This article on continuous integration sums is up best:

Ok, what is continuous integration Server then ?

For starters think of it as a glorified “cron” job with a nice web interface.

This article goes over three popular continuous integration servers. Cruise Control, Hudson, and Continuum seem to be the most popular ones. Cruise Control is an old battle horse that can get it done but is slower to configure and learn. Continuum I don’t have much experience with but it seems to play second fiddle to Hudson the newer but more polished option.

Here are some requirements I like to look for in my CI Server

  • Execute build scripts
  • Run unit tests and report problems
  • Do code analysis
  • Record fingerprints of files
  • Send email to build master or people who broke the build.
  • Easy configuration
  • Work well with my source control tool
  • Bonus Points: Integrated to task tracking system

To set it up Hudson with LAMP and Github read this article.