Public | Automated Build

Last pushed: 2 years ago
Short Description
GitLab v7.2.1 container image configured to use linked PostreSQL and Redis containers.
Full Description

Docker GitLab

Dockerfile to build a GitLab container image. We've been somewhat opinionated with regard to the GitLab options available, for instance we use PostgreSQL not MySQL, we don't install Redis Server locally and we don't integrate with external issue trackers such as Redmine or Jira. MySQL client drivers are still installed to satisfy the gem requirements of the GitLab Rails application.

Table of Contents


The current release (7.2.1) contains scripts to install GitLab v7.2.1 and GitLab Shell v1.9.7, and uses the Brightcommerce Ubuntu 14.04 base image. Our version numbers will reflect the version of GitLab being installed.

Hardware Requirements


  • 1 core works for under 100 users but the responsiveness might suffer
  • 2 cores is the recommended number of cores and supports up to 100 users
  • 4 cores supports up to 1,000 users
  • 8 cores supports up to 10,000 users


  • 512MB is too little memory, GitLab will be very slow and you will need 250MB of swap
  • 768MB is the minimal memory size but we advise against this
  • 1GB supports up to 100 users (with individual repositories under 250MB, otherwise git memory usage necessitates using swap space)
  • 2GB is the recommended memory size and supports up to 1,000 users
  • 4GB supports up to 10,000 users


The necessary hard drive space largely depends on the size of the repos you want to store in GitLab. But as a rule of thumb you should have at least twice as much free space as your all repos combined take up. You need twice the storage because GitLab satellites contain an extra copy of each repo.

If you want to be flexible about growing your hard drive space in the future consider mounting it using LVM so you can add more hard drives when you need them.

Apart from a local hard drive you can also mount a volume that supports the network file system (NFS) protocol. This volume might be located on a file server, a network attached storage (NAS) device, a storage area network (SAN) or on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Block Store (EBS) volume.

If you have enough RAM memory and a recent CPU the speed of GitLab is mainly limited by hard drive seek times. Having a fast drive (7200 RPM and up) or a solid state drive (SSD) will improve the responsiveness of GitLab.

Supported Web Browsers

  • Chrome (Latest stable version)
  • Firefox (Latest released version)
  • Safari 7+ (Known problem: required fields in HTML5 do not work)
  • Opera (Latest released version)
  • IE 10+


Pull the latest version of the image from the Docker Index. This is the recommended method of installation as it is easier to update image in the future. These builds are performed by the Docker Trusted Build service.

docker pull brightcommerce/gitlab:latest

or specify a tagged version:

docker pull brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1

Alternately you can build the image yourself:

git clone
cd docker-gitlab
docker build --tag="$USER/gitlab" .

How To Use

Run the GitLab image:

docker run --name='gitlab' -it --rm -p 10022:22 -p 10080:80 -e 'GITLAB_PORT=10080' -e 'GITLAB_SSH_PORT=10022' brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1

NOTE: Please allow a couple of minutes for the GitLab application to start.

Point your browser to http://localhost:10080 and login using the default username and password:

  • username: root
  • password: 5iveL!fe

You should now have the GitLab application up and ready for testing. If you want to use this image in production then please read on.



This installation exposes ports 22 (ssh), 80 (http) and 443 (https).

Data Store

GitLab is a code hosting software and as such you don't want to lose your code when the Docker container is stopped/deleted. To avoid losing any data, you should mount a volume at,

  • /home/git/data

SELinux users are also required to change the security context of the mount point so that it plays nicely with SELinux.

mkdir -p /opt/gitlab/data
sudo chcon -Rt svirt_sandbox_file_t /opt/gitlab/data

Volumes can be mounted in Docker by specifying the '-v' option in the docker run command.

docker run --name=gitlab -d -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1


GitLab uses a database backend to store its' data. You can only configure this image to use PostgreSQL.

