GitLab installation on Ubuntu 12.04

Thank to

Select Version to Install

Make sure you view this installation guide from the branch (version) of GitLab you would like to install. In most cases this should be the highest numbered stable branch (example shown below).


If this is unclear check the GitLab Blog for installation guide links by version.

Important notes

This installation guide was created for and tested on Debian/Ubuntu operating systems. Please readdoc/install/ for hardware and operating system requirements.

This is the official installation guide to set up a production server. To set up a development installation or for many other installation options please consult the installation section in the readme.

The following steps have been known to work. Please use caution when you deviate from this guide. Make sure you don’t violate any assumptions GitLab makes about its environment. For example many people run into permission problems because they changed the location of directories or run services as the wrong user.

If you find a bug/error in this guide please submit a merge request following the contributing guide.


The GitLab installation consists of setting up the following components:

  1. Packages / Dependencies
  2. Ruby
  3. System Users
  4. GitLab shell
  5. Database
  6. GitLab
  7. Nginx

1. Packages / Dependencies

sudo is not installed on Debian by default. Make sure your system is up-to-date and install it.

# run as root!
apt-get update -y
apt-get upgrade -y
apt-get install sudo -y

Note: During this installation some files will need to be edited manually. If you are familiar with vim set it as default editor with the commands below. If you are not familiar with vim please skip this and keep using the default editor.

# Install vim and set as default editor
sudo apt-get install -y vim
sudo update-alternatives --set editor /usr/bin/vim.basic

Install the required packages:

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential 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

Make sure you have the right version of Python installed.

# Install Python
sudo apt-get install -y python

# Make sure that Python is 2.5+ (3.x is not supported at the moment)
python --version

# If it's Python 3 you might need to install Python 2 separately
sudo apt-get install -y python2.7

# Make sure you can access Python via python2
python2 --version

# If you get a "command not found" error create a link to the python binary
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/python /usr/bin/python2

# For reStructuredText markup language support install required package:
sudo apt-get install -y python-docutils

Make sure you have the right version of Git installed

# Install Git
sudo apt-get install -y git-core

# Make sure Git is version 1.7.10 or higher, for example 1.7.12 or 1.8.4
git --version

Is the system packaged Git too old? Remove it and compile from source.

# Remove packaged Git
sudo apt-get remove git-core

# Install dependencies
sudo apt-get install -y libcurl4-openssl-dev libexpat1-dev gettext libz-dev libssl-dev build-essential

# Download and compile from source
cd /tmp
curl --progress | tar xz
cd git-
make prefix=/usr/local all

# Install into /usr/local/bin
sudo make prefix=/usr/local install

# When editing config/gitlab.yml (Step 6), change the git bin_path to /usr/local/bin/git

Note: In order to receive mail notifications, make sure to install a mail server. By default, Debian is shipped with exim4 whereas Ubuntu does not ship with one. The recommended mail server is postfix and you can install it with:

sudo apt-get install -y postfix

Then select ‘Internet Site’ and press enter to confirm the hostname.

2. Ruby

Remove the old Ruby 1.8 if present

sudo apt-get remove ruby1.8

Download Ruby and compile it:

mkdir /tmp/ruby && cd /tmp/ruby
curl --progress | tar xz
cd ruby-2.0.0-p353
./configure --disable-install-rdoc
sudo make install

Install the Bundler Gem:

sudo gem install bundler --no-ri --no-rdoc

3. System Users

Create a git user for Gitlab:

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

4. GitLab shell

GitLab Shell is an ssh access and repository management software developed specially for GitLab.

# Go to home directory
cd /home/git

# Clone gitlab shell
sudo -u git -H git clone -b v1.8.0

cd gitlab-shell

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

# Edit config and replace gitlab_url
# with something like ''
sudo -u git -H editor config.yml

# Do setup
sudo -u git -H ./bin/install

5. Database

To setup the MySQL/PostgreSQL database and dependencies please see doc/install/

6. GitLab

# We'll install GitLab into home directory of the user "git"
cd /home/git

Clone the Source

# Clone GitLab repository
sudo -u git -H git clone -b 6-4-stable gitlab

# Go to gitlab dir
cd /home/git/gitlab

Note: You can change 6-4-stable to master if you want the bleeding edge version, but never install master on a production server!

Configure it

cd /home/git/gitlab

# Copy the example GitLab config
sudo -u git -H cp config/gitlab.yml.example config/gitlab.yml

# Make sure to change "localhost" to the fully-qualified domain name of your
# host serving GitLab where necessary
# If you installed Git from source, change the git bin_path to /usr/local/bin/git
sudo -u git -H editor config/gitlab.yml

# Make sure GitLab can write to the log/ and tmp/ directories
sudo chown -R git log/
sudo chown -R git tmp/
sudo chmod -R u+rwX  log/
sudo chmod -R u+rwX  tmp/

# Create directory for satellites
sudo -u git -H mkdir /home/git/gitlab-satellites

# Create directories for sockets/pids and make sure GitLab can write to them
sudo -u git -H mkdir tmp/pids/
sudo -u git -H mkdir tmp/sockets/
sudo chmod -R u+rwX  tmp/pids/
sudo chmod -R u+rwX  tmp/sockets/

# Create public/uploads directory otherwise backup will fail
sudo -u git -H mkdir public/uploads
sudo chmod -R u+rwX  public/uploads

# Copy the example Unicorn config
sudo -u git -H cp config/unicorn.rb.example config/unicorn.rb

# Enable cluster mode if you expect to have a high load instance
# Ex. change amount of workers to 3 for 2GB RAM server
sudo -u git -H editor config/unicorn.rb

# Copy the example Rack attack config
sudo -u git -H cp config/initializers/rack_attack.rb.example config/initializers/rack_attack.rb

# Configure Git global settings for git user, useful when editing via web
# Edit according to what is set in gitlab.yml
sudo -u git -H git config --global "GitLab"
sudo -u git -H git config --global "gitlab@localhost"
sudo -u git -H git config --global core.autocrlf input

Important Note: Make sure to edit both gitlab.yml and unicorn.rb to match your setup.

