Hudson build server + Grails + AppEngine

I just set up a build server for my Grails project. I chose Hudson since it was the one mentioned to work well, and it did. I’m quite happy with Hudson thus far. It hasn’t crashed (actually it crashed my browser once, more on that later), and been very easy to work with.

First of I installed it on my Ubuntu machine in the closet. It was straight forward installed using apt-get as per instruction. This was a clean install and the first use of that Ubuntu installation for any kind of development work.

With Hudson installed I started going through its configuration. I knew there was a Grails plug-in so I figured I had to install a lot more software to get things going.

Imagine my surprise when I found out I didn’t even have to install the JDK. All I had to do was to choose which JDK I wanted, accept the terms for usage, and Hudson installed it for me.
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I found the plug-in page, marked the Grails plug-in and installed it.


I created a job, configured it to fetch the code from my subversion repository. Already I could run the job, and watch the output from my normal development machine.

I love the console out page, compared to watching the build-logs and build progress in MSBuild this page gives good feedback, doesn’t crash that much, and works as both progress and log all wrapped up in one.

With the job running I pinpointed the missing parts in the job. Running the grails targets. So it was time to configure the Grails Hudson plug-in. It required the Grails installation path, so time to set up the libraries. Download and install Grails, update the plug-in with the path.

When running a Grails job the first time you need to run the “grails compile –non-interactive” command. This will install all other plug-ins as it is the Grails way. This will make plug-in specific commands available.

I ran it first without the –non-interactive flag, which caused the app-engine plug-in installation to ask questions. Hudson didn’t mind, but my browser in which I was looking at the console out didn’t like it. It kept updating the page with “do you want to use JPA or JDO” questions, until it finally crashed.


In my case I wanted my build to upload the compiled application to Google AppEngine. I added the APPENGINE_HOME environment variable to Hudson’s main configuration. With the APPENGINE_HOME variable set to my newly downloaded SDK.

This is what my grails build target looks like:


To get the deploy command to work I needed to add the login details for app-engine. After some research I found that the details are configurable. All you have to do is add the following to you Config.groovy file in the grails project. = "email" google.appengine.password ="password"

But with the correct email and password of course. In my case I used the user I’ve created for sending emails as the user that will deploy using the build.

I now have a working build that deploys to AppEngine. What I’m currently missing are running tests, as I’m still searching for a functional testing framework that will run as a Grails plugin with the AppEngine plugin. None of the two (easyb, functional-testing) Grails plugins I’ve tried so far have worked.