Note: GitLab HQ recommends using PostgreSQL

External PostgreSQL Server

The image supports using an external PostgreSQL Server. This is also controlled via environment variables.

CREATE DATABASE gitlabhq_production;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON DATABASE gitlabhq_production to gitlab;

To make sure the database is initialized start the container with app:rake gitlab:setup option.

Assuming that the PostgreSQL server host is

docker run --name=gitlab -it --rm -e 'DB_TYPE=postgres' -e 'DB_HOST=' -e 'DB_NAME=gitlabhq_production' -e 'DB_USER=gitlab' -e 'DB_PASS=password' -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1 app:rake gitlab:setup

NOTE: The above setup is performed only for the first run.

This will initialize the GitLab database. Now that the database is initialized, start the container normally.

docker run --name=gitlab -d -e 'DB_TYPE=postgres' -e 'DB_HOST=' -e 'DB_NAME=gitlabhq_production' -e 'DB_USER=gitlab' -e 'DB_PASS=password' v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1
Linking to a PostgreSQL Container

You can link this image with a PostgreSQL container for the database requirements. The alias of the PostgreSQL server container should be set to postgresql while linking with the GitLab image.

If a PostgreSQL container is linked, only the DB_TYPE, DB_HOST and DB_PORT settings are automatically retrieved using the linkage. You may still need to set other database connection parameters such as the DB_NAME, DB_USER, DB_PASS and so on.

To illustrate linking with a PostgreSQL container, we will use the brightcommerce/postgresql image. When using the PostgreSQL image in production you should mount a volume for the PostgreSQL data store. Please refer the README of docker-postgresql for details.

First, lets pull the PostgreSQL image from the Docker Index:

docker pull brightcommerce/postgresql:latest

For data persistence lets create a store for the PostgreSQL and start the container.

The updated run command looks like this:

docker run --name=postgresql -d -v /opt/postgresql/data:/var/lib/postgresql brightcommerce/postgresql:latest

You should now have the PostgreSQL server running. The password for the postgres user can be found in the logs of the PostgreSQL image.

docker logs postgresql

Now, let's login to the PostgreSQL server and create a user and database for the GitLab application:

docker run -it --rm brightcommerce/postgresql:latest psql -U postgres -h $(docker inspect --format {{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress}} postgresql)
CREATE DATABASE gitlabhq_production;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON DATABASE gitlabhq_production to gitlab;

Now that we have the database created for GitLab, let's install the database schema. This is done by starting the GitLab container with the app:rake gitlab:setup command:

docker run --name=gitlab -it --rm --link postgresql:postgresql -e 'DB_USER=gitlab' -e 'DB_PASS=password' -e 'DB_NAME=gitlabhq_production' -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1 app:rake gitlab:setup

NOTE: The above setup is performed only for the first run.

We are now ready to start the GitLab application.

docker run --name=gitlab -d --link postgresql:postgresql -e 'DB_USER=gitlab' -e 'DB_PASS=password' -e 'DB_NAME=gitlabhq_production' -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1


GitLab uses the Redis Server for its key-value data store. The Redis server connection details can be specified using environment variables.

External Redis Server

The image can be configured to use an external Redis server. The configuration should be specified using environment variables while starting the GitLab image.

Assuming that the Redis server host is

docker run --name=gitlab -it --rm -e 'REDIS_HOST=' -e 'REDIS_PORT=6379' brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1
Linking to a Redis Container

You can link this image with a Redis container to satisfy GitLab's Redis requirement. The alias of the Redis server container should be set to redisio while linking with the GitLab image.

To illustrate linking with a Redis container, we will use the brightcommerce/redis image. Please refer the README of docker-redis for details.

First, let's pull the Redis image from the Docker Index:

docker pull brightcommerce/redis:latest

Start the Redis container:

docker run --name=redis -d brightcommerce/redis:latest

We are now ready to start the GitLab application:

docker run --name=gitlab -d --link redis:redisio brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1


The mail configuration should be specified using environment variables while starting the GitLab image. The configuration defaults to using Gmail to send emails and requires the specification of a valid username and password to login to the Gmail servers.

