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From GitLab's homepage:

GitLab offers git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds and wikis. Enterprises install GitLab on-premise and connect it with LDAP and Active Directory servers for secure authentication and authorization. A single GitLab server can handle more than 25,000 users but it is also possible to create a high availability setup with multiple active servers.

An example live version can be found at


Note: If you want to use RVM refer to the article #Running GitLab with rvm before starting with the installation
Note: This article covers installing and configuring GitLab without HTTPS at first. If needed, see #Advanced Configuration to set up SSL

GitLab requires Redis and a database backend. If you plan to run it on the same machine, first install either MySQL or PostgreSQL.

Install the gitlab package.

In order to receive mail notifications, a mail server must be installed and configured. See the following for more information: Category:Mail server


Preliminary Notes

The gitlab package installs GitLab's files in a manner that more closely follows standard Linux conventions:

Description GitLab's Official gitlab
Configuration File GitShell /home/git/gitlab-shell/config.yml /etc/webapps/gitlab-shell/config.yml
Configuration File GitLab /home/git/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml /etc/webapps/gitlab/gitlab.yml
User (Home Directory) git (/home/git) gitlab (/var/lib/gitlab)
Tip: If you are familiar with the Arch Build System you can edit the PKGBUILD and relevant files to change gitlab's home directory to a place of your liking.


Edit /etc/webapps/gitlab/gitlab.yml and setup at least the following parameters:

Tip: The hostname and port are used for the git clone http://hostname:port as example.

Hostname: In the gitlab: section set host: - replacing localhost to (note: no 'http://' or trailing slash) - into your fully qualified domain name.

Port: port: can be confusing. This is not the port that the gitlab server (unicorn) runs on; it's the port that users will initially access through in their browser. Basically, if you intend for users to visit '' in their browser, without appending a port number to the domain name, leave port: as 80. If you intend your users to type something like '' into their browsers, then you'd set port: to 3425. You will also have to configure your webserver to listen on that port.

Timezone (optional): The time_zone: parameter is optional, but may be useful to force the zone of GitLab applications.

Finally set the correct permissions to the uploads directory:

# chmod 700 /var/lib/gitlab/uploads

GitLab Shell

Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: Configuration variables in this section are no longer in config.yml (Discuss in Talk:Gitlab#)
Note: You can leave the gitlab_url with default value if you intend to host GitLab on the same host.

Edit /etc/webapps/gitlab-shell/config.yml and set gitlab_url: to the prefer url and port:

# GitLab user. git by default
user: gitlab

# Url to gitlab instance. Used for api calls. Should end with a slash.
# Default: http://localhost:8080/
# You only have to change the default if you have configured Unicorn
# to listen on a custom port, or if you have configured Unicorn to
# only listen on a Unix domain socket.
gitlab_url: "http://localhost:8080/" #

#  user: someone
#  password: somepass

Update the /etc/webapps/gitlab/unicorn.rb configuration if the port and/or hostname is different from the default:

listen "/run/gitlab/gitlab.socket", :backlog => 1024
listen "", :tcp_nopush => true


In order to provide sufficient performance you will need a cache database. Install and configure a Redis instance, being careful to the section dedicated to listening via a socket.

  • Add the user git and gitlab to the redis group.
  • Update the configuration files:
development: unix:/run/redis/redis.sock
test: unix:/run/redis/redis.sock
production: unix:/run/redis/redis.sock
# Redis settings used for pushing commit notices to gitlab
  bin: /usr/bin/redis-cli
  port: 6379
  # pass: redispass # Allows you to specify the password for Redis
  database: 5 # Use different database, default up to 16
  socket: /run/redis/redis.sock # uncomment this line
  namespace: resque:gitlab

Database backend

A Database backend will be required before Gitlab can be run. Currently GitLab supports MariaDB and PostgreSQL. By default, GitLab assumes you will use MySQL. Extra work is needed if you plan to use PostgreSQL.


