GitLab CI/CD include examples

You can use include to include external YAML files in your CI/CD jobs.

Include a single configuration file

To include a single configuration file, use either of these syntax options:

  • include by itself with a single file, which is the same as include:local:

    include: '/templates/.after-script-template.yml'
    
  • include with a single file, and you specify the include type:

    include:
      remote: 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/main/.before-script-template.yml'
    

Include an array of configuration files

You can include an array of configuration files:

  • If you do not specify an include type, the type defaults to include:local:

    include:
      - 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/main/.before-script-template.yml'
      - '/templates/.after-script-template.yml'
    
  • You can define a single item array:

    include:
      - remote: 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/main/.before-script-template.yml'
    
  • You can define an array and explicitly specify multiple include types:

    include:
      - remote: 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/main/.before-script-template.yml'
      - local: '/templates/.after-script-template.yml'
      - template: Auto-DevOps.gitlab-ci.yml
    
  • You can define an array that combines both default and specific include type:

    include:
      - 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/main/.before-script-template.yml'
      - '/templates/.after-script-template.yml'
      - template: Auto-DevOps.gitlab-ci.yml
      - project: 'my-group/my-project'
        ref: main
        file: '/templates/.gitlab-ci-template.yml'
    

Use default configuration from an included configuration file

You can define a default section in a configuration file. When you use a default section with the include keyword, the defaults apply to all jobs in the pipeline.

For example, you can use a default section with before_script.

Content of a custom configuration file named /templates/.before-script-template.yml:

default:
  before_script:
    - apt-get update -qq && apt-get install -y -qq sqlite3 libsqlite3-dev nodejs
    - gem install bundler --no-document
    - bundle install --jobs $(nproc)  "${FLAGS[@]}"

Content of .gitlab-ci.yml:

include: '/templates/.before-script-template.yml'

rspec1:
  script:
    - bundle exec rspec

rspec2:
  script:
    - bundle exec rspec

The default before_script commands execute in both rspec jobs, before the script commands.

Override included configuration values

When you use the include keyword, you can override the included configuration values to adapt them to your pipeline requirements.

The following example shows an include file that is customized in the .gitlab-ci.yml file. Specific YAML-defined variables and details of the production job are overridden.

Content of a custom configuration file named autodevops-template.yml:

variables:
  POSTGRES_USER: user
  POSTGRES_PASSWORD: testing_password
  POSTGRES_DB: $CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG

production:
  stage: production
  script:
    - install_dependencies
    - deploy
  environment:
    name: production
    url: https://$CI_PROJECT_PATH_SLUG.$KUBE_INGRESS_BASE_DOMAIN
  rules:
    - if: $CI_COMMIT_BRANCH == $CI_DEFAULT_BRANCH

Content of .gitlab-ci.yml:

include: 'https://company.com/autodevops-template.yml'

image: alpine:latest

variables:
  POSTGRES_USER: root
  POSTGRES_PASSWORD: secure_password

stages:
  - build
  - test
  - production

production:
  environment:
    url: https://domain.com

The POSTGRES_USER and POSTGRES_PASSWORD variables and the environment:url of the production job defined in the .gitlab-ci.yml file override the values defined in the autodevops-template.yml file. The other keywords do not change. This method is called merging.

Override included configuration arrays

You can use merging to extend and override configuration in an included template, but you cannot add or modify individual items in an array. For example, to add an additional notify_owner command to the extended production job’s script array:

Content of autodevops-template.yml:

production:
  stage: production
  script:
    - install_dependencies
    - deploy

Content of .gitlab-ci.yml:

include: 'autodevops-template.yml'

stages:
  - production

production:
  script:
    - install_dependencies
    - deploy
    - notify_owner

If install_dependencies and deploy are not repeated in the .gitlab-ci.yml file, the production job would have only notify_owner in the script.

Use nested includes

You can nest include sections in configuration files that are then included in another configuration. For example, for include keywords nested three deep:

Content of .gitlab-ci.yml:

include:
  - local: /.gitlab-ci/another-config.yml

Content of /.gitlab-ci/another-config.yml:

include:
  - local: /.gitlab-ci/config-defaults.yml

Content of /.gitlab-ci/config-defaults.yml:

default:
  after_script:
    - echo "Job complete."