- Windows version support policy
- Get runner logs
- I get a PathTooLongException during my builds on Windows
- I can’t run Windows BASH scripts; I’m getting
The system cannot find the batch label specified - buildscript
- How can I get colored output on the web terminal?
The service did not start due to a logon failureerror when starting service
- Job marked as success and terminated midway using Kubernetes executor
- Docker executor:
unsupported Windows Version
- I’m using a mapped network drive and my build cannot find the correct path
- The build container is unable to connect to service containers
To install and run GitLab Runner on Windows you need:
- Git, which can be installed from the official site
- A password for your user account, if you want to run it under your user account rather than the Built-in System Account.
- Create a folder somewhere in your system, ex.:
- Download the binary for 64-bit or 32-bit and put it into the folder you
created. The following assumes you have renamed the binary to
gitlab-runner.exe(optional). You can download a binary for every available version as described in Bleeding Edge - download any other tagged release.
- Make sure to restrict the
Writepermissions on the GitLab Runner directory and executable. If you do not set these permissions, regular users can replace the executable with their own and run arbitrary code with elevated privileges.
- Run an elevated command prompt:
- Register a runner.
Install GitLab Runner as a service and start it. You can either run the service using the Built-in System Account (recommended) or using a user account.
Run service using Built-in System Account (under directory created in step 1. from above, ex.:
cd C:\GitLab-Runner .\gitlab-runner.exe install .\gitlab-runner.exe start
Run service using user account (under directory created in step 1. from above, ex.:
You have to enter a valid password for the current user account, because it’s required to start the service by Windows:
cd C:\GitLab-Runner .\gitlab-runner.exe install --user ENTER-YOUR-USERNAME --password ENTER-YOUR-PASSWORD .\gitlab-runner.exe start
See the troubleshooting section if you encounter any errors during the GitLab Runner installation.
- (Optional) Update the runner’s
C:\GitLab-Runner\config.tomlto allow multiple concurrent jobs as detailed in advanced configuration details. Additionally, you can use the advanced configuration details to update your shell executor to use Bash or PowerShell rather than Batch.
Voila! Runner is installed, running, and will start again after each system reboot. Logs are stored in Windows Event Log.
Stop the service (you need an elevated command prompt as before):
cd C:\GitLab-Runner .\gitlab-runner.exe stop
Start the service:
From an elevated command prompt:
cd C:\GitLab-Runner .\gitlab-runner.exe stop .\gitlab-runner.exe uninstall cd .. rmdir /s GitLab-Runner
We follow the same lifecycle policy as Microsoft’s Servicing Channels.
This means that we support:
- Long-Term Servicing Channel, versions for 5 years after their release date. Note that we don’t support versions that are on extended support.
- Semi-Annual Channel versions for 18 months after their release date. We don’t support these versions after mainstream support ends.
After a Windows version no longer receives mainstream support from
Microsoft, we officially deprecate the
remove it in the next major change. For example, in 12.x we started
because it came out on
2018-04-30. Mainstream support ended on
2019-11-12, so we deprecated
Windows 1803 in 12.x and it was
As a single source of truth we use https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/products/ which specifies both the release and mainstream support dates.
Below is a list of versions that are commonly used and their end of life date:
|OS||Mainstream support end of life date|
|Windows 10 1809/2019||January 2024|
|Windows Server Datacenter 1809/2019||January 2024|
|Windows Server Datacenter 1903||December 2020|
Microsoft releases new Windows Server products in the Semi-Annual Channel twice a year, and every 2 - 3 years a new major version of Windows Sever is released in the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC).
GitLab aims to test and release new GitLab Runner helper images that include the latest Windows Server version (Semi-Annual Channel) within 1 month of the official Microsoft release date on the Google Cloud Platform. Refer to the Windows Server current versions by servicing option list for availability dates.
Make sure that you read the FAQ section which describes some of the most common problems with GitLab Runner.
If you encounter an error like The account name is invalid try to add
.\ before the username:
.\gitlab-runner.exe install --user ".\ENTER-YOUR-USERNAME" --password "ENTER-YOUR-PASSWORD"
If you encounter a The service did not start due to a logon failure error while starting the service, please look in the FAQ to check how to resolve the problem.
If you don’t have a Windows Password, the GitLab Runner service won’t start but you can use the Built-in System Account.
If you have issues with the Built-in System Account, please read Configure the Service to Start Up with the Built-in System Account on Microsoft’s support website.
