Create redirects for GitLab Pages

Version history

In GitLab Pages, you can configure rules to forward one URL to another using Netlify style HTTP redirects.

Not all special options offered by Netlify are supported.

Feature Supported Example
Redirects (301, 302) Yes /wardrobe.html /narnia.html 302
Rewrites (200) Yes /* / 200
Splats Yes /news/* /blog/:splat
Placeholders Yes /news/:year/:month/:date /blog-:year-:month-:date.html
Rewrites (other than 200) No /en/* /en/404.html 404
Query parameters No /store id=:id /blog/:id 301
Force (shadowing) No /app/ /app/index.html 200!
Domain-level redirects No http://blog.example.com/* https://www.example.com/blog/:splat 301
Redirect by country or language No / /anz 302 Country=au,nz
Redirect by role No /admin/* 200! Role=admin
note
The matching behavior test cases are a good resource for understanding how GitLab implements rule matching in detail. Community contributions are welcome for any edge cases that aren’t included in this test suite!

Create redirects

To create redirects, create a configuration file named _redirects in the public/ directory of your GitLab Pages site.

Note that:

  • All paths must start with a forward slash /.
  • A default status code of 301 is applied if no status code is provided.
  • The _redirects file has a file size limit of 64KB and a maximum of 1,000 rules per project. Only the first 1,000 rules are processed.
  • If your GitLab Pages site uses the default domain name (such as namespace.gitlab.io/projectname) you must prefix every rule with the project name:

    /projectname/wardrobe.html /projectname/narnia.html 302
    
  • If your GitLab Pages site uses custom domains, no project name prefix is needed. For example, if your custom domain is example.com, your _redirects file would look like:

    /wardrobe.html /narnia.html 302
    

Files override redirects

Files take priority over redirects. If a file exists on disk, GitLab Pages serves the file instead of your redirect. For example, if the files hello.html and world.html exist, and the _redirects file contains the following line, the redirect is ignored because hello.html exists:

/projectname/hello.html /projectname/world.html 302

GitLab doesn’t support Netlify’s force option to change this behavior.

HTTP status codes

A default status code of 301 is applied if no status code is provided, but you can explicitly set your own. The following HTTP codes are supported:

  • 301: Permanent redirect.
  • 302: Temporary redirect.
  • 200: Standard response for successful HTTP requests. Pages serves the content in the to rule if it exists, without changing the URL in the address bar.

Redirects

Version history

To create a redirect, add a rule that includes a from path, a to path, and an HTTP status code:

# 301 permanent redirect
/old/file.html /new/file.html 301

# 302 temporary redirect
/old/another_file.html /new/another_file.html 302

Rewrites

Version history

Provide a status code of 200 to serve the content of the to path when the request matches the from:

/old/file.html /new/file.html 200

This status code can be used in combination with splat rules to dynamically rewrite the URL.

Splats

Introduced in GitLab 14.3.

A rule with an asterisk (*) in its from path, known as a splat, matches anything at the start, middle, or end of the requested path. This example matches anything after /old/ and rewrites it to /new/file.html:

/old/* /new/file.html 200

Splat placeholders

The content matched by a * in a rule’s from path can be injected into the to path using the :splat placeholder:

/old/* /new/:splat 200

In this example, a request to /old/file.html serves the contents of /new/file.html with a 200 status code.

If a rule’s from path includes multiple splats, the value of the first splat match replaces any :splats in the to path.

Splat matching behavior

Splats are “greedy” and match as many characters as possible:

/old/*/file /new/:splat/file 301

In this example, the rule redirects /old/a/b/c/file to /new/a/b/c/file.

Splats also match empty strings, so the previous rule redirects /old/file to /new/file.

Rewrite all requests to a root index.html

Single page applications (SPAs) often perform their own routing using client-side routes. For these applications, it’s important that all requests are rewritten to the root index.html so that the routing logic can be handled by the JavaScript application. You can do this with a _redirects rule like:

/* /index.html 200

Placeholders

Introduced in GitLab 14.3.

Use placeholders in rules to match portions of the requested URL and use these matches when rewriting or redirecting to a new URL.

A placehold is formatted as a : character followed by a string of letters ([a-zA-Z]+) in both the from and to paths:

/news/:year/:month/:date/:slug /blog/:year-:month-:date-:slug 200

This rule instructs Pages to respond to a request for /news/2021/08/12/file.html by serving the content of /blog/2021-08-12-file.html with a 200.

Placeholder matching behavior

Compared to splats, placeholders are more limited in how much content they match. Placeholders match text between forward slashes (/), so use placeholders to match single path segments.

In addition, placeholders do not match empty strings. A rule like the following would not match a request URL like /old/file:

/old/:path /new/:path

Debug redirect rules

If a redirect isn’t working as expected, or you want to check your redirect syntax, visit https://[namespace.gitlab.io]/projectname/_redirects, replacing [namespace.gitlab.io] with your domain name. The _redirects file isn’t served directly, but your browser displays a numbered list of your redirect rules, and whether the rule is valid or invalid:

11 rules
rule 1: valid
rule 2: valid
rule 3: error: splats are not supported
rule 4: valid
rule 5: error: placeholders are not supported
rule 6: valid
rule 7: error: no domain-level redirects to outside sites
rule 8: error: url path must start with forward slash /
rule 9: error: no domain-level redirects to outside sites
rule 10: valid
rule 11: valid

Differences from Netlify’s implementation

Most supported _redirects rules behave the same in both GitLab and Netlify. However, there are some minor differences:

  • All rule URLs must begin with a slash:

    Netlify does not require URLs to begin with a forward slash:

    # Valid in Netlify, invalid in GitLab
    */path /new/path 200
    

    GitLab validates that all URLs begin with a forward slash. A valid equivalent of the previous example:

    # Valid in both Netlify and GitLab
    /old/path /new/path 200
    
  • All placeholder values are populated:

    Netlify only populates placeholder values that appear in the to path:

    /old /new/:placeholder
    

    Given a request to /old:

    • Netlify redirects to /new/:placeholder (with a literal :placeholder).
    • GitLab redirects to /new/.

Features behind feature flags

Some Pages features are behind feature flags.

Feature flag for redirects

Redirects in GitLab Pages is under development, and is deployed behind a feature flag that is enabled by default.

To disable redirects, for Omnibus installations, define the FF_ENABLE_REDIRECTS environment variable in the global settings. Add the following line to /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and reconfigure the instance.

gitlab_pages['env']['FF_ENABLE_REDIRECTS'] = 'false'

For source installations, define the FF_ENABLE_REDIRECTS environment variable, then restart GitLab:

export FF_ENABLE_REDIRECTS="false"
/path/to/pages/bin/gitlab-pages -config gitlab-pages.conf

Feature flag for rewrites

Rewrites in GitLab Pages is under development, and is deployed behind a feature flag that is disabled by default.

To enable rewrites, for Omnibus installations, define the FF_ENABLE_PLACEHOLDERS environment variable in the global settings. Add the following line to /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and reconfigure the instance:

gitlab_pages['env']['FF_ENABLE_PLACEHOLDERS'] = 'true'

For source installations, define the FF_ENABLE_PLACEHOLDERS environment variable, then restart GitLab:

export FF_ENABLE_PLACEHOLDERS="true"
/path/to/pages/bin/gitlab-pages -config gitlab-pages.conf