Gitlab is a git front end with repository management, graphs, links, goodies, commands to run, and review capabilities similar in feel to a self-hosted ?GitHub.

A new feature release of gitlab flows in the following direction: devel -> staging -> experimental -> unstable -> fasttrack-staging -> fasttrack (experimental and unstable may be skipped during freeze and transitions).

See /omnibus if you are looking for instructions to install upstream provided packages.

New upstream releases (including security updates) are announced at and available as RSS feed

Debian is running its own Instance of GitLab under, which is not based on the packaged version.

Note 1: For a smooth upgrade experience, always stay on the latest major version of gitlab. For example, if latest version of gitlab is 12.0.0 and you are currently on 11.3.6, then update to 12.0.0 as soon as possible, certainly before the debian package is updated to 13.x. Ideally, you should update as soon as a new version with security updates is available.

Note 2: It is recommended to subscribe to changes in this wiki page or frequently check this page for updates. Alternatively, you can subscribe to to get notified when new versions are uploaded.

Make sure contrib section is enabled for official repos.

Story of Gitlab packaging project/FAQ about Gitlab packaging

Gitlab Inc sponsored the packaging effort for 6+ years (2016-2022). Currently looking for donations at

Though the dependencies are so many, the work benefits Debian immensely by maintaining many important build tools like webpack, rollup, babel, npm, yarn... And frameworks like ruby on rails.

The situation in packaging ?JavaScript modules is considerably improved over the years thanks to this packaging work. It took over 2 years for packaging handlebars_assets gem for diaspora because its embedded ?JavaScript library was using tools like gulp, webpack, jison etc and none of this was packaged for Debian. The whole ?JavaScript build tools were untouched for years in Debian and instead reverse engineering of the build tools for specific libraries was the norm (for example jquery), it was very hard and not scalable.

Out of 1600+ node modules gitlab needs, we have 1200+ modules already packaged. It is not impossible to have it in main (it was in main earlier before the nodejs modules exploded exponentially and if some more people join the team, currently it is mostly a single person work and at times some new people helping out with a handful of dependencies. I don't think it is much harder if you take whole gnome or KDE as comparison. We are able to pull it off because of team work. This project have also brought many new contributors to Debian.

While we might love long term supported releases, calling anything moving fast as insane and not able to adapt to change is a recipe for Debian becoming irrelevant over time. Many just want distros to be only a base os for shipping containers but that is not necessarily a good thing for users to have dependency on a single project for updates and lose choice and flexibility.

We created to serve gitlab as it did not fit into a debian stable release cycle and currently not just gitlab, but matrix synapse and virtual box is also shipped via FastTrack.

New changes

  1. From gitlab 14.7.7: gitlab user needs to write to /var/lib/gitlab/.gem so if you installed gems manually as root user, you will need to update permissions or remove this directory. Gitlab package now installs required unpackaged gems in that directory automatically.
  2. From gitlab 14.2.6: postgresql database should be updated to 13 before installing gitlab 14.2. See gitlab/postgresql-update for steps to upgrading postgresql to 13.

  3. From gitlab 14.0.10: We no longer require a work around to install grpc and google-protobuf gems from, packaged versions now work.
  4. From 2021 July 23: We no longer require the personal repo of gitlab maintainer to install gitlab, all golang packages can now be added to directly. Thanks to Akshay S Dinesh for fixing this long pending bug (See for details).

  5. New workaround from gitlab 13.12.3: You need to use google-protobuf from (see below for details).

  6. New from gitlab 13.10.4: Since this version includes gitlab-workhorse golang binary, it was moved to and should now include contrib section.
  7. New in gitlab 13.6.7-1: New user created after a fresh installation should be approved using gitlab-rails-console. See gitlab#your_account_is_awaiting_approval_from_your_GitLab_administrator for steps to approving users and creating a user with Administrative privileges.

  8. New in gitlab 13.3.8-1: You will need to install grpc gem from gem install -v 1.30.2 grpc (more details below). If you run gitaly on a different machine, you will need to do this on that machine as well.

  9. New in gitlab 13.2.6-3: We have switched to puma as application server replacing unicorn. Upstream already made the switch from 12.9 and unicorn support will be dropped in gitlab 14.0. They saw a memory reduction of 37% in after the switch. See more details about this switch at this upstream blog post puma defaults to listening only on unix sockets and if you are running gitaly on a different machine, then you will have to edit /etc/gitlab/puma.rb to bind to tcp:// url as well.

Bullseye FastTrack (Recommended)

gitlab 15.5.7 is available in Bullseye FastTrack (no open security issues).

