CI/CD tools are an essential part of DevOps and agile practices. These tools help save time and money by automating tasks, preventing bugs, and encouraging collaboration.
However, choosing the right CI/CD software is not easy. Different tools come with different functionalities, so you need to know what every option has to offer.
This article introduces the best 22 CI/CD tools available for use. Read on to simplify your selection process and find the right fit for your DevOps team.
What is CI/CD?
CI/CD is the acronym for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery:
- Continuous integration (CI): Continuous integration is the practice of introducing code changes from several contributors to a single project. The CI process also typically includes code testing.
- Continuous delivery (CD): Continuous delivery gets code changes of all types into production safely and quickly. The main idea in CD is to turn updates into routine tasks a team can perform on-demand.
CI/CD enables organizations to respond to market and customer demands quickly. These practices grant teams the agility to develop software efficiently without compromising quality.
CI/CD tools orchestrate CI/CD practices. Once set up, the tool acts as the central hub for all CI/CD activity. Automation saves time and ensures quality with frequent tests.
Learn more about the differences between continuous delivery, integration, and deployment.
Top CI/CD Tools Comparison
The table below is an overall comparison of the best currently available CI/CD tools: Jenkins, TeamCity, CircleCI, Bamboo, GitLab, and Buddy.
Note: The table is scrollable horizontally.
|Supported operating systems||Windows, Linux, macOS, any Unix-like OS||Windows, Linux, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD||Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Oracle Linux, Debian, CentOS)||Windows, Linux, macOS, Solaris||Linux, macOS||Linux, Windows, macOS|
|Ease of setup||Very easy (has pre-built packages)||Very easy (has pre-built packages)||Very easy (has pre-built packages)||Easy||Easy||Very easy (15-minute setup with a range of predefined actions)|
|Main feature||Hundreds of plugins||Gated commits||High levels of customization||Very user-friendly||Quick setup and easy to use||Extremely easy to create, adjust, and manage pipelines|
22 Best CI/CD Tools
Jenkins is a free, open-source automation server written in Java. This tool automates all building and deployment tasks. Jenkins excels in large projects that require lots of customization.
- Easy installation with pre-built packages (a simple WAR file you drop in the JEE container).
- Jenkins supports multiple operating systems (Windows, Linux, macOS, and other Unix-based operating systems).
- A simple, user-friendly interface.
- Real-time testing and reporting.
- Simple environment configurations.
- Allows distributed builds with master-slave architectures.
- Supports several version control tools (Subversion, Git, Mercurial, Maven).
- Hundreds of plugins for code management, administration, and UI.
- Excellent and widely available documentation.
- A large, active community of users.
TeamCity is a CI server that helps build and deploy projects with speed. TeamCity runs in a Java environment and works on Windows and Linux servers.
- Easy setup with pre-built installers.
- Reusable settings and configurations remove the need to duplicate code.
- Gated commits test code changes before they become a part of the codebase.
- Can run parallel builds simultaneously in different environments.
- Comprehensive version control ideal for big projects.
- The server is easy to customize, interact with, and extend.
- Detailed history reports for builds, errors, and changes.
- User management features (user roles, user groups, several user authentication methods, and a log of all activity on the server).
- Support for Visual Studio.
GitLab is a Git repository manager that comes with a CI tool. This tool automates processes and shortens the delivery lifecycle. GitLab allows you to manage issues, view code, develop a DevOps pipeline, and run CI/CD, all from a single dashboard.
- Pre-built packages for popular Linux distributions.
- An intuitive, user-friendly UI.
- CMD build scripts allow developers to program in any language.
- Custom version tests enable users to check branches individually.
- Quick iterations and rollbacks.
- Provides APIs for most features, enabling deeper integrations with the product.
- Automatic builds, integrations, and verifications of source codes.
- Very secure (container scanning, static and dynamic application security testing (SAST and DAST), and dependency scanning).
- Detailed documentation on every feature.
If you are new to version control tools such as Git, these tutorials may help:
Bamboo is a CI server that automates the management of software releases and creates a continuous delivery pipeline. Bamboo comes with built-in Git branching workflows and deployment projects.
- Supports several top stacks (Docker, AWS, Amazon S3, Git, CodeDeply, Mercurial).
- Detailed outlines of code history.
- Bamboo supports up to a hundred remote build agents.
- Parallel batch tests.
- An easy-to-use web interface.
- A rich selection of add-ons.
- Per-environment permissions that enable teams to deploy to separate environments.
- Bamboo can trigger builds based on changes detected in the repository.
- Mobile developers can deploy their apps to the Apple Store or Google Play automatically.
- Bamboo works seamlessly with JIRA, HipChat, and Bitbucket.
CircleCI is a cloud-based CI/CD tool that automates processes across the DevOps pipeline. This flexible tool is ideal for small projects that need to get off the ground quickly.
