Common Build Problems
My tests broke but were working yesterday
A very common cause when a test is suddenly breaking without any major code changes involved is a change in upstream dependencies.
This can be a Ubuntu package or any of your project’s language dependencies, like RubyGems, NPM packages, Pip, Composer, etc.
To find out if this is the case, restart a build that used to be green, the last known working one, for instance. If that build suddenly fails too, there’s a good chance, that a dependency was updated and is causing the breakage.
Make sure to check the list of dependencies in the build log, usually output including versions, and see if there’s anything that’s changed.
Sometimes, this can also be caused by an indirect dependency that was updated.
After figuring out which dependency was updated, lock it to the last known version.
Additionally, we update our build environment regularly, which brings in newer versions of languages and the running services.
My build script is killed without any error
Sometimes, you’ll see a build script being causing an error, and the message in
the log will be something like
This is usually caused by the script or one of the programs it runs exhausting the memory available in the build sandbox, which is currently 3GB. Plus, there are two cores available, bursted.
Depending on the tool in use, this can be cause by a few things:
- Ruby test suite consuming too much memory
- Tests running in parallel using too many processes or threads (e.g. using the
- g++ needing too much memory to compile files, for instance with a lot of templates included.
For parallel processes running at the same time, try to reduce the number. More than two to four processes should be fine, beyond that, resources are likely to be exhausted.
With Ruby processes, check the memory consumption on your local machine, it’s likely to show similar causes. It can be caused by memory leaks or by custom settings for the garbage collector, for instance to delay a sweep for as long as possible. Dialing these numbers down should help.
My build fails unexpectedly
One possible cause for builds failing unexpectedly can be calling
set -e (also known as
set errexit) directly in your
.travis.yml. This causes any error causing a non-zero return status in your script to stop and fail the build.
Note that using
set -e in external scripts does not cause this problem.
See also Complex Build Steps.
Segmentation faults from the language interpreter (Ruby, Python, PHP, Node.js, etc.)
If your build is failing due to unexpected segmentation faults in the language interpreter, this may be caused by corrupt or invalid caches of your extension codes (gems, modules, etc). This can happen with any interpreted language, such as Ruby, Python, PHP, Node.js, etc.
Fix the problem by clearing the cache or removing the cache key from your .travis.yml (you can add it back in a subsequent commit).
Ruby: RSpec returns 0 even though the build failed
In some scenarios, when running
rake rspec or even rspec directly, the command
returns 0 even though the build failed. This is commonly due to some RubyGem
at_exit handler of another RubyGem, in this case RSpec’s.
The workaround is to install this
at_exit handler in your code, as pointed out
in this article.
if defined?(RUBY_ENGINE) && RUBY_ENGINE == "ruby" && RUBY_VERSION >= "1.9" module Kernel alias :__at_exit :at_exit def at_exit(&block) __at_exit do exit_status = $!.status if $!.is_a?(SystemExit) block.call exit exit_status if exit_status end end end end
If your project is using the Code Climate integration or Simplecov, this issue can also come up with the 0.8 branch of Simplecov. The fix is downgrade to the last 0.7 release until the issue is fixed.
Capybara: I’m getting errors about elements not being found
This can indicate that the timeouts used for Selenium or one of its drivers are set too low.
Capybara has a timeout setting which you can increase to a minimum of 15 seconds:
Capybara.default_max_wait_time = 15
Poltergeist has its own setting for timeouts:
Capybara.register_driver :poltergeist do |app| Capybara::Poltergeist::Driver.new(app, timeout: 15) end
If you’re still seeing timeouts after increasing it initially, set it to something much higher for one test run. Should the error still persist, there’s possibly a deeper issue on the page, for instance compiling the assets.
Ruby: Installing the debugger_ruby-core-source library fails
This Ruby library unfortunately has a history of breaking with even patchlevel releases of Ruby. It’s commonly a dependency of libraries like linecache or other Ruby debugging libraries.
We recommend moving these libraries to a separate group in your Gemfile and then to install RubyGems on Travis CI without this group. As these libraries are only useful for local development, you’ll even gain a speedup during the installation process of your build.
