Shells supported by GitLab Runner

GitLab Runner implements a few shell script generators that allow to execute builds on different systems.

Overview

The shell scripts contain commands to execute all steps of the build:

  1. git clone
  2. Restore the build cache
  3. Build commands
  4. Update the build cache
  5. Generate and upload the build artifacts

The shells don’t have any configuration options. The build steps are received from the commands defined in the script directive in .gitlab-ci.yml.

The currently supported shells are:

Shell Status Description
bash Fully Supported Bash (Bourne-shell) shell. All commands executed in Bash context (default for all Unix systems)
sh Fully Supported Sh (Bourne-shell) shell. All commands executed in Sh context (fallback for bash for all Unix systems)
powershell Fully Supported Windows PowerShell script. All commands are executed in PowerShell context. Default when registering a new Runner in version 12.0 or newer.
cmd Deprecated Windows Batch script. All commands are executed in Batch context. Deprecated in favor of PowerShell. Default when no shell is specified.

If you want to select a particular shell to use other than the default, you will need to specify the shell in your config.toml file.

Sh/Bash shells

This is the default shell used on all Unix based systems. The bash script used in .gitlab-ci.yml is executed by piping the shell script to one of the following commands:

# This command is used if the build should be executed in context
# of another user (the shell executor)
cat generated-bash-script | su --shell /bin/bash --login user

# This command is used if the build should be executed using
# the current user, but in a login environment
cat generated-bash-script | /bin/bash --login

# This command is used if the build should be executed in
# a Docker environment
cat generated-bash-script | /bin/bash

Shell profile loading

For certain executors, the Runner will pass the --login flag as shown above, which also loads the shell profile. Anything that you have in your .bashrc, .bash_logout, or any other dotfile, will be executed in your job.

If a job fails on the Prepare environment stage, it is likely that something in the shell profile is causing the failure. A common failure is when you have a .bash_logout that tries to clear the console.

Executors that load shell profiles:

  • shell
  • parallels (The shell profile of the target virtual machine is loaded)
  • virtualbox (The shell profile of the target virtual machine is loaded)
  • ssh (The shell profile of the target machine is loaded)
  • docker-ssh (The shell profile of the target machine is loaded)
  • docker-ssh+machine (The shell profile of the target machine is loaded)

PowerShell

The default shell when a new Runner is registered using GitLab Runner 12.0 or newer.

PowerShell doesn’t support executing the build in context of another user.

The generated PowerShell script is executed by saving its content to a file and passing the file name to the following command:

powershell -noprofile -noninteractive -executionpolicy Bypass -command generated-windows-powershell.ps1

This is how an example PowerShell script looks like:

$ErrorActionPreference = "Continue"

echo "Running on $env:computername..."

& {
  $CI="true"
  $env:CI=$CI
  $CI_COMMIT_SHA="db45ad9af9d7af5e61b829442fd893d96e31250c"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_SHA=$CI_COMMIT_SHA
  $CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA="d63117656af6ff57d99e50cc270f854691f335ad"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA=$CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA
  $CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME="master"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME=$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME
  $CI_JOB_ID="1"
  $env:CI_JOB_ID=$CI_JOB_ID
  $CI_REPOSITORY_URL="Z:\Gitlab\tests\test"
  $env:CI_REPOSITORY_URL=$CI_REPOSITORY_URL
  $CI_PROJECT_ID="1"
  $env:CI_PROJECT_ID=$CI_PROJECT_ID
  $CI_PROJECT_DIR="Z:\Gitlab\tests\test\builds\0\project-1"
  $env:CI_PROJECT_DIR=$CI_PROJECT_DIR
  $CI_SERVER="yes"
  $env:CI_SERVER=$CI_SERVER
  $CI_SERVER_NAME="GitLab CI"
  $env:CI_SERVER_NAME=$CI_SERVER_NAME
  $CI_SERVER_VERSION=""
  $env:CI_SERVER_VERSION=$CI_SERVER_VERSION
  $CI_SERVER_REVISION=""
  $env:CI_SERVER_REVISION=$CI_SERVER_REVISION
  $GITLAB_CI="true"
  $env:GITLAB_CI=$GITLAB_CI
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO=""
  md "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp" -Force | out-null
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO | Out-File "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO"
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO="C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO"
  $env:GIT_SSL_CAINFO=$GIT_SSL_CAINFO
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=""
  md "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp" -Force | out-null
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE | Out-File "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE"
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE="C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE"
  $env:CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=$CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
  echo "Cloning repository..."
  if( (Get-Command -Name Remove-Item2 -Module NTFSSecurity -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -and (Test-Path "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1" -PathType Container) ) {
    Remove-Item2 -Force -Recurse "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1"
  } elseif(Test-Path "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1") {
    Remove-Item -Force -Recurse "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1"
  }

  & "git" "clone" "https://gitlab.com/group/project.git" "Z:\Gitlab\tests\test\builds\0\project-1"
  if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

  cd "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1"
  if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

  echo "Checking out db45ad9a as master..."
  & "git" "checkout" "db45ad9af9d7af5e61b829442fd893d96e31250c"
  if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

  if(Test-Path "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz" -PathType Leaf) {
    echo "Restoring cache..."
    & "gitlab-runner-windows-amd64.exe" "extract" "--file" "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz"
    if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

