GitLab CI/CD Pipeline Configuration Reference

GitLab CI/CD pipelines are configured using a YAML file called .gitlab-ci.yml within each project.

The .gitlab-ci.yml file defines the structure and order of the pipelines and determines:

  • What to execute using GitLab Runner.
  • What decisions to make when specific conditions are encountered. For example, when a process succeeds or fails.

This topic covers CI/CD pipeline configuration. For other CI/CD configuration information, see:

We have complete examples of configuring pipelines:

NOTE: Note: If you have a mirrored repository where GitLab pulls from, you may need to enable pipeline triggering in your project's Settings > Repository > Pull from a remote repository > Trigger pipelines for mirror updates.

Introduction

Pipeline configuration begins with jobs. Jobs are the most fundamental element of a .gitlab-ci.yml file.

Jobs are:

  • Defined with constraints stating under what conditions they should be executed.
  • Top-level elements with an arbitrary name and must contain at least the script clause.
  • Not limited in how many can be defined.

For example:

job1:
  script: "execute-script-for-job1"

job2:
  script: "execute-script-for-job2"

The above example is the simplest possible CI/CD configuration with two separate jobs, where each of the jobs executes a different command. Of course a command can execute code directly (./configure;make;make install) or run a script (test.sh) in the repository.

Jobs are picked up by Runners and executed within the environment of the Runner. What is important, is that each job is run independently from each other.

Validate the .gitlab-ci.yml

Each instance of GitLab CI has an embedded debug tool called Lint, which validates the content of your .gitlab-ci.yml files. You can find the Lint under the page ci/lint of your project namespace. For example, https://gitlab.example.com/gitlab-org/project-123/-/ci/lint.

Unavailable names for jobs

Each job must have a unique name, but there are a few reserved keywords that cannot be used as job names:

  • image
  • services
  • stages
  • types
  • before_script
  • after_script
  • variables
  • cache

Using reserved keywords

If you get validation error when using specific values (for example, true or false), try to:

  • Quote them.
  • Change them to a different form. For example, /bin/true.

Configuration parameters

A job is defined as a list of parameters that define the job's behavior.

The following table lists available parameters for jobs:

Keyword Description
script Shell script which is executed by Runner.
image Use docker images. Also available: image:name and image:entrypoint.
services Use docker services images. Also available: services:name, services:alias, services:entrypoint, and services:command.
before_script Override a set of commands that are executed before job.
after_script Override a set of commands that are executed after job.
stages Define stages in a pipeline.
stage Defines a job stage (default: test).
only Limit when jobs are created. Also available: only:refs, only:kubernetes, only:variables, and only:changes.
except Limit when jobs are not created. Also available: except:refs, except:kubernetes, except:variables, and except:changes.
rules List of conditions to evaluate and determine selected attributes of a job, and whether or not it is created. May not be used alongside only/except.
tags List of tags which are used to select Runner.
allow_failure Allow job to fail. Failed job doesn't contribute to commit status.
when When to run job. Also available: when:manual and when:delayed.
environment Name of an environment to which the job deploys. Also available: environment:name, environment:url, environment:on_stop, and environment:action.
cache List of files that should be cached between subsequent runs. Also available: cache:paths, cache:key, cache:untracked, and cache:policy.
artifacts List of files and directories to attach to a job on success. Also available: artifacts:paths, artifacts:expose_as, artifacts:name, artifacts:untracked, artifacts:when, artifacts:expire_in, artifacts:reports, and artifacts:reports:junit.

In GitLab Enterprise Edition, these are available: artifacts:reports:codequality, artifacts:reports:sast, artifacts:reports:dependency_scanning, artifacts:reports:container_scanning, artifacts:reports:dast, artifacts:reports:license_management, artifacts:reports:performance and artifacts:reports:metrics.
dependencies Restrict which artifacts are passed to a specific job by providing a list of jobs to fetch artifacts from.
coverage Code coverage settings for a given job.
retry When and how many times a job can be auto-retried in case of a failure.
timeout Define a custom job-level timeout that takes precedence over the project-wide setting.
parallel How many instances of a job should be run in parallel.
trigger Defines a downstream pipeline trigger.
include Allows this job to include external YAML files. Also available: include:local, include:file, include:template, and include:remote.
extends Configuration entries that this job is going to inherit from.
pages Upload the result of a job to use with GitLab Pages.
variables Define job variables on a job level.
interruptible Defines if a job can be canceled when made redundant by a newer run.

NOTE: Note: Parameters types and type are deprecated.

Setting default parameters

Some parameters can be set globally as the default for all jobs using the default: keyword. Default parameters can then be overridden by job-specific configuration.

The following job parameters can be defined inside a default: block:

In the following example, the ruby:2.5 image is set as the default for all jobs except the rspec 2.6 job, which uses the ruby:2.6 image:

default:
  image: ruby:2.5

rspec:
  script: bundle exec rspec

rspec 2.6:
  image: ruby:2.6
  script: bundle exec rspec

Parameter details

The following are detailed explanations for parameters used to configure CI/CD pipelines.

script

script is the only required keyword that a job needs. It's a shell script which is executed by the Runner. For example:

job:
  script: "bundle exec rspec"

This parameter can also contain several commands using an array:

job:
  script:
    - uname -a
    - bundle exec rspec

NOTE: Note: Sometimes, script commands will need to be wrapped in single or double quotes. For example, commands that contain a colon (:) need to be wrapped in quotes so that the YAML parser knows to interpret the whole thing as a string rather than a "key: value" pair. Be careful when using special characters: :, {, }, [, ], ,, &, *, #, ?, |, -, <, >, =, !, %, @, `.

YAML anchors for script

Introduced in GitLab 12.5.

You can use YAML anchors with scripts, which makes it possible to include a predefined list of commands in multiple jobs.

Example:

.something: &something
- echo 'something'

job_name:
  script:
    - *something
    - echo 'this is the script'

image

Used to specify a Docker image to use for the job.

For:

image:name

An extended docker configuration option.

For more information, see Available settings for image.

image:entrypoint

An extended docker configuration option.

For more information, see Available settings for image.

services

Used to specify a service Docker image, linked to a base image specified in image.

For:

services:name

An extended docker configuration option.

For more information, see see Available settings for services.

services:alias

An extended docker configuration option.

For more information, see see Available settings for services.

services:entrypoint

An extended docker configuration option.

For more information, see see Available settings for services.

services:command

An extended docker configuration option.

For more information, see see Available settings for services.

before_script and after_script

Introduced in GitLab 8.7 and requires GitLab Runner v1.2.

before_script is used to define a command that should be run before each job, including deploy jobs, but after the restoration of any artifacts. This must be an an array.

Scripts specified in before_script are concatenated with any scripts specified in the main script, and executed together in a single shell.

after_script is used to define the command that will be run after each job, including failed ones. This must be an an array.

Scripts specified in after_script are executed in a new shell, separate from any before_script or script scripts. As a result, they:

  • Have a current working directory set back to the default.
  • Have no access to changes done by scripts defined in before_script or script, including:
    • Command aliases and variables exported in script scripts.
    • Changes outside of the working tree (depending on the Runner executor), like software installed by a before_script or script script.

It's possible to overwrite a globally defined before_script or after_script if you set it per-job:

default:
  before_script:
    - global before script

job:
  before_script:
    - execute this instead of global before script
  script:
    - my command
  after_script:
    - execute this after my script

YAML anchors for before_script and after_script

Introduced in GitLab 12.5.

You can use YAML anchors with before_script and after_script, which makes it possible to include a predefined list of commands in multiple jobs.

Example:

.something_before: &something_before
- echo 'something before'

.something_after: &something_after
- echo 'something after'


job_name:
  before_script:
    - *something_before
  script:
    - echo 'this is the script'
  after_script:
    - *something_after

stages

stages is used to define stages that can be used by jobs and is defined globally.

The specification of stages allows for having flexible multi stage pipelines. The ordering of elements in stages defines the ordering of jobs' execution:

  1. Jobs of the same stage are run in parallel.
  2. Jobs of the next stage are run after the jobs from the previous stage complete successfully.

Let's consider the following example, which defines 3 stages:

stages:
  - build
  - test
  - deploy
  1. First, all jobs of build are executed in parallel.
  2. If all jobs of build succeed, the test jobs are executed in parallel.
  3. If all jobs of test succeed, the deploy jobs are executed in parallel.
  4. If all jobs of deploy succeed, the commit is marked as passed.
  5. If any of the previous jobs fails, the commit is marked as failed and no jobs of further stage are executed.

There are also two edge cases worth mentioning:

  1. If no stages are defined in .gitlab-ci.yml, then the build, test and deploy are allowed to be used as job's stage by default.
  2. If a job doesn't specify a stage, the job is assigned the test stage.

.pre and .post

Introduced in GitLab 12.4.

The following stages are available to every pipeline:

  • .pre, which is guaranteed to always be the first stage in a pipeline.
  • .post, which is guaranteed to always be the last stage in a pipeline.

User-defined stages are executed after .pre and before .post.

The order of .pre and .post cannot be changed, even if defined out of order in .gitlab-ci.yml. For example, the following are equivalent configuration:

  • Configured in order:

    stages:
      - .pre
      - a
      - b
      - .post
  • Configured out of order:

    stages:
      - a
      - .pre
      - b
      - .post
  • Not explicitly configured:

    stages:
      - a
      - b

stage

stage is defined per-job and relies on stages which is defined globally. It allows to group jobs into different stages, and jobs of the same stage are executed in parallel (subject to certain conditions). For example:

stages:
  - build
  - test
  - deploy

job 0:
  stage: .pre
  script: make something useful before build stage

job 1:
  stage: build
  script: make build dependencies

job 2:
  stage: build
  script: make build artifacts

job 3:
  stage: test
  script: make test

job 4:
  stage: deploy
  script: make deploy

job 5:
  stage: .post
  script: make something useful at the end of pipeline

Using your own Runners

When using your own Runners, GitLab Runner runs only one job at a time by default (see the concurrent flag in Runner global settings for more information).

Jobs will run on your own Runners in parallel only if:

  • Run on different Runners.
  • The Runner's concurrent setting has been changed.

only/except (basic)

NOTE: Note: These parameters will soon be deprecated in favor of rules as it offers a more powerful syntax.

only and except are two parameters that set a job policy to limit when jobs are created:

  1. only defines the names of branches and tags for which the job will run.
  2. except defines the names of branches and tags for which the job will not run.

There are a few rules that apply to the usage of job policy:

  • only and except are inclusive. If both only and except are defined in a job specification, the ref is filtered by only and except.
  • only and except allow the use of regular expressions (supported regexp syntax).
  • only and except allow to specify a repository path to filter jobs for forks.

In addition, only and except allow the use of special keywords:

Value Description
branches When a Git reference of a pipeline is a branch.
tags When a Git reference of a pipeline is a tag.
api When pipeline has been triggered by a second pipelines API (not triggers API).
external When using CI services other than GitLab.
pipelines For multi-project triggers, created using the API with CI_JOB_TOKEN.
pushes Pipeline is triggered by a git push by the user.
schedules For scheduled pipelines.
triggers For pipelines created using a trigger token.
web For pipelines created using Run pipeline button in GitLab UI (under your project's Pipelines).
merge_requests When a merge request is created or updated (See pipelines for merge requests).
external_pull_requests When an external pull request on GitHub is created or updated (See Pipelines for external pull requests).
chat For jobs created using a GitLab ChatOps command.

In the example below, job will run only for refs that start with issue-, whereas all branches will be skipped:

job:
  # use regexp
  only:
    - /^issue-.*$/
  # use special keyword
  except:
    - branches

Pattern matching is case-sensitive by default. Use i flag modifier, like /pattern/i to make a pattern case-insensitive:

job:
  # use regexp
  only:
    - /^issue-.*$/i
  # use special keyword
  except:
    - branches

In this example, job will run only for refs that are tagged, or if a build is explicitly requested via an API trigger or a Pipeline Schedule:

job:
  # use special keywords
  only:
    - tags
    - triggers
    - schedules

The repository path can be used to have jobs executed only for the parent repository and not forks:

job:
  only:
    - branches@gitlab-org/gitlab
  except:
    - master@gitlab-org/gitlab
    - /^release/.*$/@gitlab-org/gitlab

The above example will run job for all branches on gitlab-org/gitlab, except master and those with names prefixed with release/.

If a job does not have an only rule, only: ['branches', 'tags'] is set by default. If it doesn't have an except rule, it is empty.

