Custom domains and SSL/TLS Certificates

Setting up GitLab Pages with custom domains, and adding SSL/TLS certificates to them, are optional features of GitLab Pages.

To use one or more custom domain names with your Pages site, you can:

Set up Pages with a custom domain

To set up Pages with a custom domain name, read the requirements and steps below.

Requirements

  • A GitLab Pages website up and running, served under the default Pages domain (*.gitlab.io, for GitLab.com).
  • A custom domain name example.com or subdomain subdomain.example.com.
  • Access to your domain’s server control panel to set up DNS records:
    • A DNS A or CNAME record pointing your domain to GitLab Pages server.
    • A DNS TXT record to verify your domain’s ownership.

Steps

Follow the steps below to add your custom domain to Pages. See also this document for an overview on DNS records.

1. Add a custom domain to Pages

Navigate to your project’s Setting > Pages and click + New domain to add your custom domain to GitLab Pages. You can choose whether to:

Click Create New Domain.

Add new domain

2. Get the verification code

Once you have added a new domain to Pages, the verification code will be prompted to you. Copy the values from GitLab and paste them in your domain’s control panel as a TXT record on the next step.

Get the verification code

3. Set up DNS records for Pages

Read this document for an overview of DNS records for Pages. If you’re familiar with the subject, follow the instructions below according to the type of domain you want to use with your Pages site:

For root domains

Root domains (example.com) require:

From DNS Record To
example.com A 35.185.44.232
_gitlab-pages-verification-code.example.com TXT gitlab-pages-verification-code=00112233445566778899aabbccddeeff

For projects on GitLab.com, this IP is 35.185.44.232. For projects living in other GitLab instances (CE or EE), please contact your sysadmin asking for this information (which IP address is Pages server running on your instance).

DNS A record pointing to GitLab.com Pages server

Caution: Note that if you use your root domain for your GitLab Pages website only, and if your domain registrar supports this feature, you can add a DNS apex CNAME record instead of an A record. The main advantage of doing so is that when GitLab Pages IP on GitLab.com changes for whatever reason, you don’t need to update your A record. There may be a few exceptions, but this method is not recommended as it most likely won’t work if you set an MX record for your root domain.
For subdomains

Subdomains (subdomain.example.com) require:

  • A DNS CNAME record record pointing your subdomain to the Pages server.
  • A DNS TXT record to verify your domain’s ownership.
From DNS Record To
subdomain.example.com CNAME namespace.gitlab.io
_gitlab-pages-verification-code.subdomain.example.com TXT gitlab-pages-verification-code=00112233445566778899aabbccddeeff

Note that, whether it’s a user or a project website, the CNAME should point to your Pages domain (namespace.gitlab.io), without any /project-name.

DNS CNAME record pointing to GitLab.com project

For both root and subdomains

There are a few cases where you need point both subdomain and root domain to the same website, for instance, example.com and www.example.com.

They require:

  • A DNS A record for the domain.
  • A DNS CNAME record for the subdomain.
  • A DNS TXT record for each.
From DNS Record To
example.com A 35.185.44.232
_gitlab-pages-verification-code.example.com TXT gitlab-pages-verification-code=00112233445566778899aabbccddeeff
www.example.com CNAME namespace.gitlab.io
_gitlab-pages-verification-code.www.example.com TXT gitlab-pages-verification-code=00112233445566778899aabbccddeeff

If you’re using CloudFlare, check Redirecting www.domain.com to domain.com with Cloudflare.

Notes:

  • Do not use a CNAME record if you want to point your domain.com to your GitLab Pages site. Use an A record instead.
  • Do not add any special chars after the default Pages domain. E.g., don’t point subdomain.domain.com to or namespace.gitlab.io/. Some domain hosting providers may request a trailling dot (namespace.gitlab.io.), though.
  • GitLab Pages IP on GitLab.com was changed in 2017.
  • GitLab Pages IP on GitLab.com has changed from 52.167.214.135 to 35.185.44.232 in 2018.

4. Verify the domain’s ownership

Once you have added all the DNS records:

  1. Go back at your project’s Settings > Pages.
  2. Locate your domain name and click Details.
  3. Click the Retry verification button to activate your new domain.

