- Backup and restore Omnibus GitLab configuration
- 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 Omnibus GitLab is stored in
/etc/gitlab. To backup your
configuration, just run
sudo gitlab-ctl backup-etc. It will create a tar
/etc/gitlab/config_backup/. Directory and backup files will be
readable only to root.
sudo gitlab-ctl backup-etc <DIRECTORY>will place the backup in the specified directory. The directory will be created if it does not exist. Absolute paths are recommended.
backup-etcintroduced in GitLab 12.3.
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 compressed 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 $(ls -t | head -n1) /secret/gitlab/backups/
cron is rather particular about the cron table. Note:
- The empty line after the command
- The escaped percent character: \%
You can extract the .tar file as follows.
# Rename the existing /etc/gitlab, if any sudo mv /etc/gitlab /etc/gitlab.$(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.
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 'umask 0077; tar cfz /secret/gitlab/backups/$(date "+etc-gitlab-\%s.tgz") -C / etc/gitlab'
Note: You need to have volumes mounted at
/var/opt/gitlabin order to have these backups persisted outside the container.
If you are using non-packaged database see documentation on using non-packaged database.
For details check backup restore document of GitLab CE.
Omnibus GitLab creates 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
Warning If you set this configuration option, it is up to you to create the directory specified in
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.