For example,

job:
  script: echo 'test'

is translated to:

job:
  script: echo 'test'
  only: ['branches', 'tags']

Regular expressions

Because @ is used to denote the beginning of a ref's repository path, matching a ref name containing the @ character in a regular expression requires the use of the hex character code match \x40.

Only the tag or branch name can be matched by a regular expression. The repository path, if given, is always matched literally.

If a regular expression shall be used to match the tag or branch name, the entire ref name part of the pattern has to be a regular expression, and must be surrounded by /. (With regular expression flags appended after the closing /.) So issue-/.*/ won't work to match all tag names or branch names that begin with issue-.

TIP: Tip Use anchors ^ and $ to avoid the regular expression matching only a substring of the tag name or branch name. For example, /^issue-.*$/ is equivalent to /^issue-/, while just /issue/ would also match a branch called severe-issues.

Supported only/except regexp syntax

CAUTION: Warning: This is a breaking change that was introduced with GitLab 11.9.4.

In GitLab 11.9.4, GitLab begun internally converting regexp used in only and except parameters to RE2.

This means that only subset of features provided by Ruby Regexp is supported. RE2 limits the set of features provided due to computational complexity, which means some features became unavailable in GitLab 11.9.4. For example, negative lookaheads.

For GitLab versions from 11.9.7 and up to GitLab 12.0, GitLab provides a feature flag that can be enabled by administrators that allows users to use unsafe regexp syntax. This brings compatibility with previously allowed syntax version and allows users to gracefully migrate to the new syntax.

Feature.enable(:allow_unsafe_ruby_regexp)

only/except (advanced)

CAUTION: Warning: This is an alpha feature, and it is subject to change at any time without prior notice!

GitLab supports both simple and complex strategies, so it's possible to use an array and a hash configuration scheme.

Four keys are available:

  • refs
  • variables
  • changes
  • kubernetes

If you use multiple keys under only or except, the keys will be evaluated as a single conjoined expression. That is:

  • only: means "include this job if all of the conditions match".
  • except: means "exclude this job if any of the conditions match".

With only, individual keys are logically joined by an AND:

(any of refs) AND (any of variables) AND (any of changes) AND (if Kubernetes is active)

except is implemented as a negation of this complete expression:

NOT((any of refs) AND (any of variables) AND (any of changes) AND (if Kubernetes is active))

This, more intuitively, means the keys join by an OR. A functionally equivalent expression:

(any of refs) OR (any of variables) OR (any of changes) OR (if Kubernetes is active)

only:refs/except:refs

refs policy introduced in GitLab 10.0.

The refs strategy can take the same values as the simplified only/except configuration.

In the example below, the deploy job is going to be created only when the pipeline has been scheduled or runs for the master branch:

deploy:
  only:
    refs:
      - master
      - schedules

only:kubernetes/except:kubernetes

kubernetes policy introduced in GitLab 10.0.

The kubernetes strategy accepts only the active keyword.

In the example below, the deploy job is going to be created only when the Kubernetes service is active in the project:

deploy:
  only:
    kubernetes: active

only:variables/except:variables

variables policy introduced in GitLab 10.7.

The variables keyword is used to define variables expressions. In other words, you can use predefined variables / project / group or environment-scoped variables to define an expression GitLab is going to evaluate in order to decide whether a job should be created or not.

Examples of using variables expressions:

deploy:
  script: cap staging deploy
  only:
    refs:
      - branches
    variables:
      - $RELEASE == "staging"
      - $STAGING

Another use case is excluding jobs depending on a commit message:

end-to-end:
  script: rake test:end-to-end
  except:
    variables:
      - $CI_COMMIT_MESSAGE =~ /skip-end-to-end-tests/

Learn more about variables expressions.

only:changes/except:changes

changes policy introduced in GitLab 11.4.

Using the changes keyword with only or except makes it possible to define if a job should be created based on files modified by a Git push event.

For example:

docker build:
  script: docker build -t my-image:$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG .
  only:
    changes:
      - Dockerfile
      - docker/scripts/*
      - dockerfiles/**/*
      - more_scripts/*.{rb,py,sh}

In the scenario above, when pushing commits to an existing branch in GitLab, it creates and triggers the docker build job, provided that one of the commits contains changes to any of the following:

  • The Dockerfile file.
  • Any of the files inside docker/scripts/ directory.
  • Any of the files and subdirectories inside the dockerfiles directory.
  • Any of the files with rb, py, sh extensions inside the more_scripts directory.

