Remote Access API

Jenkins provides machine-consumable remote access API to its functionalities. Currently it comes in three flavors:

  1. XML

  2. JSON with JSONP support

  3. Python

Remote access API is offered in a REST-like style. That is, there is no single entry point for all features, and instead they are available under the ".../api/" URL where "..." portion is the data that it acts on.

For example, if your Jenkins installation sits at, visiting will show just the top-level API features available – primarily a listing of the configured jobs for this Jenkins instance.
Or if you want to access information about a particular build, e.g., then go to and you’ll see the list of functionalities for that build.

What can you do with it?

Remote API can be used to do things like these:

  1. retrieve information from Jenkins for programmatic consumption.

  2. trigger a new build

  3. create/copy jobs

Submitting jobs

Jobs without parameters

You merely need to perform an HTTP POST on JENKINS_URL/job/JOBNAME/build.

Jobs with parameters

Simple example - sending "String Parameters":

curl JENKINS_URL/job/JOB_NAME/buildWithParameters \
  --user USER:TOKEN \
  --data id=123 --data verbosity=high

Another example - sending a "File Parameter":

curl JENKINS_URL/job/JOB_NAME/buildWithParameters \
  --user USER:PASSWORD \

The symbol '@' is important in this example. Also, the path to the file is absolute path. In order to make this command work, you need to configure your Jenkins job to take a file parameter and match the File location field in the Jenkins job configuration with the key in the --form option.

Remote API and security

When your Jenkins is secured, you can use HTTP BASIC authentication to authenticate remote API requests. See Authenticating scripted clients for more details.

CSRF Protection

Note: API tokens are preferred instead of crumbs for CSRF protection.

XPath selection

The XML API supports a selection by XPath by using the query parameter 'xpath'. This is convenient for extracting information in environments where XML manipulation is tedious (such as shell script.) See issue #626 for an example of how to use this.
See .../api/ on your Jenkins server for more up-to-date details.

XPath exclusion

Similar to the 'xpath' query parameter above, you can use (possibly multiple) 'exclude' query patterns to exclude nodes from the resulting XML. All the nodes that match the specified XPath will be removed from the XML.
See .../api/ on your Jenkins server for more up-to-date details.

Depth control

Sometimes the remote API doesn’t give you enough information in one call. For example, if you’d like to find the last successful build of a given view, you’d realize that the invocation to the remote API of the view won’t give you this, and you’d have to recursively call the remote API of each project. Depth control solves this problem. Depth control is fundamentally connected to the Jenkins data model.

The data model that Jenkins maintains internally can be thought of as a big tree structure, and when you make a remote API call, you are getting a small subtree of it. The subtree is rooted at the object for which you made a remote API call, and the sub-tree is cut beyond certain depth to avoid returning too much data. You can adjust this cut-off behavior by specifying the depth query parameter. When you specify a positive depthvalue, the subtree cut-off happens that much later.

So the net result is, if you specify a bigger depth value, you’ll see that the remote API will now return more data. Because of the algorithm, this works in such a way that the data returned by a bigger depth value includes all the data returned by smaller depth value.

See .../api/ on your Jenkins server for more up-to-date details.

Python API wrappers

JenkinsAPI, Python-Jenkins, api4jenkins, aiojenkins are object-oriented python wrappers for the Python REST API which aim to provide a more conventionally pythonic way of controlling a Jenkins server. It provides a higher-level API containing a number of convenience functions. Services offered currently include:

  • Query the test-results of a completed build

  • Get objects representing the latest builds of a job

  • Search for artifacts by simple criteria

  • Block until jobs are complete

  • Install artifacts to custom-specified directory structures

  • Authentication support for Jenkins instances

  • Ability to search for builds by subversion revision

  • Ability to add/remove/query Jenkins agents

Ruby API wrappers

Jenkins API Client is an object oriented ruby wrapper project that consumes Jenkins’s JSON API and aims at providing access to all remote API Jenkins provides. It is available as a Rubygem and can be useful to interact with the Job, Node, View, BuildQueue, and System related functionalities. Services currently offered include:

  • Creating jobs by sending xml file or by specifying params as options with more customization options including source control, notifications, etc.

  • Building jobs (with params), stopping builds, querying details of recent builds, obtaining build params, etc.

  • Listing jobs available in Jenkins with job name filter, job status filter.

  • Adding/removing downstream projects.

  • Chaining jobs i.e given a list of projects each project is added as a downstream project to the previous one.

  • Obtaining progressive console output.

  • Username/password based authentication.

  • Command Line Interface with a lot of options provided in the libraries.

  • Creating, listing views.

  • Adding jobs to views and removing jobs from views.

  • Adding/removing Jenkins agents, querying details of agents.

  • Obtaining the tasks in build queue, and their age, cause, reason, ETA, ID, params and much more.

  • Quiet down, cancel quiet down, safe restart, force restart, and wait till Jenkins becomes available after a restart.

  • Ability to list installed/available plugins, obtain information about plugins, install/uninstall plugins and much more with plugins.

The project source code is at here.

Java API wrappers

The jenkins-rest library is an object oriented Java project that provides access to the Jenkins REST API programmatically to some remote API Jenkins provides. It is built using the jclouds toolkit and can easily be extended to support more REST endpoints. Its feature set evolves and users are invited to contribute new endpoints via pull-requests. In its current state it is possible with this library to submit a job, track its progress through the queue, and monitor its execution until its completion, and obtain the build status. Services currently offered include:

  • Endpoint definition (property or environment variable)

  • Authentication (basic and API token via property or environment variable)

  • Crumbs Issuer support (auto-detect crumbs)

  • Folder support

  • Jobs API (build, buildInfo, buildWithParameters, config, create, delete, description, disable, enable, jobInfo, lastBuildNumber, lastBuildTimestamp and progressiveText)

  • Plugin manager API (installNecessaryPlugins, list current plugins)

  • Queue API (cancel, list queue items, query queue item)

  • Statistics API (overall load)

  • Systems API (systemInfo)

The project can evolve rapidly, this list is accurate only as of the date of writing.

Detecting Jenkins version

To check the version of Jenkins, load the top page or any .../api/* page and check for the X-Jenkins response header. This contains the version number of Jenkins, like "1.404" This is also a good way to check if an URL is a Jenkins URL.

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