Using the GitLab-Gitaly chart

The gitaly sub-chart provides a configurable deployment of Gitaly Servers.


This chart depends on access to the Workhorse service, either as part of the complete GitLab chart or provided as an external service reachable from the Kubernetes cluster this chart is deployed onto.

Design Choices

The Gitaly container used in this chart also contains the GitLab Shell codebase in order to perform the actions on the Git repositories that have not yet been ported into Gitaly. The Gitaly container includes a copy of the GitLab Shell container within it, and as a result we also need to configure GitLab Shell within this chart.


The gitaly chart is configured in two parts: external services, and chart settings.

Gitaly is by default deployed as a component when deploying the GitLab chart. If deploying Gitaly separately, global.gitaly.enabled needs to be set to false and additional configuration will need to be performed as described in the external Gitaly documentation.

Installation command line options

The table below contains all the possible charts configurations that can be supplied to the helm install command using the --set flags.

Parameter Default Description
annotations   Pod annotations
common.labels {} Supplemental labels that are applied to all objects created by this chart.
podLabels   Supplemental Pod labels. Will not be used for selectors.
external[].hostname - "" hostname of external node
external[].name - "" name of external node storage
external[].port - "" port of external node
extraContainers   List of extra containers to include
extraInitContainers   List of extra init containers to include
extraVolumeMounts   List of extra volumes mounts to do
extraVolumes   List of extra volumes to create
extraEnv   List of extra environment variables to expose
gitaly.serviceName   The name of the generated Gitaly service. Overrides global.gitaly.serviceName, and defaults to <RELEASE-NAME>-gitaly
image.pullPolicy Always Gitaly image pull policy
image.pullSecrets   Secrets for the image repository
image.repository Gitaly image repository
image.tag master Gitaly image tag
init.image.repository   initContainer image
init.image.tag   initContainer image tag
internal.names[] - default Ordered names of StatefulSet storages
serviceLabels {} Supplemental service labels
service.externalPort 8075 Gitaly service exposed port
service.internalPort 8075 Gitaly internal port gitaly The name of the Service port that Gitaly is behind in the Service object.
service.type ClusterIP Gitaly service type
securityContext.fsGroup 1000 Group ID under which the pod should be started
securityContext.runAsUser 1000 User ID under which the pod should be started
tolerations [] Toleration labels for pod assignment
persistence.accessMode ReadWriteOnce Gitaly persistence access mode
persistence.annotations   Gitaly persistence annotations
persistence.enabled true Gitaly enable persistence flag
persistence.matchExpressions   Label-expression matches to bind
persistence.matchLabels   Label-value matches to bind
persistence.size 50Gi Gitaly persistence volume size
persistence.storageClass   storageClassName for provisioning
persistence.subPath   Gitaly persistence volume mount path
priorityClassName   Gitaly StatefulSet priorityClassName
logging.level   Log level
logging.format json Log format
logging.sentryDsn   Sentry DSN URL - Exceptions from Go server
logging.rubySentryDsn   Sentry DSN URL - Exceptions from gitaly-ruby
logging.sentryEnvironment   Sentry environment to be used for logging
ruby.maxRss   Gitaly-Ruby resident set size (RSS) that triggers a memory restart (bytes)
ruby.gracefulRestartTimeout   Graceful period before a force restart after exceeding Max RSS
ruby.restartDelay   Time that Gitaly-Ruby memory must remain high before a restart (seconds)
ruby.numWorkers   Number of Gitaly-Ruby worker processes
shell.concurrency[]   Concurrency of each RPC endpoint Specified using keys rpc and maxPerRepo
git.catFileCacheSize   Cache size used by Git cat-file process
prometheus.grpcLatencyBuckets   Buckets corresponding to histogram latencies on GRPC method calls to be recorded by Gitaly. A string form of the array (for example, "[1.0, 1.5, 2.0]") is required as input
statefulset.strategy {} Allows one to configure the update strategy utilized by the statefulset

Chart configuration examples


extraEnv allows you to expose additional environment variables in all containers in the pods.

Below is an example use of extraEnv:

  SOME_KEY: some_value
  SOME_OTHER_KEY: some_other_value

When the container is started, you can confirm that the environment variables are exposed:

env | grep SOME


pullSecrets allows you to authenticate to a private registry to pull images for a pod.

Additional details about private registries and their authentication methods can be found in the Kubernetes documentation.

Below is an example use of pullSecrets

  repository: my.gitaly.repository
  tag: latest
  pullPolicy: Always
  - name: my-secret-name
  - name: my-secondary-secret-name


tolerations allow you schedule pods on tainted worker nodes

Below is an example use of tolerations:

- key: "node_label"
  operator: "Equal"
  value: "true"
  effect: "NoSchedule"
- key: "node_label"
  operator: "Equal"
  value: "true"
  effect: "NoExecute"


annotations allows you to add annotations to the Gitaly pods.

Below is an example use of annotations:

annotations: annotation-value


priorityClassName allows you to assign a PriorityClass to the Gitaly pods.