# Gemfile group :debug do gem 'debugger' gem 'debugger-linecache' gem 'rblineprof' end # .travis.yml bundler_args: --without development debug
Ruby: tests frozen and cancelled after 10 minute log silence
In some cases, the use of the
timecop gem can result in seemingly sporadic
“freezing” due to issues with ordering calls of
Timecop.travel. For example, if using RSpec, be sure to
Timecop.return configured to run after all examples:
# in, e.g. spec/spec_helper.rb RSpec.configure do |c| c.after :all do Timecop.return end end
Mac: OS X Mavericks (10.9) Code Signing Errors
With Mavericks, quite a lot has changed in terms of code signing and the keychain application.
Signs of issues can be errors messages stating that an identity can’t be found and that “User interaction is not allowed.”
The keychain must be marked as the default keychain, must be unlocked explicitly and the build needs to make sure that the keychain isn’t locked before the critical point in the build is reached. The following set of commands takes care of this:
KEY_CHAIN=ios-build.keychain security create-keychain -p travis $KEY_CHAIN # Make the keychain the default so identities are found security default-keychain -s $KEY_CHAIN # Unlock the keychain security unlock-keychain -p travis $KEY_CHAIN # Set keychain locking timeout to 3600 seconds security set-keychain-settings -t 3600 -u $KEY_CHAIN
Mac: macOS Sierra (10.12) Code Signing Errors
With the introduction of macOS Sierra (10.12) on our infrastructure, we’ve seen build jobs that were hanging at the codesigning step of the build process. Here’s some information on how to recognize this issue and fix it.
Your build is running on macOS Sierra (10.12) if the following
osx_image values are in your .travis.yml file:
The following lines in your build log possibly indicate an occurence of this issue:
▸ Signing /Users/travis/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData/PresenterKit-ggzwtlifkopsnbffbqrmtydtmafv/Build/Intermediates/CodeCoverage/Products/Debug-iphonesimulator/project.xctest No output has been received in the last 10m0s, this potentially indicates a stalled build or something wrong with the build itself. Check the details on how to adjust your build configuration on: https://docs.travis-ci.com/user/common-build-problems/#Build-times-out-because-no-output-was-received The build has been terminated
Example: Embed Pods Frameworks
▸ Running script '[CP] Embed Pods Frameworks' No output has been received in the last 10m0s, this potentially indicates a stalled build or something wrong with the build itself. Check the details on how to adjust your build configuration on: https://docs.travis-ci.com/user/common-build-problems/#Build-times-out-because-no-output-was-received The build has been terminated
To fix this issue, you will need to add the following command after you have imported your certificate:
security set-key-partition-list -S apple-tool:,apple: -s -k keychainPass keychainName
keychainPassis the password of your keychain
keychainNameis the name of your keychain
Here’s an example of where to put the command in context:
# Create the keychain with a password security create-keychain -p travis ios-build.keychain # Make the custom keychain default, so xcodebuild will use it for signing security default-keychain -s ios-build.keychain # Unlock the keychain security unlock-keychain -p travis ios-build.keychain # Add certificates to keychain and allow codesign to access them security import ./Provisioning/certs/apple.cer -k ~/Library/Keychains/ios-build.keychain -T /usr/bin/codesign security import ./Provisioning/certs/distribution.cer -k ~/Library/Keychains/ios-build.keychain -T /usr/bin/codesign security import ./Provisioning/certs/distribution.p12 -k ~/Library/Keychains/ios-build.keychain -P $KEY_PASSWORD -T /usr/bin/codesign security set-key-partition-list -S apple-tool:,apple: -s -k travis ios-build.keychain
IMPORTANT: It’s mandatory to create a keychain with a password for the command
security set-key-partition-listto work.
create_keychain( name: ENV["MATCH_KEYCHAIN_NAME"], password: ENV["MATCH_PASSWORD"], default_keychain: true, unlock: true, timeout: 3600, add_to_search_list: true ) match( type: "adhoc", keychain_name: ENV["MATCH_KEYCHAIN_NAME"], keychain_password: ENV["MATCH_PASSWORD"], readonly: true )
If you are using
import_certificate directly to import your certificates, it’s mandatory to pass your keychain’s password as a parameter e.g.
keychain_name = "ios-build.keychain" keychain_password = SecureRandom.base64 create_keychain( name: keychain_name, password: keychain_password, default_keychain: true, unlock: true, timeout: 3600, add_to_search_list: true ) import_certificate( certificate_path: "fastlane/Certificates/dist.p12", certificate_password: ENV["KEY_PASSWORD"], keychain_name: keychain_name keychain_password: keychain_password )
Mac: Errors running CocoaPods
CocoaPods usage can fail for a few reasons currently.
