No content change = "Deploy failed" notification?

Hello team,

We have a repo where it’s common for us to push commits that don’t affect the built site.

Our netlify site builds for each new commit, and we often get a “Your recent build for [site-name] has failed”

Email notification:

Build log:

12:25:36 AM: Build ready to start
12:25:38 AM: build-image version: d2c6dbeac570350a387d832f64bc980dc964ad65 (focal)
12:25:38 AM: build-image tag: v4.8.0
12:25:38 AM: buildbot version: 4aaa27647e859c2d38cfbb25901ceae1e7f3eeae
12:25:38 AM: Fetching cached dependencies
12:25:46 AM: Finished downloading cache in 8.022868523s
12:25:46 AM: Starting to extract cache
12:26:31 AM: Finished extracting cache in 45.081511699s
12:26:31 AM: Finished fetching cache in 53.200071562s
12:26:31 AM: Starting to prepare the repo for build
12:26:32 AM: Preparing Git Reference pull/43/head
12:26:33 AM: Parsing package.json dependencies
12:26:34 AM: Different publish path detected, going to use the one specified in the Netlify configuration file: ‘packages/core-player/build’ versus ‘’ in the Netlify UI
12:26:34 AM: Different functions path detected, going to use the one specified in the Netlify configuration file: ‘packages/core-player/src/api’ versus ‘’ in the Netlify UI
12:26:34 AM: Different build command detected, going to use the one specified in the Netlify configuration file: ‘yarn build’ versus ‘’ in the Netlify UI
12:26:34 AM: No changes detected in base directory. Returning early from build.
12:26:34 AM: Creating deploy upload records
12:26:34 AM: Failed during stage ‘checking build content for changes’: Canceled build due to no content change
12:26:34 AM: Finished processing build request in 56.224293426s

Here’s the notification setting:

the problem we’re having is a ‘crying wolf’ issue over notifications about build failures that are actually not a real problem.

Do you have any suggestions?

Some questions I have:

  1. Why are “no content change” builds considered ‘failed’ ?
  2. Can we fine tune this setting/remove this notification?
  3. Should I ‘hack’ my build script to make a random file that would force a ‘content-change’ condition and proceed with the build?
  4. Why is netlify so awesome?

Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

I’ve never used the email notification feature so hadn’t noticed this.

It does seem like something that should be a “notice” instead of an “error”.

It’s also a little odd that it says “Canceled build due to no content change”.
Since it seemingly has performed the build, it’s only the deploy that was skipped.

This seems like a good work around.

Hi Nathan, thanks for the input.

I’m not sure that’s the case, I don’t see any of my build steps in the build log.

Meaning, even if I altered my build script to create a random file, it doesn’t seem like it would make a difference if the build script isn’t even running. Netlify is perhaps hashing a certain folder in the repo to scan for content changes ?

The problem is we have external assets that are copied into the repo at build time…

So if I needed to create a new file to force a re-build, I would have to then do it during the pre-commit hook… and frankly, since they are changes that don’t affect our production site, I would indeed prefer to NOT use build minutes/instances and deal with this as a notifications problem (which is what I think we agree this is) instead of a build problem :slight_smile:

I’d based that assumption on the fact that it says it was running for 56.22s, which isn’t an immediate failure.

If that’s the case, are you sure that the system you’re using isn’t throwing an error when it determines that the input data hasn’t changed?

I’m just not sure how Netlify could be making the determination that the build hasn’t changed from only input data, and I’ve certainly never experienced anything like that, even when clients trigger webhook based builds of exactly the same content multiple times in a row.

I’m not sure what it’s doing for that time (booting, loading cache, and comparing new repo with previous one?), but the build log definitely doesn’t show any of the build steps happenning.

Also, looks like this is a known issue:

Looks like I don’t need to create a file, there’s a config for this :

I’m going to mark this as resolved because there’s another active thread… but the issue is not ‘resolved’ for me :frowning:

Just fixing the formatting of the supplied build log so it’s easier to read.

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Did this in my original post, my bad!

@danielthedifficult Sorry for leading you astray, I see what’s occurring here now.

We rarely do this, so don’t encounter it very often, but at some point historically we adapted to making inconsequential changes to non-display files, like adding/removing a space from the end of a line when we want a commit with no actual source changes to trigger a build.

We aren’t bitten by it day to day because most builds are triggered via webhook which seems to circumvent the “unchanged source” handling.

No worries @nathanmartin, appreciate your participation either way.

This info about how the default content-change works is helpful:

But I think the core issue remains:
Cancelled ≠ Failed, badges and email notifications should reflect this.

Hey there, @danielthedifficult :wave:

Thanks so much for sharing that link. As I mentioned in the other thread, I have shared your feedback directly with the Product team!

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