Building Gradle projects doesn’t stop with the developer’s machine. Continuous Integration (CI) has been a long-established practice for running a build for every single change committed to version control to tighten the feedback loop.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to configure Travis CI for a typical Gradle project.

What you’ll need

  • About NN

  • A text editor

  • A command prompt

  • The Java Development Kit (JDK), version 1.8 or higher

  • A Gradle distribution, version 4.7 or better

Setup a typical project

As example, this guide is going to focus on a Java-based project. More specifically, a Gradle plugin written in Java and tested with Spock. First, we’ll get the project set up on your local machine before covering the same steps on CI.

Just follow these steps:

Clone Gradle Site Plugin repository

git clone
cd gradle-site-plugin

Build the project

As a developer of a Java project, you’ll typical want to compile the source code, run the tests and assemble the JAR artifact. That’s no different for Gradle plugins. The following command achieves exactly that:

./gradlew build

14 actionable tasks: 14 executed

The project provides the Gradle Wrapper as part of the repository. It is a recommended practice for any Gradle project as it enables your project to built on CI without having to install the Gradle runtime.

Build scan integration

The sample project is equipped with support for generating build scans. Running the build with the command line option --scan renders a link in the console.

Publishing build scan...

The following section will describe how to build the project with the help of Travis CI.

Configure Travis CI

Travis CI is a free, cloud-based CI solution provider making it an excellent choice for open source projects. You can build any project as long as it is hosted on GitHub as public repository. Travis CI doesn’t not provide built-in options to post-process produced artifacts of the build e.g. host the JAR file or the HTML test reports. You will have to use external services (like S3) to transfer the files.

Create the configuration file

Travis CI requires you to check in a configuration file with your source code named .travis-ci.yml. This file contains all relevant instructions for building the project.

The following configuration file tells Travis CI to build a Java project with JDK 8, skip the usual default execution step, and run the Gradle build with the Wrapper.

language: java
install: true

  - oraclejdk8

  - ./gradlew build --scan -s

Select the project from the Travis CI profile. After activating the repository from the dashboard, the project is ready to be built with every single commit.

Enabling a project
Configuring build scans is especially helpful on cloud CI systems like Travis CI because it has additional environment and test results information that are difficult to obtain otherwise.

Enable caching of downloaded artifacts

Gradle’s dependency management mechanism resolves declared modules and their corresponding artifacts from a binary repository. Once downloaded, the files will be re-used from the cache. You need to tell Travis CI explicitly that you want to store and use the Gradle cache and Wrapper for successive invocations of the build.

  - rm -f  $HOME/.gradle/caches/modules-2/modules-2.lock
  - rm -fr $HOME/.gradle/caches/*/plugin-resolution/

    - $HOME/.gradle/caches/
    - $HOME/.gradle/wrapper/

Further reading

You can learn more about advanced Travis CI usage through these resources:


Executing Gradle builds on CI can be set up and configured with just a handful of steps. The benefit of receiving fast feedback clearly speaks for itself. If you are not using Travis CI, no problem, many CI products tightly integrate with Gradle as a first-class citizen.

Help improve this guide

Have feedback or a question? Found a typo? Like all Gradle guides, help is just a GitHub issue away. Please add an issue or pull request to gradle-guides/executing-gradle-builds-on-travisci and we’ll get back to you.