Tagged: GoCD

Why Would You Have a Go.cd Pipeline with No Materials?

So, I need to run a Go pipeline that isn’t dependent on a material, meaning Go’s out the box implementation of a material. What I’m talking about is a dumb hack to get a production deployment working in an environment with stringent security policies. We have two Go servers. One orchestrates pipelines in our pre-production environments. Because of the security concerns we have a second Go server just to deploy production. When a package has gone through all of the quality gates in pre-production it is ready to deploy to production and the deployable packages are placed in an artifact repository (right now a file share) that is accessible by the production Go server.

When we want to deploy production, we manually trigger a pipeline on the production Go server that kicks off a job to get the deploy package from the package repository and place it in the production Go server’s artifact repository. With the package in the production, all of the production deploy agents have access to deploy it. Normally, this “get files from a share” business would be handled by a material setup in Go, but I couldn’t find one that could poll a file share and sticking these binaries in a source repo that was accessible to the preproduction and production domains sounded like overkill at the time.

What would be even better and make me fall in love with Go even more would be if two server could talk to each other then I could just have the production Go server poll the preprod server to see if it has a new package in some pipeline. I guess I could

  • do a little Java code and do some type of file share repository poller
  • setup Artifactory or NuGet and use the pollers already build for them
  • explore the Go API and see if I could do a service to have the servers talk to each other through the API
  • spend a little more time on Google and Github to see if this has already been solved

Because I’m not fluent in Java, much of this felt like a trip down the rabbit hole and I was already shaving a Yak with trying to get this supposedly quick hack up. Yet, what I did was the simplest thing I could think of to get going.

Anyway, I finally set up a fake git repo and ignored that material I setup to point to it. First setting up Git: initializing a repo, creating a bare repo, cloning the initialized repo into the bare repo and configuring the bare repo as a material in Go. Then on the Stage config there is an option for “Fetch Materials”. Go will only do material updates and checkouts if this is checked, so I unchecked it. On the Material config there is an option for “Poll for new changes”. This will stop Go from polling the material for changes, but you still have to set one up. It has to be a valid material. You can’t just put “myfakegitrepo” in the URL, I tried… it failed.

So, although you can’t get away with not using a material you can make the material insignificant after it is setup. I hope this doesn’t help anyone, if it does you are probably doing something complex and wrong like me.

GoCD: Install Multiple Agents with Powershell, Take 2

I wrote about how to Automate Agent Install with PowerShell and thought I would provide the script I am using now since I recently had to deploy some new agents. The script is below and it is pretty self explanatory and generally follows my previous blog post and the Go.cd documentation.

We basically, copy an existing agent to a new location, remove some files that are agent specific, and create a Windows service to run the agent. Until I feel the pain of having to do it, I set the service account/password and start the service manually. Also, I configure the agent on the server manually through the Go.cd UI. When I have to install more agents I will probably automate it then.

$currentAgentPath = "D:\Go Agents\Internal\1";
$newAgentName = "Go Agent Internal 3";
$newAgentPath = "D:\Go Agents\Internal\3\";

Write-Host "Copying Files"
Copy-Item "$currentAgentPath\" -Destination $newAgentPath -Recurse;

Write-Host "Deleting Agent Specific Files"
$guidText = "$newAgentPath\config\guid.txt";

if (Test-Path $guidText)
 Remove-Item $guidText;

Remove-Item "$newAgentPath\.agent-bootstrapper.running";

Write-Host "Create Agent Service"
New-Service -Name $newAgentName -Description $newAgentName -BinaryPathName "`"$newAgentPath\cruisewrapper.exe`" -s `"$newAgentPath\config\wrapper-agent.conf`"";

#$credential = Get-Credential;
#Eventually, we will write a function to set the service account and password and start the service would be nice to have a way to automatically configure the agent on the server too.

