GitLab Documentation

Updating GitLab via omnibus-gitlab

Updating GitLab via omnibus-gitlab

This document will help you update Omnibus GitLab.

Documentation version

Please make sure you are viewing this file on the master branch.

Updating using the official repositories

If you have installed Omnibus GitLab Community Edition or Enterprise Edition, then the official GitLab repository should have already been set up for you.

To update to a newer GitLab version, all you have to do is:

# Debian/Ubuntu
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gitlab-ce

# Centos/RHEL
sudo yum install gitlab-ce

If you are an Enterprise Edition user, replace gitlab-ce with gitlab-ee in the above commands.

Updating by manually downloading the official packages

If for some reason you don't use the official repositories, it is possible to download the package and install it manually.

  1. Visit the Community Edition repository or the Enterprise Edition repository depending on the edition you already have installed.
  2. Find the package version you wish to install and click on it.
  3. Click the 'Download' button in the upper right corner to download the package.
  4. Once the GitLab package is downloaded, install it using the following commands, replacing XXX with the Omnibus GitLab version you downloaded:

    # Debian/Ubuntu
    dpkg -i gitlab-ce-XXX.deb
    # CentOS/RHEL
    rpm -Uvh gitlab-ce-XXX.rpm

    If you are an Enterprise Edition user, replace gitlab-ce with gitlab-ee in the above commands.

From Community Edition to Enterprise Edition

Note: Make sure you have retrieved your license file before installing GitLab Enterprise Edition, otherwise you will not be able to use certain features.

To upgrade an existing GitLab Community Edition (CE) server, installed using the Omnibus packages, to GitLab Enterprise Edition (EE), all you have to do is install the EE package on top of CE. While upgrading from the same version of CE to EE is not explicitly necessary, and any standard upgrade jump (i.e. 8.0 to 8.7) should work, in the following steps we assume that you are upgrading the same versions.

The steps can be summed up to:

  1. Find the currently installed GitLab version:

    For Debian/Ubuntu

    sudo apt-cache policy gitlab-ce | grep Installed

    The output should be similar to: Installed: 8.6.7-ce.0. In that case, the equivalent Enterprise Edition version will be: 8.6.7-ee.0. Write this value down.

    For CentOS/RHEL

    sudo rpm -q gitlab-ce

    The output should be similar to: gitlab-ce-8.6.7-ce.0.el7.x86_64. In that case, the equivalent Enterprise Edition version will be: gitlab-ee-8.6.7-ee.0.el7.x86_64. Write this value down.

  2. Add the gitlab-ee Apt or Yum repository:

    For Debian/Ubuntu

    curl -s | sudo bash

    For CentOS/RHEL

    curl -s | sudo bash

    The above command will find your OS version and automatically set up the repository. If you are not comfortable installing the repository through a piped script, you can first check its contents.

  3. Next, install the gitlab-ee package. Note that this will automatically uninstall the gitlab-ce package on your GitLab server. Reconfigure Omnibus right after the gitlab-ee package is installed. Make sure that you install the exact same GitLab version:

    For Debian/Ubuntu

    ## Make sure the repositories are up-to-date
    sudo apt-get update
    ## Install the package using the version you wrote down from step 1
    sudo apt-get install gitlab-ee=8.6.7-ee.0
    ## Reconfigure GitLab
    sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure

    For CentOS/RHEL

    ## Install the package using the version you wrote down from step 1
    sudo yum install gitlab-ee-8.6.7-ee.0.el7.x86_64
    ## Reconfigure GitLab
    sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure

    Note: If you want to upgrade to EE and at the same time also update GitLab to the latest version, you can omit the version check in the above commands. For Debian/Ubuntu that would be sudo apt-get install gitlab-ee and for CentOS/RHEL sudo yum install gitlab-ee.

  4. Now go to the GitLab admin panel of your server (/admin/license/new) and upload your license file.

  5. After you confirm that GitLab is working as expected, you may remove the old Community Edition repository:

    For Debian/Ubuntu

    sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/gitlab_gitlab-ce.list

    For CentOS/RHEL

    sudo rm /etc/yum.repos.d/gitlab_gitlab-ce.repo

That's it! You can now use GitLab Enterprise Edition! To update to a newer version follow the section on Updating using the official repositories.