Configure GitLab DB settings

# Mysql
sudo -u git cp config/database.yml.mysql config/database.yml

# Make sure to update username/password in config/database.yml.
# You only need to adapt the production settings (first part).
# If you followed the database guide then please do as follows:
# Change 'secure password' with the value you have given to $password
# You can keep the double quotes around the password
sudo -u git -H editor config/database.yml


# PostgreSQL
sudo -u git cp config/database.yml.postgresql config/database.yml

# Make config/database.yml readable to git only
sudo -u git -H chmod o-rwx config/database.yml

Install Gems

cd /home/git/gitlab

# For MySQL (note, the option says "without ... postgres")
sudo -u git -H bundle install --deployment --without development test postgres aws

# Or for PostgreSQL (note, the option says "without ... mysql")
sudo -u git -H bundle install --deployment --without development test mysql aws

Initialize Database and Activate Advanced Features

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

# Type 'yes' to create the database.

# When done you see 'Administrator account created:'

Install Init Script

Download the init script (will be /etc/init.d/gitlab):

sudo cp lib/support/init.d/gitlab /etc/init.d/gitlab

And if you are installing with a non-default folder or user copy and edit the defaults file:

sudo cp lib/support/init.d/gitlab.default.example /etc/default/gitlab

If you installed gitlab in another directory or as a user other than the default you should change these settings in /etc/default/gitlab. Do not edit /etc/init.d/gitlab as it will be changed on upgrade.

Make GitLab start on boot:

sudo update-rc.d gitlab defaults 21

Set up logrotate

sudo cp lib/support/logrotate/gitlab /etc/logrotate.d/gitlab

Check Application Status

Check if GitLab and its environment are configured correctly:

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

Start Your GitLab Instance

sudo service gitlab start
# or
sudo /etc/init.d/gitlab restart

Compile assets

sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake assets:precompile RAILS_ENV=production

7. Nginx

Note: Nginx is the officially supported web server for GitLab. If you cannot or do not want to use Nginx as your web server, have a look at the GitLab recipes.


sudo apt-get install -y nginx

Site Configuration

Download an example site config:

sudo cp lib/support/nginx/gitlab /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitlab
sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitlab /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/gitlab

Make sure to edit the config file to match your setup:

# Change YOUR_SERVER_FQDN to the fully-qualified
# domain name of your host serving GitLab.
sudo editor /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitlab


sudo service nginx restart


Double-check Application Status

To make sure you didn’t miss anything run a more thorough check with:

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

If all items are green, then congratulations on successfully installing GitLab!

Initial Login

Visit YOUR_SERVER in your web browser for your first GitLab login. The setup has created an admin account for you. You can use it to log in:

Important Note: Please go over to your profile page and immediately change the password, so nobody can access your GitLab by using this login information later on.


Advanced Setup Tips

Custom Redis Connection

If you’d like Resque to connect to a Redis server on a non-standard port or on a different host, you can configure its connection string via the config/resque.yml file.

# example
production: redis://redis.example.tld:6379

If you want to connect the Redis server via socket, then use the “unix:” URL scheme and the path to the Redis socket file in theconfig/resque.yml file.

# example
production: unix:/path/to/redis/socket

Custom SSH Connection

If you are running SSH on a non-standard port, you must change the gitlab user’s SSH config.

# Add to /home/git/.ssh/config
host localhost          # Give your setup a name (here: override localhost)
    user git            # 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 config\gitlab.yml file.

LDAP authentication

You can configure LDAP authentication in config/gitlab.yml. Please restart GitLab after editing this file.

Using Custom Omniauth Providers

GitLab uses Omniauth for authentication and already ships with a few providers preinstalled (e.g. LDAP, GitHub, Twitter). But sometimes that is not enough and you need to integrate with other authentication solutions. For these cases you can use the Omniauth provider.


These steps are fairly general and you will need to figure out the exact details from the Omniauth provider’s documentation.

  • Stop GitLab sudo service gitlab stop
  • Add provider specific configuration options to your config/gitlab.yml (you can use the auth providers section of the example config as a reference)
  • Add the gem to your Gemfile gem "omniauth-your-auth-provider"
  • If you’re using MySQL, install the new Omniauth provider gem by running the following command:sudo -u git -H bundle install --without development test postgres --path vendor/bundle --no-deployment
  • If you’re using PostgreSQL, install the new Omniauth provider gem by running the following command:sudo -u git -H bundle install --without development test mysql --path vendor/bundle --no-deployment

These are the same commands you used in the Install Gems section with --path vendor/bundle --no-deployment instead of--deployment.

  • Start GitLab sudo service gitlab start


If you have successfully set up a provider that is not shipped with GitLab itself, please let us know. You can help others by reporting successful configurations and probably share a few insights or provide warnings for common errors or pitfalls by sharing your experience in the public Wiki. While we can’t officially support every possible auth mechanism out there, we’d like to at least help those with special needs.