When you run
.\gitlab-runner.exe install it installs
as a Windows service. You can find the logs in the Event Viewer
with the provider name
If you don’t have access to the GUI, in PowerShell, you can run
PS C:\> Get-WinEvent -ProviderName gitlab-runner ProviderName: gitlab-runner TimeCreated Id LevelDisplayName Message ----------- -- ---------------- ------- 2/4/2021 6:20:14 AM 1 Information [session_server].listen_address not defined, session endpoints disabled builds=0... 2/4/2021 6:20:14 AM 1 Information listen_address not defined, metrics & debug endpoints disabled builds=0... 2/4/2021 6:20:14 AM 1 Information Configuration loaded builds=0... 2/4/2021 6:20:14 AM 1 Information Starting multi-runner from C:\config.toml... builds=0...
This is caused by tools like
npm which will sometimes generate directory structures
with paths more than 260 characters in length. There are two possible fixes you can
adopt to solve the problem.
You can avoid the problem by using Git to clean your directory structure, first run
git config --system core.longpaths true from the command line and then set your
project to use
git fetch from the GitLab CI project settings page.
The NTFSSecurity PowerShell module provides a Remove-Item2 method which supports long paths. GitLab Runner will detect it if it is available and automatically make use of it.
I can’t run Windows BASH scripts; I’m getting
The system cannot find the batch label specified - buildscript
You need to prepend
call to your Batch file line in
.gitlab-ci.yml so that it looks like
call C:\path\to\test.bat. Here
is a more complete example:
before_script: - call C:\path\to\test.bat
Additional info can be found under issue #1025.
Make sure that you have the ANSI color codes in your program’s output. For the purposes of text formatting, assume that you’re running in a UNIX ANSI terminal emulator (because that’s what the webUI’s output is).
The web interface for GitLab CI emulates a UNIX ANSI terminal (at least partially). The
gitlab-runner pipes any output from the build
directly to the web interface. That means that any ANSI color codes that are present will be honored.
Older versions of Windows’ CMD terminal (before Win10 version 1511) do not support
ANSI color codes - they use win32 (
ANSI.SYS) calls instead which are not present in
the string to be displayed. When writing cross-platform programs, a developer will typically use ANSI color codes by default and convert
them to win32 calls when running on a Windows system (example: Colorama).
If your program is doing the above, then you need to disable that conversion for the CI builds so that the ANSI codes remain in the string.
When installing and starting the GitLab Runner service on Windows you can meet with such error:
gitlab-runner install --password WINDOWS_MACHINE_PASSWORD gitlab-runner start FATA Failed to start GitLab Runner: The service did not start due to a logon failure.
This error can occur when the user used to execute the service doesn’t have
SeServiceLogonRight permission. In this case, you need to add this
permission for the chosen user and then try to start the service again.
- Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools.
- Open the Local Security Policy tool.
- Choose the Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment on the list on the left.
- Open the Log on as a service on the list on the right.
- Click the Add User or Group… button.
- Add the user (“by hand” or using Advanced… button) and apply the settings.
According to Microsoft’s documentation this should work for: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows 8.
The Local Security Policy tool may be not available in some Windows versions - for example in “Home Edition” variant of each version.
After adding the
SeServiceLogonRight for the user used in service configuration,
gitlab-runner start should finish without failures
and the service should be started properly.
Please see Job execution.
GitLab Runner checks the version of Windows Server to verify that it’s supported.
It does this by running
If GitLab Runner fails to start with the following error, but with no Windows Server version specified, then the likely root cause is that the Docker version is too old.
Preparation failed: detecting base image: unsupported Windows Version: Windows Server Datacenter
The error should contain detailed information about the Windows Server version, which is then compared with the versions that GitLab Runner supports.
unsupported Windows Version: Windows Server Datacenter Version (OS Build 18363.720)
Docker 17.06.2 on Windows Server returns the following in the output
Operating System: Windows Server Datacenter
The fix in this case is to upgrade the Docker version of similar age, or later, than the Windows Server release.
If GitLab Runner is not being run under an administrator account and instead is using a
standard user account, mapped network drives cannot be used and you’ll receive an error stating
The system cannot find the path specified. This is because using a service logon session
creates some limitations
on accessing resources for security. Use the
of your drive instead.
To use services with Windows containers:
- Use the networking mode that creates a network for each job.
- Ensure that the
FF_NETWORK_PER_BUILDfeature flag is enabled.