Feature flags

Starting with GitLab Runner 11.4 we added a base support for feature flags in GitLab Runner.

These flags may be used:

  1. For beta features that we want to make available for volunteers but don’t want to enable publicly yet.

    A user who wants to use such feature and accepts the risk, can enable it explicitly while the wide group of users will be unaffected by potential bugs and regressions.

  2. For breaking changes that need a deprecation and removal after few releases.

    While the product evolves some features may be removed or changed. Sometimes it may be even something that is generally considered as a bug, but users already managed to find some workarounds for it and a fix could affect their configurations.

    In that cases the feature flag is used to switch from old behavior to the new wan on demand. Such fix such ensure that the old behavior is deprecated and marked for removal together with the feature flag that protects the new behavior.

At this moment feature flags mechanism is based on environment variables. To make the change hidden behind the feature flag active a corresponding environment variable should be set to true or 1. To make the change hidden behind the feature flag disabled a corresponding environment variable should be set to false or 0.

Available feature flags

Feature flag Default value Deprecated To be removed with Description
FF_K8S_USE_ENTRYPOINT_OVER_COMMAND true 12.0 Enables the fix for entrypoint configuration when kubernetes executor is used.
FF_DOCKER_HELPER_IMAGE_V2 false 12.0 Enable the helper image to use the new commands when helper_image is specified. This will start using the new API that will be used in 12.0 and stop showing the warning message in the build log.
FF_CMD_DISABLE_DELAYED_ERROR_LEVEL_EXPANSION false TBA Disables EnableDelayedExpansion for error checking for when using Window Batch shell.
FF_USE_LEGACY_GIT_CLEAN_STRATEGY false 12.0 Enables the new strategy for git clean that moves the clean operation after checkout and enables support for GIT_CLEAN_FLAGS
FF_USE_LEGACY_BUILDS_DIR_FOR_DOCKER false 13.0 Enables the new strategy for Docker executor to cache the content of /builds directory instead of /builds/group-org