Install GitLab on Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)

Updated by Alex Fornuto Contributed by Nashruddin Amin

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GitLab is a free git repository management application based on Ruby on Rails. It is an interesting alternative if you want to host your own git repositories, since third-party hosting is not always the best option when writing private or closed-source software.

GitLab provides a .deb package which contains GitLab Community Edition and all its dependencies (Ruby, PostgreSQL, Redis, Nginx, Unicorn and other gems) already compiled. Installing this package is straightforward. But since it will install its own package dependencies (Nginx, PostgreSQL, etc), this installation method is suitable if the server is dedicated only to managing git repositories. If you want GitLab to use your existing resources (i.e: you already have Nginx and PostgreSQL installed), you need to install GitLab manually.

This guide will help you install and configure GitLab on your Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) Linode. We will be using the latest Ruby and GitLab as of this writing, so check for the latest version. We will assume that you want to install GitLab on git.example.com and you have configured the DNS properly. If you are new to Linux system administration, you might want to consider the Introduction to Linux Concepts guide and Linux Administration Basics guide guides.

This guide is written for non-root users. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with sudo. If you are not familiar with the sudo command, you can check out our Users and Groups guide.

System Requirements

GitLab is a large and heavy application. To get the most of GitLab, the recommended hardware is as follows:

  • CPU: 2 cores to support up to 500 users.
  • Memory: 2 GB to support up to 500 users.

Prepare System for Deployment

Before beginning with the GitLab installation, make sure that your system’s package database is up to date and that all installed software is running the latest version.

  1. Update your system by issuing the following commands from your shell:

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     sudo apt-get update
     sudo apt-get upgrade
    
  2. Also create a git user for GitLab:

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     sudo adduser --disabled-login --gecos 'GitLab' git
    

Install Package Dependencies

In this section you will install the development tools and the required packages for GitLab.

  1. Install the required packages to compile Ruby and native extensions to Ruby gems:

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     sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake zlib1g-dev libyaml-dev libssl-dev libgdbm-dev libreadline-dev libncurses5-dev libffi-dev curl openssh-server redis-server checkinstall libxml2-dev libxslt-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libicu-dev logrotate
    
  2. Install Git:

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     sudo apt-get install git
    
  3. In order to receive mail notifications, you need to install a mail server. Issue the following command to install Postfix mail server:

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     sudo apt-get install postfix
    

    Select Internet site and enter your hostname to complete the installation. If you need to set up a complete SMTP/IMAP/POP3 server, refer to the Email with Postfix, Dovecot, and MySQL guide.

Install Ruby

While GitLab is a Ruby on Rails application, using ruby version managers such as RVM and rbenv is not supported. For example, GitLab shell is called from OpenSSH and having a version manager can prevent pushing and pulling over SSH. Thus GitLab can only work with system-wide Ruby installation. In addition, GitLab requires Ruby 2.0 or higher while the default version on Ubuntu 14.04 is 1.9.3.

  1. Remove the old Ruby if present:

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     sudo apt-get remove ruby
    
  2. The current stable Ruby version as of this writing is 2.1.2. To install Ruby, download the source code and compile the package:

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     mkdir /tmp/ruby && cd /tmp/ruby
     wget http://ftp.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/2.1/ruby-2.1.2.tar.gz 
     tar xvzf ruby-2.1.2.tar.gz
     cd ruby-2.1.2
     ./configure --disable-install-rdoc --prefix=/usr/local
     make
     sudo make install
    
  3. Check if the installation succeed by checking the Ruby version:

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     ruby -v
    

Setup PostgreSQL Database for GitLab

GitLab supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL for the database backend, but the latter is recommended. GitLab requires PostgreSQL version 9.1 or higher since it needs to make use of extensions.

  1. Install PostgreSQL if you haven’t installed it:

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     sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-client libpq-dev
    
  2. Create new database and new user by issuing the following commands:

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     sudo -u postgres createuser --createdb git
     sudo -u postgres createdb --owner=git gitlabhq_production
    
  3. Try connecting to the new database with the new user and display PostgreSQL version for testing:

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     sudo -u git -H psql -d gitlabhq_production -c "SELECT VERSION()"
    

    If everything is ok, you should see the PostgreSQL version displayed on the console like this:

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                                                    version                                                
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      PostgreSQL 9.3.4 on x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu, compiled by gcc (Ubuntu 4.8.2-16ubuntu6) 4.8.2, 64-bit
     (1 row)
    

Install GitLab

In this section you will install GitLab and make some configuration changes.

