GitLab Pages integration with Let’s Encrypt

Introduced in GitLab 12.1. For versions earlier than GitLab 12.1, see the manual Let’s Encrypt instructions.

The GitLab Pages integration with Let’s Encrypt (LE) allows you to use LE certificates for your Pages website with custom domains without the hassle of having to issue and update them yourself; GitLab does it for you, out-of-the-box.

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open source Certificate Authority.

Caution: This feature covers only certificates for custom domains, not the wildcard certificate required to run Pages daemon . Wildcard certificate generation is tracked in this issue.

Requirements

Before you can enable automatic provisioning of an SSL certificate for your domain, make sure you have:

  • Created a project in GitLab containing your website’s source code.
  • Acquired a domain (example.com) and added a DNS entry pointing it to your Pages website.
  • Added your domain to your Pages project and verified your ownership.
  • Verified your website is up and running, accessible through your custom domain.
Note: GitLab’s Let’s Encrypt integration is enabled and available on GitLab.com. For self-managed GitLab instances, make sure your administrator has enabled it.

Enabling Let’s Encrypt integration for your custom domain

Once you’ve met the requirements, enable Let’s Encrypt integration:

  1. Navigate to your project’s Settings > Pages.
  2. Find your domain and click Details.
  3. Click Edit in the top-right corner.
  4. Enable Let’s Encrypt integration by switching Automatic certificate management using Let’s Encrypt:

    Enable Let's Encrypt

  5. Click Save changes.

Once enabled, GitLab will obtain a LE certificate and add it to the associated Pages domain. It also will be renewed automatically by GitLab.

Notes:

  • Issuing the certificate and updating Pages configuration can take up to an hour.
  • If you already have SSL certificate in domain settings it will continue to work until it will be replaced by Let’s Encrypt’s certificate.

Troubleshooting

Error “Something went wrong while obtaining the Let’s Encrypt certificate”

Introduced in GitLab 13.0.

If you get an error Something went wrong while obtaining the Let’s Encrypt certificate, you can try obtaining the certificate again by following these steps:

  1. Go to your project’s Settings > Pages.
  2. Click Edit on your domain.
  3. Click Retry.
  4. If you’re still seeing the same error:
    1. Make sure you have properly set only one CNAME or A DNS record for your domain.
    2. Make sure your domain doesn’t have an AAAA DNS record.
    3. If you have a CAA DNS record for your domain or any higher level domains, make sure it includes letsencrypt.org.
    4. Make sure your domain is verified.
    5. Go to step 1.

Message “GitLab is obtaining a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for this domain. This process can take some time. Please try again later.” hangs for more than an hour

If you’ve enabled Let’s Encrypt integration, but a certificate is absent after an hour and you see the message, “GitLab is obtaining a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for this domain. This process can take some time. Please try again later.”, try to remove and add the domain for GitLab Pages again by following these steps:

  1. Go to your project’s Settings > Pages.
  2. Click Remove on your domain.
  3. Add the domain again and verify it.
  4. Enable Let’s Encrypt integration for your domain.
  5. If you still see the same message after some time:
    1. Make sure you have properly set only one CNAME or A DNS record for your domain.
    2. Make sure your domain doesn’t have an AAAA DNS record.
    3. If you have a CAA DNS record for your domain or any higher level domains, make sure it includes letsencrypt.org.
    4. Go to step 1.