The following environment variables need to be specified to get email support to work:

  • SMTP_ENABLED (defaults to true if SMTP_USER is defined, else defaults to false)
  • SMTP_DOMAIN (defaults to
  • SMTP_HOST (defaults to
  • SMTP_PORT (defaults to 587)
  • SMTP_STARTTLS (defaults to true)
  • SMTP_AUTHENTICATION (defaults to login if SMTP_USER is set)
docker run --name=gitlab -d -e '' -e 'SMTP_PASS=PASSWORD' -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1


Access to the GitLab application can be secured using SSL so as to prevent unauthorized access to the data in your repositories. While a CA certified SSL certificate allows for verification of trust via the CA, self-signed certificates can also provide an equal level of trust verification as long as each client takes some additional steps to verify the identity of your website. I will provide instructions on achieving this towards the end of this section.

To secure your application via SSL you basically need two things:

  • Private key (.key)
  • SSL certificate (.crt)

When using CA certified certificates, these files are provided to you by the CA. When using self-signed certificates you need to generate these files yourself. Skip the following section if you are armed with CA certified SSL certificates.

Jump to the Using HTTPS with a load balancer section if you are using a load balancer such as hipache, haproxy or nginx.

Generation of Self-Signed Certificates

Generation of self-signed SSL certificates involves a simple 3 step procedure.

STEP 1: Create the server private key:

openssl genrsa -out gitlab.key 2048

STEP 2: Create the certificate signing request (CSR):

openssl req -new -key gitlab.key -out gitlab.csr

STEP 3: Sign the certificate using the private key and CSR:

openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in gitlab.csr -signkey gitlab.key -out gitlab.crt

Congratulations! you have now generated an SSL certificate that's valid for 365 days.

Strengthening Server Security

This section provides you with instructions to strengthen your server security. To achieve this we need to generate stronger DHE parameters.

openssl dhparam -out dhparam.pem 2048

Installation of the SSL Certificates

Out of the four files generated above, we need to install the gitlab.key, gitlab.crt and dhparam.pem files at the GitLab server. The CSR file is not needed, but do make sure you safely backup the file (in case you ever need it again).

The default path that the GitLab application is configured to look for the SSL certificates is at /home/git/data/certs, however this can be changed using the SSL_KEY_PATH, SSL_CERTIFICATE_PATH and SSL_DHPARAM_PATH configuration options.

If you remember from above, the /home/git/data path is the path of the data store, which means that we have to create a folder named certs inside /opt/gitlab/data/ and copy the files into it and as a measure of security we will update the permission on the gitlab.key file to only be readable by the owner.

mkdir -p /opt/gitlab/data/certs
cp gitlab.key /opt/gitlab/data/certs/
cp gitlab.crt /opt/gitlab/data/certs/
cp dhparam.pem /opt/gitlab/data/certs/
chmod 400 /opt/gitlab/data/certs/gitlab.key

Great! we are now just one step away from having our application secured.

Enabling HTTPS support

HTTPS support can be enabled by setting the GITLAB_HTTPS option to true. Additionally, when using self-signed SSL certificates you need to the set SSL_SELF_SIGNED option to true as well. Assuming we are using self-signed certificates

docker run --name=gitlab -d -e 'GITLAB_HTTPS=true' -e 'SSL_SELF_SIGNED=true' -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1

In this configuration, any requests made over the plain http protocol will automatically be redirected to use the https protocol. However, this is not optimal when using a load balancer.

Using HTTPS with a load balancer

Load balancers like nginx/haproxy/hipache talk to backend applications over plain http and as such the installation of ssl keys and certificates are not required and should NOT be installed in the container. The SSL configuration has to instead be done at the load balancer.

However, when using a load balancer you MUST set GITLAB_HTTPS to true. Additionally you will need to set the SSL_SELF_SIGNED option to true if self signed SSL certificates are in use.