  1. We will install GitLab into home directory of the user git. Change the current working directory:

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     cd /home/git
    
  2. Download the GitLab source:

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     sudo -u git -H git clone https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce.git -b 6-9-stable gitlab
     cd gitlab
    

    The command above will download the 6-9-stable branch from the GitLab repository. Feel free to select other stable branches, but never install the master branch on a production server.

  3. Create the GitLab config file:

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     sudo -u git -H cp config/gitlab.yml.example config/gitlab.yml
    

    Open the file:

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     sudo nano config/gitlab.yml
    

    You need to change the value of host to the fully-qualified domain of your server. Also set the email_from and support_email to the email addresses intended for GitLab.

    /home/git/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml
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    production: &base
      gitlab:
        host: git.example.com 
        port: 80
        https: false
        ...
        email_from: gitlab@example.com
        ...
        support_email: support@example.com
    

    If you specified a database name other than gitlabhq_production when creating the PostgreSQL database in the previous section, edit the config/database.yml file to match with your database name.

  4. Save and exit the file.

  5. Make sure GitLab can write to the log/ and tmp/ directories:

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     sudo chown -R git {log,tmp}
     sudo chmod -R u+rwX {log,tmp,tmp/pids,tmp/sockets,public/uploads}
    
  6. Create directory for satellites:

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     sudo -u git -H mkdir /home/git/gitlab-satellites
     sudo chmod u+rwx,g+rx,o-rwx /home/git/gitlab-satellites
    
  7. Create the Unicorn, Rack attack, and PostgreSQL configuration files:

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     sudo -u git -H cp config/unicorn.rb.example config/unicorn.rb
     sudo -u git -H cp config/initializers/rack_attack.rb.example config/initializers/rack_attack.rb
     sudo -u git cp config/database.yml.postgresql config/database.yml
    
  8. Make sure that config/database.yml is readable to git only:

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     sudo -u git -H chmod o-rwx config/database.yml
    
  9. Install the gems:

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     sudo gem install bundler
     sudo -u git -H bundle install --deployment --without development test mysql aws
    
  10. Install GitLab shell, which is an SSH access and repository management software for GitLab:

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    sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:shell:install[v1.9.4] REDIS_URL=redis://localhost:6379 RAILS_ENV=production
    
  11. Open the GitLab shell configuration file:

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    sudo nano /home/git/gitlab-shell/config.yml
    
  12. Check if the value of gitlab_url matches with the URL of your server.

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    user: git
    gitlab_url: http://git.example.com/
    http_settings:
      self_signed_cert: false
    repos_path: "/home/git/repositories/"
    auth_file: "/home/git/.ssh/authorized_keys"
    redis:
      bin: "/usr/bin/redis-cli"
      host: localhost
      port: 6379
      namespace: resque:gitlab
    log_level: INFO
    audit_usernames: false
    

    When you are satisfied with the configuration, save and exit the file.

  13. Initialize database and activate advanced features:

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    sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:setup RAILS_ENV=production
    

    The command will display the following message

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    This will create the necessary database tables and seed the database.
    You will lose any previous data stored in the database.
    Do you want to continue (yes/no)? 
    

    Type yes and press Enter to continue.

  14. Install the init script and make GitLab start on boot:

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    sudo cp lib/support/init.d/gitlab /etc/init.d/gitlab
    sudo update-rc.d gitlab defaults 21
    
  15. Set up logrotate:

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    sudo cp lib/support/logrotate/gitlab /etc/logrotate.d/gitlab
    
  16. Check application status:

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    sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:env:info RAILS_ENV=production
    

    Sample output

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    System information
    System:         Ubuntu 14.04
    Current User:   git
    Using RVM:      no
    Ruby Version:   2.1.2p95
    Gem Version:    2.2.2
    Bundler Version:1.6.3
    Rake Version:   10.3.1
    Sidekiq Version:2.17.0
    
    GitLab information
    Version:        6.9.2
    Revision:       e46b644
    Directory:      /home/git/gitlab
    DB Adapter:     postgresql
    URL:            http://git.example.com
    HTTP Clone URL:	http://git.example.com/some-project.git
    SSH Clone URL:	git@git.example.com:some-project.git
    Using LDAP:     no
    Using Omniauth: no
    
