Upgrading software components

The Linux package is created from a series of software components, some of which are developed by GitLab and others which are sourced from free and open source projects. Software components can be updated individually as new features, bug fixes, and security vulnerabilities become available.

Software component upgrades can be risky, especially when non-backwards compatible changes are made. Considering Semantic versioning], examining changelogs, and examining release notes can give a sense of the amount of risk involved in an upgrade. In all cases, upgrades should be thoroughly tested before merging.

The CNG project uses some of these same software components. Components common to both projects should be updated in both.

Types of software components

There are two types of software components used in the Linux package:

  • External software components
  • Internal software components

External software components

External software components source is downloaded directly from an external site or copied from the omnibus-mirror repository. A component can be provided using a git clone, extracting from a source tarball, performing a gem install (for Ruby modules), or performing a pip install (for Python modules).

Internal software components

Internal software component are developed by GitLab and external contributors. Source for internal software components is downloaded from a project’s GitLab repository. Versions used in a build are set by the Git reference contained in the project’s corresponding *VERSION files. These versions can be overridden by environment variables. For more information, see Use specific branches or versions of a GitLab component.

Updates to internal software components are done by merge requests in the corresponding repository.

Internal software component update workflow

A typical workflow for updating an internal software component.

Create a fork/branch

External contributors should create a fork of the gitlab-org/omnibus-gitlab repository.

Create a new branch from the target branch (usually master of the gitlab-org/omnibus-gitlab repository.

Modify config/software/<component.rb>

  1. Find the corresponding configure file for the component that you want to update in the config/software directory. For example config/software/prometheus.rb is used for the Prometheus component.

  2. Change the version to the version you want to update to. If applicable, also change the corresponding sha256 to the value of the corresponding version source tarball.

Add or modify any required patches

The new component version may require:

  • Adding new patches.
  • Removing existing patches.
  • Changing existing patches.

All patch files go in config/patches/<component name>. They are then referenced in the corresponding config/software/<component name>.rb file. Examples can be found at:

Push branch

Push the branch to the to the upstream repository.

Create merge request (MR)

Create a merge request using your development branch and the target branch.


Build the Linux package either:

You must build on all architectures using the CI/CD system before a merge request for an updated software component can be accepted.


Install the resulting Linux package and test the component changes.

Testing software component updates

Minimum test requirements

At a minimum, the following tests should be performed when updating a software component.

  • Perform a successful GitLab Enterprise Edition (EE) build on all supported platforms.
  • Run qa-subset-test as well as manual qa-remaining-test-manual CI/CD test job for both GitLab Enterprise Edition and GitLab Community Edition.
  • Install and verify that component version has been upgraded.
  • Verify basic functionality of the software component.

Additional testing is almost always required and varies depending on the software component.

Test plans

Here are test plans for individual components. They are meant to be copied into the merge request where their execution can be recorded.

Not every component is listed here. Please consider creating a merge request to add one for a component upgrade that you are working on. Use test-plans/upgrade-component-testplan-template.md as a starting point.

These test plans are not exhaustive. The might need to be supplemented depending on the degree of change made to the component. Record these additions in the merge request and consider adding them here. Use the following filename pattern when creating the test plan file:


And add a link in test-plans/index.md.