Cannot define variable in pipeline stage

I'm trying to create a declarative Jenkins pipeline script but having issues with simple variable declaration.

Here is my script:

pipeline {
   agent none
   stages {
       stage("first") {
           def foo = "foo" // fails with "WorkflowScript: 5: Expected a step @ line 5, column 13."
           sh "echo ${foo}"

However, I get this error:

org.codehaus.groovy.control.MultipleCompilationErrorsException: startup failed:
WorkflowScript: 5: Expected a step @ line 5, column 13.
           def foo = "foo"

I'm on Jenkins 2.7.4 and Pipeline 2.4.


  • The Declarative model for Jenkins Pipelines has a restricted subset of syntax that it allows in the stage blocks - see the syntax guide for more info. You can bypass that restriction by wrapping your steps in a script { ... } block, but as a result, you'll lose validation of syntax, parameters, etc within the script block.