CAUTION: Warning: If using only:changes with only allow merge requests to be merged if the pipeline succeeds, undesired behavior could result if you do not also use only:merge_requests.

You can also use glob patterns to match multiple files in either the root directory of the repo, or in any directory within the repo, but they must be wrapped in double quotes or GitLab will fail to parse the .gitlab-ci.yml. For example:

test:
  script: npm run test
  only:
    changes:
      - "*.json"
      - "**/*.sql"

The following example will skip the build job if a change is detected in any file in the root directory of the repo with a .md extension:

build:
  script: npm run build
  except:
    changes:
      - "*.md"

CAUTION: Warning: There are some points to be aware of when using this feature with new branches or tags without pipelines for merge requests.

Using only:changes with pipelines for merge requests

With pipelines for merge requests, it is possible to define a job to be created based on files modified in a merge request.

In order to deduce the correct base SHA of the source branch, we recommend combining this keyword with only: merge_requests. This way, file differences are correctly calculated from any further commits, thus all changes in the merge requests are properly tested in pipelines.

For example:

docker build service one:
  script: docker build -t my-service-one-image:$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG .
  only:
    refs:
      - merge_requests
    changes:
      - Dockerfile
      - service-one/**/*

In the scenario above, if a merge request is created or updated that changes either files in service-one directory or the Dockerfile, GitLab creates and triggers the docker build service one job.

Note that if pipelines for merge requests is combined with only: change, but only: merge_requests is omitted, there could be unwanted behavior.

For example:

docker build service one:
  script: docker build -t my-service-one-image:$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG .
  only:
    changes:
      - Dockerfile
      - service-one/**/*

In the example above, a pipeline could fail due to changes to a file in service-one/**/*. A later commit could then be pushed that does not include any changes to this file, but includes changes to the Dockerfile, and this pipeline could pass because it is only testing the changes to the Dockerfile. GitLab checks the most recent pipeline, that passed, and will show the merge request as mergable, despite the earlier failed pipeline caused by a change that was not yet corrected.

With this configuration, care must be taken to check that the most recent pipeline properly corrected any failures from previous pipelines.

Using only:changes without pipelines for merge requests

Without pipelines for merge requests, pipelines run on branches or tags that don't have an explicit association with a merge request. In this case, a previous SHA is used to calculate the diff, which equivalent to git diff HEAD~. This could result in some unexpected behavior, including:

  • When pushing a new branch or a new tag to GitLab, the policy always evaluates to true.
  • When pushing a new commit, the changed files are calculated using the previous commit as the base SHA.

rules

Introduced in GitLab 12.3.

rules allows for a list of individual rule objects to be evaluated in order, until one matches and dynamically provides attributes to the job.

Available rule clauses include:

For example, using if. This configuration specifies that job should be built and run for every pipeline on merge requests targeting master, regardless of the status of other builds:

job:
  script: "echo Hello, Rules!"
  rules:
    - if: '$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_TARGET_BRANCH_NAME == "master"'
      when: always
    - if: '$VAR =~ /pattern/'
      when: manual
    - when: on_success

In this example, if the first rule:

  • Matches, the job will be given the when:always attribute.
  • Does not match, the second and third rules will be evaluated sequentially until a match is found. That is, the job will be given either the:
    • when: manual attribute if the second rule matches.
    • when: on_success attribute if the second rule does not match. The third rule will always match when reached because it has no conditional clauses.

rules:if

rules:if differs slightly from only:variables by accepting only a single expression string, rather than an array of them. Any set of expressions to be evaluated should be conjoined into a single expression using && or ||. For example:

job:
  script: "echo Hello, Rules!"
  rules:
    - if: '$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_SOURCE_BRANCH_NAME =~ /^feature/ && $CI_MERGE_REQUEST_TARGET_BRANCH_NAME == "master"' # This rule will be evaluated
      when: always
    - if: '$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_SOURCE_BRANCH_NAME =~ /^feature/' # This rule will only be evaluated if the target branch is not "master"
      when: manual
    - if: '$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_SOURCE_BRANCH_NAME' # If neither of the first two match but the simple presence does, we set to "on_success" by default

If none of the provided rules match, the job will be set to when:never, and not included in the pipeline. If rules:when is not included in the configuration at all, the behavior defaults to job:when, which continues to default to on_success.

rules:changes

changes works exactly the same way as only/except, accepting an array of paths.

