Omnibus GitLab release process

Our main goal is to make it clear which version of GitLab is in an omnibus package.

How is the official Omnibus GitLab package built

The official package build is fully automated by GitLab Inc.

We can differentiate between two types of build:

Both types are built on the same infrastructure.


Each package is built on the platform it is intended for (CentOS 6 packages are built on CentOS6 servers, Debian 8 packages on Debian 8 servers and so on). The number of build servers varies but there is always at least one build server per platform.

The Omnibus GitLab project fully utilizes GitLab CI. This means that each push to the Omnibus GitLab repository will trigger a build in GitLab CI which will then create a package.

Since we deploy using Omnibus GitLab packages, we need a separate remote to build the packages in case of a problem with or due to a security release of a package.

This remote is located on The only difference between the Omnibus GitLab project on and other public remotes is that the project has active GitLab CI and has specific runners assigned to the project which run on the build servers. This is also the case for all GitLab components, eg. GitLab Shell is exactly the same on as it is on

All build servers run GitLab Runner and all runners use a deploy key to connect to the projects on The build servers also have access to official package repository at and to a special Amazon S3 bucket which stores the test packages.

Build process

GitLab Inc is using the release-tools project to automate the release tasks for every release. When the release manager starts the release process, a couple of important things for Omnibus GitLab will be done:

  1. All remotes of the project will be synced.
  2. The versions of components will be read from GitLab CE/EE repository (eg. VERSION, GITLAB_SHELL_VERSION) and written to the Omnibus GitLab repository.
  3. A specific Git tag will be created and synced to Omnibus GitLab repositories.

When the Omnibus GitLab repository on gets updated, GitLab CI build gets triggered.

The specific steps can be seen in the .gitlab-ci.yml file in the Omnibus GitLab repository. The builds are executed on all platforms at the same time.

During the build, Omnibus GitLab will pull external libraries from their source locations and GitLab components like GitLab, GitLab Shell, GitLab Workhorse, and so on will be pulled from

Once the build completes and the .deb or .rpm packages are built, depending on the build type package will be pushed to or to a temporary (files older than 30 days are purged) S3 bucket.

Specifying component versions manually

On your development machine

  1. Pick a tag of GitLab to package (e.g. v6.6.0).
  2. Create a release branch in your Omnibus GitLab repo (e.g. 6-6-stable).
  3. If the release branch already exists, for instance because you are doing a patch release, make sure to pull the latest changes to your local machine:

    git pull 6-6-stable # existing release branch
  4. Use support/set-revisions to set the revisions of files in config/software/. It will take tag names and look up the Git SHA1’s, and set the download sources to Use set-revisions --ee for an EE release:

    # For GitLab CE:
    support/set-revisions v1.2.3 v1.2.3 1.2.3 1.2.3 1.2.3
    # For GitLab EE:
    support/set-revisions --ee v1.2.3-ee v1.2.3 1.2.3 1.2.3 1.2.3
  5. Commit the new version to the release branch:

    git commit
  6. Create an annotated tag in Omnibus GitLab corresponding to the GitLab tag. The omnibus tag looks like: MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH+OTHER.OMNIBUS_RELEASE, where MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH is the GitLab version, OTHER can be something like ce, ee or rc1 (or, and OMNIBUS_RELEASE is a number (starting at 0):

    git tag -a 6.6.0+ce.0 -m 'Pin GitLab to v6.6.0'
    Do NOT use a hyphen - anywhere in the Omnibus GitLab tag.

    Examples of converting an upstream tag to an omnibus tag sequence:

    upstream tag omnibus tag sequence
    v7.10.4 7.10.4+ce.0, 7.10.4+ce.1, ...
    v7.10.4-ee 7.10.4+ee.0, 7.10.4+ee.1, ...
    v7.11.0.rc1-ee,, ...
  7. Push the branch and the tag to both and

    git push 6-6-stable 6.6.0+ce.0
    git push 6-6-stable 6.6.0+ce.0

    Pushing an annotated tag to triggers a package release.

Publishing the packages

You can track the progress of package building on They are pushed to packagecloud repositories automatically after successful builds.

Updating cloud images

The cloud image release process is documented here:

New image are released when:

  1. There is a new monthly release of GitLab.
  2. A security vulnerability has been fixed in a patch release.
  3. There is a patch that fixes a critical issue impacting the image.

New images should be released within 3 business days of the package release.

Image specific release documentation: