The OS X Build Environment

What This Guide Covers

This guide explain what packages, tools and settings are available in the Travis CI environment (often referred to as "CI environment") as well as how virtual machines that workers use are upgraded and deployed. The latter explains how soon you should expect new versions of Ruby, PHP, Node.js and so on to be provided.


Travis CI runs builds in virtual machines that are snapshotted before each build and rolled back at the end of it. This offers a number of benefits:

  • Host OS is not affected by test suites
  • No state persists between runs
  • Passwordless sudo is available (so you can install dependencies using apt and so on)
  • It is possible for test suites to create databases, add RabbitMQ vhosts/users and so on

The environment available to test suites is known as the Travis CI environment.

CI environment OS uses OS X 10.8.5

Environment common to all VM images


Homebrew is installed and updated every time the VMs are updated. It is recommended that you run brew update before installing anything with Homebrew.

Compilers & Build toolchain

GCC 4.2.1, Clang 4.1, make, autotools.

Networking tools

curl, wget, OpenSSL, rsync


Xcode 5.0.2 is installed with the iOS 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, 6.1 and 7.0 simulators. Command Line Tools are installed as well.


Every worker has at least one version of

  • Ruby
  • Java
  • Python

to accommodate projects that may need one of those runtimes during the build.

Environment variables

  • CI=true
  • TRAVIS=true
  • USER=travis (do not depend on this value)
  • HOME=/Users/travis (do not depend on this value)

Additionally, Travis CI sets environment variables you can use in your build, e.g. to tag the build, or to run post-build deployments.

  • TRAVIS_BRANCH: The name of the branch currently being built.
  • TRAVIS_BUILD_DIR: The absolute path to the directory where the repository being built has been copied on the worker.
  • TRAVIS_BUILD_ID: The id of the current build that Travis CI uses internally.
  • TRAVIS_BUILD_NUMBER: The number of the current build (for example, "4").
  • TRAVIS_COMMIT: The commit that the current build is testing.
  • TRAVIS_COMMIT_RANGE: The range of commits that were included in the push or pull request.
  • TRAVIS_JOB_ID: The id of the current job that Travis CI uses internally.
  • TRAVIS_JOB_NUMBER: The number of the current job (for example, "4.1").
  • TRAVIS_PULL_REQUEST: The pull request number if the current job is a pull request, "false" if it's not a pull request.
  • TRAVIS_SECURE_ENV_VARS: Whether or not secure environment vars are being used. This value is either "true" or "false".
  • TRAVIS_REPO_SLUG: The slug (in form: owner_name/repo_name) of the repository currently being built. (for example, "travis-ci/travis-build").

Maven version

Stock Apache Maven 3.

Ruby versions/implementations

  • system (1.8.7) -- You need to use sudo to install gems with this ruby
  • 1.9.3
  • 2.0.0 (default)

Rubies are built using RVM that is installed per-user.

Bundler version

Recent 1.2.x version (usually the most recent)

Gems in the global gem set

  • bundler
  • rake