For example:

docker build:
  script: docker build -t my-image:$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG .
  rules:
    - changes: # Will include the job and set to when:manual if any of the follow paths match a modified file.
      - Dockerfile
      when: manual
    - if: '$VAR == "string value"'
      when: manual # Will include the job and set to when:manual if the expression evaluates to true, after the `changes:` rule fails to match.
    - when: on_success # If neither of the first rules match, set to on_success

In this example, a job either set to:

  • Run manually if Dockerfile has changed OR $VAR == "string value".
  • when:on_success by the last rule, where no earlier clauses evaluate to true.

rules:exists

Introduced in GitLab 12.4.

exists accepts an array of paths and will match if any of these paths exist as files in the repository.

For example:

job:
  script: docker build -t my-image:$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG .
  rules:
    - exists:
      - Dockerfile

You can also use glob patterns to match multiple files in any directory within the repository.

For example:

job:
  script: bundle exec rspec
  rules:
    - exists:
      - spec/**.rb

NOTE: Note: For performance reasons, using exists with patterns is limited to 10000 checks. After the 10000th check, rules with patterned globs will always match.

Complex rule clauses

To conjoin if, changes, and exists clauses with an AND, use them in the same rule.

In the following example:

  • We run the job manually if Dockerfile or any file in docker/scripts/ has changed AND $VAR == "string value".
  • Otherwise, the job will not be included in the pipeline.
docker build:
  script: docker build -t my-image:$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG .
  rules:
    - if: '$VAR == "string value"'
      changes: # Will include the job and set to when:manual if any of the follow paths match a modified file.
      - Dockerfile
      - docker/scripts/*
      when: manual
  # - when: never would be redundant here, this is implied any time rules are listed.

The only clauses currently available are:

  • if
  • changes
  • exists

Keywords such as branches or refs that are currently available for only/except are not yet available in rules as they are being individually considered for their usage and behavior in this context.

Permitted attributes

The only job attributes currently set by rules are:

  • when.
  • start_in, if when is set to delayed.

A job will be included in a pipeline if when is evaluated to any value except never.

Delayed jobs require a start_in value, so rule objects do as well. For example:

docker build:
  script: docker build -t my-image:$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG .
  rules:
    - changes: # Will include the job and delay 3 hours when the Dockerfile has changed
      - Dockerfile
      when: delayed
      start_in: '3 hours'
    - when: on_success # Otherwise include the job and set to run normally

Additional job configuration may be added to rules in the future. If something useful isn't available, please open an issue.

tags

tags is used to select specific Runners from the list of all Runners that are allowed to run this project.

During the registration of a Runner, you can specify the Runner's tags, for example ruby, postgres, development.

tags allow you to run jobs with Runners that have the specified tags assigned to them:

job:
  tags:
    - ruby
    - postgres

The specification above, will make sure that job is built by a Runner that has both ruby AND postgres tags defined.

Tags are also a great way to run different jobs on different platforms, for example, given an OS X Runner with tag osx and Windows Runner with tag windows, the following jobs run on respective platforms:

windows job:
  stage:
    - build
  tags:
    - windows
  script:
    - echo Hello, %USERNAME%!

osx job:
  stage:
    - build
  tags:
    - osx
  script:
    - echo "Hello, $USER!"

allow_failure

allow_failure allows a job to fail without impacting the rest of the CI suite. The default value is false, except for manual jobs.

When enabled and the job fails, the job will show an orange warning in the UI. However, the logical flow of the pipeline will consider the job a success/passed, and is not blocked.

Assuming all other jobs are successful, the job's stage and its pipeline will show the same orange warning. However, the associated commit will be marked "passed", without warnings.