Below is an example use of priorityClassName:

priorityClassName: persistence-enabled

Altering security contexts

Gitaly StatefulSet performance may suffer when repositories have large amounts of files due to a known issue with fsGroup in upstream Kubernetes. Mitigate the issue by changing or fully deleting the settings for the securityContext.

      fsGroup: ""
      runAsUser: ""
noteThe example syntax eliminates the securityContext setting entirely. Setting securityContext: {} or securityContext: does not work due to the way Helm merges default values with user provided configuration.

External Services

This chart should be attached the Workhorse service.


  serviceName: webservice
  port: 8181
Name Type Default Description
host String   The hostname of the Workhorse server. This can be omitted in lieu of serviceName.
port Integer 8181 The port on which to connect to the Workhorse server.
serviceName String webservice The name of the service which is operating the Workhorse server. If this is present, and host is not, the chart will template the hostname of the service (and current .Release.Name) in place of the host value. This is convenient when using Workhorse as a part of the overall GitLab chart.

Chart Settings

The following values are used to configure the Gitaly Pods.

noteGitaly uses an Auth Token to authenticate with the Workhorse and Sidekiq services. The Auth Token secret and key are sourced from the global.gitaly.authToken value. Additionally, the Gitaly container has a copy of GitLab Shell, which has some configuration that can be set. The Shell authToken is sourced from the values.

Git Repository Persistence

This chart provisions a PersistentVolumeClaim and mounts a corresponding persistent volume for the Git repository data. You’ll need physical storage available in the Kubernetes cluster for this to work. If you’d rather use emptyDir, disable PersistentVolumeClaim with: persistence.enabled: false.

noteThe persistence settings for Gitaly are used in a volumeClaimTemplate that should be valid for all your Gitaly pods. You should not include settings that are meant to reference a single specific volume (such as volumeName). If you want to reference a specific volume, you need to manually create the PersistentVolumeClaim.
noteYou can’t change these through our settings once you’ve deployed. In StatefulSet the VolumeClaimTemplate is immutable.
  enabled: true
  storageClass: standard
  accessMode: ReadWriteOnce
  size: 50Gi
  matchLabels: {}
  matchExpressions: []
  subPath: "/data"
  annotations: {}
Name Type Default Description
accessMode String ReadWriteOnce Sets the accessMode requested in the PersistentVolumeClaim. See Kubernetes Access Modes Documentation for details.
enabled Boolean true Sets whether or not to use a PersistentVolumeClaims for the repository data. If false, an emptyDir volume is used.
matchExpressions Array   Accepts an array of label condition objects to match against when choosing a volume to bind. This is used in the PersistentVolumeClaim selector section. See the volumes documentation.
matchLabels Map   Accepts a Map of label names and label values to match against when choosing a volume to bind. This is used in the PersistentVolumeClaim selector section. See the volumes documentation.
size String 50Gi The minimum volume size to request for the data persistence.
storageClass String   Sets the storageClassName on the Volume Claim for dynamic provisioning. When unset or null, the default provisioner will be used. If set to a hyphen, dynamic provisioning is disabled.
subPath String   Sets the path within the volume to mount, rather than the volume root. The root is used if the subPath is empty.
annotations Map   Sets the annotations on the Volume Claim for dynamic provisioning. See Kubernetes Annotations Documentation for details.

Running Gitaly over TLS

noteThis section refers to Gitaly being run inside the cluster using the Helm charts. If you are using an external Gitaly instance and want to use TLS for communicating with it, refer the external Gitaly documentation

Gitaly supports communicating with other components over TLS. This is controlled by the settings global.gitaly.tls.enabled and global.gitaly.tls.secretName. Follow the steps to run Gitaly over TLS:

  1. The Helm chart expects a certificate to be provided for communicating over TLS with Gitaly. This certificate should apply to all the Gitaly nodes that are present. Hence all hostnames of each of these Gitaly nodes should be added as a Subject Alternate Name (SAN) to the certificate.

    To know the hostnames to use, check the file /srv/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml file in the Task Runner pod and check the various gitaly_address fields specified under repositories.storages key within it.

    kubectl exec -it <Task Runner pod> -- grep gitaly_address /srv/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml
noteA basic script for generating custom signed certificates for internal Gitaly pods can be found in this repository. Users can use or refer that script to generate certificates with proper SAN attributes.
  1. Create a k8s TLS secret using the certificate created.

    kubectl create secret tls gitaly-server-tls --cert=gitaly.crt --key=gitaly.key
  2. Redeploy the Helm chart by passing the additional arguments --set global.gitaly.tls.enabled=true --set global.gitaly.tls.secretName=<secret name>

Global server hooks

The Gitaly StatefulSet has support for Global server hooks. The hook scripts run on the Gitaly pod, and are therefore limited to the tools available in the Gitaly container.

The hooks are populated using ConfigMaps, and can be used by setting the following values as appropriate:

  1. global.gitaly.hooks.preReceive.configmap
  2. global.gitaly.hooks.postReceive.configmap
  3. global.gitaly.hooks.update.configmap

To populate the ConfigMap, you can point kubectl to a directory of scripts:

kubectl create configmap MAP_NAME --from-file /PATH/TO/SCRIPT/DIR