Configure Travis CI for Ruby on Rails

Posted on June 10, 2020 - 4 Minute Read

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to configure Travis CI to run your Rails' test suite and system tests everytime you push a new change to your repository.

Create a Simple Rail Application

First we'll need to create simple Rail application. Open up your terminal and run the following commands.

  1. $ rails new rails-travis-ci-example -d=postgresql
  2. $ rails db:create
  3. $ rails g scaffold Post title body:text
  4. This step will automatically generate tests and system tests.
  5. $ rails db:migrate

Configure Rails Application to run System Tests in Travis CI

Rails is configured by default to run system tests in Google Chrome. However, I ran into an issue with Travis CI when it came to running system tests using the default configuration. My solution was to update test/application_system_test_case.rb by declearing :headless_chrome instead of the default :chrome setting.

  1. Edit test/application_system_test_case.rb
# test/application_system_test_case.rb
require "test_helper"

class ApplicationSystemTestCase < ActionDispatch::SystemTestCase
  driven_by :selenium, using: :headless_chrome, screen_size: [1400, 1400]end
  1. Run the test suite locally to ensure it works and passes.
$ rails test
$ rails test:system

Configure Travis CI to run the Rails Test Suite and System Tests

Next we need to create a .travis.yml file in order for Travis CI to know how to build our application.

  1. Creat a .travis.yml file and add the following:
language: ruby
  - bundler
  - yarn
  - postgresql
  - nvm install --lts
  - bundle install --jobs=3 --retry=3
  - yarn
  - bundle exec rake db:create
  - bundle exec rake db:schema:load
  - bundle exec rake test
  - bundle exec rake test:system
Key Description
os Sets the build's operating system. Note that we did not add an os key, and are using the default environment
language Selects the language support used for the build. We select ruby since this is a Rails project
cache Activates caching content that does not often change in order to speed up the build process. We add bundler and yarn since Rails uses bundler and yarn to managage dependencies.
services Services to set up and start. We add postgresql since our database is postgresql. You could also add redis.
before_install Scripts to run before the install stage. We add nvm install --lts to use the latest stable version of Node. This will be needed when we run yarn later.
before_script Scripts to run before the script stage. This sets up our Rails application. Note that I do not seed the database, since we only care about the test environment. I run bundle install --jobs=3 --retry=3 instead of bundle becuase that's what the documentation recommends.
script Scripts to run at the script stage. In our case, we just run our tests.
  1. Log into Travis CI and navigate to
  2. Search for your repository, and it enabled. If your repository doesn't appear click the Sync account button.

Enable repository on Travis CI

  1. Navigate to your project and trigger a build. Alternatively, make a new commit and push to GitHub to trigger a new build.

Trigger a build in Travis CI

  1. If you're using Heroku you can use GitHub as your deployment method and enable automatic deployments, but have it configured to wait for the CI to pass first.

Heroku GitHub deployment method

Heroku automatic deployments that wait for CI to pass

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