(uname -s)/dm && chmod +x /usr/local/bin/dm.
  2. Initialize a dotmesh cluster: dm cluster init
  3. Add the dothub as a remote: dm remote add dothub <youraccount>@dothub.com . This step is optional; you always can capture states and keep them local. However, it is extremely useful to be able to save your states in a central hub, and recall them afterwards.

The example travis.yml in our sample repository already has this code set up in steps. That example also uses docker-compose file format v3.4, so we upgrade the version of the docker-compose binary to 1.18.0.

Modify your test launcher to use dotmesh volumes

A normal test run would include a travis.yml snippet that looks something like this:

- make test

In this example, our Makefile target named test just runs docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml run test. In order to use dotmesh volumes instead of the usual ephemeral directories, we extend our compose file with:

    driver: dm
    name: ${VOL_ID}.redis
    driver: dm
    name: ${VOL_ID}.mysql

Modify your travis.yml to capture data after tests are complete

Once the tests are done, we want to capture the state of CI. However, we will not do the capture from just another script step. If we did, we would miss a failure that caused it to exit. Instead, we will capture it from with in an after_script step:

  - dm switch ${VOL_ID} && dm commit -m "CI run $(date)" && dm push dothub --remote-name ${REMOTE_ID}

If you only want to catch failures, replace after_script with after_failure.


You now have a fully functional Continuous Integration that:

  1. Runs your app
  2. Captures its states from multiple databases
  3. Saves the state at the end of the CI run, whether it succeeds or fails, as a single dot
  4. Pushes the dot to dothub, where you can view it, use it and retrieve it for further analysis

Important Note: Nothing about our travis.yml is unique to any of our repos. All of the settings are defined either in environment variables at the beginning of the travis.yml or as credentials in your travis account.