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A TechBlog by Torben Hansen

Freelance Full Stack Web Developer located in Germany.
I create web applications mainly using TYPO3, PHP, Python and JavaScript.
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Faster builds of my TYPO3 extensions on Travis CI

tl;dr If your Travis CI project was created before 01.01.2015 and you think your builds must run faster, switch to container based builds by adding sudo: false and configuring a cache for composer dependencies in your .travis.yml file.

Nearly all my Open Source TYPO3 extensions are built on Travis CI. This runs really fine and I am very happy with the service Travis CI offers for free if your project is Open Source. What I did’nt know was, that Travic CI also offers the possibility to use container based builds (saw it first in this commit for the TYPO3 master). This feature was announced in the end of 2014 and has some advantages over the Travis CI standard infrastructure. Container based builds do have more resources (2 cores vs. 1.5 cores and 4 GB Ram vs. 3 GB ram), better network capacity and can use a cache for dependencies (e.g. composer dependencies).

My extension sf_event_mgt has a lot of functional tests and since I also collect code coverage data, builds did run very long (15-30 minutes, worst result was more than 48 minutes) on the Travis CI standard infrastructure. Since my Travis CI project was created before the 1st of january 2015, my builds were automatically built using the old infrastructure. I therefore tried to use the container based infrastructure to see if my builds would run faster.

In order to force your build to run on the container based infrastructure, you just have to add the following to your .travis.yml file.

sudo: false

    - $HOME/.composer/cache

The sudo: false option tells Travis CI to use the container based infrastructure and the cache configuration sets the cache-directory, which will persist during builds.

When I started the first build, I was really amazed about how fast the builds started and how much faster builds were completed. There was only one problem, which showed up in the logs.

  - Installing  symfony/yaml  ( v2.7.1 )
    Downloading:  connection...      Failed to download symfony/yaml from dist: Could not authenticate against 
    Now trying to download from source 
  - Installing symfony/yaml  ( v2.7.1 )
    Cloning 9808e75c609a14f6db02f70fccf4ca4aab53c160

In order to fix the failing download of dependencies from, you must create an OAUTH token for your GitHub repository and add it to the .travis.yml. I therefore created an OAUTH token (which just has read access to my public repositoried) in my GitHub account. Next I added the OATH token to the .travis.yml file. As the token should and must be kept secret, Travis CI offers the possibility to encrypt sensitive data. For my TYPO3 extension sf_event_mgt I did as shown below:

sudo gem install travis
travis encrypt GITHUB_COMPOSER_AUTH=my-github-oauth-token -r derhansen/sf_event_mgt

Next I added the resulting encrypted key to my .travis.yml and configured composer to use the GitHub OAUTH token if available.

    secure: my-encrypted-key

  - if [ "$GITHUB_COMPOSER_AUTH" ]; then composer config -g $GITHUB_COMPOSER_AUTH; fi
  - composer install

After restarting the build, the error did’nt show up in the logs of my Travis CI build any more. My complete configuration can be found in this gist.

Finally, the switch to the container based builds seems to have reduced the average build time by about 50% and seems to run more stable than before.