GitLab Documentation

GitLab Pages

Notes:

  • This feature was introduced in GitLab EE 8.3.
  • Custom CNAMEs with TLS support were introduced in GitLab EE 8.5.
  • GitLab Pages was ported to Community Edition in GitLab 8.17.
  • This document is about the user guide. To learn how to enable GitLab Pages across your GitLab instance, visit the administrator documentation.

With GitLab Pages you can host for free your static websites on GitLab. Combined with the power of GitLab CI and the help of GitLab Runner you can deploy static pages for your individual projects, your user or your group.

Read GitLab Pages on GitLab.com for specific information, if you are using GitLab.com to host your website.

Read through All you Need to Know About GitLab Pages for a list of all learning materials we have prepared for GitLab Pages (webpages, articles, guides, blog posts, video tutorials).

Getting started with GitLab Pages

Note: In the rest of this document we will assume that the general domain name that is used for GitLab Pages is example.io.

In general there are two types of pages one might create:

In GitLab, usernames and groupnames are unique and we often refer to them as namespaces. There can be only one namespace in a GitLab instance. Below you can see the connection between the type of GitLab Pages, what the project name that is created on GitLab looks like and the website URL it will be ultimately be served on.

Type of GitLab Pages The name of the project created in GitLab Website URL
User pages username.example.io http(s)://username.example.io
Group pages groupname.example.io http(s)://groupname.example.io
Project pages owned by a user projectname http(s)://username.example.io/projectname
Project pages owned by a group projectname http(s)://groupname.example.io/projectname

Warning: There are some known limitations regarding namespaces served under the general domain name and HTTPS. Make sure to read that section.

GitLab Pages requirements

In brief, this is what you need to upload your website in GitLab Pages:

  1. Find out the general domain name that is used for GitLab Pages (ask your administrator). This is very important, so you should first make sure you get that right.
  2. Create a project
  3. Push a .gitlab-ci.yml file in the root directory of your repository with a specific job named pages
  4. Set up a GitLab Runner to build your website

Note: If shared runners are enabled by your GitLab administrator, you should be able to use them instead of bringing your own.

User or group Pages

For user and group pages, the name of the project should be specific to the username or groupname and the general domain name that is used for GitLab Pages. Head over your GitLab instance that supports GitLab Pages and create a repository named username.example.io, where username is your username on GitLab. If the first part of the project name doesn't match exactly your username, it won’t work, so make sure to get it right.

To create a group page, the steps are the same like when creating a website for users. Just make sure that you are creating the project within the group's namespace.

Create a user-based pages project


After you push some static content to your repository and GitLab Runner uploads the artifacts to GitLab CI, you will be able to access your website under http(s)://username.example.io. Keep reading to find out how.

Note: If your username/groupname contains a dot, for example foo.bar, you will not be able to use the wildcard domain HTTPS, read more at limitations.

Project Pages

GitLab Pages for projects can be created by both user and group accounts. The steps to create a project page for a user or a group are identical:

  1. Create a new project
  2. Push a .gitlab-ci.yml file in the root directory of your repository with a specific job named pages.
  3. Set up a GitLab Runner to build your website

A user's project will be served under http(s)://username.example.io/projectname whereas a group's project under http(s)://groupname.example.io/projectname.

For practical examples for group and project Pages, read through the guide GitLab Pages from A to Z: Part 1 - Static sites and GitLab Pages domains.

Quick Start

Read through GitLab Pages Quick Start Guide or watch the video tutorial on how to publish a website with GitLab Pages on GitLab.com from a forked project.

See also All you Need to Know About GitLab Pages for a list with all the resources we have for GitLab Pages.

Explore the contents of .gitlab-ci.yml

The key thing about GitLab Pages is the .gitlab-ci.yml file, something that gives you absolute control over the build process. You can actually watch your website being built live by following the CI job traces.

