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.

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.

Buster Fast Track (Recommended)

Gitlab 13.1.3 is available in unofficial fasttrack repo targeting buster as base distribution. (no open security issues).

Some packages are still needed from personal repo of gitlab maintainer because golang packages cannot be uploaded in because of a bug in dak setup. Please note the new URL of this repo if you are upgrading from an older version ( is now and gpg key used for signing is also changed).

Add to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb buster-fasttrack main contrib
# For dependency packages not in testing only temporarily due to freeze, transitions or delayed by backports-new or NEW.
deb buster-backports main contrib 
deb buster-backports contrib main
# To avoid some hours of delay between upload and availability in archive
deb buildd-buster-backports main
# Eventually the packages in this repo will be moved to one of the previous two repos
deb buster-backports main

# apt update

You may encounter the following error message:

The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 0B76920762A6B785

If so, those commands can help:

# wget
# wget
# apt-key add
# apt-key add fasttrack-archive-key.asc


# apt -t buster-backports install gitlab

Note: is running on this version.

We now have ruby 2.7 in fasttrack-staging and will be uploaded to fasttrack after some more testing. Add and repos with buster-fasttrack suite and run apt install ruby rubygems-integration.

Testing ruby 2.7 in fasttrack

Upstream no longer support ruby 2.5 and we already saw some bugs with ruby 2.5. So we are adding ruby 2.7 to buster-fasttrack and this will require rebuilding all native libraries with the new ruby version as well as updating any pure ruby libraries that does not support ruby 2.7 in buster/buster-backports.

Add and repos with buster-fasttrack suite to /etc/apt/sources.list.

deb buster-fasttrack main
deb  buster-fasttrack main

apt-key add srud.key.asc 

Update pure ruby libraries for ruby 2.7 support,

apt -t buster-backports install ruby-babosa ruby-batch-loader ruby-declarative ruby-gettext ruby-json-schema ruby-premailer-rails ruby-recursive-open-struct ruby-tzinfo ruby-get-process-mem

Now update ruby to 2.7 and verify the list of packages marked for removal does not include gitlab or gitaly.

apt install ruby rubygems-integration

See for current status of rebuilds/testing.

Unstable (be careful when updating packages)

Gitlab 12.6.8 is available in unstable (many security issues), and installation is broken. Please use experimental.

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

Experimental - During freeze and transitions

Gitlab 13.1.3 is available in experimental (no open security issues).

Since gitlab-common moved to src:gitaly from src:gitlab, gitlab source package should now be in contrib. Since this binary package move includes a section change, it is in NEW. You can install new versions of gitlab from until it clears NEW. gitlab 13.1.3 is available from this repo.

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

Some rails 6 transition is delaying upload to unstable.

Install some dependencies from experimental,

# apt install git 
# apt -t experimental install ruby-rails
# apt install ruby-aws-sdk/experimental ruby-rails-i18n/experimental
# apt install ruby-gitaly/experimental  gitaly/experimental gitlab-common/experimental

Currently gitlab installation is broken due to a change in libsass. A work around is to downgrade libsass and libsass-dev to 3.6.1. Use

Now install gitlab from experimental,

# apt install gitlab/experimental

Gitlab on Stretch

This is moved to gitlab/stretch now.

Gitlab with apache2

Gitlab can use apache instead of nginx. To get a working configuration for your version the best thing to do is to follow the (gitlab-recipes repository) instructions.

Basically you will have to : Disable nginx Set www-data as web server user. Allow Modules dependencies # mod_rewrite # mod_ssl # mod_proxy # mod_proxy_http # mod_headers

a2enmod rewrite proxy_http headers

and as says in recipe

Allow gitlab-workhorse to listen on port 8181, edit or create /etc/default/gitlab and change or add the following:

 gitlab_workhorse_options="-listenUmask 0 -listenNetwork tcp -listenAddr -authBackend"

Gitlab Common Errors

If you have this kind of error

  Cloning into'public-test-project-ssh'...
  Received disconnect from YOUR_SERVER_IP port 22:2: Too many authentication failures
  Disconnected from YOUR_SERVER_IP port 22
  fatal: Can't read distant repository.

on an ssh clone

  git clone public-test-project-ssh

Note : In your command line host should match your ssh hostname for gitlab as group and project name.

To be sure you should find a line like the following in /var/log/auth.log

User gitlab from YOUR_CLIENT_IP not allowed because not listed in AllowUsers

You may have to allow gitlab user in /etc/ssh/sshd_config

AllowUsers user1 user2 gitlab
AllowGroups user1 group2 gitlab

Note : user1, user2, group2 are here for the example adapt to your setup.

Do not forget to restart the service

service ssh restart

Debug installation and configuration

Gitlab is composed of several parts. As always logs (/var/log/gitlab), debian specific documentation (/usr/share/doc/gitlab/) and (official) documentation provide lots of information.

gitlab-rake is convenience script to easily run rake commands provided by gitlab in debian environment.

# gitlab-rake gitlab:check
# gitlab-rake gitlab:env:info

gitlab-rails-console is another convenience script to launch a rails console in gitlab debian environment.

# gitlab-rails-console

Just make sure you don't have any gems installed from conflicting with debian packaged versions of the gems required by gitlab. /var/lib/gems/<ruby_version> (/var/lib/gems/2.5.0 or /var/lib/gems/2.7.0) should not have any gems.

rake aborted errors during installation

If your update failed for some reason (usually when dependencies are not satisfied for bundle install --local), and you retry installation after fixing dependencies, you may see errors like

rake aborted!
NameError: uninitialized constant Gitlab::Patch::ActiveRecordQueryCache
/usr/share/gitlab/config/initializers/active_record_query_cache.rb:3:in `<top (required)>'

You will have to manually remove problem creating initializers from /etc/gitlab/initializers. A list of such initializers can be found from gitlab source package or from in debian/maintscript file. All lines starting with rm_conffile and corresponding versions are what you need to check.

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)

Maintainer's corner

  1. Installing gitlab on an lxc container to test - See gitlab/lxc

  2. Updating gitlab package to newer versions - See Teams/Ruby/Packaging/newUpstreamRailsApp

  3. Backport/Fasttrack checklist - See gitlab/BackportChecklist

  4. Dependencies Transitions checklist - See gitlab/DependenciesTransitions

  5. Managing Components - See gitlab/ManagingComponents

  6. Plan to move gitlab-common binary to gitlab-shell source package - See ?gitlab/gitlab-common-to-gitlab-shell-plan


  1. Aim to get gitlab back in main by bullseye release by packaging all node dependencies. current status This is now an Outreachy project (from December 2019 to March 2020).

  2. Get autopkgtest working so we can detect problems when someone updates dependencies without coordinating with us.

Omnibus Packages

Note: this section is about the installation of upstream-provided unofficial packages.


all actions are performed under the root user, in ~ unless otherwise noted.

Step 1

navigate to and copy down the link to the Debian deb package.

as of this writing @ June 5, 2014


Step 2


Step 3

i got errors 1st time around 2nd time around gitlab looked like it set everything and ran well.

To avoid errors, execute /opt/gitlab/embedded/bin/runsvdir-start for one minute, more or less (tested in 7.9.0 and 7.9.1 omnibus versions).


to verify that things are running


Step 4

navigate to your servers IP address or domain name, and login as:

user: root password: 5iveL!fe

External Resources