The following sections describe the tasks you need to complete to set up a CI/CD process with Jenkins, your version control system (VCS), and the ActiveState Platform. You need the appropriate access to these systems to complete the setup. In the examples below, we show configuration steps for GitHub specifically. You may need to adjust some of the tasks if you are using a different VCS.

Gathering environment variable settings

Before you begin:

  • You need an ActiveState Platform account. If you do not currently have an account you can sign up for free at:
  • You need to have the State Tool installed on your computer, and authorized with the Platform using the state auth command, in order to run the command to retrieve the API key, and to access your private.key file if you are using secrets.

The State Tool will use the following environment variables if they are defined:

  • ACTIVESTATE_API_KEY: This API key is used to authenticate the State Tool with the ActiveState Platform, as required, to download language projects, update packages, etc. If you use ActiveState Platform secrets in your build process or scripts run by the build process, you must also configure the ACTIVESTATE_PRIVATE_KEY.
  • ACTIVESTATE_PRIVATE_KEY: Optional. The private key to use for decrypting secrets.

Obtaining your API Key

You can obtain an API key by opening a command prompt and running the following State Tool command:

state export new-api-key APIKeyForCI

Example response:

Note that this key is not stored by ActiveState. Please store the value for later use as you cannot retrieve it again.

In this example, you would copy the token value on the second line to use as the ACTIVESTATE_API_KEY environment variable in your CI/CD application.

Obtaining your Private Key

You can find the private key value at <configdir>/activestate/cli-release/private.key.

The configdir varies per platform, but in most cases will be at one of:

  • Windows: %HOME%\AppData\Roaming\activestate\cli-release\
  • Linux: ~/config/activestate/cli-release/
  • macOS: ~/Library/Application\ Support/activestate/cli-release/

The private key environment variable expects the contents of the private.key file, not the filepath.

Jenkins setup

  1. Navigate to the web console for your Jenkins instance.

  2. Click New Item, enter a name for your new item, and then choose New Pipeline and click OK.

  3. In the Build Triggers section, choose GitHub hook trigger for GITScm polling. This setting combined with the Webhook setup task will cause a new build to run each time changes are pushed to the code repository.

  4. In the Pipeline section, select Pipeline script from SCM as the Definition.

  5. Select Git or Subversion as your version control system and enter the URL for your repository.

  6. Click Add > Jenkins to add your ACTIVESTATE_API_KEY and enter the following settings:

    Jenkins API Key

  7. If you want to use secrets, click Add > Jenkins to add your ACTIVESTATE_PRIVATE_KEY and enter the following settings:

    In some cases you may need to escape certain characters in your private key. 

    You need to open the private.key file and copy the contents.

    -----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
  8. If you are setting up a private repository, you will need to configure access for the repository for Jenkins.

Jenkins pipeline setup

ActiveState Platform project setup

You can use either the Dashboard or the State Tool to create a new project and add the language, platforms, and packages your project requires. Set up your project by:

Configure activestate.yaml

After you create an ActiveState project, complete the following steps to activate your project and add the configuration file to your code repository, so that the CI/CD has access to it.

  1. Open your command prompt and navigate to the top level folder where you want to create your ActiveState Platform project.
  2. Enter state activate <owner/project_name>. For example: state activate acmetech/python-3-6-6.
  3. Copy the activestate.yaml configuration file to the root directory of your code repository.
  4. Edit the activestate.yaml to add any scripts, variables, or secrets you want CI/CD to run or have access to.
  5. Add activestate.yaml to the repository and check in your changes.

Add a Jenkinsfile

You need to add a Jenkinsfile to the root of your code repository that includes all of the steps required to build, test, and deploy your code. The example provided demonstrates the State Tool-specific steps for installing the State Tool and running scripts that are defined in the activestate.yaml file for the project.

pipeline {
    agent any

    environment {
        // Bash is one of the state tool's supported shells. Jenkins defaults 
        // to sh so we have to set it explicitly here

        // Since jobs run as the user 'jenkins' we do not have permission
        // to install the state tool anywhere on the current PATH. We 
        // instead update the path here to a known location that we
        // will install to

    stages {
        stage ('Environment') {
            steps {
                sh 'env'
        stage ('Install state tool') {
            steps {
                curl -q -o
                chmod +x
                ./ -n -t $WORKSPACE || true
        stage ('Print location of Python interpreter') {
            steps {
                sh 'state run which-python'
        stage ('Active private project and run script') {
            steps {
                sh 'state run clean'
        stage ('Cleanup') {
            steps {
                sh 'rm -rf ~/.cache/activestate'
                sh 'rm'
                sh 'rm -rf state'

The scripts being executed in the Jenkinsfile are defined in the scripts section of the activestate.yaml file for the project:

  - name: clean
    description: Run the data cleaner script
    value: python3
  - name: which-python
    description: Determine which python interpreter is being used
    language: python3
    value: |
      import sys
      print("Python script running with: ", sys.executable)

Webhook setup

If you want Jenkins to create a new build each time code changes are checked in to your repository, you need to set up a webhook in the GitHub settings for your repository. The webhook posts a message to Jenkins each time changes are pushed to the repository with the information required for Jenkins to start the associated build.

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to your repository on
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Web Hooks, and then click Add Webhook.
  4. In Payload URL, enter the URL for your Jenkins instance with the path /github-webhook/. For example:

Jenkins Github webhook

If your Jenkins pipeline is configured correctly, you will see a job start and complete successfully each time someone pushes new code changes to the repository.

Jenkins Build States