Introducing Remote Access

For the majority of mobile development teams, buddybuild “just works” as a complete continuous integration and deployment system. With no custom scripts or YAML files needed, buddybuild automatically configures a build environment, executes the build, and runs tests for each new commit made by a development team.

That said, teams often extend buddybuild using custom build steps to meet the unique requirements of their build processes. These extensibility points are used to accomplish tasks like installing custom tools or libraries, running custom test frameworks, or uploading artifacts to services like S3. However, users can find it cumbersome to iterate on their custom scripts because they’re required to wait for a complete rebuild to test changes they introduce.

In a similar light, trying to track down timing issues or erratic behavior associated with test execution can be incredibly tedious. To date, it hasn’t been possible to watch the iOS simulator execute tests in the cloud like you might in a local development environment.

Today, we’re launching Remote Access — a new feature that allows teams to connect via SSH and Apple Screen Sharing to the VM at any time during the build process.

Using Remote Access, teams can retrigger any build of their application, and using an SSH or Apple Screen Sharing connection, access the build container for 20 minutes to perform activities like:

  • Iterate on custom scripts during the build process
  • Watch the simulator execute tests
  • Dig into the VM to see where build artifacts are located

Remote Access gives teams complete visibility into their build process to help them debug testing issues, and iterate on custom scripts faster. This feature is currently available to all users on one of buddybuild’s Business Plans.

Getting Started with Remote Access

To rebuild your app with SSH access enabled, start by selecting the commit you want to rebuild.

After clicking Rebuild with SSH, buddybuild will display a list of your public keys used to grant you secure access to the VM. These public keys are made available by your source code hosting provider.

Click the Rebuild button to restart your app’s build with access to the buddybuild VM.

In the Build Details page, you’ll be presented with all the information you need to start the SSH connection or start a screenshare with the build machine.

Run the desired SSH command into a terminal prompt.

From here, you have complete access to the build machine! You’ll have 20 minutes to tweak custom scripts, dig into build logs, watch test runs on the simulator in real-time, and explore the VM. Once your desired work is complete, commit and push your changes back to your source code provider.

For a step-by-step guide on connecting to the buddybuild VM via SSH, feel free to read the Remote Access documentation.

Wrapping Up

Remote Access gives teams a quick way to debug issues and test possible solutions for custom scripts during their build. For some examples of custom build scripts, feel free to our helpful guide on customizing the build process in buddybuild.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our new Remote Access — feel free to tweet @buddybuild, or share your feedback directly with the team.