Note: If you want to use dpkg/rpm instead of apt-get/yum, go through the first step to find the current GitLab version and then follow the steps in Updating by manually downloading the official packages.

Updating with no downtime in 9.1 or higher

Starting with GitLab 9.1.0, it's possible to upgrade to a newer version of GitLab without having to take your GitLab instance offline. This can only be done if you are using PostgreSQL. If you are using MySQL you will still need downtime when upgrading.

Verify that you can upgrade with no downtime by checking the Upgrading without downtime section of the update document.

If you meet all the requirements above, follow these instructions:

  1. If you have multiple nodes in a highly available/scaled environment, decide which node is the Deploy Node. On this node create an empty file at /etc/gitlab/skip-auto-reconfigure. During software installation only, this will prevent the upgrade from running gitlab-ctl reconfigure and automatically running database migrations.
  2. On every other node except the Deploy Node ensure that gitlab_rails['auto_migrate'] = false is set in /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb.
  3. On the Deploy Node, update the GitLab package.
  4. On the Deploy Node run SKIP_POST_DEPLOYMENT_MIGRATIONS=true gitlab-ctl reconfigure to get the regular migrations in place.
  5. On all other nodes, update the GitLab package and run gitlab-ctl reconfigure so these nodes get the newest code.
  6. Once all nodes are updated, run gitlab-rake db:migrate from the Deploy Node to run post-deployment migrations.

Updating GitLab 10.0 or newer

From version 10.0 GitLab requires the version of PostgreSQL to be 9.6 or higher.

Check out docs on upgrading packaged PostgreSQL server for details.

  • For users running versions below 8.15 and using PostgreSQL bundled with omnibus, this means they will have to first upgrade to 9.5.x, during which PostgreSQL will be automatically updated to 9.6.
  • Users who are on versions above 8.15, but chose not to update PostgreSQL automatically during previous upgrades, can run the following command to update the bundled PostgreSQL to 9.6
  sudo gitlab-ctl pg-upgrade

Users can check their PostgreSQL version using the following command

/opt/gitlab/embedded/bin/psql --version

Updating from GitLab 8.10 and lower to 8.11 or newer

GitLab 8.11 introduces new key names for several secrets, to match the GitLab Rails app and clarify the use of the secrets. For most installations, this process should be transparent as the 8.11 and higher packages will try to migrate the existing secrets to the new key names.

Migrating legacy secrets

These keys have been migrated from old names:

  • gitlab_rails['otp_key_base'] is used for encrypting the OTP secrets in the database. Changing this secret will stop two-factor auth from working for all users. Previously called gitlab_rails['secret_token']
  • gitlab_rails['db_key_base'] is used for encrypting import credentials and CI secret variables. Previously called gitlab_ci['db_key_base']; note that gitlab_rails['db_key_base'] was not previously used for this - setting it would have no effect
  • gitlab_rails['secret_key_base'] is used for password reset links, and other 'standard' auth features. Previously called gitlab_ci['db_key_base']; note that gitlab_rails['secret_token'] was not previously used for this, despite the name

These keys were not used any more, and have simply been removed:

  • gitlab_ci['secret_token']
  • gitlab_ci['secret_key_base']

Updating from GitLab 6.6 and higher to 7.10 or newer

In the 7.10 package we have added the gitlab-ctl upgrade command, and we configured the packages to run this command automatically after the new package is installed. If you are installing GitLab 7.9 or earlier, please see the procedure below.

If you installed using the package server all you need to do is run sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gitlab-ce (for Debian/Ubuntu) or sudo yum install gitlab-ce (for CentOS/Enterprise Linux).

