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buildbot(7) Services Administration buildbot(7)


buildbot - master instances creation, upgrade and management


Buildbot master instances are located under individual folders in /var/lib/buildbot/masters. This manual explains how to manage them.


To create a new Buildbot master instance named $NAME, use the following commands:

buildbot create-master /var/lib/buildbot/masters/$NAME
chown -R buildbot: /var/lib/buildbot/masters/$NAME

After which, you should review and edit the master.cfg.sample configuration file located in the master base directory and rename it to master.cfg.

The configuration file syntax is extensively described in /usr/share/doc/buildbot/html (installed with the buildbot-doc package).


In the default configuration Buildbot uses a file-based SQLite database, stored in the state.sqlite file of the master's base directory. If you want to use another database engine, you may need to install additional packages (e.g., postgresql and python3-psycopg2 to use PostgreSQL). Refer to the Buildbot documentation for the associated master.cfg syntax.


The new Buildbot web dashboard cannot be integrated into Debian yet because of policy violation (See: bug #883529). In the meantime, if you want to enable it in your configuration, it can be installed with pip3 install buildbot-www.

You may use the following command to validate your configuration file:

buildbot checkconfig /var/lib/buildbot/masters/$NAME/master.cfg

Once you are satisfied with your configuration file, you may start the Buildbot master instance. Depending on the init system you use, this is done differently.


To start the instance:

systemctl start buildbot@$NAME.service

To enable automatic start on boot:

systemctl enable buildbot@$NAME.service

If you want to tune the way the instance is started (e.g., to change the user that runs the process), you may use a systemd drop-in:

mkdir -p /etc/systemd/system/buildbot@$NAME.service.d
editor /etc/systemd/system/buildbot@$NAME.service.d/user.conf

With the following contents:



First, you need to edit /etc/default/buildbot and configure your instance. The syntax is pretty self explanatory, but here is an example:

# 1-enabled, 0-disabled
# short name printed on start/stop
# user to run master as
# basedir to master (absolute path)
# buildbot options
# prefix command, i.e. nice, linux32, dchroot

After which, you may start the instance:

service buildbot start $NAME

By default, it will automatically start on boot.


By default, Buildbot master instances are automatically upgraded when installing new versions. This consists in the following operations for each instance:

•The instance is stopped.
buildbot upgrade-master /var/lib/buildbot/masters/$NAME is executed.
•The instance is started again.

You may disable the automatic upgrade globally by running:

dpkg-reconfigure buildbot

Or for a specific master instance by creating a .no-auto-upgrade file in its base directory:

touch /var/lib/buildbot/masters/$NAME/.no-auto-upgrade

In any case, the upgrade operation is mandatory and Buildbot will fail to restart an instance that has not been upgraded.

After upgrading, you will find that Buildbot has created a new master.cfg.sample file in the instance base directory. You can review it and check the differences with your own configuration file. But in most cases, it is safe to delete this file.

upgrading from 0.8.x

If upgrading from a 0.8.x version, all master instances in must be manually migrated. This may require a number of changes to the master configuration. Please refer to the "nine-upgrade" chapter in the documentation for details. Once you have finished migrating, you may delete the .no-auto-upgrade files to allow further automatic upgrades to proceed.

The buildmaster service has been renamed to buildbot.

Also, to avoid spurious errors on boot, the automatic start of each existing instance has been "disabled" in /etc/default/buildbot (which was renamed from /etc/default/buildmaster). If you which to use systemd to manage your instances, please refer to the CREATION section of this manual.



Working directory for the $NAME Buildbot master instance.


Directory containing customization drop-ins for the $NAME Buildbot master instance service.


The master instances services definition for sysvinit users.


buildbot(1), systemctl(1), systemd.unit(5), service(8)


Robin Jarry <>