GitLab Git Large File Storage (LFS) Administration

Documentation on how to use Git LFS are under Managing large binary files with Git LFS doc.

Requirements

  • Git LFS is supported in GitLab starting with version 8.2.
  • Support for object storage, such as AWS S3, was introduced in 10.0.
  • Users need to install Git LFS client version 1.0.1 and up.

Configuration

Git LFS objects can be large in size. By default, they are stored on the server GitLab is installed on.

There are various configuration options to help GitLab server administrators:

  • Enabling/disabling Git LFS support
  • Changing the location of LFS object storage
  • Setting up object storage supported by Fog

Configuration for Omnibus installations

In /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

# Change to true to enable lfs - enabled by default if not defined
gitlab_rails['lfs_enabled'] = false

# Optionally, change the storage path location. Defaults to
# `#{gitlab_rails['shared_path']}/lfs-objects`. Which evaluates to
# `/var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/shared/lfs-objects` by default.
gitlab_rails['lfs_storage_path'] = "/mnt/storage/lfs-objects"

Configuration for installations from source

In config/gitlab.yml:

# Change to true to enable lfs
  lfs:
    enabled: false
    storage_path: /mnt/storage/lfs-objects

Storing LFS objects in remote object storage

Introduced in GitLab Premium 10.0. Brought to GitLab Core in 10.7.

It is possible to store LFS objects in remote object storage which allows you to offload local hard disk R/W operations, and free up disk space significantly. GitLab is tightly integrated with Fog, so you can refer to its documentation to check which storage services can be integrated with GitLab. You can also use external object storage in a private local network. For example, MinIO is a standalone object storage service, is easy to set up, and works well with GitLab instances.

GitLab provides two different options for the uploading mechanism: “Direct upload” and “Background upload”.

Read more about using object storage with GitLab.

Note: In GitLab 13.2 and later, we recommend using the consolidated object storage settings. This section describes the earlier configuration format.

Option 1. Direct upload

  1. User pushes an lfs file to the GitLab instance
  2. GitLab-workhorse uploads the file directly to the external object storage
  3. GitLab-workhorse notifies GitLab-rails that the upload process is complete

Option 2. Background upload

  1. User pushes an lfs file to the GitLab instance
  2. GitLab-rails stores the file in the local file storage
  3. GitLab-rails then uploads the file to the external object storage asynchronously

The following general settings are supported.

Setting Description Default
enabled Enable/disable object storage false
remote_directory The bucket name where LFS objects will be stored  
direct_upload Set to true to enable direct upload of LFS without the need of local shared storage. Option may be removed once we decide to support only single storage for all files. false
background_upload Set to false to disable automatic upload. Option may be removed once upload is direct to S3 true
proxy_download Set to true to enable proxying all files served. Option allows to reduce egress traffic as this allows clients to download directly from remote storage instead of proxying all data false
connection Various connection options described below  

See the available connection settings for different providers.

Here is a configuration example with S3.

Manual uploading to an object storage

There are two ways to manually do the same thing as automatic uploading (described above).

Option 1: Rake task

gitlab-rake gitlab:lfs:migrate

Option 2: Rails console

Log into the Rails console:

sudo gitlab-rails console

Upload LFS files manually

LfsObject.where(file_store: [nil, 1]).find_each do |lfs_object|
  lfs_object.file.migrate!(ObjectStorage::Store::REMOTE) if lfs_object.file.file.exists?
end

S3 for Omnibus installations

On Omnibus installations, the settings are prefixed by lfs_object_store_:

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add the following lines by replacing with the values you want:

    gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_enabled'] = true
    gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_remote_directory'] = "lfs-objects"
    gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_connection'] = {
      'provider' => 'AWS',
      'region' => 'eu-central-1',
      'aws_access_key_id' => '1ABCD2EFGHI34JKLM567N',
      'aws_secret_access_key' => 'abcdefhijklmnopQRSTUVwxyz0123456789ABCDE',
      # The below options configure an S3 compatible host instead of AWS
      'host' => 'localhost',
      'endpoint' => 'http://127.0.0.1:9000',
      'path_style' => true
    }
    
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect.
  3. Migrate any existing local LFS objects to the object storage:

    gitlab-rake gitlab:lfs:migrate
    

    This will migrate existing LFS objects to object storage. New LFS objects will be forwarded to object storage unless gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_background_upload'] and gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_direct_upload'] is set to false.

