A generic tool installer. You define how tools get installed, and the plugin will automatically install them when needed.
A job will often require a tool not already installed on your slave machines. In large Jenkins environments, this often results in waiting on an administrator. The goal of this plugin is to let users manage their own tools, without requiring this administrator involvement.
Using this plugin, you can define a script (or just a URL) for installing a tool. You then define which jobs require the tool, and the plugin installs them as needed before the build runs.
Let's say that you have a build that needs NodeJS. The first step is to add the tool to the "Custom Tools" section in the global configuration. You could use a script, as follows. The "Exported paths" field lets you specify multiple directory patterns which will be added to the $PATH so that your build needn't know where the tool is actually installed.
Then, you can just use the tool in your job, without having to know where it's installed. The plugin will install it as needed before your job runs, and make sure the $PATH is setup correctly:
Custom Tools plugin provides a support of versioning. Currently the plugins uses the functionality provided by Extended Choice Parameter plugin, but it's a subject for a change in the future. Extended Choice Parameter plugin allows to setup versions locally in the global configuration or to reference a property file with the version listing.
Version configuration example:
Version usage in Tool Installers:
Configuration of the Tool Version parameter:
Example of the build parameter dialog:
Wiki will be updated according to changes in 0.3 and 0.4 versions.
Ryan's vision: In the future, there will be a repository of tool installers hosted by the Jenkins community on GitHub, allowing people to share tool installation scripts.
Compared to Tool Environment Plugin the advantages are that you can define tools of arbitrary type more intuitively (otherwise you would need to make an e.g. "Ant installation" that is not in fact Ant at all but really NodeJS); and in the common case that your usage of the tool is just adding it to $PATH, it is a little easier to configure on the job side. In the future these plugins should be merged.
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