With this in place, you should configure the load balancer to support handling of https requests. But that is out of the scope of this document. Please refer to Using SSL/HTTPS with HAProxy for information on the subject.

When using a load balancer, you probably want to make sure the load balancer performs the automatic http to https redirection. Information on this can also be found in the link above.

In summation, when using a load balancer, the docker command would look for the most part something like this:

docker run --name=gitlab -d -p 10022:22 -p 10080:80 -e 'GITLAB_SSH_PORT=10022' -e 'GITLAB_PORT=443' -e 'GITLAB_HTTPS=true' -e 'SSL_SELF_SIGNED=true' -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1

Again, drop the -e 'SSL_SELF_SIGNED=true' option if you are using CA certified SSL certificates.

Establishing trust with your server

This section deals will self-signed ssl certificates. If you are using CA certified certificates, your done.

This section is more of a client-side configuration so as to add a level of confidence at the client to be 100 percent sure they are communicating with whom they think they are.

This is simply done by adding the servers certificate into their list of trusted certificates. On Ubuntu, this is done by copying the gitlab.crt file to /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/ and executing update-ca-certificates.

Again, this is a client-side configuration which means that everyone who is going to communicate with the server should perform this configuration on their machine. In short, distribute the gitlab.crt file among your developers and ask them to add it to their list of trusted ssl certificates. Failure to do so will result in errors that look like this:

git clone
fatal: unable to access '': server certificate verification failed. CAfile: /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt CRLfile: none

You can do the same at the web browser. Instructions for installing the root certificate for Firefox can be found here. You will find similar options for Chrome, just make sure you install the certificate under the authorities tab of the certificate manager dialog.

Installing Trusted SSL Server Certificates

If your GitLab CI server is using self-signed SSL certificates then you should make sure the GitLab CI server certificate is trusted on the GitLab server for them to be able to talk to each other.

The default path image is configured to look for the trusted SSL certificates is at /home/git/data/certs/ca.crt, this can however be changed using the CA_CERTIFICATES_PATH configuration option.

Copy the ca.crt file into the certs directory on the datastore. The ca.crt file should contain the root certificates of all the servers you want to trust. With respect to GitLab CI, this will be the contents of the gitlab_ci.crt file as described in the README of the docker-gitlab-ci container.

By default, our own server certificate gitlab.crt is added to the trusted certificates list.

Deploy to a subdirectory (relative url root)

By default GitLab expects that your application is running at the root (eg. /). This section explains how to run your application inside a directory.

Let's assume we want to deploy our application to '/git'. GitLab needs to know this directory to generate the appropriate routes. This can be specified using the GITLAB_RELATIVE_URL_ROOT configuration option like so:

docker run --name=gitlab -it --rm -e 'GITLAB_RELATIVE_URL_ROOT=/git' -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data  brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1

GitLab will now be accessible at the /git path, e.g.

Note: The GITLAB_RELATIVE_URL_ROOT parameter should always begin with a slash and SHOULD NOT have any trailing slashes.

Putting it all together

docker run --name=gitlab -d -h -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data -v /opt/gitlab/mysql:/var/lib/mysql -e '' -e '' -e '' -e 'SMTP_PASS=PASSWORD' brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1

If you are using an external mysql database

docker run --name=gitlab -d -h -v /opt/gitlab/data:/home/git/data -e 'DB_HOST=' -e 'DB_NAME=gitlabhq_production' -e 'DB_USER=gitlab' -e 'DB_PASS=password' \-e '' -e '' -e '' -e 'SMTP_PASS=PASSWORD' brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1

OmniAuth Integration

GitLab leverages OmniAuth to allow users to sign in using Twitter, GitHub, and other popular services. Configuring OmniAuth does not prevent standard GitLab authentication or LDAP (if configured) from continuing to work. Users can choose to sign in using any of the configured mechanisms.

Refer to the GitLab documentation for additional information.


