GitLab Runner Helm Chart

Note: This chart has been tested on Google Kubernetes Engine and Azure Container Service. Other Kubernetes installations may work as well, if not please open an issue.

The official way of deploying a GitLab Runner instance into your Kubernetes cluster is by using the gitlab-runner Helm chart.

This chart configures the Runner to:

  • Run using the GitLab Runner Kubernetes executor.
  • For each new job it receives from GitLab CI/CD, it will provision a new pod within the specified namespace to run it.

Prerequisites

  • Your GitLab Server’s API is reachable from the cluster.
  • Kubernetes 1.4+ with Beta APIs enabled.
  • The kubectl CLI installed locally and authenticated for the cluster.
  • The Helm client installed locally on your machine.

Configuring GitLab Runner using the Helm Chart

Create a values.yaml file for your GitLab Runner configuration. See Helm docs for information on how your values file will override the defaults.

The default configuration can always be found in the values.yaml in the chart repository.

Required configuration

In order for GitLab Runner to function, your config file must specify the following:

  • gitlabUrl - the GitLab server full URL (e.g., https://example.gitlab.com) to register the Runner against.
  • runnerRegistrationToken - The registration token for adding new Runners to GitLab. This must be retrieved from your GitLab instance.

Unless you need to specify any additional configuration, you are ready to install the Runner.

Additional configuration

The rest of the configuration is documented in the values.yaml in the chart repository.

Here is a snippet of the important settings:

## The GitLab Server URL (with protocol) that want to register the runner against
## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/commands/README.html#gitlab-runner-register
##
gitlabUrl: https://gitlab.example.com/

## The registration token for adding new Runners to the GitLab server. This must
## be retrieved from your GitLab instance.
## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/ci/runners/
##
runnerRegistrationToken: ""

## Set the certsSecretName in order to pass custom certificates for GitLab Runner to use
## Provide resource name for a Kubernetes Secret Object in the same namespace,
## this is used to populate the /etc/gitlab-runner/certs directory
## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/configuration/tls-self-signed.html#supported-options-for-self-signed-certificates
##
#certsSecretName:

## Configure the maximum number of concurrent jobs
## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/configuration/advanced-configuration.html#the-global-section
##
concurrent: 10

## Defines in seconds how often to check GitLab for a new builds
## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/configuration/advanced-configuration.html#the-global-section
##
checkInterval: 30

## For RBAC support:
rbac:
  create: false

  ## Run the gitlab-bastion container with the ability to deploy/manage containers of jobs
  ## cluster-wide or only within namespace
  clusterWideAccess: false

  ## If RBAC is disabled in this Helm chart, use the following Kubernetes Service Account name.
  ##
  # serviceAccountName: default

## Configuration for the Pods that the runner launches for each new job
##
runners:
  ## Default container image to use for builds when none is specified
  ##
  image: ubuntu:18.04

  ## Run all containers with the privileged flag enabled
  ## This will allow the docker:stable-dind image to run if you need to run Docker
  ## commands. Please read the docs before turning this on:
  ## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/executors/kubernetes.html#using-docker-dind
  ##
  privileged: false

  ## Namespace to run Kubernetes jobs in (defaults to 'default')
  ##
  # namespace:

  ## Build Container specific configuration
  ##
  builds:
    # cpuLimit: 200m
    # memoryLimit: 256Mi
    cpuRequests: 100m
    memoryRequests: 128Mi

  ## Service Container specific configuration
  ##
  services:
    # cpuLimit: 200m
    # memoryLimit: 256Mi
    cpuRequests: 100m
    memoryRequests: 128Mi

  ## Helper Container specific configuration
  ##
  helpers:
    # cpuLimit: 200m
    # memoryLimit: 256Mi
    cpuRequests: 100m
    memoryRequests: 128Mi

Enabling RBAC support

If your cluster has RBAC enabled, you can choose to either have the chart create its own service account or provide one on your own.

