Deployment Guide

Before running helm install, you need to make some decisions about how you will run GitLab. Options can be specified using Helm’s --set command line option. This guide will cover required values and common options. For a complete list of options, read Installation command line options.

Selecting configuration options

In each section collect the options that will be combined to use with helm install.


There are some secrets that need to be created (e.g. SSH keys). By default they will be generated automatically, but if you want to specify them, you can follow the secrets guide.

Networking and DNS

By default, the chart relies on Kubernetes Service objects of type: LoadBalancer to expose GitLab services using name-based virtual servers configured withIngress objects. You’ll need to specify a domain which will contain records to resolve gitlab, registry, and minio (if enabled) to the appropriate IP for your chart.

Include these options in your Helm install command:


As an example:

With custom domain support enabled, a *.<pages domain> sub-domain, which by default is <pages domain>, becomes pages.<global.hosts.domain>, and will need to resolve to the external IP assigned to Pages (by --set global.pages.externalHttp or --set global.pages.externalHttps). To use custom domains, GitLab Pages can use a CNAME record pointing the custom domain to a corresponding <namespace>.<pages domain> domain.

Dynamic IPs with external-dns

If you plan to use an automatic DNS registration service like external-dns, you won’t need any additional configuration for GitLab, but you will need to deploy it to your cluster. If external-dns is your choice, the project page has a comprehensive guide for each supported provider.

If you enable custom domain support for GitLab Pages, external-dns will no longer work for the Pages domain (pages.<global.hosts.domain> by default), and you will have to manually configure DNS entry to point the domain to the external IP dedicated to Pages.

If you provisioned a GKE cluster using the scripts in this repository, external-dns is already installed in your cluster.

Static IP

If you plan to manually configure your DNS records they should all point to a static IP. For example if you choose and you have a static IP of, then, and (if using MinIO) should all resolve to

If you are using GKE, read more on creating the external IP and DNS entry. Consult your Cloud and/or DNS provider’s documentation for more help on this process.

Include these options in your Helm install command:

--set global.hosts.externalIP=


By default the chart will create Volume Claims with the expectation that a dynamic provisioner will create the underlying Persistent Volumes. If you would like to customize the storageClass or manually create and assign volumes, please review the storage documentation.

Important: After initial installation, making changes to your storage settings requires manually editing Kubernetes objects, so it’s best to plan ahead before installing your production instance of GitLab to avoid extra storage migration work.

TLS certificates

You should be running GitLab using https which requires TLS certificates. By default the chart will install and configure cert-manager to obtain free TLS certificates. If you have your own wildcard certificate, you already have cert-manager installed, or you have some other way of obtaining TLS certificates, read about more TLS options.

For the default configuration, you must specify an email address to register your TLS certificates.

Include these options in your Helm install command:



It’s recommended to set up an external production-ready PostgreSQL instance.

As of GitLab Chart 4.0.0, replication is available internally, but not enabled by default. Such functionality has not been load tested by GitLab.

By default, the GitLab Chart includes an in-cluster PostgreSQL deployment that is provided by bitnami/PostgreSQL. This is for trial purposes only and not recommended for use in production.
As of GitLab Chart 6.0, PostgreSQL 13 is the recommended default version.


It’s recommended to set up an external production-ready Redis instance. For all the available configuration settings, see the Redis globals documentation.

As of GitLab Chart 4.0.0, replication is available internally, but not enabled by default. Such functionality has not been load tested by GitLab.

By default, the GitLab Chart includes an in-cluster Redis deployment that is provided by bitnami/Redis. This is for trial purposes only and not recommended for use in production.


It’s recommended to set up an external production-ready object storage

By default, the GitLab chart provides an in-cluster MinIO deployment to provide an object storage API. A singleton, non-resilient Deployment is provided by our MinIO fork. This is for trial purposes only and not recommended for use in production.


We use the upstream Prometheus chart, and do not override values from our own defaults other than a customized prometheus.yml file to limit collection of metrics to the Kubernetes API and the objects created by the GitLab chart. We do, however, default disable alertmanager, nodeExporter, and pushgateway.

The prometheus.yml file instructs Prometheus to collect metrics from resources that have the annotation. In addition, the and annotations may be used to configure how metrics are discovered. Each of these annotations are comparable to the{scrape,path,port} annotations.