  4. Optional: Verify all files migrated properly. From PostgreSQL console (sudo gitlab-psql -d gitlabhq_production) verify objectstg below (where file_store=2) has count of all artifacts:

    gitlabhq_production=# SELECT count(*) AS total, sum(case when file_store = '1' then 1 else 0 end) AS filesystem, sum(case when file_store = '2' then 1 else 0 end) AS objectstg FROM lfs_objects;
    
    total | filesystem | objectstg
    ------+------------+-----------
     2409 |          0 |      2409
    

    Verify no files on disk in artifacts folder:

    sudo find /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/shared/lfs-objects -type f | grep -v tmp/cache | wc -l
    

S3 for installations from source

For source installations the settings are nested under lfs: and then object_store::

  1. Edit /home/git/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml and add or amend the following lines:

    lfs:
    enabled: true
    object_store:
      enabled: false
      remote_directory: lfs-objects # Bucket name
      connection:
        provider: AWS
        aws_access_key_id: 1ABCD2EFGHI34JKLM567N
        aws_secret_access_key: abcdefhijklmnopQRSTUVwxyz0123456789ABCDE
        region: eu-central-1
        # Use the following options to configure an AWS compatible host such as Minio
        host: 'localhost'
        endpoint: 'http://127.0.0.1:9000'
        path_style: true
    
  2. Save the file and restart GitLab for the changes to take effect.
  3. Migrate any existing local LFS objects to the object storage:

    sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:lfs:migrate RAILS_ENV=production
    

    This will migrate existing LFS objects to object storage. New LFS objects will be forwarded to object storage unless background_upload and direct_upload is set to false.

  4. Optional: Verify all files migrated properly. From PostgreSQL console (sudo -u git -H psql -d gitlabhq_production) verify objectstg below (where file_store=2) has count of all artifacts:

    gitlabhq_production=# SELECT count(*) AS total, sum(case when file_store = '1' then 1 else 0 end) AS filesystem, sum(case when file_store = '2' then 1 else 0 end) AS objectstg FROM lfs_objects;
    
    total | filesystem | objectstg
    ------+------------+-----------
     2409 |          0 |      2409
    

    Verify no files on disk in artifacts folder:

    sudo find /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/shared/lfs-objects -type f | grep -v tmp/cache | wc -l
    

Migrating back to local storage

In order to migrate back to local storage:

  1. Set both direct_upload and background_upload to false under the LFS object storage settings. Don’t forget to restart GitLab.
  2. Run rake gitlab:lfs:migrate_to_local on your console.
  3. Disable object_storage for LFS objects in gitlab.rb. Remember to restart GitLab afterwards.

Storage statistics

You can see the total storage used for LFS objects on groups and projects in the administration area, as well as through the groups and projects APIs.

Troubleshooting: Google::Apis::TransmissionError: execution expired

If LFS integration is configured with Google Cloud Storage and background uploads (background_upload: true and direct_upload: false), Sidekiq workers may encounter this error. This is because the uploading timed out with very large files. LFS files up to 6Gb can be uploaded without any extra steps, otherwise you need to use the following workaround.

Log into Rails console:

sudo gitlab-rails console

Set up timeouts:

  • These settings are only in effect for the same session. For example, they are not effective for Sidekiq workers.
  • 20 minutes (1200 sec) is enough to upload 30GB LFS files:
::Google::Apis::ClientOptions.default.open_timeout_sec = 1200
::Google::Apis::ClientOptions.default.read_timeout_sec = 1200
::Google::Apis::ClientOptions.default.send_timeout_sec = 1200

Upload LFS files manually (this process does not use Sidekiq at all):

LfsObject.where(file_store: [nil, 1]).find_each do |lfs_object|
  lfs_object.file.migrate!(ObjectStorage::Store::REMOTE) if lfs_object.file.file.exists?
end

See more information in !19581

Known limitations

  • Support for removing unreferenced LFS objects was added in 8.14 onward.
  • LFS authentications via SSH was added with GitLab 8.12.
  • Only compatible with the Git LFS client versions 1.1.0 and up, or 1.0.2.
  • The storage statistics currently count each LFS object multiple times for every project linking to it.