To set up MySQL (MariaDB) you need to create a database called gitlabhq_production along with a user (default: gitlab) who has full privileges to the database:

$ mysql -u root -p
mysql> CREATE DATABASE `gitlabhq_production` DEFAULT CHARACTER SET `utf8` COLLATE `utf8_unicode_ci`;
mysql> CREATE USER 'gitlab'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
mysql> GRANT ALL ON `gitlabhq_production`.* TO 'gitlab'@'localhost';
mysql> \q

Try connecting to the new database with the new user:

$ mysql -u gitlab -p -D gitlabhq_production

Copy the MySQL template file before configuring it:

# cp /usr/share/doc/gitlab/database.yml.mysql /etc/webapps/gitlab/database.yml

Next you will need to open /etc/webapps/gitlab/database.yml and set username: and password: for the gitlabhq_production:

  adapter: mysql2
  encoding: utf8
  collation: utf8_general_ci
  reconnect: false
  database: gitlabhq_production
  pool: 10
  username: username
  password: "password"
  # host: localhost
  # socket: /run/mysqld/mysqld.sock # If running MariaDB as socket

It should not be set as world readable, e.g. only processes running under the gitlab user should have read/write access:

# chmod 600 /etc/webapps/gitlab/database.yml
# chown gitlab:gitlab /etc/webapps/gitlab/database.yml

For more info and other ways to create/manage MySQL databases, see the MariaDB documentation and the GitLab official (generic) install guide.


Login to PostgreSQL and create the gitlabhq_production database with along with it's user. Remember to change your_username_here and your_password_here to the real values:

# psql -d template1
template1=# CREATE USER your_username_here WITH PASSWORD 'your_password_here';
template1=# ALTER USER your_username_here SUPERUSER;
template1=# CREATE DATABASE gitlabhq_production OWNER your_username_here;
template1=# \q
Note: The reason for creating the user as a superuser is that GitLab is trying to be "smart" and install extensions (not just create them in it's own userspace). And this is only allowed by superusers in Postgresql.

Try connecting to the new database with the new user to verify it works:

# psql -d gitlabhq_production

Copy the PostgreSQL template file before configuring it (overwriting the default MySQL configuration file):

# cp /usr/share/doc/gitlab/database.yml.postgresql /etc/webapps/gitlab/database.yml

Open the new /etc/webapps/gitlab/database.yml and set the values for username: and password:. For example:

  adapter: postgresql
  encoding: unicode
  database: gitlabhq_production
  pool: 10
  username: your_username_here
  password: "your_password_here"
  # host: localhost
  # port: 5432
  # socket: /tmp/postgresql.sock

For our purposes (unless you know what you are doing), you do not need to worry about configuring the other databases listed in /etc/webapps/gitlab/database.yml. We only need to set up the production database to get GitLab working.


If you want to give direct access to your Gitlab installation through an iptables firewall, you may need to adjust the port and the network address:

# iptables -A tcp_inbound -p TCP -s --destination-port 80 -j ACCEPT

To enable API-access:

# iptables -A tcp_inbound -p TCP -s --destination-port 8080 -j ACCEPT

If you are behind a router, do not forget to forward this port to the running GitLab server host, if you want to allow WAN-access.

Initialize Gitlab database

Start the Redis server before we create the database.

Initialize the database and activate advanced features:

# su - gitlab -s /bin/sh -c "cd '/usr/share/webapps/gitlab'; bundle-2.3 exec rake gitlab:setup RAILS_ENV=production"

Finally run the following commands to check your installation:

# su - gitlab -s /bin/sh -c "cd '/usr/share/webapps/gitlab'; bundle-2.3 exec rake gitlab:env:info RAILS_ENV=production"
# su - gitlab -s /bin/sh -c "cd '/usr/share/webapps/gitlab'; bundle-2.3 exec rake gitlab:check RAILS_ENV=production"
  • The gitlab:env:info and gitlab:check commands will show a fatal error related to git. This is OK.
  • If gitlab:check fails with Check GitLab API access: FAILED. code: 401, see #401 Unauthorized on all API access and #/etc/webapps/gitlab/secret is empty of the troubleshoot section to resolve this.
  • The gitlab:check will complain about missing initscripts. This is nothing to worry about, as systemd service files are used instead (which GitLab does not recognize).

Configure Git User

# cd /usr/share/webapps/gitlab
# sudo -u gitlab -H git config --global  "GitLab"
# sudo -u gitlab -H git config --global ""
# sudo -u gitlab -H git config --global core.autocrlf "input"

Adjust modifier bits

(The gitlab check won't pass if the user and group ownership isn't configured properly)

# chmod -R ug+rwX,o-rwx /var/lib/gitlab/repositories/
# chmod -R ug-s /var/lib/gitlab/repositories
# find /var/lib/gitlab/repositories/ -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod g+s

Start and test GitLab

Note: See #Troubleshooting and log files inside the /usr/share/webapps/gitlab/log directory for troubleshooting.

Make sure MySQL or PostgreSQL and Redis are running and setup correctly.

After starting the database backends, we can start GitLab with its webserver (Unicorn) by starting both the gitlab-sidekiq and gitlab-unicorn systemd units.

To automatically launch GitLab at startup, enable the, gitlab-sidekiq and gitlab-unicorn services.

