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I found this cool comparison table for integration servers on Wikipedia, but I am a little uncertain how to rank the tools vs. my needs and interests. The chart itself seems to have a lot of boxes marked unknown, so if you are comfortable updating it on Wikipedia, that could be great too.

Are there a few top performing products so I can quickly narrow down to four or five options?

Which products seems to have the largest user communities and most ongoing enhancements and integration with new tools?

Are the open source offerings best, or are there high quality tools that can be a great deal for a single user at home?

Will use of multiple systems (primary desktop, local only home network server, personal and work notebooks, multiple virtual machines spread across all) create problems and how can they be managed?

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

Don't worry about comparisons. Start with Jenkins; it is hugely popular and extremely easy to use. Once you've used it a while you'll learn what features are important to you and what are not. My guess is, you'll end up sticking with Jenkins.

I'm sure people will debate whether or not it's the best CI server. Don't listen to them because it doesn't matter. There are probably many that are every bit as good as Jenkins -- better in some ways, maybe not as good as others. It's not so important to pick the best one; the important thing is to pick one and start learning, and Jenkins is a very good one for that.

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+1, "best" don't matter to get started -- good, free and easy enough take precedence. –  Wyatt Barnett Sep 3 '12 at 1:27
    
Jenkins is in some indescribable way nice - it is a very good first choice. –  user1249 Sep 3 '12 at 11:27
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The best way to learn what you need is by trying it. You simply CAN'T know what you'll like or not like until you try it for yourself. –  Michael Kohne Sep 13 '12 at 17:44
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As Bryan already said starting with Jenkins is always a good idea when setting it all up yourself. It is proven technology and has tons of support.

You can take a look at the jenkins installation of the apache project to get a feeling for it https://builds.apache.org/

If you are ever interrested in a hosted solution we provide a Continuous Integration and Deployment service at Railsonfire. We currently support Ruby, but going into other technologies soon.

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Thanks Florian, looking forward for a python integration! –  Gregor Sep 17 '12 at 8:30
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