- Easily readable YAML configurations.
- Fast setup.
- Supports Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Node, Python, PHP, Java, and Clojure.
- Continuous, branch-specific deployments.
- Automatically cancels queued and running builds after a newer build is triggered.
- Reduces build time by splitting and balancing tests across multiple containers.
- Precise and straightforward debugging processes.
- Docker support allows for a high level of environment customization.
- Integrates with GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, and Bitbucket.
- Supports several build tools (Maven and Gradle, for example).
Buddy is a free web-based and self-hosted CI/CD tool for building, testing, and deploying software. This tool uses Docker containers with pre-installed languages and frameworks you can build on.
Buddy does not require users to script the CI/CD process. Lack of scripting lowers the entry barrier to the DevOps world both in practical and financial terms.
- Create delivery pipelines from over 120 predefined actions.
- Supports all popular languages and frameworks.
- A GUI-driven approach that makes the tool remarkably easy to use.
- Use drag and drop to arrange pipeline steps in a clear and telling GUI.
- An intuitive UI/UX that allows non-tech users to create and manage pipelines.
- Lightning-fast deployments based on changesets.
- Users can easily create, adjust, and reuse builds and test environments.
- Real-time monitoring of progress and logs.
- Git support and integrations.
- Many attachable services (Elastic, MariaDB, Memcached, Mongo, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ, Redis, Selenium Chrome, etc.).
Codeship is a hosted CI/CD platform that integrates with GitHub and BitBucket.
- Easy to use.
- A simple project dashboard.
- An efficient infrastructure that monitors and scales per requirements.
- Native support for Docker instances.
- A smart notification system.
- Allows encrypted external caching of Docker images.
- Simple configuration file management for setting up workflows.
- Up to 100 free builds per month for one test pipeline.
- Fast and thorough developer support.
GoCD is a free, open-source tool that automates the continuous delivery of software.
- Tracks changes during commits and deployments.
- Enables users to visualize workflows in real-time with Value Stream Map.
- Supports parallel and sequential executions.
- Easy dependency configuration.
- A custom template feature that allows developers to reuse pipeline configurations.
- Extensive test reporting.
- A wide array of plugins that enhance functionality.
- Many out-of-the-box features (value stream mapping, cloud-native deployments, complex workflow modeling, advanced traceability, custom triggers).
- An active community.
Oracle’s Wercker is a Docker-based CI/CD platform that helps developers create containerized applications. Wercker is ideal for complex microservices architectures.
- Easy configuration management with YAML.
- Allows users to replicate SaaS environments locally.
- Enables you to execute automated pipelines through the command-line interface.
- Great pipeline debugging.
- Parallel testing.
- Allows you to build minimal containers and keep the size manageable.
- Walterbot (a chatbot that interacts with notifications to update the build status).
- Several security features (source-code protection, turned off test logs, environment variables, and customizable permissions for users and projects).
- Git integrations (GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, and version control).
10. Travis CI
Travis CI is an open-source platform used to build and test GitHub projects. With customers like Facebook and Twitter, this Ruby-based tool is one of the leading options on the market.
- Quick and easy setup.
- Allows configurations with simple YAML files.
- A build matrix that enables users to run tests with different versions of languages and packages.
- Automatically detects new commits pushed to a GitHub repository.
- Extended API and CMD tools.
- Pre-installed database services.
- A clean virtual machine for each build.
- Support for macOS, Linux, and iOS.
- A notification system that supports email, Slack, HipChat, and similar services.
Semaphore is a hosted CI/CD service for automatic tests and deployments. Semaphore is a free, open-source project.
- One of the fastest CI/CD platforms on the market.
- Built-in Git branching and workflows.
- Enables you to test multiple projects and branches simultaneously.
- Custom tests for units, code style, dependencies, and security measures.
- Native Docker support.
- Automatically scales projects, so there is no unnecessary price overhead.
- Environment variables.
- Boosters (a feature for Ruby projects that reduces the test suite run time through automatic parallelization).
- Custom reviews for pull requests (GitHub or Bitbucket).
QuickBuild is a CI/CD platform that uses a fast, performance-oriented core system.
- Use drag and drop to design complex build workflows.
- Many useful variables for deployment workflows.
- Build-proofing that checks for bugs before production.
- Custom build reports are created in real-time.
- Parallel agents for queueing steps.
- Quick and easy imports/exports of configuration files.
- One-click cloning for all projects and builds.
Nevercode is a cloud-based CI/CD server for developing mobile applications. This delivery server builds, tests, and distributes apps without the need for human interaction.
- Easy setup and configuration.
- Automatically builds the project for every commit.
- A variety of automatic tests (unit tests, UI tests, code analysis, real device testing, test parallelization).
