- Backup and restore configuration on a Linux package installation
- Creating an application backup
- Creating backups for GitLab instances in Docker containers
- Restoring an application backup
- Backup and restore using non-packaged database
- Upload backups to remote (cloud) storage
- Manually manage backup directory
It is recommended to keep a copy of
/etc/gitlab, or at least of
/etc/gitlab/gitlab-secrets.json, in a safe place. If you ever
need to restore a GitLab application backup you need to also restore
gitlab-secrets.json. If you do not, GitLab users who are using
two-factor authentication will lose access to your GitLab server
and ‘secure variables’ stored in GitLab CI will be lost.
It is not recommended to store your configuration backup in the same place as your application data backup, see below.
All configuration for Linux package installations is stored in
/etc/gitlab. To backup your
configuration, just run
sudo gitlab-ctl backup-etc (introduced in GitLab 12.3). It creates a tar
/etc/gitlab/config_backup/. Directory and backup files will be
readable only to root.
sudo gitlab-ctl backup-etc --backup-path <DIRECTORY>will place the backup in the specified directory. The directory will be created if it does not exist. Absolute paths are recommended.
To create a daily application backup, edit the cron table for user root:
sudo crontab -e -u root
The cron table will appear in an editor.
Enter the command to create a tar file containing the contents of
/etc/gitlab/. For example, schedule the backup to run every morning after a
weekday, Tuesday (day 2) through Saturday (day 6):
15 04 * * 2-6 gitlab-ctl backup-etc && cd /etc/gitlab/config_backup && cp $(ls -t | head -n1) /secret/gitlab/backups/
You can extract the tar file as follows.
# Rename the existing /etc/gitlab, if any sudo mv /etc/gitlab /etc/gitlab.$(date +%s) # Change the example timestamp below for your configuration backup sudo tar -xf gitlab_config_1487687824_2017_02_21.tar -C /
Remember to run
sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure after restoring a configuration
/etc/ssh/. Be sure to also backup and restore those keys to avoid man-in-the-middle attack warnings if you have to perform a full machine restore.
Introduced in GitLab 13.12.
GitLab configuration backups can be pruned using the same
backup_keep_time setting that is
used for the GitLab application backups
To make use of this setting, edit
## Limit backup lifetime to 7 days - 604800 seconds gitlab_rails['backup_keep_time'] = 604800
backup_keep_time setting is
0 - which keeps all GitLab configuration and application backups.
backup_keep_time is set - you can run
sudo gitlab-ctl backup-etc --delete-old-backups to prune all
backups older than the current time minus the
You can provide the parameter
--no-delete-old-backups if you want to keep all existing backups.
--delete-old-backups, which will delete any backups older than the current time minus the
backup_keep_timeis greater than 0.
Do not store your GitLab application backups (Git repositories, SQL
data) in the same place as your configuration backup (
gitlab-secrets.json file (and possibly also the
file) contain database encryption keys to protect sensitive data
in the SQL database:
- GitLab two-factor authentication (2FA) user secrets (‘QR codes’)
- GitLab CI ‘secure variables’
If you separate your configuration backup from your application data backup, you reduce the chance that your encrypted application data will be lost/leaked/stolen together with the keys needed to decrypt it.
To create a backup of your repositories and GitLab metadata, follow the backup create documentation.
Backup create will store a tar file in
If you want to store your GitLab backups in a different directory, add the
following setting to
/etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and run
gitlab_rails['backup_path'] = '/mnt/backups'
Backups can be scheduled on the host by prepending
docker exec -t <your container name> to the commands.
docker exec -t <your container name> gitlab-backup
Backup configuration and secrets:
docker exec -t <your container name> /bin/sh -c 'gitlab-ctl backup-etc && cd /etc/gitlab/config_backup && cp $(ls -t | head -n1) /secret/gitlab/backups/'
/var/opt/gitlabfor all application data, which includes backups.
gitlab-backuptool writes to this directory by default. While this directory is nested inside
/var/opt/gitlab, Docker sorts these mounts, allowing them to work in harmony.
This configuration enables, for example:
- Application data on regular local storage (through the second mount).
- A backup volume on network storage (through the third mount).
If you are using non-packaged database see documentation on using non-packaged database.
For details check backup restore document.
Linux package installations create the backup directory set with
gitlab_rails['backup_path']. The directory is owned by the user that is running GitLab and it has strict permissions set to be accessible to only that user.
That directory will hold backup archives and they contain sensitive information.
In some organizations permissions need to be different because of, for example, shipping the backup archives offsite.
To disable backup directory management, in
gitlab_rails['manage_backup_path'] = false
gitlab_rails['backup_path']and to set permissions which will allow user specified in
user['username']to have correct access. Failing to do so will prevent GitLab from creating the backup archive.