How to Download and Install GitLab CE: A Step-by-Step Guide

GitLab Community Edition (CE) is an open-source platform that allows developers to collaborate on code, track issues, and deploy applications. This guide will walk you through the process of downloading and installing GitLab CE on a CentOS 7 server, ensuring you have a fully functional GitLab instance ready for use.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure your CentOS 7 server meets the system requirements before starting the installation.
  • Download and verify GitLab CE from the official GitLab repository to avoid any corrupted files.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions to install GitLab CE and configure it with an external URL.
  • Set up SSL using Let’s Encrypt to secure your GitLab instance.
  • Enable additional features like email notifications, container registry, and GitLab Pages for a comprehensive development environment.

Getting Your Server Ready

Before diving into the installation, it’s crucial to ensure your server is properly prepared. This section will guide you through the necessary steps to get your server ready for GitLab CE.

Checking System Requirements

First things first, you need to make sure your server meets the minimum system requirements for GitLab CE. Ensure your server has at least 4GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores. Additionally, you’ll need at least 10GB of free disk space. These requirements are essential for a smooth installation and operation of GitLab CE.

Updating Your System Packages

Keeping your system packages up-to-date is vital for security and performance. Run the following commands to update your system packages:

sudo yum update -y

This command will update all installed packages to their latest versions, ensuring your server is ready for the next steps.

Installing Necessary Dependencies

GitLab CE requires several dependencies to function correctly. Install these dependencies by running the following command:

sudo yum install -y curl policycoreutils-python openssh-server

These packages include tools for managing security policies, SSH access, and more. Installing these dependencies is a crucial step in preparing your server for GitLab CE.

Downloading GitLab CE

Using the Official GitLab Repository

To get started with GitLab CE, you need to download it from the official GitLab repository. This ensures you get the latest and most secure version. Open your terminal and run the following command:

curl -s | sudo bash

This script sets up the repository for you. Once done, you can proceed to install GitLab CE.

Verifying the Download

After downloading, it’s crucial to verify the integrity of the package. This step ensures that the package hasn’t been tampered with. Use the following command to check the package:

rpm --checksig gitlab-ce-*.rpm

A successful verification will show a message indicating that the package is intact and safe to use.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes, you might encounter issues during the download process. Here are a few common problems and their solutions:

  • Network Issues: Ensure your internet connection is stable.
  • Repository Errors: Double-check the repository URL and try again.
  • Permission Denied: Run the commands with sudo to ensure you have the necessary permissions.

If you continue to face issues, refer to the official GitLab documentation for more detailed troubleshooting steps.

Once you are at 16.11.2 on el7, then install gitlab 16.11.2 on debian 12. copy /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and /etc/ …

Installing GitLab CE on CentOS 7

person installing software on a server, CentOS 7, GitLab logo

Running the Installation Script

First, you need to run the installation script to get GitLab CE on your CentOS 7 server. Open your terminal and execute the following command:

curl | sudo bash

This command will set up the necessary repository for GitLab CE. Once the repository is set up, install GitLab CE by running:

sudo yum install -y gitlab-ce

Ensure your server meets the prerequisites: at least 8 GB of RAM and a domain name pointed at your server.

Setting Up the External URL

After installing GitLab CE, you need to configure the external URL. This is the URL at which you will access your GitLab instance. Open the GitLab configuration file with a text editor:

sudo nano /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb

Find the line that starts with external_url and set it to your domain name:

external_url ''

Save the file and exit the text editor. This step is crucial for accessing your GitLab instance from a web browser.

Completing the Installation

Finally, complete the installation by reconfiguring GitLab. Run the following command to apply the changes:

sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure

This command will reconfigure GitLab and start all necessary services. Once the process is complete, you can access your GitLab instance by navigating to your domain name in a web browser.

Tip: If you encounter any issues during the installation, check the logs located at /var/log/gitlab/ for more information.

