Overview of Cloud Build

Cloud Build is a service that executes your builds on Google Cloud.

Cloud Build can import source code from a variety of repositories or cloud storage spaces, execute a build to your specifications, and produce artifacts such as Docker containers or Java archives.

Build configuration and build steps

You can write a build config to provide instructions to Cloud Build on what tasks to perform. You can configure builds to fetch dependencies, run unit tests, static analyses, and integration tests, and create artifacts with build tools such as docker, gradle, maven, bazel, and gulp.

Cloud Build executes your build as a series of build steps, where each build step is run in a Docker container. Executing build steps is analogous to executing commands in a script.

You can either use the build steps provided by Cloud Build and the Cloud Build community, or write your own custom build steps:

Each build step is run with its container attached to a local Docker network named cloudbuild. This allows build steps to communicate with each other and share data.

You can use standard Docker Hub images in Cloud Build, such as Ubuntu and Gradle.

Starting builds

You can manually start builds in Cloud Build using the Google Cloud CLI or the Cloud Build API, or use Cloud Build's build triggers feature to create an automated continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) workflow that starts new builds in response to code changes.

You can integrate build triggers with many code repositories, including Cloud Source Repositories, GitHub, and Bitbucket.

Viewing build results

You can view your build results using the gcloud CLI, the Cloud Build API or use the Build History page in the Cloud Build section in Cloud console, which displays details and logs for every build Cloud Build executes. For instructions see Viewing Build Results.

How builds work

The following steps describe, in general, the lifecycle of a Cloud Build build:

  1. Prepare your application code and any needed assets.
  2. Create a build config file in YAML or JSON format, which contains instructions for Cloud Build.
  3. Submit the build to Cloud Build.
  4. Cloud Build executes your build based on the build config you provided.
  5. If applicable, any built artifacts are pushed to Artifact Registry.


Cloud Build uses Docker to execute builds. For each build step, Cloud Build executes a Docker container as an instance of docker run. Currently, Cloud Build is running Docker engine version 19.03.8.

Cloud Build interfaces

You can use Cloud Build with the Google Cloud console, gcloud command-line tool, or Cloud Build's REST API.

In the Cloud console, you can view the Cloud Build build results in the Build History page, and automate builds in Build Triggers.

You can use the gcloud CLI to create and manage builds. You can run commands to perform tasks such as submitting a build, listing builds, and canceling a build.

You can request builds using the Cloud Build REST API.

As with other Cloud Platform APIs, you must authorize access using OAuth2. After you have authorized access, you can then use the API to start new builds, view build status and details, list builds per project, and cancel builds that are currently in process.

For more information, see the API documentation.

Running builds locally

If you want to test your build before submitting it to Cloud Build, you can run your build locally using the cloud-build-local tool. For instructions on using this tool see the Building and Debugging Locally page.

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