    GitLab Shell
    Version:        1.9.4
    Repositories:   /home/git/repositories/
    Hooks:          /home/git/gitlab-shell/hooks/
    Git:            /usr/bin/git    
    
  17. Compile assets:

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    sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake assets:precompile RAILS_ENV=production
    
  18. Configure Git global settings for the git user:

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    sudo -u git -H git config --global user.name "GitLab"
    sudo -u git -H git config --global user.email "gitlab@example.com"
    sudo -u git -H git config --global core.autocrlf input
    

    Set the value for user.email according to what is set in config/gitlab.yml

  19. Start GitLab:

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    sudo service gitlab start
    

Set Up Nginx Virtual Host for GitLab

Nginx is the only supported web server for GitLab. In this section, you will create a new virtual host for GitLab and activate the site.

  1. Install Nginx if you haven’t installed it:

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     sudo apt-get install nginx
    
  2. Copy the sample site config:

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     sudo cp lib/support/nginx/gitlab /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitlab
    
  3. Open the config file:

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     sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitlab
    
  4. Modify the value for server_name to the fully-qualified domain name of your server:

    /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitlab
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    listen 80;
    server_name git.example.com;
    server_tokens off; 
    root /home/git/gitlab/public;
    

    Save and exit the file.

  5. Deactivate the default virtual host

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     sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
    
  6. Activate the site and restart Nginx to take effect

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     sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitlab /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/gitlab
     sudo service nginx restart
    
  7. If Nginx failed to start with the following message

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    Restarting nginx: nginx: [emerg] could not build the server_names_hash, you should increase server_names_hash_bucket_size: 32
    

    Open /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and uncomment the following line

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    server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
    

    Then restart Nginx.

Open GitLab on Your Browser

Double check the application status:

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    cd /home/git/gitlab
    sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:check RAILS_ENV=production

If most of the items are green and some are purple (which is okay since you don’t have any git project yet), then you have successfully installing GitLab. Below are the sample output:

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    Checking Environment ...

    Git configured for git user? ... yes

    Checking Environment ... Finished

    Checking GitLab Shell ...

    GitLab Shell version >= 1.9.4 ? ... OK (1.9.4)
    Repo base directory exists? ... yes
    Repo base directory is a symlink? ... no
    Repo base owned by git:git? ... yes
    Repo base access is drwxrws---? ... yes
    Satellites access is drwxr-x---? ... yes
    update hook up-to-date? ... yes
    update hooks in repos are links: ... can't check, you have no projects
    Running /home/git/gitlab-shell/bin/check
    Check GitLab API access: OK
    Check directories and files: 
        /home/git/repositories/: OK
        /home/git/.ssh/authorized_keys: OK
    Test redis-cli executable: redis-cli 2.8.4
    Send ping to redis server: PONG
    gitlab-shell self-check successful

    Checking GitLab Shell ... Finished

    Checking Sidekiq ...

    Running? ... yes
    Number of Sidekiq processes ... 1

    Checking Sidekiq ... Finished

    Checking LDAP ...

    LDAP is disabled in config/gitlab.yml

    Checking LDAP ... Finished

    Checking GitLab ...

    Database config exists? ... yes
    Database is SQLite ... no
    All migrations up? ... yes
    Database contains orphaned UsersGroups? ... no
    GitLab config exists? ... yes
    GitLab config outdated? ... no
    Log directory writable? ... yes
    Tmp directory writable? ... yes
    Init script exists? ... yes
    Init script up-to-date? ... yes
    projects have namespace: ... can't check, you have no projects
    Projects have satellites? ... can't check, you have no projects
    Redis version >= 2.0.0? ... yes
    Your git bin path is "/usr/bin/git"
    Git version >= 1.7.10 ? ... yes (1.9.1)

    Checking GitLab ... Finished

Now you can open http://git.example.com on your browser. GitLab will show you the login page.

GitLab Login Page

You can login using root as the username and 5iveL!fe for the password.

Securing GitLab

Now that you have GitLab running on your server, you might want to add SSL support to secure your GitLab site. Refer to the SSL Certificates with Nginx guide to protect your site with SSL.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.