If you are not using the package server, consider upgrading to the package repository. Otherwise, download the latest CE or EE (subscribers only) package to your GitLab server then all you have to do is dpkg -i gitlab-ce-XXX.deb (for Debian/Ubuntu) or rpm -Uvh gitlab-ce-XXX.rpm (for CentOS/Enterprise Linux). After the package has been unpacked, GitLab will automatically:

  • Stop all GitLab services;
  • Create a backup using your current, old GitLab version. This is a 'light' backup that only backs up the SQL database;
  • Run gitlab-ctl reconfigure, which will perform any necessary database migrations (using the new GitLab version);
  • Restart the services that were running when the upgrade script was invoked.

If you do not want the DB-only backup, automatic start/stop and DB migrations to be performed automatically please run the following command before upgrading your GitLab instance:

sudo touch /etc/gitlab/skip-auto-reconfigure

Alternatively if you just want to prevent DB migrations add gitlab_rails['auto_migrate'] = false to your gitlab.rb file.

Updating from GitLab 6.6 and higher to the latest version

The procedure can also be used to upgrade from a CE omnibus package to an EE omnibus package.

First, download the latest CE or EE (license key required) package to your GitLab server.

Stop services but leave postgresql running for the database migrations and create a backup

sudo gitlab-ctl stop unicorn
sudo gitlab-ctl stop sidekiq
sudo gitlab-ctl stop nginx
sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:backup:create

Install the latest package

# Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo dpkg -i

# CentOS:
sudo rpm -Uvh gitlab-x.x.x_xxx.rpm

Reconfigure GitLab (includes running database migrations) and restart all services

sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
sudo gitlab-ctl restart


Updating from GitLab 6.6.0.pre1 to 6.6.4

First, download the latest package from to your GitLab server.

Stop unicorn and sidekiq so we can do database migrations

sudo gitlab-ctl stop unicorn
sudo gitlab-ctl stop sidekiq

One-time migration because we changed some directories since 6.6.0.pre1

sudo mkdir -p /var/opt/gitlab/git-data
sudo mv /var/opt/gitlab/{repositories,gitlab-satellites} /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/
sudo mv /var/opt/gitlab/uploads /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/

Install the latest package

# Ubuntu:
sudo dpkg -i

# CentOS:
sudo rpm -Uvh gitlab-6.6.4_xxx.rpm

Reconfigure GitLab (includes database migrations)

sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure

Start unicorn and sidekiq

sudo gitlab-ctl start


Reverting to GitLab 6.6.x or later

This section contains general information on how to revert to an earlier version of a package.

NOTE This guide assumes that you have a backup archive created under the version you are reverting to.

These steps consist of:

  • Download the package of a target version.(example below uses GitLab 6.x.x)
  • Stop GitLab
  • Install the old package
  • Reconfigure GitLab
  • Restoring the backup
  • Starting GitLab

See example below:

First download a GitLab 6.x.x CE or EE (subscribers only) package.

Stop GitLab

sudo gitlab-ctl stop unicorn
sudo gitlab-ctl stop sidekiq

Downgrade GitLab to 6.x

# Ubuntu
sudo dpkg -r gitlab
sudo dpkg -i gitlab-6.x.x-yyy.deb

# CentOS:
sudo rpm -e gitlab
sudo rpm -ivh gitlab-6.x.x-yyy.rpm

Prepare GitLab for receiving the backup restore

Due to a backup restore bug in versions earlier than GitLab 6.8.0, it is needed to drop the database before running gitlab-ctl reconfigure, only if you are downgrading to 6.7.x or less.

sudo -u gitlab-psql /opt/gitlab/embedded/bin/dropdb gitlabhq_production

Reconfigure GitLab (includes database migrations)

sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure

Restore your backup

sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:backup:restore BACKUP=12345 # where 12345 is your backup timestamp

Start GitLab

sudo gitlab-ctl start

Upgrading from a non-Omnibus installation to an Omnibus installation

Upgrading from non-Omnibus installations has not been tested by

Please be advised that you lose your settings in files such as gitlab.yml, unicorn.rb and smtp_settings.rb. You will have to configure those settings in /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb.

Upgrading from non-Omnibus PostgreSQL to an Omnibus installation using a backup

Upgrade by creating a backup from the non-Omnibus install and restoring this in the Omnibus installation. Please ensure you are using exactly equal versions of GitLab (for example 6.7.3) when you do this. You might have to upgrade your non-Omnibus installation before creating the backup to achieve this.