  } else {
    if(Test-Path "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz" -PathType Leaf) {
      echo "Restoring cache..."
      & "gitlab-runner-windows-amd64.exe" "extract" "--file" "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz"
      if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

    }
  }
}
if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

& {
  $CI="true"
  $env:CI=$CI
  $CI_COMMIT_SHA="db45ad9af9d7af5e61b829442fd893d96e31250c"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_SHA=$CI_COMMIT_SHA
  $CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA="d63117656af6ff57d99e50cc270f854691f335ad"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA=$CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA
  $CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME="master"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME=$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME
  $CI_JOB_ID="1"
  $env:CI_JOB_ID=$CI_JOB_ID
  $CI_REPOSITORY_URL="Z:\Gitlab\tests\test"
  $env:CI_REPOSITORY_URL=$CI_REPOSITORY_URL
  $CI_PROJECT_ID="1"
  $env:CI_PROJECT_ID=$CI_PROJECT_ID
  $CI_PROJECT_DIR="Z:\Gitlab\tests\test\builds\0\project-1"
  $env:CI_PROJECT_DIR=$CI_PROJECT_DIR
  $CI_SERVER="yes"
  $env:CI_SERVER=$CI_SERVER
  $CI_SERVER_NAME="GitLab CI"
  $env:CI_SERVER_NAME=$CI_SERVER_NAME
  $CI_SERVER_VERSION=""
  $env:CI_SERVER_VERSION=$CI_SERVER_VERSION
  $CI_SERVER_REVISION=""
  $env:CI_SERVER_REVISION=$CI_SERVER_REVISION
  $GITLAB_CI="true"
  $env:GITLAB_CI=$GITLAB_CI
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO=""
  md "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp" -Force | out-null
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO | Out-File "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO"
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO="C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO"
  $env:GIT_SSL_CAINFO=$GIT_SSL_CAINFO
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=""
  md "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp" -Force | out-null
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE | Out-File "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE"
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE="C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE"
  $env:CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=$CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
  cd "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1"
  if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

  echo "`$ echo true"
  echo true
}
if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

& {
  $CI="true"
  $env:CI=$CI
  $CI_COMMIT_SHA="db45ad9af9d7af5e61b829442fd893d96e31250c"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_SHA=$CI_COMMIT_SHA
  $CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA="d63117656af6ff57d99e50cc270f854691f335ad"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA=$CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA
  $CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME="master"
  $env:CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME=$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME
  $CI_JOB_ID="1"
  $env:CI_JOB_ID=$CI_JOB_ID
  $CI_REPOSITORY_URL="Z:\Gitlab\tests\test"
  $env:CI_REPOSITORY_URL=$CI_REPOSITORY_URL
  $CI_PROJECT_ID="1"
  $env:CI_PROJECT_ID=$CI_PROJECT_ID
  $CI_PROJECT_DIR="Z:\Gitlab\tests\test\builds\0\project-1"
  $env:CI_PROJECT_DIR=$CI_PROJECT_DIR
  $CI_SERVER="yes"
  $env:CI_SERVER=$CI_SERVER
  $CI_SERVER_NAME="GitLab CI"
  $env:CI_SERVER_NAME=$CI_SERVER_NAME
  $CI_SERVER_VERSION=""
  $env:CI_SERVER_VERSION=$CI_SERVER_VERSION
  $CI_SERVER_REVISION=""
  $env:CI_SERVER_REVISION=$CI_SERVER_REVISION
  $GITLAB_CI="true"
  $env:GITLAB_CI=$GITLAB_CI
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO=""
  md "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp" -Force | out-null
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO | Out-File "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO"
  $GIT_SSL_CAINFO="C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO"
  $env:GIT_SSL_CAINFO=$GIT_SSL_CAINFO
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=""
  md "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp" -Force | out-null
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE | Out-File "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE"
  $CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE="C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE"
  $env:CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=$CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
  cd "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1"
  if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

  echo "Archiving cache..."
  & "gitlab-runner-windows-amd64.exe" "archive" "--file" "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz" "--path" "vendor"
  if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

}
if(!$?) { Exit $LASTEXITCODE }

Running Windows Batch

You can execute Batch scripts from PowerShell using Start-Process "cmd.exe" "/c C:\Path\file.bat" for old Batch scripts not ported to PowerShell.

Windows Batch

Note: In GitLab 11.11, we announced the deprecation of the Windows Batch executor, cmd shell, for the GitLab Runner in favor of PowerShell. The cmd shell remains included in future versions of GitLab Runner however, any new Runner feature for Windows is to be tested and supported only for use with PowerShell. Only critical bugs and regressions to the cmd shell will be investigated and fixed.

You can execute Batch scripts from PowerShell using Start-Process "cmd.exe" "/c C:\Path\file.bat" for old Batch scripts not ported to PowerShell.

Windows Batch is the default shell used on Windows when shell is not specified.

It doesn’t support executing the build in context of another user.