Verify your domain

As soon as your domain becomes active, your website will be available through your domain name.

Caution: Considering GitLab instances with domain verification enabled, if the domain cannot be verified for 7 days, it will be removed from the GitLab project.

Notes:

  • Domain verification is required for GitLab.com users; for GitLab self-managed instances, your GitLab administrator has the option to disabled custom domain verification.
  • DNS propagation may take some time (up to 24h), although it’s usually a matter of minutes to complete. Until it does, verification will fail and attempts to visit your domain will respond with a 404.
  • Once your domain has been verified, leave the verification record in place: your domain will be periodically reverified, and may be disabled if the record is removed.

Adding more domain aliases

You can add more than one alias (custom domains and subdomains) to the same project. An alias can be understood as having many doors leading to the same room.

All the aliases you’ve set to your site will be listed on Setting > Pages. From that page, you can view, add, and remove them.

Redirecting www.domain.com to domain.com with Cloudflare

If you use Cloudflare, you can redirect www to domain.com without adding both www.domain.com and domain.com to GitLab.

To do so, you can use Cloudflare’s page rules associated to a CNAME record to redirect www.domain.com to domain.com. You can use the following setup:

  1. In Cloudflare, create a DNS A record pointing domain.com to 35.185.44.232.
  2. In GitLab, add the domain to GitLab Pages and get the verification code.
  3. In Cloudflare, create a DNS TXT record to verify your domain.
  4. In GitLab, verify your domain.
  5. In Cloudflare, create a DNS CNAME record pointing www to domain.com.
  6. In Cloudflare, add a Page Rule pointing www.domain.com to domain.com:
    • Navigate to your domain’s dashboard and click Page Rules on the top nav.
    • Click Create Page Rule.
    • Enter the domain www.domain.com and click + Add a Setting.
    • From the dropdown menu, choose Forwarding URL, then select the status code 301 - Permanent Redirect.
    • Enter the destination URL https://domain.com.

Adding an SSL/TLS certificate to Pages

Read this document for an overview on SSL/TLS certification.

To secure your custom domain with GitLab Pages you can opt by:

  • Using the Let’s Encrypt integration with GitLab Pages, which automatically obtains and renews SSL certificates for your Pages domains.
  • Manually adding SSL/TLS certificates to GitLab Pages websites by following the steps below.

Requirements

  • A GitLab Pages website up and running accessible via a custom domain.
  • A PEM certificate: it is the certificate generated by the CA, which needs to be added to the field Certificate (PEM).
  • An intermediate certificate: (aka “root certificate”), it is the part of the encryption keychain that identifies the CA. Usually it’s combined with the PEM certificate, but there are some cases in which you need to add them manually. CloudFlare certs are one of these cases.
  • A private key, it’s an encrypted key which validates your PEM against your domain.

Steps

  • To add the certificate at the time you add a new domain, go to your project’s Settings > Pages > New Domain, add the domain name and the certificate.
  • To add the certificate to a domain previously added, go to your project’s Settings > Pages, locate your domain name, click Details and Edit to add the certificate.

Pages project - adding certificates

  1. Add the PEM certificate to its corresponding field.
  2. If your certificate is missing its intermediate, copy and paste the root certificate (usually available from your CA website) and paste it in the same field as your PEM certificate, just jumping a line between them.
  3. Copy your private key and paste it in the last field.
Note: Do not open certificates or encryption keys in regular text editors. Always use code editors (such as Sublime Text, Atom, Dreamweaver, Brackets, etc).

Force HTTPS for GitLab Pages websites

Introduced in GitLab 10.7.

To make your website’s visitors even more secure, you can choose to force HTTPS for GitLab Pages. By doing so, all attempts to visit your website via HTTP will be automatically redirected to HTTPS via 301.

It works with both GitLab’s default domain and with your custom domain (as long as you’ve set a valid certificate for it).

To enable this setting:

  1. Navigate to your project’s Settings > Pages.
  2. Tick the checkbox Force HTTPS (requires valid certificates).