Automate Your CI With These 3 Powerful Tools in 2020

Is CI automation on your team's wishlist for 2020? Check out this piece for three must-have tools before getting started.


Configuration of VMs - Ansible:

Ansible offers a powerful and relatively simple means of doing a lot of things, like configuring VMs. Via human-readable, YAML-based scripts, users can execute discrete processes or playbooks that are comprised of multiple, probably interrelated, processes – like installing dependencies on a VM. It plays well with both Orka and VMware, MacStadium’s most popular virtualization platforms.

GitHub Repo of Note: mac-dev-playbook


Chef is one of the three best tools for keeping VMs or physical machines up to date, so it isn’t really surprising that it makes this list. What does raise a few eyebrows is who maintains the repo - Microsoft. Go figure. Just the same, it works very well with VMware or Orka in a Mac environment. Specifically, it is a great tool for delivering automation and desired state configurations. Similar to Ansible, Chef users can write a policy or “Cookbook” and then execute that cookbook on a target VM.

GitHub Repo of Note: macos-cookbook


A large percentage of MacStadium’s users include Packer in their CI stack. It is largely used to package a macOS with non-trivial changes for use on a virtualization layer, normally based on ESXi by VMware. Such a workflow would result in a reusable VM image, ready to be deployed time and again without even the slightest change - unless there are changes to the code, of course.

GitHub Repo of Note: packer-templates-mac