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Enable automatic builds with Jenkins and GitHub

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Enable automatic builds with Jenkins and GitHub
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Enable automatic builds with Jenkins and GitHub

Configure a webhook between GitHub and Jenkins to automatically build and test your source code changes

You will learn

  • How to setup a webhook connection between Jenkins and GitHub
  • How a pull-request in GitHub will automatically trigger a build in Jenkins

By default, you have to manually start the pipeline flow from the Jenkins user interface. However, for true Continuous Delivery builds, Jenkins should immediately trigger the build and test process for each commit or pull request, and every change that has successfully passed all tests must be deployed to production.

In this tutorial, you will set up a webhook between GitHub and Jenkins, so Jenkins will be triggered immediately after each change to your repository.

Step 1: Setup a webhook to Jenkins in GitHub

Open a browser to your GitHub account, and navigate to your cloudsdk-cf-aws repository.

Click on the Settings tab at the right, and from the menu on the left, click Webhooks and then click the Add webhook button.

Here you have to provide a Payload URL. In this case, the payload URL is the Jenkins URL which will receive the webhook POST request from GitHub.

The Jenkins payload URL consists of the Jenkins base URL, suffixed with /github-webhook/, for instance:

Note the final / at the end of the URL; if you forget to add it, the URL won’t work.

Enter the following details:

Field Value
Payload URL <Jenkins base URL>/github-webhook/
Content type application/json
Which events would you like to trigger this webhook? Just the push event
Active Enabled
GitHub webhook configuration

When done, click the green Add webhook button.

If the added webhook is successfully validated, it will show a green check next to it:

GitHub webhook configuration

If it isn’t successfully validated, then most likely you have misconfigured the payload URL. In that case, make sure you:

  • have entered the correct base URL for Jenkins running on your Amazon AWS EC2 instance, for instance
  • have added /github-webhook/ at the end of your Jenkins base URL, and made sure you added the final /
What does your webhook URL look like?
Step 2: Create GitHub personal access token

In order for the webhook to work, Jenkins need an OAuth token to authenticate to GitHub. To generate this token, click on your Profile picture in the top right, click Settings, and from the menu on the left, click Developer settings.

In the Developer settings page, click Personal access tokens from the left menu and click the Generate new token button.

Enter the following details:

Field Value
Note GitHub webhook token
repo Enabled
admin:repo_hook Enabled
GitHub personal token

Click the green Generate token when done.

In the next screen, copy the generated token by clicking the Copy icon next to it, and save it in a temporary text file for later use, as you won’t get to see the generated token again:

GitHub personal token
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Step 3: Add GitHub OAuth credentials in Jenkins

Now you need to add credentials to Jenkins so it can authenticate with the OAuth token to GitHub. In this case, you don’t add a username/password credentials, but you add a Secret text credential where you provide the personal access token you have generated in the previous step.

Open a browser to your Jenkins instance. On the landing page of the Jenkins CI/CD Server, navigate to Credentials > System.

From the right pane, click the Global credentials (unrestricted) link.

From the left menu, click Add Credentials and provide the following details:

Field Value
Scope Global
Kind Secret text
Scope Global
Secret <your GitHub personal access token>
Description GitHub webhook token
GitHub OAuth credentials in Jenkins

Click Add when done.

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Step 4: Link Jenkins to Github

The last step of the configuration is to tell Jenkins where to listen to for webhooks.

On Jenkins landing page, select Manage Jenkins from the left menu, and in the right pane, click the Configure System button.

Scroll down a bit until the GitHub panel, and click the Add GitHub Server button.

Enter the following details:

Field Value
Name <leave blank>
Credentials GitHub webhook token (These are the credentials you have created in the previous step)
Manage hooks Enabled
GitHub OAuth credentials in Jenkins

Click the Test connection button to verify the connection between Jenkins and GitHub. It should successfully connect.

Click the Save button once done.

The webhook configuration between Jenkins and GitHub is now completed, and Jenkins is ready to automatically start a build when changes are detected in your app’s GitHub repository.

In the final tutorial, you will create a feature branch in your repository, automatically test and build your changes, and then create a pull request which, after it successfully has been build automatically, is then deployed to SAP Cloud Foundry.

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Next Steps


  • An account on Amazon AWS
  • Installed Jenkins in a Docker container on AWS EC2 instance
  • An account on GitHub
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