I guess I decided to do the work for you 🙂


GoCD: Agent Running Web Driver Test Hangs After Test Failure [SOLVED]


I had a nagging issue were some tests were failing the build on our GoCD server, but the agent was not reporting the failure to the server. We are using NAnt to run NUnit tests that in turn call Web Driver to exercise web pages. There were some test failures that correctly returned a non-zero value that failed the build in NAnt. Also, the failure is captured in the log and saved in a text file. Yet, the agent didn’t report the build failure or send the artifacts to the server.


After a 2 day search for answers and a deep dive into the bowels of GoCD I discovered that a Web Driver process was kept open after the test fails the build. Specifically, the process is IEDriverServer.exe. This process was being orphaned by improper cleanup in the tests that resulted in the Web Driver and browsers staying open after the test failure.

When I ran the tests again, I watched for the failure then manually killed Web Driver and the agent magically reported to the server. I am still unsure why Web Driver would prevent the GoCD agent from reporting to the server. They are both Java processes, maybe there is something going on in the JVM or something… not sure.


My work around at the moment is to run a task killer on failure in the test script. Here is the relevant portion of the nant script that drives the tests:

<property name="nant.onfailure" value="test.taskkiller" />
<target name="test.taskkiller">
 <exec program="taskkiller.bat" failonerror="false">

The taskkiller.bat is just a simple bat file that will kill Web Driver and open browsers.

taskkill /IM IEDriverServer.exe /F
taskkill /IM iexplore.exe /F

Now this is just a band-aid. We will be updating our test framework to handle this. Additionally, killing all the processes like this isn’t good if we happen to be running tests in parallel on the agent, which may be a possibility in the future.

GoCD: Automate Agent Install with PowerShell

I have been setting up build servers and I have been exploring automating the process. So, I have been scripting every step I take to stand the servers up. In this post I will sharing some of the commands I use to create GoCD Agents. If you decide to go down this road, you should think about creating reusable scripts and parameterize the things that change (I didn’t want to do all the work for your :). Also, it would make sense to use a configuration manager like DSC, Puppet or Chef to actually run the scripts.

I am using PowerShell remotely on the build servers, which is indicated by [winbuildserver1]: PS> in the command prompt. Check out my previous post to learn more about configuring remote servers with PowerShell.

Copy Install Files

The first thing I do is copy the install files from the artifact repository to the server.

[winbuildserver1]: Copy-Item -Path \\artifactserver\d$\repository\Go-Agent\go-agent-14.1.0-18882\go-agent-14.1.0-18882-setup.exe -Destination "D:\install-temp\" -Recurse -Force

Install Agent

[winbuildserver1]: PS>([WMICLASS]"Win32_Process").Create("D:\install-temp\go-agent-14.1.0-18882-setup.exe /S /SERVERIP=<ip of go server> /GO_AGENT_JAVA_HOME=<path to JRE> /D=D:\Go Agents\Internal\1\")

Here we are getting a reference to the static WMI class “Win32_Process”, call the create method passing the command line to install an agent (http://www.thoughtworks.com/products/docs/go/current/help/installing_go_agent.html). In the command line we have

  • the path to the install file
  • /S switch for silent install (no user prompts)
  • /SERVERIP switch for the IP of the Go Server (this is optional)
  • /GO_AGENT_JAVA_HOME switch for the path to the JRE (this is optional)
  • /D switch is the path to location you want to install the agent.

Run Multiple Agents on Same Server

If I want to run multiple agents on the same server I do a little extra work to get the other agents installed.

[winbuildserver1]: PS> Copy-Item "D:\Go Agents\Internal\1\*" -Destination "D:\Go Agents\PCI\1"
[winbuildserver1]: PS> Remove-Item "D:\Go Agents\PCI\1\config\guid.txt"
[winbuildserver1]: PS> Remove-Item "D:\Go Agents\PCI\1\.agent-bootstrapper.running"

Here we are just copying an installed agent to a new location and removing a couple files to force the agent to recreate and register itself with the server.

Create Agent Service

Lastly, I create a service for the agent.

