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Gitlab - A recipe for a self-hosted GitHub alternative

GitLab

GitLab is a self-hosted alternative to GitHub. The most common use case is (a set of) developers with the desire for the rich feature-set of GitHub, but with unlimited private repositories.

Docker does maintain an official "Omnibus" container, but for this recipe I prefer the "dockerized gitlab" project, since it allows distribution of the various Gitlab components across multiple swarm nodes.

Ingredients

  1. Docker swarm cluster with persistent shared storage
  2. Traefik configured per design

Preparation

Setup data locations

We'll need several directories to bind-mount into our container, so create them in /var/data/gitlab:

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cd /var/data
mkdir gitlab
cd gitlab
mkdir -p {postgresql,redis,gitlab}

Prepare environment

You'll need to know the following:

  1. Choose a password for postgresql, you'll need it for DB_PASS in the compose file (below)
  2. Generate 3 passwords using pwgen -Bsv1 64. You'll use these for the XXX_KEY_BASE environment variables below
  3. Create gitlab.env, and populate with at least the following variables (the full set is available at https://github.com/sameersbn/docker-gitlab#available-configuration-parameters):
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    DB_USER=gitlab
    DB_PASS=<as determined above>
    TZ=Pacific/Auckland
    GITLAB_TIMEZONE=Auckland
    GITLAB_HTTPS=true
    SSL_SELF_SIGNED=false
    GITLAB_HOST
    GITLAB_PORT
    GITLAB_SSH_PORT
    GITLAB_SECRETS_DB_KEY_BASE
    GITLAB_SECRETS_SECRET_KEY_BASE
    GITLAB_SECRETS_OTP_KEY_BASE
    GITLAB_ROOT_PASSWORD
    

Setup Docker Swarm

Create a docker swarm config file in docker-compose syntax (v3), something like this:

Tip

I share (with my patreon patrons) a private "premix" git repository, which includes necessary docker-compose and env files for all published recipes. This means that patrons can launch any recipe with just a git pull and a docker stack deploy 👍

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version: '3'

services:
  redis:
    image: sameersbn/redis:latest
    command:
    - --loglevel warning
    volumes:
    - /var/data/gitlab/redis:/var/lib/redis:Z
    networks:
    - internal

  postgresql:
    image: sameersbn/postgresql:9.6-2
    volumes:
    - /var/data/gitlab/postgresql:/var/lib/postgresql:Z
    networks:
    - internal
    environment:
    - DB_USER=gitlab
    - DB_PASS=<your db password>
    - DB_NAME=gitlabhq_production
    - DB_EXTENSION=pg_trgm

  gitlab:
    image: sameersbn/gitlab:latest
    networks:
    - internal
    - traefik
    deploy:
      labels:
        - traefik.frontend.rule=Host:gitlab.example.com
        - traefik.docker.network=traefik
        - traefik.port=80
      restart_policy:
        delay: 10s
        max_attempts: 10
        window: 60s
    ports:
    - "10022:22"
    volumes:
    - /var/data/gitlab/gitlab:/home/git/data:Z
    env_file: gitlab.env

networks:
  traefik:
    external: true
  internal:
    driver: overlay
    ipam:
      config:
        - subnet: 172.16.2.0/24

Note

Setup unique static subnets for every stack you deploy. This avoids IP/gateway conflicts which can otherwise occur when you're creating/removing stacks a lot. See my list here.

Serving

Launch gitlab

Launch the mail server stack by running docker stack deploy gitlab -c <path -to-docker-compose.yml>

Log into your new instance at https://[your FQDN], with user "root" and the password you specified in gitlab.env.

Chef's Notes

A few comments on decisions taken in this design:

  1. I use the sameersbn/gitlab:latest image, rather than a specific version. This lets me execute updates simply by redeploying the stack (and why wouldn't I want the latest version?)

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