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  • Each computer has an user called jenkins and a group called jenkins. All computers use the same UID and GID. (If you have access to NIS, this can be done more easily.) This is not a Jenkins requirement, but it makes the agent management easier.
  • On each computer, /var/jenkins directory is set as the home directory of user jenkins. Again, this is not a hard requirement, but having the same directory layout makes things easier to maintain.
  • All machines run sshd. Windows agents run cygwin sshd.
  • All machines have /usr/sbin/ntpdate installed, and synchronize clock regularly with the same NTP server.
  • Master's /var/jenkins have all the build tools beneath it --- a few versions of Ant, Maven, and JDKs. JDKs are native programs, so I have JDK copies for all the architectures I need. The directory structure looks like this:

    No Format
      +- .ssh
      +- bin
      |   +- agent  (more about this below)
      +- workspace (jenkins creates this file and store all data files inside)
      +- tools
          +- ant-1.5
          +- ant-1.6
          +- maven-1.0.2
          +- maven-2.0
          +- java-1.4 -> native/java-1.4 (symlink)
          +- java-1.5 -> native/java-1.5 (symlink)
          +- java-1.8 -> native/java-1.8 (symlink)
          +- native -> solaris-sparcv9 (symlink; different on each computer)
          +- solaris-sparcv9
          |   +- java-1.4
          |   +- java-1.5
          |   +- java-1.8
          +- linux-amd64
              +- java-1.4
              +- java-1.5
               +- java-1.8
  • Master's /var/jenkins/.ssh has private/public key and authorized_keys so that a master can execute programs on agents through ssh, by using public key authentication.
  • On master, I have a little shell script that uses rsync to synchronize master's /var/jenkins to agents (except /var/jenkins/workspace). I also use the script to replicate tools on all agents.
  • /var/jenkins/bin/launch-agent is a shell script that Jenkins uses to execute jobs remotely. This shell script sets up PATH and a few other things before launching agent.jar. Below is a very simple example script.

    Code Block
    export PATH
    java -jar /var/jenkins/bin/agent.jar