Configuring GitLab for First Use

Editing the GitLab Configuration File

To get started, you’ll need to edit the GitLab configuration file. This file is located at /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb. Open it with your preferred text editor. Make sure to back up the original file before making any changes. You’ll find various settings here, including external URL, email settings, and more. Adjust these settings according to your needs.

Setting Up SSL with Let’s Encrypt

Securing your GitLab instance with SSL is crucial. Let’s Encrypt offers a free and easy way to obtain SSL certificates. In the GitLab configuration file, find the letsencrypt section and enable it. Provide your email address and domain name. Run sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure to apply the changes. This will automatically fetch and install the SSL certificates for you.

Reconfiguring and Starting GitLab

After making changes to the configuration file, you need to reconfigure GitLab. Run sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure to apply all the changes. This command will also start GitLab if it’s not already running. If you encounter any issues, check the logs located at /var/log/gitlab/. GitLab Ultimate provides comprehensive security and compliance features, including automated security policies, container scanning, vulnerability management, and fuzz testing. Enhance DevOps with built-in security and compliance.

Accessing Your GitLab Instance

Navigating to Your Domain

To access your GitLab instance, open your web browser and navigate to the domain name you configured during installation. This will bring you to the GitLab login page. Ensure your domain is correctly pointed to your server’s IP address to avoid any connectivity issues.

Logging In for the First Time

On your first visit, you’ll be greeted with a login page. GitLab generates an initial secure password for you, which is stored in a folder accessible as an administrative sudo user. Use this password to log in and then change it to something more secure.

Setting Up User Preferences

Once logged in, you can start setting up your user preferences. Click on the icon in the upper-right corner of the navigation bar and select ‘Edit Profile’. Here, you can update your username, email, and other personal settings. Don’t forget to set a secure password and configure your email for notifications.

Enabling Additional Features

Setting Up Email Notifications

To keep your team in the loop, setting up email notifications is crucial. Navigate to the Admin Area and configure the SMTP settings. Make sure to test the configuration to ensure emails are sent correctly. This will help in keeping everyone updated on project activities.

Enabling the Container Registry

GitLab’s Container Registry allows you to manage Docker images efficiently. Head over to the Admin Area and enable the Container Registry under the settings. This feature is particularly useful for CI/CD pipelines, making it easier to deploy applications.

Configuring GitLab Pages

GitLab Pages lets you host static websites directly from your repositories. To enable this, go to the Admin Area and configure the Pages settings. You can also set up a custom domain for your GitLab Pages, making it easier for users to access your site.

Enabling these additional features can significantly enhance your GitLab experience, making it a more powerful tool for your development needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the system requirements for installing GitLab CE?

To install GitLab CE, you need a server with at least 8 GB of RAM and a domain name pointed at your server. The specific requirements may vary depending on your usage and the number of users.

How do I update my system packages before installing GitLab CE?

You can update your system packages by running the command: sudo yum update on CentOS or sudo apt-get update on Debian-based systems.

How can I verify the GitLab CE download?

You can verify the GitLab CE download by checking the SHA256 checksum provided on the GitLab download page against the checksum of your downloaded file.

What should I do if I encounter issues during the installation of GitLab CE?

If you encounter issues during installation, refer to the official GitLab documentation or community forums for troubleshooting tips. Common issues include dependency conflicts and incorrect configuration settings.

How do I set up SSL with Let’s Encrypt for GitLab CE?

To set up SSL with Let’s Encrypt, open the GitLab configuration file (sudo nano /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb), set the external URL to use HTTPS, and enable Let’s Encrypt by setting letsencrypt[‘enable’] = true. Finally, reconfigure GitLab by running sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure.

How can I enable additional features like email notifications and the container registry in GitLab CE?

To enable additional features, edit the GitLab configuration file and set the appropriate settings for each feature. For example, to enable email notifications, configure the SMTP settings. To enable the container registry, ensure you have SSL certificates for the domain used for the registry.

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