Continuous Deployment With Jenkins And Rex

In this tutorial I will show you how to do continuous deployment with jenkins as a ci tool and Rex as a deployment tool. Together, we will set up Jenkins, the build and test process, a Subversion repository and our example Perl App.

This tutorial can be used with Java-, PHP-, Rails-, ... projects as well. But for simplicity I've chosen Perl.

This howto focuses on Ubuntu LTS 11.04 but it can also be done with other Linux Distributions. For Jenkins you just need a Java Environment and for Rex you just need Perl 5.8 (i recommend >=5.10) and some Perl Modules (see

Read to get a short overview of what Rex is and how it works.



You need the following systems. It is, for sure, possible to build everything on one system, but in this tutorial I will use for every service a seperate system.

  • Continuous Integration Server (short: CI Server). This is the System where Jenkins and the Tests will run on. (Ubuntu 11.04 LTS)
  • Subversion Server (Ubuntu 11.04 LTS)
  • 2 Test Webservers. This will be the systems where we will deploy our test project to. (Ubuntu 11.04 LTS)
  • Your Workstation (doesn't matter what Operating System. I prefer Ubuntu, Debian or Mac OS X)


Installing Rex

Install it on: Your Workstation, CI Server

There are multiple prebuilt packages available for Rex. Just have a look at

You can install Rex via CPAN as well:

sudo sh -c "curl -L | perl - Rex"
sudo sh -c "cpanp -i --skiptest Rex::Apache::Deploy"

To build Rex you need the following dependencies:

  • build-essential
  • libexpat1-dev
  • libssh2-1-dev
  • zlib1g-dev
  • libssl-dev

Don't forget to install Rex and Rex::Apache::Deploy on your Jenkins server as well. You need at least Rex 0.19.0 and Rex::Apache::Deploy 0.7.0.


Installing Tomcat

Install it on: CI Server

At first we will install Jenkins. Fire up a shell and use apt-get to install tomcat6 and tomcat6-admin. If you want, you can use this howto that shows you how to install Tomcat with Rex and jump to Step 2 "Deploying Jenkins".

sudo apt-get install tomcat6 tomcat6-admin

Now open the file /etc/tomcat6/tomcat-users.xml and replace the content with the following.

 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
    <role rolename="manager"/>
    <user username="manager" password="passw0rd" roles="manager"/>

Now restart Tomcat.

sudo /etc/init.d/tomcat6 restart


Deploying Jenkins

Install it on: CI Server

Download Jenkins from


First your need to create the directory /usr/share/tomcat6/.jenkins and change its owner to tomcat6.

sudo mkdir /usr/share/tomcat6/.jenkins
sudo chown tomcat6: /usr/share/tomcat6/.jenkins

Now open up a webbrowser and go to http://your-ci-server:8080/manager/html and select jenkins.war to deploy.

After deploying Jenkins go to http://ci-server/jenkins/.

Okay, if you see the following screenshot everything is working.

Next you will create a Subversion repository where the example project gets managed.


Example Repository

Install it on: Subversion Server

sudo apt-get install subversion libapache2-svn apache2

After you've installed the packages edit the file /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/dav_svn.conf

 <Location /svn>
    # enable svn
    DAV svn
    # set parent path to allow multiple repositories
    SVNParentPath /var/lib/svn

Save the file and create the repository.

sudo mkdir /var/lib/svn
sudo cd /var/lib/svn
sudo svnadmin create webapp
sudo chown -R www-data: .
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart


Example Project

Okay, after you've created your repository, switch back to your workstation, check it out and create a small Project. I've chosen a Mojolicious Project (, because it is easy to setup and to handle.

If you know how to set up Jenkins to work with other projects, for example PHP, RubyOnRails, Java, ... feel free to use a own project.

First install Mojolicious:

sudo sh -c "curl -L | perl - Mojolicious"

Install Mojolicious on your CI Server and Webserver, too.

After installing create a mojo app.

svn co http://your-svn-server/svn/webapp
cd webapp
mojo generate app MySite
cd my_site
mojo generate makefile
sed -ie 's/MyApp/MySite/g' Makefile.PL
sed -ie 's/my_app/my_site/g' Makefile.PL
rm Makefile.PLe

Now create a configuration file for the build-in webserver Hypnotoad. Create a new file hypnotoad.conf and put the following lines in it.

    listen   => ['http://*:80'],
    workers  => 5,
    pid_file => '/var/run/',
    user     => 'www-data'

Okay that is enough for the first try. You can view your application by starting the development server.

./script/my_site daemon

This will start a development server on port 3000 on your workstation.

Add everything to subversion and commit it.

cd ../..
svn add my_site
svn ci -m "inital commit"


Installing TAP::Harness::JUnit

Install it on: CI Server

To get Jenkins compatible test outputs we need to install another perl module. This module is called TAP::Harness::JUnit.

Don't forget the dependencies

sudo apt-get install curl build-essential
sudo sh -c "curl -L | perl - TAP::Harness::JUnit"
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