Installing GitLab on Google Cloud Platform

This guide will help you install GitLab on a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) using the official GitLab Linux package. You should customize it to accommodate your needs.

note
To deploy production-ready GitLab on Google Kubernetes Engine, you can follow Google Cloud Platform’s Click to Deploy steps It’s an alternative to using a GCP VM, and uses the Cloud native GitLab Helm chart.

Prerequisites

There are only two prerequisites in order to install GitLab on GCP:

  1. You need to have a Google account.
  2. You need to sign up for the GCP program. If this is your first time, Google gives you $300 credit for free to consume over a 60-day period.

Once you have performed those two steps, you can create a VM.

Creating the VM

To deploy GitLab on GCP you first need to create a virtual machine:

  1. Go to https://console.cloud.google.com/compute/instances and log in with your Google credentials.
  2. Click on Create

    Search for GitLab

  3. On the next page, you can select the type of VM as well as the estimated costs. Provide the name of the instance, desired data center, and machine type. Note our hardware requirements for different user base sizes.

    Launch on Compute Engine

  4. To select the size, type, and desired operating system, click Change under Boot disk. Click Select when finished.

  5. As a last step allow HTTP and HTTPS traffic, then click Create. The process finishes in a few seconds.

Installing GitLab

After a few seconds, the instance is created and available to log in. The next step is to install GitLab onto the instance.

Deploy settings

  1. Make a note of the external IP address of the instance, as you will need that in a later step.
  2. Click on the SSH button to connect to the instance.
  3. A new window appears, with you logged into the instance.

    GitLab first sign in

  4. Next, follow the instructions for installing GitLab for the operating system you choose, at https://about.gitlab.com/install/. You can use the external IP address you noted before as the hostname.

  5. Congratulations! GitLab is now installed and you can access it via your browser. To finish installation, open the URL in your browser and provide the initial administrator password. The username for this account is root.

    GitLab first sign in

Next steps

These are the most important next steps to take after you installed GitLab for the first time.

Assigning a static IP

By default, Google assigns an ephemeral IP to your instance. It is strongly recommended to assign a static IP if you are using GitLab in production and use a domain name as shown below.

Read Google’s documentation on how to promote an ephemeral IP address.

Using a domain name

Assuming you have a domain name in your possession and you have correctly set up DNS to point to the static IP you configured in the previous step, here’s how you configure GitLab to be aware of the change:

  1. SSH into the VM. You can easily use the SSH button in the Google console and a new window pops up.

    SSH button

    In the future you might want to set up connecting with an SSH key instead.

  2. Edit the configuration file of Omnibus GitLab using your favorite text editor:

    sudo vim /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb
    
  3. Set the external_url value to the domain name you wish GitLab to have without https:

    external_url 'http://gitlab.example.com'
    

    We will set up HTTPS in the next step, no need to do this now.

  4. Reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect:

    sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    
  5. You can now visit GitLab using the domain name.

Configuring HTTPS with the domain name

Although not needed, it’s strongly recommended to secure GitLab with a TLS certificate. Follow the steps in the Omnibus documentation.

Configuring the email SMTP settings

You need to configure the email SMTP settings correctly otherwise GitLab cannot send notification emails, like comments, and password changes. Check the Omnibus documentation how to do so.

Further reading

GitLab can be configured to authenticate with other OAuth providers, like LDAP, SAML, and Kerberos. Here are some documents you might be interested in reading: