Athena Nightly Builds

Last update: 23 Jan 2020 [History] [Edit]

For all of the major branches in git, significant projects will always be built from the HEAD once a day. Colloquially these are known as nightly builds, but they might well happen during daylight hours.

Each ‘nightly’ is date stamped with the time at which the build started, in the form


e.g., 2017-04-26T0710 is the build which began on the 26th of April 2017 at 0710 (CERN localtime is used).

To make it easier to identify the precise set of code that was used for a build, a git tag is created with the format nightly/BRANCH/YYYY-MM-DDTHHMM. e.g., nightly/21.0/2017-04-26T0710.

The results of a nightly build (cmake configuration, build status and tests) is accessible via the NICOS nightly build page.

After the release has been built it will be installed on the nightlies CVMFS server for use.

These nightly builds are usually used as a base on which to develop code changes, so knowing how to set them up is important.

Setting Up A Nightly Release

To setup a nightly release it is necessary to give the git branch, the project and the timestamp to asetup, e.g.,

asetup 21.0,Athena,r2017-04-26T0710

Note that the datestamp should be prefixed by r (nightly release).

To make life easier asetup will accept an abbreviated form for the datestamp:

Form Example Comment
rYYYY-MM-DD r2017-04-26 Default is to take the oldest time
rMM-DD r04-26 No year means this year
rDD (zero padded) r26 or r01 No month or year means this month, this year

See the full asetup users guide for further details.

To see which nightly releases are installed it’s possible just to browse CVMFS:

atmic001:~$ ls /cvmfs/
2017-03-08T2245  2017-03-21T2225  2017-04-03T2225  2017-04-17T2225
2017-03-09T2245  2017-03-22T2225  2017-04-04T2225  2017-04-18T2225
2017-03-10T2125  2017-03-23T2225  2017-04-05T2225  2017-04-19T2225
2017-03-11T2125  2017-03-24T2225  2017-04-07T2225  2017-04-20T2225
2017-03-12T2125  2017-03-25T2225  2017-04-08T2225  2017-04-21T2225
2017-03-13T2225  2017-03-26T2225  2017-04-09T2225  2017-04-22T2225
2017-03-14T2225  2017-03-27T2225  2017-04-10T2225  2017-04-23T2225
2017-03-15T2225  2017-03-28T2225  2017-04-11T2225  Geant4
2017-03-16T2225  2017-03-29T2225  2017-04-12T2225  atlas
2017-03-17T2225  2017-03-30T2225  2017-04-13T2225  dqm-common
2017-03-18T2225  2017-03-31T2225  2017-04-14T2225  latest-Athena
2017-03-19T2225  2017-04-01T2225  2017-04-15T2225  sw
2017-03-20T2225  2017-04-02T2225  2017-04-16T2225  tdaq-common

shows all the nightly builds available for the master branch (along with some common software installation paths).

The project is installed within the datestamped directory, along with supporting code (AthenaExternals, Gaudi and some installation logs).

For branches that may build more than one project the timestamps for each project are probably different. The abbreviated asetup commands will handle this smoothly, but do watch out for it if you are directory browsing.

Release Candidate Numbers

Each nightly build is also a release candidate for the next release number for its project. i.e., if the last release of Tier-0 Athena was 21.0.26 then the nightly build will have a release candidate number of 21.0.27.

Release candidate numbers are stored in the version.txt file in the git repository itself, e.g., this is the release candidate number for MC16 and Tier-0 2017 data taking.

The release candidate number is buried in the CMVFS installation path, e.g.,

$ ls /cvmfs/

But as explained above it isn’t actually needed for setting up a nightly build.