GitLab Git LFS Administration

Documentation on how to use Git LFS are under Managing large binary files with Git LFS doc.


  • Git LFS is supported in GitLab starting with version 8.2.
  • Support for object storage, such as AWS S3, was introduced in 10.0.
  • Users need to install Git LFS client version 1.0.1 and up.


Git LFS objects can be large in size. By default, they are stored on the server GitLab is installed on.

There are various configuration options to help GitLab server administrators:

  • Enabling/disabling Git LFS support
  • Changing the location of LFS object storage
  • Setting up AWS S3 compatible object storage

Configuration for Omnibus installations

In /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

# Change to true to enable lfs
gitlab_rails['lfs_enabled'] = false

# Optionally, change the storage path location. Defaults to
# `#{gitlab_rails['shared_path']}/lfs-objects`. Which evaluates to
# `/var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/shared/lfs-objects` by default.
gitlab_rails['lfs_storage_path'] = "/mnt/storage/lfs-objects"

Configuration for installations from source

In config/gitlab.yml:

# Change to true to enable lfs
    enabled: false
    storage_path: /mnt/storage/lfs-objects

Storing the LFS objects in an S3-compatible object storage

Introduced in GitLab Premium 10.0. Brought to GitLab Core in 10.7.

It is possible to store LFS objects on a remote object storage which allows you to offload storage to an external AWS S3 compatible service, freeing up disk space locally. You can also host your own S3 compatible storage decoupled from GitLab, with with a service such as Minio.

Object storage currently transfers files first to GitLab, and then on the object storage in a second stage. This can be done either by using a rake task to transfer existing objects, or in a background job after each file is received.

The following general settings are supported.

Setting Description Default
enabled Enable/disable object storage false
remote_directory The bucket name where LFS objects will be stored
direct_upload Set to true to enable direct upload of LFS without the need of local shared storage. Option may be removed once we decide to support only single storage for all files. false
background_upload Set to false to disable automatic upload. Option may be removed once upload is direct to S3 true
proxy_download Set to true to enable proxying all files served. Option allows to reduce egress traffic as this allows clients to download directly from remote storage instead of proxying all data false
connection Various connection options described below

The connection settings match those provided by Fog.

Setting Description Default
provider Always AWS for compatible hosts AWS
aws_access_key_id AWS credentials, or compatible
aws_secret_access_key AWS credentials, or compatible
region AWS region us-east-1
host S3 compatible host for when not using AWS, e.g. localhost or
endpoint Can be used when configuring an S3 compatible service such as Minio, by entering a URL such as (optional)
path_style Set to true to use host/bucket_name/object style paths instead of Leave as false for AWS S3 false

S3 for Omnibus installations

On Omnibus installations, the settings are prefixed by lfs_object_store_:

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add the following lines by replacing with the values you want:

    gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_enabled'] = true
    gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_remote_directory'] = "lfs-objects"
    gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_connection'] = {
      'provider' => 'AWS',
      'region' => 'eu-central-1',
      'aws_access_key_id' => '1ABCD2EFGHI34JKLM567N',
      'aws_secret_access_key' => 'abcdefhijklmnopQRSTUVwxyz0123456789ABCDE',
      # The below options configure an S3 compatible host instead of AWS
      'host' => 'localhost',
      'endpoint' => '',
      'path_style' => true
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLabs for the changes to take effect.

  3. Migrate any existing local LFS objects to the object storage:

    gitlab-rake gitlab:lfs:migrate

    This will migrate existing LFS objects to object storage. New LFS objects will be forwarded to object storage unless gitlab_rails['lfs_object_store_background_upload'] is set to false.

S3 for installations from source

For source installations the settings are nested under lfs: and then object_store::

  1. Edit /home/git/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml and add or amend the following lines:

    enabled: true
      enabled: false
      remote_directory: lfs-objects # Bucket name
        provider: AWS
        aws_access_key_id: 1ABCD2EFGHI34JKLM567N
        aws_secret_access_key: abcdefhijklmnopQRSTUVwxyz0123456789ABCDE
        region: eu-central-1
        # Use the following options to configure an AWS compatible host such as Minio
        host: 'localhost'
        endpoint: ''
        path_style: true
  2. Save the file and restart GitLab for the changes to take effect.

  3. Migrate any existing local LFS objects to the object storage:

    sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:lfs:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

    This will migrate existing LFS objects to object storage. New LFS objects will be forwarded to object storage unless background_upload is set to false.

Storage statistics

You can see the total storage used for LFS objects on groups and projects in the administration area, as well as through the groups and projects APIs.

Known limitations

  • Support for removing unreferenced LFS objects was added in 8.14 onwards.
  • LFS authentications via SSH was added with GitLab 8.12
  • Only compatible with the GitLFS client versions 1.1.0 and up, or 1.0.2.
  • The storage statistics currently count each LFS object multiple times for every project linking to it