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Can you integrate a GitHub Webhook with Privately hosted Jenkins No? Think again

Introduction

One of the most basic requirement of CI implementation using Jenkins is to automatically trigger a Jenkins job post every commit. As you are already aware there are two ways in which a Jenkins job can be triggered in an automated fashion is:
  • Pull | PollSCM
  • Push | Webhook
It is a no-brainer that a Push-based trigger is the most efficient way of triggering a Jenkins job else you would be unnecessarily hogging your resources. One of the hurdles in implementing a push-based trigger is that your VCS & Jenkins server should be in the same network or in simple terms they can talk to each other.
In a typical CI setup, there is a SAAS VCS i.e GitHub/GitLab and a privately hosted Jenkins server, which make a Push-based triggering of Jenkins job impossible. Till a few days back I was under the same impression until I found this awesome blog that talks about how you can integrate a Webhook with your private Jenkins server.
In this blog, I'll be trying to explain how I implemented the Webhook relay. Most importantly the reference blog was about integration of WebhookRelay with GitHub, with GitLab still there were some unexplored areas and I faced some challenges while doing the integration. This motivated me to write a blog so that people will have a ready reference on how to integrate GitLab with Webhook Relay.

Overall Workflow

Step 1: Download WebHook Relay Agent on the local system

Copy and execute the command

curl -sSL https://storage.googleapis.com/webhookrelay/downloads/relay-linux-amd64 > relay && chmod +wx relay && sudo mv relay /usr/local/bin
Note: Webhook Relay and Webhook Relay agent are different. Webhook Relay is running on public IP which triggers by GitLab and Webhook Relay Agent is a service which gets trigger by Webhook relay.

Step 2: Create a Webhook Relay Account

After successfully signing up we will land on Webhook Relay home page.

Step 3: Setting up the Webhook Relay Agent.

We have to create Access Tokens.

Now after navigating through Access token, click on Create Token button. Then we are provided with a Key and Secret pair.



Copy and execute:


relay login -k token-key -s token-secret


If it prompts a success message it means our Webhook relay agent is successfully setup.

Step 4: Create GItLab Repository

We will keep our repository a public one to keep things simple and understandable. Let's say our Gitlab repository's name is  WebhookProject.


Step 5: Install GitLab and GitLab Hook Plugin.

Go to Manage Jenkins →  Manage Plugins → Available



Step 6: Create Jenkins Job



Configure job: Add Gitlab repository link


Now we'll choose the build trigger option:



Save the job.

Step 7: Connecting GitLab Repository, Webhook Relay, and Webhook Relay Agent

The final and most important step is to Connect the Overall flow.
Start forwarding Webhooks to Jenkins
Open terminal and type command:
relay forward --bucket gitlab-jenkins http://localhost:8080/project/webhook-gitlab-test
Note: Bucket name can be anything



Note: Do not stop this process by doing (ctrl+c).Open a new terminal or a new tab for commit to gitlab.
The most critical part of the workflow is the link generated by the Webhook Relay Agent. Copy this link and paste Gitlab repository(webhookProject) → Settings → Integrations


Paste the link.


For the sake of simplicity uncheck the Enable SSL Verification and click Add webhook button


Until now all major configuration has been done. Now Clone GitLab repository and push commits to the remote repository.
Go to Jenkins job and see build is triggered by GitLab webhook.


To see GitLab webhook Relay Logs, Go to :
Gitlab Repository → Settings → Integrations → webhook → Edit




To see Logs of Webhook Relay Agent trigger Jenkins, Go to:
Webhook Relay UI page → Relay Logs.


So now you know how to do WebHook integration between your VCS & Jenkins even when they are not directly reachable to each other.
Can you integrate a GitHub Webhook with Privately hosted Jenkins? Yes
Cheers Till Next Time!!!!

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