Add as a trusted repo for apt,

# apt install fasttrack-archive-keyring ca-certificates

And add the following lines for fasttrack repo:

deb bullseye-fasttrack main contrib
# For dependency packages not in testing only temporarily due to freeze, transitions or delayed by backports-new or NEW.
deb bullseye-backports-staging main contrib

You will also need official bullseye-backports repo:

deb bullseye-backports main contrib

Note: You may also use a mirror of fasttrack repo like

and install gitlab

# apt update
# apt install gitlab-apt-pin-preferences
# apt install gitlab

Unstable (be careful when updating packages)

Gitlab 13.4.7 is available in unstable (many security release behind, see experimental for latest security updates).

We try to keep the version in unstable in a good shape with the latest security updates, but some times dependency updates break gitlab.

Now install gitlab

# apt install gitlab

Known Issues

Currently gitlab installation is broken due to a change in libsass. See 953415 for more details.

A work around is to downgrade libsass and libsass-dev to 3.6.1. Use and hold it at the older version.

# wget

# wget

# dpkg -i libsass1_3.6.1-1_amd64.deb libsass-dev_3.6.1-1_amd64.deb

# apt-mark hold libsass1 libsass-dev

See for installing grpc gem from (just use apt install ruby2.7 for installing ruby)

Downgrade ruby-autoprefixer-rails and node-autoprefixer packages to using and hold them to this version.

# apt-mark hold node-autoprefixer ruby-autoprefixer-rails

See 1009245

Downgrade ruby-github-linguist till gitaly is adapted to find languages.json from gem-install layout.

Get older version from

# apt-mark hold ruby-github-linguist

Experimental - During freeze and transitions

gitlab 15.5.7 is available in experimental.

If you are using experimental for the first time, check DebianExperimental.

You will have to follow the notes mentioned in unstable section above.

Experimental/unstable Staging

When gitlab is not ready for official experimental/unstable (for example some dependencies need to clear NEW queue), it will be available from this repo.

You will have to follow the notes mentioned in unstable section above.

This section moved to gitlab/staging.

Gitlab on older releases

These versions no longer receive any security updates and it is recommended to upgrade to Debian 11 Bullseye to continue receiving security updates.

Gitlab with apache2

Gitlab can use apache instead of nginx. The (gitlab-recipes repository) instructions are wrong - apache supports proxying to UNIX sockets so there's no need to change any gitlab configuration to use TCP.

Basically you will have to:

a2enmod rewrite ssl proxy_http headers

See below for Apache configuration file example (using Let's Encrypt SSL certificates and HTTP to HTTPS redirect). Replace YOUR_SERVER_FQDN string with your domain (e.g.

<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName YOUR_SERVER_FQDN
        Redirect / https://YOUR_SERVER_FQDN/

<VirtualHost *:443>
        SSLCertificateFile    /etc/letsencrypt/live/YOUR_SERVER_FQDN/fullchain.pem
        SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/YOUR_SERVER_FQDN/privkey.pem
        Include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf
        Header add Strict-Transport-Security: "max-age=15768000;includeSubdomains"
        ProxyPreserveHost On

        ServerName YOUR_SERVER_FQDN

        # Ensure that encoded slashes are not decoded but left in their encoded state.
        AllowEncodedSlashes NoDecode

        <Location />
                Require all granted
                ProxyPassReverse https://YOUR_SERVER_FQDN/

        RewriteEngine on
        #Forward all requests to gitlab-workhorse except existing files like error documents
        RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/%{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f [OR]
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/uploads/.*
        RewriteRule .* unix:/run/gitlab/gitlab-workhorse.socket|http://YOUR_SERVER_FQDN%{REQUEST_URI} [P,QSA,NE]

        RequestHeader set X_FORWARDED_PROTO 'https'
        RequestHeader set X-Forwarded-Ssl on

        # needed for downloading attachments
        DocumentRoot /var/lib/gitlab/public

        # Set up apache error documents, if back end goes down (i.e. 503 error) then a maintenance/deploy page is thrown up.
        ErrorDocument 404 /404.html
        ErrorDocument 422 /422.html
        ErrorDocument 500 /500.html
        ErrorDocument 502 /502.html
        ErrorDocument 503 /503.html

        LogFormat "%{X-Forwarded-For}i %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b" common_forwarded
        ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/YOUR_SERVER_FQDN_error.log
        CustomLog /var/log/apache2/YOUR_SERVER_FQDN_forwarded.log common_forwarded
        CustomLog /var/log/apache2/YOUR_SERVER_FQDN_access.log combined env=!dontlog
        CustomLog /var/log/apache2/YOUR_SERVER_FQDN.log combined

Troubleshooting common issues

See gitlab/troubleshooting

Tips and tweaks

See Tweaks for GitLab

Contact maintainers

You can reach the maintainers of the gitlab package via

  1. Matrix at (join via browser)

  2. IRC #debian-gitlab on OFTC network (join via browser)

  3. Via XMPP at

Documentation for gitlab maintainers