Cirrus CI vs Jenkins comparison of Continuous Integration servers
What are the differences between Cirrus CI and Jenkins?

Cirrus CI

https://cirrus-ci.org

Jenkins

https://jenkins.io
Unique feature

FreeBSD support

Plugins

Type of product

SaaS / On Premise

Self-hosted / On Premise

Offers a free plan

Yes

Free for open source projects

Yes

Free, open source software
Predictable pricing

Yes

Besides the seat (per-user access) you need to buy compute credits for running the build, priced differently depending on the machine you're running builds on.

Yes

Jenkins is free software, the only costs are those assigned to running your infrastructure.
Support / SLA

N/A

Not clear if they offer any real SLA on support.

No (partial)

No official support available, or SLAs. However, Jenkins' popularity ensures you'll find support in various places (official Jenkins forum, IRC, StackOverflow etc.)
Paralellism
Every CI servers tends to address this differently (parallel, distributed, build matrix). Some of it is just marketing, and some is just nuance. For this table, parallel means that tasks can be run concurrently on the same machine, distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in optimal way with Knapsack Pro

Yes

There are limits on how many tasks can be run in parallel for the free tier builds: https://cirrus-ci.org/faq/#are-there-any-limits

Yes (partial)

Jenkins allows builds to be run in parallel, but all builds share the same environment and there can be issues arising from shared resources such as the filesystem.
Distributed builds
distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in optimal way with Knapsack Pro

N/A

Yes (partial)

Jenkins has a concept of master server and agents, for distributing builds, but setting that up requires quite a bit of manual work from a sysadmin, compared to other options.
Containers support / Build environment

Yes

Allows containers or VMs for every major operating system.

No (partial)

By default, Jenkins runs all builds in the same environment as the build server itself, which can lead to numerous issues and is generally not a good practice. Some plugins address this issue, but they need to be manually installed.
Analytics / Status overview
Analytics and overview referrs to the ability to, at a glance, see what's breaking (be it a certain task, or the build for a specific project)

Yes

Yes

Available via the Blue Ocean project (part of Jenkins): https://jenkins.io/doc/book/blueocean/dashboard/#dashboard
Management support
How easy is it to manage users / projects / assign roles and permissions and so on

N/A

No

In practice, for Jenkins it usually means that there's someone solely in charge of the Jenkins instance (configuration, management). Collaboration features built into other similar products are lacking, as are governance features (no easy way to tell from Jenkins alone _who_ is responsabile for a broken build, for example), even if your Version Control Server of choice can give that information (via `git blame` for example).
Self-hosted option

Yes

Yes

Jenkins is Open Source Software, and self-hosting is the only way to use it.
Hosted plans / SaaS

Yes

No

Only available for self-hosting.
Build pipelines
A continuous delivery pipeline is a description of the process that the software goes through from a new code commit, through testing and other statical analysis steps all the way to the end-users of the product.

Yes

Defined via YML config files

Yes

Offers extensive support for custom pipelines, either through the Jenkins Pipeline DSL, written in a Jenkinsfile, either through the Web UI. Also, their Blue Ocean project is a great tool for building pipelines: https://jenkins.io/projects/blueocean/
Reports
Reports are about the abilty to see specific reports (like code coverage or custom ones), but not necesarily tied in into a larger dashboard.

N/A

Yes

Has ready-made integrations for standard reports such as JUnit test results.
Ecosystem
Besides the official documentation and software, is there a large community using this product? Are there any community-driven tools / plugins that you can use?

N/A

> 1000 community plugins

Thanks to it's popularity, there's a large selection of available plugins for Jenkins. They can all be easily browsed over at https://plugins.jenkins.io/. The downside is that almost anything you want to do in Jenkins requires installing a plugin, even core functionality such as parsing output or checking out source code.
Specific language support: Ruby
Some CI servers have built-in support for parsing RSpec or Istanbul output for example and we mention those. Some others make it even easier by detecting Gemfiles or package.json and automate parts of the process for the developer.

No (partial)

No specific support from what I can gather, but it does provide documentation for Ruby, including integration with the knapsack_pro gem.

Yes (Partial)

RSpec and Cucumber test suites can be integrated into Jenkins thanks to the large pool of available plugins and Ruby gems. Jenkins only understands the JUnit format natively.
Specific language support: JavaScript

No

No specific support and no documentation on setting up a CI/CD process for a Javascript project.