To enable the Google OAuth2 OmniAuth provider you must register your application with Google. Google will generate a client ID and secret key for you to use. Please refer to the GitLab documentation for the procedure to generate the client ID and secret key with google.

Once you have the client ID and secret keys generated, configure them using the OAUTH_GOOGLE_API_KEY and OAUTH_GOOGLE_APP_SECRET environment variables respectively.

For example, if your client ID is and client secret key is yyy, then adding -e '' -e 'OAUTH_GOOGLE_APP_SECRET=yyy' to the docker run command enables support for Google OAuth.

You can also restrict logins to a single domain by adding -e ''. This is particularly useful when combined with -e 'OAUTH_ALLOW_SSO=true' and -e 'OAUTH_BLOCK_AUTO_CREATED_USERS=false'.


To enable the Twitter OAuth2 OmniAuth provider you must register your application with Twitter. Twitter will generate a API key and secret for you to use. Please refer to the GitLab documentation for the procedure to generate the API key and secret with twitter.

Once you have the API key and secret generated, configure them using the OAUTH_TWITTER_API_KEY and OAUTH_TWITTER_APP_SECRET environment variables respectively.

For example, if your API key is xxx and the API secret key is yyy, then adding -e 'OAUTH_TWITTER_API_KEY=xxx' -e 'OAUTH_TWITTER_APP_SECRET=yyy' to the docker run command enables support for Twitter OAuth.


To enable the GitHub OAuth2 OmniAuth provider you must register your application with GitHub. GitHub will generate a Client ID and secret for you to use. Please refer to the GitLab documentation for the procedure to generate the Client ID and secret with github.

Once you have the Client ID and secret generated, configure them using the OAUTH_GITHUB_API_KEY and OAUTH_GITHUB_APP_SECRET environment variables respectively.

For example, if your Client ID is xxx and the Client secret is yyy, then adding -e 'OAUTH_GITHUB_API_KEY=xxx' -e 'OAUTH_GITHUB_APP_SECRET=yyy' to the docker run command enables support for GitHub OAuth.

Available Configuration Parameters

Please refer the docker run command options for the --env-file flag where you can specify all required environment variables in a single file. This will save you from writing a potentially long docker run command.

Below is the complete list of available options that can be used to customize your GitLab installation.