Now test your GitLab instance by visiting http://localhost:8080 or, you should be prompted to create a password:

username: root
password: You'll be prompted to create one on your first visit.

Upgrade database on updates

After updating the gitlab package, it is required to upgrade the database:

# su - gitlab -s /bin/sh -c "cd '/usr/share/webapps/gitlab'; bundle-2.3 exec rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production"

Afterwards, restart gitlab-related services:

# systemctl daemon-reload
# systemctl restart gitlab-sidekiq gitlab-unicorn gitlab-workhorse gitlab-gitaly

Advanced Configuration

Custom SSH Connection

If you are running SSH on a non-standard port, you must change the GitLab user's SSH config:

host localhost      # Give your setup a name (here: override localhost)
user gitlab         # Your remote git user
port 2222           # Your port number
hostname; # Your server name or IP

You also need to change the corresponding options (e.g. ssh_user, ssh_host, admin_uri) in the /etc/webapps/gitlab/gitlab.yml file.


Change GitLab configs

Modify /etc/webapps/gitlab/shell.yml so the url to your GitLab site starts with https://. Modify /etc/webapps/gitlab/gitlab.yml so that https: setting is set to true.

See also Apache HTTP Server#TLS/SSL and Let’s Encrypt.

Let's Encrypt

To validate your URL, the Let's Encrypt process will try to access your gitlab server with something like https://gitlab.YOUR_SERVER_FQDN/.well-known/acme-challenge/A_LONG_ID. But, due to gitlab configuration, every request to gitlab.YOUR_SERVER_FQDN will be redirected to a proxy (gitlab-workhorse) that will not be able to deal with this URL.

To bypass this issue, you can use the Let's Encrypt webroot configuration, setting the webroot at /srv/http/letsencrypt/.

Additionally, force the Let's Encrypt request for gitlab to be redirected to this webroot by adding the following:

Alias "/.well-known"  "/srv/http/letsencrypt/.well-known"
RewriteCond   %{REQUEST_URI}  !/\.well-known/.*

Web server configuration

If you want to integrate Gitlab into a running web server instead of using its build-in http server Unicorn, then follow these instructions.


You can easily set up an http proxy on port 443 to proxy traffic to the GitLab application on port 8080 using http-master for Node.js. After you have creates your domain's OpenSSL keys and have gotten you CA certificate (or self signed it), then go to to learn how easy it is to proxy requests to GitLab using HTTPS. http-master is built on top of node-http-proxy.

Nginx and unicorn

Copy /usr/share/doc/gitlab/nginx.conf.example or /usr/share/doc/gitlab/nginx-ssl.conf.example to /etc/nginx/servers-available/gitlab. See Nginx#Managing server entries for more information.

Update the /etc/nginx/servers-available/gitlab file and restart the nginx service.

If you are unable to authenticate, add the following headers to /etc/nginx/servers-available/gitlab:

proxy_set_header    X-Forwarded-Ssl     on; # Only when using SSL
proxy_set_header    X-Frame-Options     SAMEORIGIN; 
Alternative Example
Note: You may need to change localhost:8080 with the correct gitlab address and to your desired server name.
Tip: See Nginx#TLS/SSL before enabling SSL.

Create a file /etc/nginx/servers-available/gitlab with the following content:

# Created by: Sameer Naik
# Contributor: francoism90
# Source:

upstream gitlab-workhorse {
  server unix:/run/gitlab/gitlab-workhorse.socket fail_timeout=0;

server {
  listen 80;
  #listen 443 ssl; # uncomment to enable ssl
  keepalive_timeout 70;
  server_tokens off;
  #ssl_certificate ssl/;
  #ssl_certificate_key ssl/;
  charset utf-8;
  root /dev/null;
  # Increase this if you want to upload larger attachments
  client_max_body_size 20m;
  location / {
      proxy_read_timeout 300;
      proxy_connect_timeout 300;
      proxy_redirect off;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
      proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
      proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Ssl on;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
      proxy_set_header X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN;
      proxy_pass http://gitlab-workhorse;

Apache and unicorn

Install apache from the official repositories.

Configure Unicorn

As the official installation guide instructs, copy the unicorn configuration file:

# sudo -u git -H cp /usr/share/webapps/gitlab/config/unicorn.rb.example /usr/share/webapps/gitlab/config/unicorn.rb

Now edit config/unicorn.rb and add a listening port by uncommenting the following line:

listen ""
Tip: You can set a custom port if you want. Just remember to also include it in Apache's virtual host. See below.
Create a virtual host for Gitlab

Create a configuration file for Gitlab’s virtual host and insert the lines below adjusted accordingly. For the ssl section see LAMP#SSL[broken link: invalid section]. If you do not need it, remove it. Notice that the SSL virtual host needs a specific IP instead of generic. Also if you set a custom port for Unicorn, do not forget to set it at the BalanceMember line.