For a simplified user guide on setting up GitLab CI/CD for Pages, read through the article GitLab Pages from A to Z: Part 4 - Creating and Tweaking .gitlab-ci.yml for GitLab Pages

Note: Before reading this section, make sure you familiarize yourself with GitLab CI and the specific syntax of.gitlab-ci.yml by following our quick start guide.

To make use of GitLab Pages, the contents of .gitlab-ci.yml must follow the rules below:

  1. A special job named pages must be defined
  2. Any static content which will be served by GitLab Pages must be placed under a public/ directory
  3. artifacts with a path to the public/ directory must be defined

In its simplest form, .gitlab-ci.yml looks like:

pages:
  script:
  - my_commands
  artifacts:
    paths:
    - public

When the Runner reaches to build the pages job, it executes whatever is defined in the script parameter and if the job completes with a non-zero exit status, it then uploads the public/ directory to GitLab Pages.

The public/ directory should contain all the static content of your website. Depending on how you plan to publish your website, the steps defined in the script parameter may differ.

Be aware that Pages are by default branch/tag agnostic and their deployment relies solely on what you specify in .gitlab-ci.yml. If you don't limit the pages job with the only parameter, whenever a new commit is pushed to whatever branch or tag, the Pages will be overwritten. In the example below, we limit the Pages to be deployed whenever a commit is pushed only on the master branch:

pages:
  script:
  - my_commands
  artifacts:
    paths:
    - public
  only:
  - master

We then tell the Runner to treat the public/ directory as artifacts and upload it to GitLab. And since all these parameters were all under a pages job, the contents of the public directory will be served by GitLab Pages.

How .gitlab-ci.yml looks like when the static content is in your repository

Supposed your repository contained the following files:

├── index.html
├── css
│   └── main.css
└── js
    └── main.js

Then the .gitlab-ci.yml example below simply moves all files from the root directory of the project to the public/ directory. The .public workaround is so cp doesn't also copy public/ to itself in an infinite loop:

pages:
  script:
  - mkdir .public
  - cp -r * .public
  - mv .public public
  artifacts:
    paths:
    - public
  only:
  - master

How .gitlab-ci.yml looks like when using a static generator

In general, GitLab Pages support any kind of static site generator, since .gitlab-ci.yml can be configured to run any possible command.

In the root directory of your Git repository, place the source files of your favorite static generator. Then provide a .gitlab-ci.yml file which is specific to your static generator.

The example below, uses Jekyll to build the static site:

image: ruby:2.1             # the script will run in Ruby 2.1 using the Docker image ruby:2.1

pages:                      # the build job must be named pages
  script:
  - gem install jekyll      # we install jekyll
  - jekyll build -d public/ # we tell jekyll to build the site for us
  artifacts:
    paths:
    - public                # this is where the site will live and the Runner uploads it in GitLab
  only:
  - master                  # this script is only affecting the master branch

Here, we used the Docker executor and in the first line we specified the base image against which our jobs will run.

You have to make sure that the generated static files are ultimately placed under the public directory, that's why in the script section we run the jekyll command that jobs the website and puts all content in the public/ directory. Depending on the static generator of your choice, this command will differ. Search in the documentation of the static generator you will use if there is an option to explicitly set the output directory. If there is not such an option, you can always add one more line under script to rename the resulting directory in public/.

We then tell the Runner to treat the public/ directory as artifacts and upload it to GitLab.


See the jekyll example project to better understand how this works.

For a list of Pages projects, see the example projects to get you started.

How to set up GitLab Pages in a repository where there's also actual code

Remember that GitLab Pages are by default branch/tag agnostic and their deployment relies solely on what you specify in .gitlab-ci.yml. You can limit the pages job with the only parameter, whenever a new commit is pushed to a branch that will be used specifically for your pages.

That way, you can have your project's code in the master branch and use an orphan branch (let's name it pages) that will host your static generator site.

You can create a new empty branch like this:

git checkout --orphan pages

The first commit made on this new branch will have no parents and it will be the root of a new history totally disconnected from all the other branches and commits. Push the source files of your static generator in the pages branch.