Yes (Partial)

Jest, AVA and other test suites can be integrated into Jenkins thanks to the large pool of available plugins and NPM packages. Jenkins only understands the JUnit format natively.
Integrations
1st party support for common tools (like Slack notifications, various VCS platforms, etc)

Yes

Integrates well with GitHub - the whole CI/CD process starts with a commit to a GitHub repo.

Yes

Allows integrations with other tools (ie: Slack, GitHub) or communication protocols (ie: email) via it's rich plugin suite
API
Custom integreation is available, via an API or otherwise, it's mentioned separately as it allows further customization than any of the Ecosystem/Integration options

Yes

Provides a pretty nifty GraphQL API which allows querying the Cirrus CI Schema, as well as webhooks support for other types of custom integrations (such as Slack or IRC notifications, for example). They also added support for GitHub actions

Yes

For use-cases that the +1k plugins don't cover, the Jenkins Remote API is yet another way to integrate Jenkins into your favorite tools or internal products.
Auditing

N/A

From what we can tell, there's no specific support for auditing changes in the Cirrus CI config (other than what is traceable via git commits to the YML config file)

No

Jenkins instances are really managed by a sole user with administrative privileges. This can lead to various issues when it comes to audit trails / accountability.
Additional notes

Seems to be used by companies with a solid engineering background (Google)

How to run parallel tests on Cirrus CI and Jenkins
to execute 1-hour test suite in 2 minutes?

How it works

1. Install Knapsack Pro client in your project


2. Add Knapsack Pro client to your current CI server and run your tests in parallel



3. Update your CI server config file to run tests in parallel with Knapsack Pro

Knapsack Pro in Queue Mode will split tests in a dynamic way across parallel CI nodes to ensure each CI node finish work at a similar time. Thanks to that your CI build time is as fast as possible. It works with many supported CI servers.

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Continuous delivery pipelines in Jenkins and CI parallelisation

Jenkins parallelism integration

Introduction to CI parallelisation with Knapsack Pro

Run tests in parallel on Cirrus CI and Jenkins in optimal way and avoid bottleneck parallel jobs.

How much can you save with faster tests
on Cirrus CI and Jenkins?

minutes
$

Monthly you can save hours
and up to $
on faster development cycle.

Features that make your tests perform better

  • Queue mode see video

    Dynamic tests allocation across Cirrus CI and Jenkins parallel jobs. Autobalance tests to get optimal test suite split betweeen CI nodes.

  • Regular mode see video

    Test suite split based on time execution. Generates subset of test suite per CI node before running tests.

  • Fallback mode

    Network issues? Not a problem, run tests anyway! Auto switch to the fallback mode to not depend on Knapsack Pro API.

  • All supported test runners

    Ruby: RSpec, Minitest, Test::Unit, Cucumber, Spinach, Turnip.

    JavaScript: Cypress.io, Jest

    Do you use different programming language or test runner? Let us know in the poll

Discover all features or see
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Trusted solution

Join the teams optimizing their tests with Knapsack Pro.

We've been really enjoying Knapsack Pro, it's been saving us a ton of time.

Devin Brown Software Engineer at Pivotal

This is a fantastic product, it's been a total game-changer for us.

Geoff Harcourt CTO at CommonLit

We are using CircleCI and we noticed that builds were being limited by the slowest parallelized container. Knapsack Pro was really east to setup and we saw huge improvements right away. Thank you for making this tool!

Martin Sieniawski Software Engineer at Collage

Knapsack Pro has helped us build an insanely fast and scaleable build pipeline with almost no setup or maintenance.

Tim Lucas Co-founder of buildkite.com

Knapsack Pro saves us hours of engineer waiting time every week, and is the best solution for keeping our tests load balanced that we've used to date.

Michael Amygdalidis Senior Software Engineer at Popular Pays

I just logged into my account expecting it to say that I needed to add a credit card and was so surprised and delighted to see the trial doesn't count usage by calendar days but by testing days! This is incredible! I love it!!!

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that small but very huge feature. Thank you for being so thoughtful :)

Shannon Baffoni Senior Software Engineer
at Blue Bottle Coffee

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