Newer version of CocoaPods required
Most Pods now require CocoaPods 0.32.1, but we still have 0.21 preinstalled. If
you’re seeing this error, add this to your
before_install: - gem install cocoapods -v '0.32.1'
CocoaPods can’t be found
CocoaPods isn’t currently installed on all available Rubies, which unfortunately means it will fail when using the default Ruby, which is 2.0.0.
To work around this issue, you can either install CocoaPods manually as shown
above, or you can switch to Ruby 1.9.3 in your
.travis.yml, which should work
without any issues:
CocoaPods fails with a segmentation fault
On Ruby 2.0.0, CocoaPods has been seen crashing with a segmentation fault.
You can work around the issue by using Ruby 1.9.3, which hasn’t shown these
issues. Add this to your
System: Required language pack isn’t installed
The Travis CI build environments currently have only the en_US language pack installed. If you get an error similar to : “Error: unsupported locale setting”, then you may need to install another language pack during your test run.
This can be done with the follow addition to your
before_install: - sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get --reinstall install -qq language-pack-en language-pack-de
The above addition will reinstall the en_US language pack, as well as the de_DE language pack.
If you are running on the container-base infrastructure and don’t have access
sudo command, install locales using the APT addon:
addons: apt: packages: - language-pack-en - language-pack-de
Linux: apt fails to install package with 404 error
This is often caused by old package database and can be fixed by adding the following to
before_install: - sudo apt-get update
Travis CI does not Preserve State Between Builds
Travis CI uses virtual machine snapshotting to make sure no state is preserved between builds. If you modify CI environment by writing something to a data store, creating files or installing a package via apt, it does not affect subsequent builds.
SSH is not working as expected
Travis CI runs all commands over SSH in isolated virtual machines. Commands that
modify SSH session state are “sticky” and persist throughout the build. For example,
cd into a directory, all subsequent commands are run from that directory.
Git Submodules are not updated correctly
Travis CI automatically initializes and updates submodules when there’s a
.gitmodules file in the root of the repository.
To turn this off, set:
git: submodules: false
If your project requires specific options for your Git submodules which Travis CI
does not support out of the box, turn off the automatic integration and use the
before_install hook to initializes and update them.
For example, to update nested submodules:
before_install: - git submodule update --init --recursive
Git cannot clone my Submodules
If your project uses Git submodules, make sure you use public Git URLs. For example, on GitHub, instead of
Otherwise, Travis CI builders won’t be able to clone your project because they don’t have your private SSH key.
My builds are timing out
Builds can unfortunately time out, either during installation of dependencies, or during the build itself, for instance because of a command that’s taking a longer amount of time to run while not producing any output.
Our builds have a global timeout and a timeout that’s based on the output. If no output is received from a build for 10 minutes, it’s assumed to have stalled for unknown reasons and is subsequently killed.
At other times, installation of dependencies can timeout. Bundler and RubyGems are a relevant example. Network connectivity between our servers can sometimes affect connectivity to APT, Maven or other repositories.
There are few ways to work around that.
Timeouts installing dependencies
If you are getting network timeouts when trying to download dependencies, either
use the built in retry feature of your dependency manager or wrap your install
commands in the
Bundler retries three times by default, but if you need to increase that number,
use the following syntax in your
bundler_args: --retry 5
For commands which do not have a built in retry feature, use the
function to retry it up three times if the return code is non-zero:
install: travis_retry pip install myawesomepackage
Most of our internal build commands are wrapped with
travis_retry to reduce the
impact of network timeouts.
travis_retry only works within the
script step. It will not work
in other steps, like
Build times out because no output was received
When a long running command or compile step regularly takes longer than 10 minutes without producing any output, you can adjust your build configuration to take that into consideration.
The shell environment in our build system provides a function that helps to work around that, at least for longer than 10 minutes.
If you have a command that doesn’t produce output for more than 10 minutes, you can prefix it with
travis_wait, a function that’s exported by our build environment. For example:
install: travis_wait mvn install
spawns a process running
travis_wait then writes a short line to the build log every minute for 20 minutes, extending the amount of time your command has to finish.