The generated Batch script is executed by saving its content to file and passing the file name to the following command:

cmd /Q /C generated-windows-batch.cmd

This is how an example Batch script looks like:

@echo off
setlocal enableextensions
setlocal enableDelayedExpansion
set nl=^


echo Running on %COMPUTERNAME%...

call :prescript
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

call :buildscript
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

call :postscript
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

goto :EOF
:prescript
SET CI=true
SET CI_COMMIT_SHA=db45ad9af9d7af5e61b829442fd893d96e31250c
SET CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA=d63117656af6ff57d99e50cc270f854691f335ad
SET CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME=master
SET CI_JOB_ID=1
SET CI_REPOSITORY_URL=http://gitlab.example.com/group/project.git
SET CI_PROJECT_ID=1
SET CI_PROJECT_DIR=Z:\Gitlab\tests\test\builds\0\project-1
SET CI_SERVER=yes
SET CI_SERVER_NAME=GitLab CI
SET CI_SERVER_VERSION=
SET CI_SERVER_REVISION=
SET GITLAB_CI=true
md "C:\\GitLab-Runner\\builds\\0\\project-1.tmp" 2>NUL 1>NUL
echo multiline!nl!tls!nl!chain > C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO
SET GIT_SSL_CAINFO=C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO
md "C:\\GitLab-Runner\\builds\\0\\project-1.tmp" 2>NUL 1>NUL
echo multiline!nl!tls!nl!chain > C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
SET CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
echo Cloning repository...
rd /s /q "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1" 2>NUL 1>NUL
"git" "clone" "http://gitlab.example.com/group/project.git" "Z:\Gitlab\tests\test\builds\0\project-1"
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

cd /D "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1"
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

echo Checking out db45ad9a as master...
"git" "checkout" "db45ad9af9d7af5e61b829442fd893d96e31250c"
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

IF EXIST "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz" (
  echo Restoring cache...
  "gitlab-runner-windows-amd64.exe" "extract" "--file" "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz"
  IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

) ELSE (
  IF EXIST "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz" (
    echo Restoring cache...
    "gitlab-runner-windows-amd64.exe" "extract" "--file" "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz"
    IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

  )
)
goto :EOF

:buildscript
SET CI=true
SET CI_COMMIT_SHA=db45ad9af9d7af5e61b829442fd893d96e31250c
SET CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA=d63117656af6ff57d99e50cc270f854691f335ad
SET CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME=master
SET CI_JOB_ID=1
SET CI_REPOSITORY_URL=Z:\Gitlab\tests\test
SET CI_PROJECT_ID=1
SET CI_PROJECT_DIR=Z:\Gitlab\tests\test\builds\0\project-1
SET CI_SERVER=yes
SET CI_SERVER_NAME=GitLab CI
SET CI_SERVER_VERSION=
SET CI_SERVER_REVISION=
SET GITLAB_CI=true
md "C:\\GitLab-Runner\\builds\\0\\project-1.tmp" 2>NUL 1>NUL
echo multiline!nl!tls!nl!chain > C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO
SET GIT_SSL_CAINFO=C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO
md "C:\\GitLab-Runner\\builds\\0\\project-1.tmp" 2>NUL 1>NUL
echo multiline!nl!tls!nl!chain > C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
SET CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
cd /D "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1"
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

echo $ echo true
echo true
goto :EOF

:postscript
SET CI=true
SET CI_COMMIT_SHA=db45ad9af9d7af5e61b829442fd893d96e31250c
SET CI_COMMIT_BEFORE_SHA=d63117656af6ff57d99e50cc270f854691f335ad
SET CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME=master
SET CI_JOB_ID=1
SET CI_REPOSITORY_URL=Z:\Gitlab\tests\test
SET CI_PROJECT_ID=1
SET CI_PROJECT_DIR=Z:\Gitlab\tests\test\builds\0\project-1
SET CI_SERVER=yes
SET CI_SERVER_NAME=GitLab CI
SET CI_SERVER_VERSION=
SET CI_SERVER_REVISION=
SET GITLAB_CI=true
md "C:\\GitLab-Runner\\builds\\0\\project-1.tmp" 2>NUL 1>NUL
echo multiline!nl!tls!nl!chain > C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO
SET GIT_SSL_CAINFO=C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\GIT_SSL_CAINFO
md "C:\\GitLab-Runner\\builds\\0\\project-1.tmp" 2>NUL 1>NUL
echo multiline!nl!tls!nl!chain > C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
SET CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE=C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1.tmp\CI_SERVER_TLS_CA_FILE
cd /D "C:\GitLab-Runner\builds\0\project-1"
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

echo Archiving cache...
"gitlab-runner-windows-amd64.exe" "archive" "--file" "..\..\..\cache\project-1\pages\master\cache.tgz" "--path" "vendor"
IF !errorlevel! NEQ 0 exit /b !errorlevel!

goto :EOF

Video walkthrough of a working example

The Slicing and Dicing with PowerShell on GitLab CI video is a walkthrough of the PowerShell Pipelines on GitLab CI Guided Exploration project. It was tested on:

The example can be copied to your own group or instance for testing. More details on what other GitLab CI patterns are demonstrated are available at the project page.