To have the chart create the service account for you, set rbac.create to true:

rbac:
  create: true

To use an already existing service account, use:

rbac:
  create: false
  serviceAccountName: your-service-account

Controlling maximum Runner concurrency

A single GitLab Runner deployed on Kubernetes is able to execute multiple jobs in parallel by automatically starting additional Runner pods. The concurrent setting controls the maximum number of pods allowed at a single time, and defaults to 10:

## Configure the maximum number of concurrent jobs
## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/configuration/advanced-configuration.html#the-global-section
##
concurrent: 10

Running Docker-in-Docker containers with GitLab Runners

See Running Privileged Containers for the Runners for how to enable it, and the GitLab Runner documentation on running dind.

Running privileged containers for the Runners

You can tell the GitLab Runner to run using privileged containers. You may need this enabled if you need to use the Docker executable within your GitLab CI/CD jobs.

This comes with several risks that you can read about in the GitLab CI/CD Runner documentation.

If you are okay with the risks, and your GitLab Runner instance is registered against a specific project in GitLab that you trust the CI jobs of, you can enable privileged mode in values.yaml:

runners:
  ## Run all containers with the privileged flag enabled
  ## This will allow the docker:stable-dind image to run if you need to run Docker
  ## commands. Please read the docs before turning this on:
  ## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/executors/kubernetes.html#using-docker-dind
  ##
  privileged: true

Providing a custom certificate for accessing GitLab

You can provide a Kubernetes Secret to the GitLab Runner Helm Chart, which will be used to populate the container’s /etc/gitlab-runner/certs directory.

Each key name in the Secret will be used as a filename in the directory, with the file content being the value associated with the key:

  • The key/file name used should be in the format <gitlab-hostname>.crt, for example gitlab.your-domain.com.crt.
  • Any intermediate certificates need to be concatenated to your server certificate in the same file.
  • The hostname used should be the one the certificate is registered for.

The GitLab Runner Helm Chart does not create a secret for you. In order to create the secret, you can prepare your certificate on you local machine, and then run the kubectl create secret command from the directory with the certificate:

kubectl
  --namespace <NAMESPACE>
  create secret generic <SECRET_NAME>
  --from-file=<CERTFICATE_FILENAME>

Where:

  • <NAMESPACE> is the Kubernetes namespace where you want to install the GitLab Runner.
  • <SECRET_NAME> is the Kubernetes Secret resource name. For example: gitlab-domain-cert.
  • <CERTFICATE_FILENAME> is the filename for the certificate in your current directory that will be imported into the secret.

You then need to provide the secret’s name to the GitLab Runner chart. Add the following to your values.yaml:

## Set the certsSecretName in order to pass custom certificates for GitLab Runner to use
## Provide resource name for a Kubernetes Secret Object in the same namespace,
## this is used to populate the /etc/gitlab-runner/certs directory
## ref: https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/configuration/tls-self-signed.html#supported-options-for-self-signed-certificates
##
certsSecretName: <SECRET NAME>

Where:

  • <SECRET_NAME> is the Kubernetes Secret resource name, for example gitlab-domain-cert.

More information on how GitLab Runner uses these certificates can be found in the Runner Documentation.

Installing GitLab Runner using the Helm Chart

Add the GitLab Helm repository and initialize Helm:

helm repo add gitlab https://charts.gitlab.io
helm init

Once you have configured GitLab Runner in your values.yml file, run the following:

helm install --namespace <NAMESPACE> --name gitlab-runner -f <CONFIG_VALUES_FILE> gitlab/gitlab-runner

Where:

  • <NAMESPACE> is the Kubernetes namespace where you want to install the GitLab Runner.
  • <CONFIG_VALUES_FILE> is the path to values file containing your custom configuration. See the Configuring GitLab Runner using the Helm Chart section to create it.

Updating GitLab Runner using the Helm Chart

Once your GitLab Runner Chart is installed, configuration changes and chart updates should be done using helm upgrade:

helm upgrade --namespace <NAMESPACE> -f <CONFIG_VALUES_FILE> <RELEASE-NAME> gitlab/gitlab-runner

Where:

Uninstalling GitLab Runner using the Helm Chart

To uninstall the GitLab Runner Chart, run the following:

helm delete --namespace <NAMESPACE> <RELEASE-NAME>

Where:

  • <NAMESPACE> is the Kubernetes namespace where GitLab Runner is installed.
  • <RELEASE-NAME> is the name you gave the chart when installing it. In the Installing GitLab Runner using the Helm Chart section, we called it gitlab-runner.