Below is a copy of .gitlab-ci.yml where the most significant line is the last one, specifying to execute everything in the pages branch:

image: ruby:2.1

pages:
  script:
  - gem install jekyll
  - jekyll build -d public/
  artifacts:
    paths:
    - public
  only:
  - pages

See an example that has different files in the master branch and the source files for Jekyll are in a pages branch which also includes .gitlab-ci.yml.

Next steps

So you have successfully deployed your website, congratulations! Let's check what more you can do with GitLab Pages.

Example projects

Below is a list of example projects for GitLab Pages with a plain HTML website or various static site generators. Contributions are very welcome.

Visit the GitLab Pages group for a full list of example projects: https://gitlab.com/groups/pages.

Add a custom domain to your Pages website

For a complete guide on Pages domains, read through the article GitLab Pages from A to Z: Part 3 - Setting Up Custom Domains - DNS Records and SSL/TLS Certificates

If this setting is enabled by your GitLab administrator, you should be able to see the New Domain button when visiting your project's settings through the gear icon in the top right and then navigating to Pages.

New domain button


You can add multiple domains pointing to your website hosted under GitLab. Once the domain is added, you can see it listed under the Domains section.

Pages multiple domains


As a last step, you need to configure your DNS and add a CNAME pointing to your user/group page. Click on the Details button of a domain for further instructions.

Pages DNS details


Note: Currently there is support only for custom domains on per-project basis. That means that if you add a custom domain (example.com) for your user website (username.example.io), a project that is served under username.example.io/foo, will not be accessible under example.com/foo.

Secure your custom domain website with TLS

When you add a new custom domain, you also have the chance to add a TLS certificate. If this setting is enabled by your GitLab administrator, you should be able to see the option to upload the public certificate and the private key when adding a new domain.

Pages upload cert

For a complete guide on Pages domains, read through the article GitLab Pages from A to Z: Part 3 - Setting Up Custom Domains - DNS Records and SSL/TLS Certificates

Custom error codes pages

You can provide your own 403 and 404 error pages by creating the 403.html and 404.html files respectively in the root directory of the public/ directory that will be included in the artifacts. Usually this is the root directory of your project, but that may differ depending on your static generator configuration.

If the case of 404.html, there are different scenarios. For example:

Remove the contents of your pages

If you ever feel the need to purge your Pages content, you can do so by going to your project's settings through the gear icon in the top right, and then navigating to Pages. Hit the Remove pages button and your Pages website will be deleted. Simple as that.

Remove pages

GitLab Pages on GitLab.com

If you are using GitLab.com to host your website, then:

The rest of the guide still applies.

See also: GitLab Pages from A to Z: Part 1 - Static sites and GitLab Pages domains.

Limitations

When using Pages under the general domain of a GitLab instance (*.example.io), you cannot use HTTPS with sub-subdomains. That means that if your username/groupname contains a dot, for example foo.bar, the domain https://foo.bar.example.io will not work. This is a limitation of the HTTP Over TLS protocol. HTTP pages will continue to work provided you don't redirect HTTP to HTTPS.

GitLab Pages does not support subgroups. You can only create the highest level group website.

Redirects in GitLab Pages

Since you cannot use any custom server configuration files, like .htaccess or any .conf file, if you want to redirect a page to another location, you can use the HTTP meta refresh tag.

Some static site generators provide plugins for that functionality so that you don't have to create and edit HTML files manually. For example, Jekyll has the redirect-from plugin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I download my generated pages?

Sure. All you need to do is download the artifacts archive from the job page.

Can I use GitLab Pages if my project is private?

Yes. GitLab Pages doesn't care whether you set your project's visibility level to private, internal or public.

Do I need to create a user/group website before creating a project website?

No, you don't. You can create your project first and it will be accessed under http(s)://namespace.example.io/projectname.

Known issues

For a list of known issues, visit GitLab's public issue tracker.