Using TVM’s CI

TVM uses Jenkins for running Linux continuous integration (CI) tests on branches and pull requests through a build configuration specified in a Jenkinsfile. Non-critical jobs run in GitHub Actions for Windows and MacOS jobs.

A standard CI run looks something like this viewed in Jenkins’ BlueOcean viewer. CI runs usually take several hours to complete and pull requests (PRs) cannot be merged before CI has successfully completed. To diagnose failing steps, click through to the failing pipeline stage then to the failing step to see the output logs.

The Jenkins UI for a CI run

Debugging Failures

When CI fails for some reason, there are several methods to diagnose the issue.

Jenkins Logs

The first place to look for a failure is in the CI logs, follow the red Xs on the failing job to view the logs. Note:

  • Jenkins does not display the full log by default, at the top of the log viewer is a button “Show complete log” which will take you to a plaintext version of the log

  • pytest failures are summarized at the bottom of the log but you will likely need to scroll up to view the actual failure.

Reproduce Failures

Most TVM Python tests run under pytest and can be run as described in Testing.

Keeping CI Green

Developers rely on the TVM CI to get signal on their PRs before merging. Occasionally breakages slip through and break main, which in turn causes the same error to show up on an PR that is based on the broken commit(s). Broken commits can be identified through GitHub via the commit status icon or via Jenkins. In these situations it is possible to either revert the offending commit or submit a forward fix to address the issue. It is up to the committer and commit author which option to choose, keeping in mind that a broken CI affects all TVM developers and should be fixed as soon as possible.

Skip CI for Reverts

For reverts and trivial forward fixes, adding [skip ci] to the revert’s PR title will cause CI to shortcut and only run lint. Committers should take care that they only merge CI-skipped PRs to fix a failure on main and not in cases where the submitter wants to shortcut CI to merge a change faster. The PR title is checked when the build is first run (specifically during the lint step, so changes after that has run do not affect CI and will require the job to be re-triggered by another git push).

# Revert HEAD commit, make sure to insert '[skip ci]' at the beginning of
# the commit subject
git revert HEAD
git checkout -b my_fix
# After you have pushed your branch, create a PR as usual.
git push my_repo
# Example: Skip CI on a branch with an existing PR
# Adding this commit to an existing branch will cause a new CI run where
# Jenkins is skipped
git commit --allow-empty --message "[skip ci] Trigger skipped CI"
git push my_repo

Handling Flaky Failures

If you notice a failure on your PR that seems unrelated to your change, you should search recent GitHub issues related to flaky tests and file a new issue if you don’t see any reports of the failure. If a certain test or class of tests affects several PRs or commits on main with flaky failures, the test should be disabled via pytest’s @xfail decorator with strict=True and the relevant issue linked in the disabling PR.

@pytest.mark.xfail(strict=False, reason="Flaky test:")
def test_something_flaky():


The ci-docker-staging branch is used to test updates to Docker images and Jenkinsfile changes. When running a build for a normal PR from a forked repository, Jenkins uses the code from the PR except for the Jenkinsfile itself, which comes from the base branch. When branches are built, the Jenkinsfile in the branch is used, so a committer with write access must push PRs to a branch in apache/tvm to properly test Jenkinsfile changes. If your PR makes changes to the Jenkinsfile, make sure to @ a committer and ask them to push your PR as a branch to test the changes.

Docker Images

Each CI job runs most of its work inside a Docker container, built from files in the docker/ folder. These files are built nightly in Jenkins via the docker-images-ci job. The images for these containers are hosted in the tlcpack Docker Hub and referenced at the top of the Jenkinsfile. These can be inspected and run locally via standard Docker commands.

# Beware: CI images can be several GB in size
# Get a bare docker shell in the ci-gpu container
docker run -it tlcpack/ci-gpu:v0.78 /bin/bash

docker/ will automatically grab the latest image from the Jenkinsfile and help in mounting your current directory.

# Run the ci_cpu image specified in Jenkinsfile
cd tvm
bash docker/ ci_cpu
# the tvm directory is automatically mounted
# example: build tvm (note: this will overrwrite build/)
$ ./tests/scripts/
$ ./tests/scripts/ build -j32

Reporting Issues

Issues with CI should be reported on GitHub with a link to the relevant jobs, commits, or PRs.