For users that may be monitoring or want to monitor the GitLab application with their installation of Prometheus, the original* annotations are still added to the appropriate Pods and Services. This allows continuity of metrics collection for existing users and provides the ability to use the default Prometheus configuration to capture both the GitLab application metrics and other applications running in a Kubernetes cluster.

Refer to the Prometheus chart documentation for the exhaustive list of configuration options and ensure they are sub-keys to prometheus, as we use this as requirement chart.

For instance, the requests for persistent storage can be controlled with:

    enabled: false
      enabled: false
      size: 2Gi
    enabled: false
      enabled: false
      size: 2Gi
      enabled: true
      size: 8Gi

Outgoing email

By default outgoing email is disabled. To enable it, provide details for your SMTP server using the global.smtp and settings. You can find details for these settings in the command line options.

If your SMTP server requires authentication make sure to read the section on providing your password in the secrets documentation. You can disable authentication settings with --set global.smtp.authentication="".

If your Kubernetes cluster is on GKE, be aware that SMTP port 25 is blocked.

Incoming email

The configuration of incoming email is now documented in the mailroom chart.

Service desk email

The configuration of incoming email is now documented in the mailroom chart.


This chart defaults to creating and using RBAC. If your cluster does not have RBAC enabled, you will need to disable these settings:

--set certmanager.rbac.create=false
--set nginx-ingress.rbac.createRole=false
--set prometheus.rbac.create=false
--set gitlab-runner.rbac.create=false

CPU and RAM Resource Requirements

The resource requests, and number of replicas for the GitLab components (not PostgreSQL, Redis, or MinIO) in this Chart are set by default to be adequate for a small production deployment. This is intended to fit in a cluster with at least 8vCPU and 30gb of RAM. If you are trying to deploy a non-production instance, you can reduce the defaults in order to fit into a smaller cluster.

The minimal GKE example values file provides an example of tuning the resources to fit within a 3vCPU 12gb cluster.

The minimal minikube example values file provides an example of tuning the resources to fit within a 2vCPU, 4gb minikube instance.

Deploy using Helm

Once you have all of your configuration options collected, we can get any dependencies and run Helm. In this example, we’ve named our Helm release gitlab.

helm repo add gitlab
helm repo update
helm upgrade --install gitlab gitlab/gitlab \
  --timeout 600s \
  --set \
  --set global.hosts.externalIP= \
  --set \
  --set postgresql.image.tag=13.6.0

Note the following:

  • All Helm commands are specified using Helm v3 syntax.
  • Helm v3 requires that the release name be specified as a positional argument on the command line unless the --generate-name option is used.
  • Helm v3 requires one to specify a duration with a unit appended to the value (e.g. 120s = 2m and 210s = 3m30s). The --timeout option is handled as the number of seconds without the unit specification.
  • The use of the --timeout option is deceptive in that there are multiple components that are deployed during an Helm install or upgrade in which the --timeout is applied. The --timeout value is applied to the installation of each component individually and not applied for the installation of all the components. So intending to abort the Helm install after 3 minutes by using --timeout=3m may result in the install completing after 5 minutes because none of the installed components took longer than 3 minutes to install.

You can also use --version <installation version> option if you would like to install a specific version of GitLab.

For mappings between chart versions and GitLab versions, read GitLab version mappings.

Instructions for installing a development branch rather than a tagged release can be found in the developer deploy documentation.

Monitoring the Deployment

This will output the list of resources installed once the deployment finishes which may take 5-10 minutes.

The status of the deployment can be checked by running helm status gitlab which can also be done while the deployment is taking place if you run the command in another terminal.

Initial login

You can access the GitLab instance by visiting the domain specified during installation. The default domain would be, unless the global host settings were changed. If you manually created the secret for initial root password, you can use that to sign in as root user. If not, GitLab would’ve automatically created a random password for root user. This can be extracted by the following command (replace <name> by name of the release - which is gitlab if you used the command above).

kubectl get secret <name>-gitlab-initial-root-password -ojsonpath='{.data.password}' | base64 --decode ; echo

Deploy the Community Edition

By default, the Helm charts use the Enterprise Edition of GitLab. The Enterprise Edition is a free, open core version of GitLab with the option of upgrading to a paid tier to unlock additional features. If desired, you can instead use the Community Edition which is licensed under the MIT Expat license. Learn more about the difference between the two.

To deploy the Community Edition, include this option in your Helm install command:

--set global.edition=ce

Install the product documentation

This is an optional step. See how to self-host the product documentation.