  • GITLAB_HOST: The hostname of the GitLab server. Defaults to localhost.
  • GITLAB_PORT: The port of the GitLab server. Defaults to 80 for plain http and 443 when https is enabled.
  • GITLAB_EMAIL: The email address for the GitLab server. Defaults to
  • GITLAB_SIGNUP: Enable or disable user signups. Default is false.
  • GITLAB_SIGNIN: If set to false, standard login form won't be shown on the sign-in page. Default is true.
  • GITLAB_PROJECTS_LIMIT: Set default projects limit. Defaults to 100.
  • GITLAB_PROJECTS_VISIBILITY: Set default projects visibility level. Possible values public, private and internal. Defaults to private.
  • GITLAB_RESTRICTED_VISIBILITY: Comma seperated list of visibility levels to restrict non-admin users to set. Possible visibility options are public, private and internal.
  • GITLAB_BACKUPS: Setup cron job to automatic backups. Possible values disable, daily or monthly. Disabled by default.
  • GITLAB_BACKUP_EXPIRY: Configure how long (in seconds) to keep backups before they are deleted. By default when automated backups are disabled backups are kept forever (0 seconds), else the backups expire in 7 days (604800 seconds).
  • GITLAB_SSH_PORT: The ssh port number. Defaults to 22.
  • GITLAB_RELATIVE_URL_ROOT: The relative url of the GitLab server, e.g. /git. No default.
  • GITLAB_HTTPS: Set to true to enable https support, disabled by default.
  • SSL_SELF_SIGNED: Set to true when using self signed ssl certificates. false by default.
  • SSL_CERTIFICATE_PATH: Location of the ssl certificate. Defaults to /home/git/data/certs/gitlab.crt.
  • SSL_KEY_PATH: Location of the ssl private key. Defaults to /home/git/data/certs/gitlab.key.
  • SSL_DHPARAM_PATH: Location of the dhparam file. Defaults to /home/git/data/certs/dhparam.pem.
  • CA_CERTIFICATES_PATH: List of SSL certificates to trust. Defaults to /home/git/data/certs/ca.crt.
  • NGINX_MAX_UPLOAD_SIZE: Maximum acceptable upload size. Defaults to 20m.
  • NGINX_X_FORWARDED_PROTO: Advanced configuration option for the proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto setting in the GitLab nginx vHost configuration. Defaults to https when GITLAB_HTTPS is true, else defaults to $scheme.
  • REDIS_HOST: The hostname of the Redis server. Defaults to localhost.
  • REDIS_PORT: The connection port of the Redis server. Defaults to 6379.
  • UNICORN_WORKERS: The number of Unicorn workers to start. Defaults to 2.
  • UNICORN_TIMEOUT: Sets the timeout of Unicorn worker processes. Defaults to 60 seconds.
  • SIDEKIQ_CONCURRENCY: The number of concurrent Sidekiq jobs to run. Defaults to 5.
  • DB_TYPE: The database type. Defaults to postgres.
  • DB_HOST: The database server hostname. Defaults to localhost.
  • DB_PORT: The database server port. Defaults to 3306 for mysql and 5432 for PostgreSQL.
  • DB_NAME: The database database name. Defaults to gitlabhq_production.
  • DB_USER: The database database user. Defaults to root.
  • DB_PASS: The database database password. Defaults to no password.
  • DB_POOL: The database database connection pool count. Defaults to 10.
  • SMTP_ENABLED: Enable mail delivery via SMTP. Defaults to true if SMTP_USER is defined, else defaults to false.
  • SMTP_DOMAIN: SMTP domain. Defaults
  • SMTP_HOST: SMTP server host. Defaults to
  • SMTP_PORT: SMTP server port. Defaults to 587.
  • SMTP_USER: SMTP username.
  • SMTP_PASS: SMTP password.
  • SMTP_STARTTLS: Enable STARTTLS. Defaults to true.
  • SMTP_AUTHENTICATION: Specify the SMTP authentication method. Defaults to login if SMTP_USER is set.
  • LDAP_ENABLED: Enable LDAP. Defaults to false.
  • LDAP_PORT: LDAP Port. Defaults to 636.
  • LDAP_UID: LDAP UID. Defaults to sAMAccountName.
  • LDAP_METHOD: LDAP method, Possible values are ssl, tls and plain. Defaults to ssl.
  • LDAP_BIND_DN: No default.
  • LDAP_PASS: LDAP password.
  • LDAP_ALLOW_USERNAME_OR_EMAIL_LOGIN: If enabled, GitLab will ignore everything after the first '@' in the LDAP username submitted by the user on login. Defaults to false if LDAP_UID is userPrincipalName, else true.
  • LDAP_BASE: Base where we can search for users. No default.
  • LDAP_USER_FILTER: Filter LDAP users. No default.
  • OAUTH_ALLOW_SSO: This allows users to login without having a user account first. User accounts will be created automatically when authentication was successful. Defaults to false.
  • OAUTH_BLOCK_AUTO_CREATED_USERS: Locks down those users until they have been cleared by the admin. Defaults to true.
  • OAUTH_GOOGLE_API_KEY: Google App Client ID. No defaults.
  • OAUTH_GOOGLE_APP_SECRET: Google App Client Secret. No defaults.
  • OAUTH_GOOGLE_RESTRICT_DOMAIN: Google App restricted domain. No defaults.
  • OAUTH_TWITTER_API_KEY: Twitter App API key. No defaults.
  • OAUTH_TWITTER_APP_SECRET: Twitter App API secret. No defaults.
  • OAUTH_GITHUB_API_KEY: GitHub App Client ID. No defaults.
  • OAUTH_GITHUB_APP_SECRET: GitHub App Client secret. No defaults.