After upgrading make sure that you run the check task: sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:check.

If you receive an error similar to No such file or directory @ realpath_rec - /home/git run this one liner to fix the git hooks path:

find . -lname /home/git/gitlab-shell/hooks -exec sh -c 'ln -snf /opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-shell/hooks $0' {} \;

This assumes that gitlab-shell is located in /home/git

Upgrading from non-Omnibus PostgreSQL to an Omnibus installation in-place

It is also possible to upgrade a source GitLab installation to omnibus-gitlab in-place. Below we assume you are using PostgreSQL on Ubuntu, and that you have an omnibus-gitlab package matching your current GitLab version. We also assume that your source installation of GitLab uses all the default paths and users.

First, stop and disable GitLab, Redis and Nginx.

# Ubuntu
sudo service gitlab stop
sudo update-rc.d gitlab disable

sudo service nginx stop
sudo update-rc.d nginx disable

sudo service redis-server stop
sudo update-rc.d redis-server disable

If you are using a configuration management system to manage GitLab on your server, remember to also disable GitLab and its related services there. Also note that in the following steps, the existing home directory of the git user (/home/git) will be changed to /var/opt/gitlab.

Next, create a gitlab.rb file for your new setup.

sudo mkdir /etc/gitlab
sudo tee -a /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb <<'EOF'
# Use your own GitLab URL here
external_url ''

# We assume your repositories are in /home/git/repositories (default for source installs)
git_data_dirs({ 'default' => { 'path' => '/home/git' } })

# Re-use the Postgres that is already running on your system
postgresql['enable'] = false
# This db_host setting is for Debian Postgres packages
gitlab_rails['db_host'] = '/var/run/postgresql/'
gitlab_rails['db_port'] = 5432
# We assume you called the GitLab DB user 'git'
gitlab_rails['db_username'] = 'git'

Now install the omnibus-gitlab package and run sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure.

You are not done yet! The gitlab-ctl reconfigure run has changed the home directory of the git user, so OpenSSH can no longer find its authorized_keys file. Rebuild the keys file with the following command:

sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:shell:setup

You should now have HTTP and SSH access to your GitLab server with the repositories and users that were there before.

If you can log into the GitLab web interface, the next step is to reboot your server to make sure none of the old services interferes with omnibus-gitlab.

If you are using special features such as LDAP you will have to put your settings in gitlab.rb; see the omnibus-gitlab README.

Upgrading from non-Omnibus MySQL to an Omnibus installation (version 6.8+)

Unlike the previous chapter, the non-Omnibus installation is using MySQL while the Omnibus installation is using PostgreSQL.

Option #1: Omnibus packages for EE can be configured to use an external non-packaged MySQL database.

Option #2: Convert to PostgreSQL and use the built-in server as the instructions below.

RPM 'package is already installed' error

If you are using RPM and you are upgrading from GitLab Community Edition to GitLab Enterprise Edition you may get an error like this:

package (which is newer than is already installed

You can override this version check with the --oldpackage option:

rpm -Uvh --oldpackage

Updating GitLab CI via omnibus-gitlab

Updating from GitLab CI version prior to 5.4.0 to version 7.14

Warning: Omnibus GitLab 7.14 was the last version where CI was bundled in the package. Starting from GitLab 8.0, CI was merged into GitLab, thus it's no longer a separate application included in the Omnibus package.

In GitLab CI 5.4.0 we changed the way GitLab CI authorizes with GitLab.

In order to use GitLab CI 5.4.x, GitLab 7.7.x is required.

Make sure that GitLab 7.7.x is installed and running and then go to Admin section of GitLab. Under Applications create a new a application which will generate the app_id and app_secret.

In /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

gitlab_ci['gitlab_server'] = { "url" => '', "app_id" => '12345678', "app_secret" => 'QWERTY12345' }

where url is the url to the GitLab instance.

Make sure to run sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure after saving the configuration.


Use the following commands to check the status of GitLab services and configuration files.

sudo gitlab-ctl status
sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:check SANITIZE=true

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