You can use these examples to get you started.

Enable host and start unicorn

Enable your Gitlab virtual host and reload Apache:

 Include /etc/httpd/conf/extra/gitlab.conf

Copy the Apache gitlab.conf file

# cp /usr/share/doc/gitlab/apache.conf.example /etc/httpd/conf/extra/gitlab.conf

Finally start gitlab-unicorn.service.


Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: This section needs configuration instructions. (Discuss in Talk:Gitlab#)

Since 8.0 GitLab uses separate HTTP server gitlab-workhorse for large HTTP requests like Git push/pull. If you want to use this instead of SSH, install the gitlab-workhorse package, enable gitlab-workhorse.service and configure web server for this. gitlab-workhorse should now be preferred over gitlab-unicorn according to the GitLab team:

Note: Unicorn is still needed so don't disable or stop gitlab-unicorn.service. If you've changed the port Unicorn listens at, edit the -authBackend setting in gitlab-workhorse.service accordingly

By default gitlab-workhorse listens on /run/gitlab/gitlab-workhorse.socket. You can edit gitlab-workhorse.service and change the parameter -listenAddr to make it listen on an address, for example -listenAddr If listening on an address you also need to set the network type to -listenNetwork tcp

When using nginx remember to edit your nginx configuration file. To switch from gitlab-unicorn to gitlab-workhorse edit the two following settings accordingly

upstream gitlab {
   server unix:/run/gitlab/gitlab-workhorse.socket fail_timeout=0;

      proxy_pass http://unix:/run/gitlab/gitlab-workhorse.socket;

Useful Tips

Fix Rake Warning

When running rake tasks for the gitlab project, this error will occur: fatal: Not a git repository (or any of the parent directories): .git. This is a bug in bundler, and it can be safely ignored. However, if you want to git rid of the error, the following method can be used:

# cd /usr/share/webapps/gitlab
# sudo -u gitlab git init
# sudo -u gitlab git commit -m "initial commit" --allow-empty

Hook into /var

# mkdir -m700 /var/log/gitlab /var/tmp/gitlab
# chown gitlab:gitlab /var/log/gitlab /var/tmp/gitlab
# sudo -u gitlab -i
# cd ~/gitlab
# d=log; mv $d/* /var/$d/gitlab; rm -f $d/.gitkeep; rm -r $d && ln -s /var/$d/gitlab $d
# d=tmp; mv $d/* /var/$d/gitlab; rm -f $d/.gitkeep; rm -r $d && ln -s /var/$d/gitlab $d

Hidden options

Go to Gitlab's home directory:

# cd /usr/share/webapps/gitlab

and run:

# rake -T | grep gitlab
rake gitlab:app:check                         # GITLAB | Check the configuration of the GitLab Rails app
rake gitlab:backup:create                     # GITLAB | Create a backup of the GitLab system
rake gitlab:backup:restore                    # GITLAB | Restore a previously created backup
rake gitlab:check                             # GITLAB | Check the configuration of GitLab and its environment
rake gitlab:cleanup:block_removed_ldap_users  # GITLAB | Cleanup | Block users that have been removed in LDAP
rake gitlab:cleanup:dirs                      # GITLAB | Cleanup | Clean namespaces
rake gitlab:cleanup:repos                     # GITLAB | Cleanup | Clean repositories
rake gitlab:env:check                         # GITLAB | Check the configuration of the environment
rake gitlab:env:info                          # GITLAB | Show information about GitLab and its environment
rake gitlab:generate_docs                     # GITLAB | Generate sdocs for project
rake gitlab:gitlab_shell:check                # GITLAB | Check the configuration of GitLab Shell
rake gitlab:import:all_users_to_all_groups    # GITLAB | Add all users to all groups (admin users are added as owners)
rake gitlab:import:all_users_to_all_projects  # GITLAB | Add all users to all projects (admin users are added as masters)
rake gitlab:import:repos                      # GITLAB | Import bare repositories from gitlab_shell -> repos_path into GitLab project instance
rake gitlab:import:user_to_groups[email]      # GITLAB | Add a specific user to all groups (as a developer)
rake gitlab:import:user_to_projects[email]    # GITLAB | Add a specific user to all projects (as a developer)
rake gitlab:satellites:create                 # GITLAB | Create satellite repos
rake gitlab:setup                             # GITLAB | Setup production application
rake gitlab:shell:build_missing_projects      # GITLAB | Build missing projects
rake gitlab:shell:install[tag,repo]           # GITLAB | Install or upgrade gitlab-shell
rake gitlab:shell:setup                       # GITLAB | Setup gitlab-shell
rake gitlab:sidekiq:check                     # GITLAB | Check the configuration of Sidekiq
rake gitlab:test                              # GITLAB | Run all tests
rake gitlab:web_hook:add                      # GITLAB | Adds a web hook to the projects
rake gitlab:web_hook:list                     # GITLAB | List web hooks
rake gitlab:web_hook:rm                       # GITLAB | Remove a web hook from the projects
rake setup                                    # GITLAB | Setup gitlab db

