The following sections describe the tasks you need to complete to set up a CI/CD process with Travis CI, 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.

Travis currently provides only limited support for Windows builds, and Windows configuration won’t be covered in this guide. We’ll add details for this configuration when Windows is fully supported on Travis CI.

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.

Travis setup

  1. Log in to Travis CI at for public or open-source repositories, or their paid option for private repositories at

  2. Enable the repository you want to build.

    1. Select Settings from the top-right menu.
    2. Toggle the switch next to the repository you want to enable.
    3. Click Settings next to the repository you want to enable
    4. Under Environment Variables, enter the name and value for each API key you want to use and click Add. For information on the required values, see Obtaining Your API key and, if applicable, Obtaining your private key. IMPORTANT: The ACTIVESTATE_API_KEY is used to authenticate the State Tool automatically whenever required by the CI/CD build steps.

    Travis Environment Variables

    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-----

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 .travis.yml file

You need to add a .travis.yml file 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.

# Install the State Tool as a dependency.
  - sh <(curl -q -n


# Run the linter and tests using the State Tool. Scripts named `lints` and `tests`
# must be defined in your project's activestate.yaml file. The ActiveState 
# Platform language runtime is downloaded and virtual environment is activated 
# when the first `state run` command is encountered. 
# In this case, `state run clean`  
  - state run clean
  - state run which-python

# Turn email notifications off.
  email: false

The scripts being executed in the .travis.yml file 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)

If you successfully configured your Travis CI project, you will see a job start and complete successfully each time someone pushes new code changes to the repository.