If you expect the command to take more than 20 minutes, prefix the command with
travis_wait n where
n is the number of minutes extend the waiting time by.
Continuing the example above, to extend the wait time to 30 minutes:
install: travis_wait 30 mvn install
We recommend careful use of
travis_wait, as overusing it can extend your build time when there could be a deeper underlying issue. When in doubt, file a ticket or email us first to see if something could be improved about this particular command first.
travis_wait works by starting a process, sending it to the background, and watching the background
If the command you pass to
travis_wait does not persist, then
travis_wait does not extend the timeout.
Troubleshooting Locally in a Docker Image
If you’re having trouble tracking down the exact problem in a build it often
helps to run the build locally. To do this you need to be using our container
based infrastructure (ie, have
sudo: false in your
.travis.yml), and to know
which Docker image you are using on Travis CI.
Running a Container Based Docker Image Locally
Download and install Docker:
- Choose a Docker image
- Select an image on Docker Hub for the language (“default” if no other name matches) using the table below:
language Docker Hub image android travisci/ci-amethyst:packer-1512508255-986baf0 erlang travisci/ci-amethyst:packer-1512508255-986baf0 haskell travisci/ci-amethyst:packer-1512508255-986baf0 perl travisci/ci-amethyst:packer-1512508255-986baf0 default travisci/ci-garnet:packer-1512502276-986baf0 go travisci/ci-garnet:packer-1512502276-986baf0 jvm travisci/ci-garnet:packer-1512502276-986baf0 node_js travisci/ci-garnet:packer-1512502276-986baf0 php travisci/ci-garnet:packer-1512502276-986baf0 python travisci/ci-garnet:packer-1512502276-986baf0 ruby travisci/ci-garnet:packer-1512502276-986baf0
- Start a Docker container detached with
- ci-garnet image on Trusty
docker run --name travis-debug -dit travisci/ci-garnet:packer-1490989530 /sbin/init
- ci-garnet image on Trusty
Open a login shell in the running container
docker exec -it travis-debug bash -l
Switch to the
su - travis
Clone your git repository into the home directory.
git clone --depth=50 --branch=master https://github.com/travis-ci/travis-build.git
(Optional) Check out the commit you want to test
git checkout 6b14763
Manually install dependencies, if any.
- Manually run your Travis CI build command.
Running builds in debug mode
In private repositories and those public repositories for which the feature is enabled, it is possible to run builds and jobs in the debug mode. Using this feature, you can interact with the live VM where your builds run.
For more information, please consult the debug VM documentation.
Log Length exceeded
The log for each build is limited to approximately 4 Megabytes. When it reaches that length the build is terminated and you’ll see the following message at the end of your build log:
The log length has exceeded the limit of 4 Megabytes (this usually means that test suite is raising the same exception over and over). The build has been terminated.
FTP/SMTP/other protocol does not work
Some protocols such as FTP and SMTP are not directly supported due to the
infrastructure requirements in place for security and fair usage. Using
stateless protocols such as HTTPS is best, but tunneling is
also known to work, such as by using SFTP in the specific case of FTP, or a VPN
connection for a wide variety of protocols, e.g.:
sudo: required addons: apt: packages: - openvpn before_install: - sudo openvpn path/to/conf.ovpn &>>openvpn-client.log &
I pushed a commit and can’t find its corresponding build
The build request events that Travis CI receives are listed in your repository’s Requests page. You can find it under the More Options dropdown menu, choosing Requests.
Whenever your build has been processed you’ll see the message: “Build created successfully”.
If a build hasn’t been triggered for your commit, these are the possible build request messages:
- “Could not authorize build request”, usually means that the account’s subscription expired or that it ran out of trial builds.
- “Build skipped via commit message”, this commit contains
- “GitHub payload is missing a merge commit”, please confirm your pull request is open and mergeable.
- “Branch excluded per configuration” or “Branch not included per configuration”, please make sure your branch is not explicitly excluded or not included in your
- Build type disabled via repository settings, please make sure your Push and Pull Request builds are still active.
Please note that Travis CI does not receive a Webhook event when more than three commits are tagged. So if you do
git push --tags, and more than three tags that are present locally, are not known on GitHub, Travis will not be told about any of those events, and the tagged commits will not be built.