Backup and restore

Create a backup of the gitlab system:

# sudo -u gitlab -H rake RAILS_ENV=production gitlab:backup:create

Restore the previously created backup file /home/gitlab/gitlab/tmp/backups/20130125_11h35_1359131740_gitlab_backup.tar:

# sudo -u gitlab -H rake RAILS_ENV=production gitlab:backup:restore BACKUP=/home/gitlab/gitlab/tmp/backups/20130125_11h35_1359131740
Note: Backup folder is set in config/gitlab.yml. GitLab backup and restore is documented here.

Sending mails from Gitlab via SMTP

You might want to use a gmail (or other mail service) to send mails from your gitlab server. This avoids the need to install a mail daemon on the gitlab server.

Adjust smtp_settings.rb according to your mail server settings:

if Rails.env.production?
  Gitlab::Application.config.action_mailer.delivery_method = :smtp

  Gitlab::Application.config.action_mailer.smtp_settings = {
    address:              '',
    port:                 587,
    domain:               '',
    user_name:            '',
    password:             'application password',
    authentication:       'plain',
    enable_starttls_auto: true

Gmail will reject mails received this way (and send you a mail that it did). You will need to disable secure authentication (follow the link in the rejection mail) to work around this. The more secure approach is to enable two-factor authentication for and to set up an application password for this configuration file.


Sometimes things may not work as expected. Be sure to visit the Trouble Shooting Guide.

HTTPS is not green (gravatar not using https)

Redis caches gravatar images, so if you have visited your GitLab with http, then enabled https, gravatar will load up the non-secure images. You can clear the cache by doing

cd /usr/share/webapps/gitlab
RAILS_ENV=production bundle-2.3 exec rake cache:clear

as the gitlab user.

401 Unauthorized on all API access

Make 100% sure, that the files /etc/webapps/gitlab/secret and /etc/webapps/gitlab-shell/secret files contain something!

Error at push bad line length character: API

If you get the following error while trying to push

fatal: protocol error: bad line length character: API

Check that your /etc/webapps/gitlab-shell/secret matches /usr/share/webapps/gitlab/.gitlab_shell_secret

If it is not the same, recreate the file with the following command

ln -s /etc/webapps/gitlab-shell/secret /usr/share/webapps/gitlab/.gitlab_shell_secret

Errors after updating

After updating the package from the AUR, the database migrations and asset updates will sometimes fail. These steps may resolve the issue, if a simple reboot does not.

First, move to the gitlab installation directory.

# cd /usr/share/webapps/gitlab

If every gitlab page gives a 500 error, then the database migrations and the assets are probably stale. If not, skip this step.

# su - gitlab -s /bin/sh -c "cd '/usr/share/webapps/gitlab'; bundle-2.3 exec rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production"

If gitlab is constantly waiting for the deployment to finish, then the assets have probably not been recompiled.

# su - gitlab -s /bin/sh -c "cd '/usr/share/webapps/gitlab'; bundle-2.3 exec rake gitlab:assets:clean gitlab:assets:compile cache:clear RAILS_ENV=production"

Finally, restart the gitlab services and test your site.

# systemctl restart gitlab-unicorn gitlab-sidekiq gitlab-workhorse

/etc/webapps/gitlab/secret is empty

This file is usually generated while installing the gitlab-shell and the gitlab packages, but in some cases it may need to be generated manually.

# hexdump -v -n 64 -e '1/1 "%02x"' /dev/urandom > /etc/webapps/gitlab-shell/secret
# chown root:gitlab /etc/webapps/gitlab-shell/secret
# chmod 640 /etc/webapps/gitlab-shell/secret
# hexdump -v -n 64 -e '1/1 "%02x"' /dev/urandom > /etc/webapps/gitlab/secret
# chown root:gitlab /etc/webapps/gitlab/secret
# chmod 640 /etc/webapps/gitlab/secret

See also