In the example below, job1 and job2 will run in parallel, but if job1 fails, it will not stop the next stage from running, since it's marked with allow_failure: true:

job1:
  stage: test
  script:
    - execute_script_that_will_fail
  allow_failure: true

job2:
  stage: test
  script:
    - execute_script_that_will_succeed

job3:
  stage: deploy
  script:
    - deploy_to_staging

when

when is used to implement jobs that are run in case of failure or despite the failure.

when can be set to one of the following values:

  1. on_success - execute job only when all jobs from prior stages succeed (or are considered succeeding because they are marked allow_failure). This is the default.
  2. on_failure - execute job only when at least one job from prior stages fails.
  3. always - execute job regardless of the status of jobs from prior stages.
  4. manual - execute job manually (added in GitLab 8.10). Read about manual actions below.

For example:

stages:
  - build
  - cleanup_build
  - test
  - deploy
  - cleanup

build_job:
  stage: build
  script:
    - make build

cleanup_build_job:
  stage: cleanup_build
  script:
    - cleanup build when failed
  when: on_failure

test_job:
  stage: test
  script:
    - make test

deploy_job:
  stage: deploy
  script:
    - make deploy
  when: manual

cleanup_job:
  stage: cleanup
  script:
    - cleanup after jobs
  when: always

The above script will:

  1. Execute cleanup_build_job only when build_job fails.
  2. Always execute cleanup_job as the last step in pipeline regardless of success or failure.
  3. Allow you to manually execute deploy_job from GitLab's UI.

when:manual

  • Introduced in GitLab 8.10.
  • Blocking manual actions were introduced in GitLab 9.0.
  • Protected actions were introduced in GitLab 9.2.

Manual actions are a special type of job that are not executed automatically, they need to be explicitly started by a user. An example usage of manual actions would be a deployment to a production environment. Manual actions can be started from the pipeline, job, environment, and deployment views. Read more at the environments documentation.

Manual actions can be either optional or blocking. Blocking manual actions will block the execution of the pipeline at the stage this action is defined in. It's possible to resume execution of the pipeline when someone executes a blocking manual action by clicking a play button.

When a pipeline is blocked, it will not be merged if Merge When Pipeline Succeeds is set. Blocked pipelines also do have a special status, called manual. Manual actions are non-blocking by default. If you want to make manual action blocking, it is necessary to add allow_failure: false to the job's definition in .gitlab-ci.yml.

Optional manual actions have allow_failure: true set by default and their Statuses do not contribute to the overall pipeline status. So, if a manual action fails, the pipeline will eventually succeed.

Manual actions are considered to be write actions, so permissions for protected branches are used when a user wants to trigger an action. In other words, in order to trigger a manual action assigned to a branch that the pipeline is running for, the user needs to have the ability to merge to this branch. It is possible to use protected environments to more strictly protect manual deployments from being run by unauthorized users.

NOTE: Note: Using when:manual and trigger together results in the error jobs:#{job-name} when should be on_success, on_failure or always, because when:manual prevents triggers being used.

Protecting manual jobs (PREMIUM)

It's possible to use protected environments to define a precise list of users authorized to run a manual job. By allowing only users associated with a protected environment to trigger manual jobs, it is possible to implement some special use cases, such as:

  • More precisely limiting who can deploy to an environment.
  • Enabling a pipeline to be blocked until an approved user "approves" it.

To do this, you must:

  1. Add an environment to the job. For example:

    deploy_prod:
      stage: deploy
      script:
        - echo "Deploy to production server"
      environment:
        name: production
        url: https://example.com
      when: manual
      only:
        - master
  2. In the protected environments settings, select the environment (production in the example above) and add the users, roles or groups that are authorized to trigger the manual job to the Allowed to Deploy list. Only those in this list will be able to trigger this manual job, as well as GitLab administrators who are always able to use protected environments.

Additionally, if a manual job is defined as blocking by adding allow_failure: false, the next stages of the pipeline will not run until the manual job is triggered. This can be used as a way to have a defined list of users allowed to "approve" later pipeline stages by triggering the blocking manual job.

when:delayed

Introduced in GitLab 11.4.

Delayed job are for executing scripts after a certain period. This is useful if you want to avoid jobs entering pending state immediately.

You can set the period with start_in key. The value of start_in key is an elapsed time in seconds, unless a unit is provided. start_in key must be less than or equal to one hour. Examples of valid values include:

  • 10 seconds
  • 30 minutes
  • 1 hour

When there is a delayed job in a stage, the pipeline will not progress until the delayed job has finished. This means this keyword can also be used for inserting delays between different stages.

