lightweight webhook and ChatOps handling for multiple git providers

Prow is a great way to do ChatOps with Jenkins X Pipelines though unfortunately its only supported for and is quite heavy and complex. To work around this we’ve created Lighthouse.

Lighthouse is a lightweight ChatOps based webhook handler which can trigger Jenkins X Pipelines on webhooks from multiple git providers such as: GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, BitBucket Server, BitBucket Cloud, GitLab, Gogs and Gitea.

Currently Lighthouse is focussed on using Jenkins X Pipelines with tekton though longer term it could be reused with tekton orchestrating Jenkins pipelines via the Custom Jenkins Server App


Currently Lighthouse supports the common prow plugins and handles push webhooks to branches & Pull Request webhooks to then trigger Jenkins X pipelines.

Lighthouse uses the same config.yaml and plugins.yaml file structure from Prow so that we can easily migrate from prow <-> lighthouse.

This also means we get to reuse the clean generation of Prow configuration from the SourceRepository, SourceRepositoryGroup and Scheduler CRDs integrated into jx boot. e.g. here’s the default scheduler configuration which is used for any project imported into your Jenkins X cluster; without you having to touch the actual prow configuration files. You can create many schedulers and associate them to different SourceRepository resources.

We can also reuse Prow’s capability of defining many separate pipelines on a repository (for PRs or releases) via having separate contexts. Then on a Pull Request we can use /test something or /test all to trigger pipelines and use the /ok-to-test and /approve or /lgtm commands

Using Lighthouse with boot

We have integrated lighthouse into jx boot. To switch to lighthouse from prow you need to add something like this to your jx-requirements.yml file:

webhook: lighthouse

Once you have modified your jx-requirements.yml file you just need to run jx boot.

If you are using something else other than as your git provider you will also require some extra YAML to configure the git provider. Here are some examples:

GitHub Enterprise

  provider: gke
  zone: europe-west1-c
  environmentGitOwner: myowner
  gitKind: github
  gitName: ghe
webhook: lighthouse

BitBucket Server

  provider: gke
  environmentGitOwner: myowner
  gitKind: bitbucketserver
  gitName: bs
webhook: lighthouse


  provider: gke
  environmentGitOwner: myowner
  gitKind: gitlab
  gitName: gitlab
webhook: lighthouse

Comparisons to Prow

Lighthouse is very prow-like and currently reuses the Prow plugin source code and a bunch of plugins from prow

Its got a few differences though:

  • rather than be GitHub specific lighthouse uses jenkins-x/go-scm so it can support any git provider
  • lighthouse is mostly like hook from Prow; an auto scaling webhook handler - to keep the footprint small. This also means if anything goes wrong handling webhooks you only have one pod to look into.
  • lighthouse is also very light. In Jenkins X we have about 10 pods related to prow; with lighthouse we have just 1 along with the tekton controller itself. That one lighthouse pod could easily be auto scaled too from 0 to many as it starts up very quickly.
  • lighthouse focuses purely on Tekton pipelines so it does not require a ProwJob CRD; instead a push webhook to a release or pull request branch can trigger zero to many PipelineRun CRDs instead

Porting Prow commands

If there are any prow commands you want which we’ve not yet ported over, its relatively easy to port prow plugins.

We’ve reused the prow plugin code and configuration code; so its mostly a case of switching imports of to - then modifying the github client structs from, say, github.PullRequest to scm.PullRequest.

Most of the github structs map 1-1 with the jenkins-x/go-scm equivalents (e.g. Issue, Commit, PullRequest) though the go-scm API does tend to return slices to pointers to resources by default. There are some naming differences at different parts of the API though.

e.g. compare the githubClient API for the prow lgtm versus the lighthouse lgtm.

All the prow plugin related code lives in the pkg/prow tree of packages. Mostly all we’ve done is switch to using jenkins-x/go-scm and switch out the current prow agents and instead use a single tekton agent using the PlumberClient to trigger pipelines.

Environment variables

The following environment variables are used:

Name Description
GIT_KIND the kind of git server: github, bitbucket, gitea, stash
GIT_SERVER the URL of the server if not using the public hosted git providers: or
GIT_USER the git user (bot name) to use on git operations
GIT_TOKEN the git token to perform operations on git (add comments, labels etc)
HMAC_TOKEN the token sent from the git provider in webhooks
JX_SERVICE_ACCOUNT the service account to use for generated pipelines

Last modified October 22, 2019: release 0.0.1167 (242139c)