- Automated publishing to iTunes Connect, Google Play, Crashlytics, TestFairy, and HockeyApp.
- Detailed overviews of build and test statuses.
- Integrations with common app development tools.
- Good documentation.
Spinnaker is an open-source multi-cloud continuous delivery platform. Netflix developed this tool for in-house purposes.
- Allows you to release and deploy software changes across different cloud providers (AWS EC2, Kubernetes, Google Compute Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, Google App Engine).
- Deployment pipelines that run integration tests, spin up and down server groups, and monitor rollouts.
- Spinnaker’s CLI administration tool, Halyard, simplifies instance installs, configurations, and updates.
- Pipelines that trigger via Git events.
- Immutable images enable fast rollouts and easy rollbacks.
- Eliminates hard-to-debug drift issues.
- Users can tie releases to a monitoring service (Datadog, Prometheus, Stackdriver, or SignalFx).
- Supports event notifications for email, Slack, HipChat, and SMS.
AppVeyor is a cloud-based service for testing, building, and deploying applications. AppVeyor is available only for Windows.
- Simple installation process.
- An all-in-one continuous delivery solution that requires no additional tools.
- AppVeyer provides all the infrastructure.
- Isolated environments for builds.
- SSD drives with dedicated hardware enable fast speeds.
- Custom team environments using granular methodologies.
16. IBM UrbanCode
IBM UrbanCode is a tool for automating application deployments. This tool is a good fit for enterprises with complicated, multi-channel builds low-level tools cannot handle.
- Automated, repeatable deployment processes.
- Concise project templates for a range of configurations.
- Reduces deployment failures.
- Rapid feedback ideal for agile development.
- Pluggable environments that work well with both external and custom-built internal tools.
- Manage dependencies based on custom changes to the project outline.
- Full visibility, traceability, and auditing features.
- Enterprise-level security and scalability.
- Hybrid cloud environment modeling.
Read our Agile vs DevOps head-to-head comparison article to learn more about both practices.
Buildbot is an open-source Python-based CI framework. Buildbot enables CI testing, automation of build systems, application deployment, and management of release processes.
- Supports distributed, parallel executions across multiple platforms.
- Supports multiple testing hosts with various architectures.
- Quickly identifies build-issues.
- Flexible integration with version-control systems.
- Comprehensive status reporting.
- Maintains a single-source repository.
- Runs builds on various slave platforms.
- Custom build status notifications.
- Custom history records.
PHPCI is a free and open-source CI tool specifically designed for PHP.
While it may not offer the features of comprehensive tools, PHPCI is fast and easy to use.
- Ideal for PHP developers.
- Simple to use.
- Custom plugin support for several frameworks and tools (Lint, Composer, MySQL).
- Test databases that enable users to create demo environments quickly.
- Supports individual directory-based plugins.
- Allows you to run builds using workers, daemons, or cron jobs.
Vsoft’s FinalBuilder is a Windows software for automating build processes. While FinalBuilder is efficient by itself, you can integrate the tool with any of your favorite CI servers.
- Flexible graphics interface with visual outlines of build processes.
- A library of predefined build automation actions.
- Developers can plan builds with Windows Task Scheduler.
- Action outputs are directed to the build log.
- Conditional statements handle local errors.
- Custom build reports.
- Support for all popular version control systems.
CruiseControl is one of the oldest CI tools on the market. The Java-based tool was launched in 2001 and has been continuously developed ever since.
- A rich framework for creating custom build processes.
- Simple setup.
- A straightforward web-based dashboard.
- Numerous plugins that make work easier.
- Comes in Ruby (CruiseControl.rb) and .NET (CruiseControl.NET) versions.
- Open-source and free to use.
21. Strider CD
Strider CD is an open-source tool written in Node. Strider uses MongoDB as a backing store.
- Adds hooks to build actions.
- Allows you to publish and subscribe to socket events.
- Features a customizable interface.
- Many plugins to enhance default settings and features.
- Supports Docker.
- Integrates with GitHub and Bitbucket.
Buildkite is a cross-platform build runner for fast and scalable CI pipelines.
- All source code and secret keys stay private.
- Runs on various OSs and architectures (Ubuntu, Debian, Mac, Windows, Docker, etc.).
- You can run as many build agents as you need.
- Excellent user interface for triggering build pipelines.
- Supports all major version control systems.
- Integrations with Slack, HipChat, Flowdock, Campfire, and more.
Save Time and Money with the Right CI/CD Tool
All CI/CD tools mentioned in this list can streamline your development, boost quality, and enhance accuracy. But, above all, a useful CI/CD tool will save your developers’ valuable time and keep your expenses in check.
Consider all the options and go with the tool that fits your needs the best.
Next, see our extensive list of 52 best DevOps tools and 30 best cloud monitoring tools.