[winbuildserver1]: PS> New-Service -Name "Go Agent PCI 1" -Description "Go Agent PCI 1" -BinaryPathName "`"D:\Go Agents\PCI\1\cruisewrapper.exe`" -s `"D:\Go Agents\PCI\1\config\wrapper-agent.conf`""

Get more on using PowerShell to configure services in my previous post.


I use similar commands to install the server, plug-ins, and other tools and services (e.g. Git, SVN, NuGet…) that I need on the build server. I have to admit that this isn’t totally automated yet. I still have to manually update the service account, credentials and manually accept a certificate to get SVN working with the agent, but this got me 90% done. I don’t have to worry about my silly mistakes because the scripts will do most of the work for me.

GoCD: Environment Variables in Build Scripts

I wanted to use some of the GoCD Environment Variables in my build scripts, unfortunately finding info on how to do that was limited or my search skills lacking.

Anyway, to use a Pipeline Parameter you would tokenize the parameter like so:


To use a GoCD Environment Variable you would tokenize the variable like this:


GoCD: 404 Error Fetching Artifact [SOLVED]


[go] Could not fetch artifact Pausing 19 seconds to retry. Error was : Unsuccessful response '404' from the server

This error stumped me for a while. The reason it stumped me is because of the IP addrdess and port, my Go Server is not located there. The Go Agent is not on the same server as the Go Server, so it shouldn’t be using a local IP. The agent configuration is properly pointed to the Go Server’s IP and port. I assumed that the 404 was because of the incorrect IP and port and I did a lot of research and digging trying to correct it.


I finally figured out that this error is simply stating that the file was not found.


I am not sure why the wrong IP and port is reported, but when the file in the error was added to the artifacts on the server, the error went away.

GoCD: Error updating Git material on Windows Server [SOLVED]


I have a Git material setup that uses a public git repository (private repos are another animal).

  <git url="http://mydomain/MyRepo.git" materialName="myrepo.git" />

When I trigger the pipeline that uses this material it results in an error.

[go] Start to prepare build/5/Build/1/Build on mygoserver [D:\Go Agents\Internal\1] at Fri Oct 24 08:44:49 EDT 2014
[go] Start updating files at revision b0b18a838a108a208003178fb17e8769edf9587c from
Error while executing [git config remote.origin.url]
 Make sure this command can execute manually.
[go] Job completed build/5/Build/1/Build on mygoserver [D:\Go Agents\Internal\1] at Fri Oct 24 08:44:49 EDT 2014


Looking at go-agent.log I see that there was a problem executing the git command.

…blah blah
2014-10-24 08:27:48,616 [loopThread] ERROR thoughtworks.go.work.DefaultGoPublisher:142 - Error while executing [git config remote.origin.url]
Make sure this command can execute manually.
java.lang.RuntimeException: Error while executing [git config remote.origin.url]
 Make sure this command can execute manually.
  …blah blah
Caused by: com.thoughtworks.go.util.command.CommandLineException: Error while executing [git config remote.origin.url]
 Make sure this command can execute manually.
  …blah blah
Caused by: java.io.IOException: Cannot run program "git" (in directory "pipelines\build"): CreateProcess error=2, The system cannot find the file specified
…blah blah

When I set the material up I got a successful test connection. So an error saying that it can’t find the git command is somewhat perplexing. Does the Git connection test use a different git than the pipeline material processor. When I installed msysgit I manually added the git bin folder to the PATH. I could run git in the command window and on git bash.


After some hair pulling I decided to re-install msysgit and this time to use the evil option that has the red danger sign.


Notice that it says it will override Windows tools, like find.exe and sort.exe. Now, I have to remember that these tools are busted when the server ever has to run a script that needs these. I am not sure of any other changes, but it looks like it is a PATH change. Instead of just having {gitinstall}\bin it also adds {gitinstall}\cmd.

When I restart the Go Server and Agent and try again… IT WORKED!!!


If you are using a Windows Server with Go and you want to use Git Materials, you may need to allow git to override some of your Windows tools and remember that you allowed Git to break said tools when problems arise…and this will arise.