Creating backups

Gitlab defines a rake task to easily take a backup of your GitLab installation. The backup consists of all git repositories, uploaded files and as you might expect, the sql database.

Before taking a backup, please make sure that the GitLab image is not running for obvious reasons:

docker stop gitlab

To take a backup all you need to do is run the GitLab rake task to create a backup:

docker run --name=gitlab -it --rm [OPTIONS] brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1 app:rake gitlab:backup:create

A backup will be created in the backups folder of the Data Store.

Restoring Backups

Gitlab defines a rake task to easily restore a backup of your GitLab installation. Before performing the restore operation please make sure that the GitLab image is not running.

docker stop gitlab

To restore a backup, run the image in interactive (-it) mode and pass the "app:restore" command to the container image:

docker run --name=gitlab -it --rm [OPTIONS] brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1 app:rake gitlab:backup:restore

The restore operation will list all available backups in reverse chronological order. Select the backup you want to restore and GitLab will do its' job.

Automated Backups

The image can be configured to automatically take backups on a daily or monthly basis. Adding -e 'GITLAB_BACKUPS=daily' to the docker run command will enable daily backups, while -e 'GITLAB_BACKUPS=monthly' will enable monthly backups.

Daily backups are created at 4am (UTC) everyday, while monthly backups are created on the 1st of every month at the same time as the daily backups.

By default, when automated backups are enabled, backups are held for a period of 7 days. While when automated backups are disabled, the backups are held for an infinite period of time. This behavior can be configured via the GITLAB_BACKUP_EXPIRY option.

Shell Access

For debugging and maintenance purposes you may want access the container shell. Since the container does not allow interactive login over the SSH protocol, you can use the nsenter linux tool (part of the util-linux package) to access the container shell.

Some linux distros (e.g. ubuntu) use older versions of the util-linux which do not include the nsenter tool. To get around this @jpetazzo has created a nice Docker image that allows you to install the nsenter utility and a helper script named docker-enter on these distros.

To install the nsenter tool on your host execute the following command.

docker run --rm -v /usr/local/bin:/target jpetazzo/nsenter

Now you can access the container shell using the command

sudo docker-enter gitlab

For more information refer

Another tool named nsinit can also be used for the same purpose. Please refer for more information.


GitLabHQ releases new versions on the 22nd of every month, bugfix releases immediately follow. I update this project almost immediately when a release is made (at least it has been the case so far). If you are using the image in production environments I recommend that you delay updates by a couple of days after the GitLab release, allowing some time for the dust to settle down.

To upgrade to newer GitLab releases, simply follow this 4 step upgrade procedure.

  • Step 1: Update the Docker image:
docker pull brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1
  • Step 2: Stop and remove the currently running image:
docker stop gitlab
docker rm gitlab
  • Step 3: Backup the application data:
docker run --name=gitlab -it --rm [OPTIONS] brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1 app:rake gitlab:backup:create
  • Step 4: Start the image:
docker run --name=gitlab -d [OPTIONS] brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1

Rake Tasks

The app:rake command allows you to run GitLab rake tasks. To run a rake task simply specify the task to be executed to the app:rake command.

For example, if you want to gather information about GitLab and the system it runs on:

docker run --name=gitlab -d [OPTIONS] brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1 app:rake gitlab:env:info

Similarly, to import bare repositories into GitLab project instance:

docker run --name=gitlab -d [OPTIONS] brightcommerce/gitlab:7.2.1 app:rake gitlab:import:repos

For a complete list of available rake tasks please refer or the help section of your GitLab installation.



This repository was based on the work of docker-gitlab by Sameer Naik version 7.2.1-1. The biggest changes are the removal of Redmine and Jira connectivity options, and removal of the local installation of Redis and MySQL servers.

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