The timer of a delayed job starts immediately after the previous stage has completed. Similar to other types of jobs, a delayed job's timer will not start unless the previous stage passed.

The following example creates a job named timed rollout 10% that is executed 30 minutes after the previous stage has completed:

timed rollout 10%:
  stage: deploy
  script: echo 'Rolling out 10% ...'
  when: delayed
  start_in: 30 minutes

You can stop the active timer of a delayed job by clicking the Unschedule button. This job will never be executed in the future unless you execute the job manually.

You can start a delayed job immediately by clicking the Play button. GitLab Runner will pick your job soon and start the job.

environment

environment is used to define that a job deploys to a specific environment. If environment is specified and no environment under that name exists, a new one will be created automatically.

In its simplest form, the environment keyword can be defined like:

deploy to production:
  stage: deploy
  script: git push production HEAD:master
  environment:
    name: production

In the above example, the deploy to production job will be marked as doing a deployment to the production environment.

environment:name

  • Introduced in GitLab 8.11.
  • Before GitLab 8.11, the name of an environment could be defined as a string like environment: production. The recommended way now is to define it under the name keyword.
  • The name parameter can use any of the defined CI variables, including predefined, secure variables and .gitlab-ci.yml variables. You however cannot use variables defined under script.

The environment name can contain:

  • letters
  • digits
  • spaces
  • -
  • _
  • /
  • $
  • {
  • }

Common names are qa, staging, and production, but you can use whatever name works with your workflow.

Instead of defining the name of the environment right after the environment keyword, it is also possible to define it as a separate value. For that, use the name keyword under environment:

deploy to production:
  stage: deploy
  script: git push production HEAD:master
  environment:
    name: production

environment:url

  • Introduced in GitLab 8.11.
  • Before GitLab 8.11, the URL could be added only in GitLab's UI. The recommended way now is to define it in .gitlab-ci.yml.
  • The url parameter can use any of the defined CI variables, including predefined, secure variables and .gitlab-ci.yml variables. You however cannot use variables defined under script.

This is an optional value that when set, it exposes buttons in various places in GitLab which when clicked take you to the defined URL.

In the example below, if the job finishes successfully, it will create buttons in the merge requests and in the environments/deployments pages which will point to https://prod.example.com.

deploy to production:
  stage: deploy
  script: git push production HEAD:master
  environment:
    name: production
    url: https://prod.example.com

environment:on_stop

  • Introduced in GitLab 8.13.
  • Starting with GitLab 8.14, when you have an environment that has a stop action defined, GitLab will automatically trigger a stop action when the associated branch is deleted.

Closing (stopping) environments can be achieved with the on_stop keyword defined under environment. It declares a different job that runs in order to close the environment.

Read the environment:action section for an example.

environment:action

Introduced in GitLab 8.13.

The action keyword is to be used in conjunction with on_stop and is defined in the job that is called to close the environment.

Take for instance:

review_app:
  stage: deploy
  script: make deploy-app
  environment:
    name: review
    on_stop: stop_review_app

stop_review_app:
  stage: deploy
  variables:
    GIT_STRATEGY: none
  script: make delete-app
  when: manual
  environment:
    name: review
    action: stop

In the above example we set up the review_app job to deploy to the review environment, and we also defined a new stop_review_app job under on_stop. Once the review_app job is successfully finished, it will trigger the stop_review_app job based on what is defined under when. In this case we set it up to manual so it will need a manual action via GitLab's web interface in order to run.

Also in the example, GIT_STRATEGY is set to none so that GitLab Runner won’t try to check out the code after the branch is deleted when the stop_review_app job is automatically triggered.

The stop_review_app job is required to have the following keywords defined:

  • when - reference
  • environment:name
  • environment:action
  • stage should be the same as the review_app in order for the environment to stop automatically when the branch is deleted

Dynamic environments

  • Introduced in GitLab 8.12 and GitLab Runner 1.6.
  • The $CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG was introduced in GitLab 8.15.
  • The name and url parameters can use any of the defined CI variables, including predefined, secure variables and .gitlab-ci.yml variables. You however cannot use variables defined under script.

For example:

deploy as review app:
  stage: deploy
  script: make deploy
  environment:
    name: review/$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME
    url: https://$CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG.example.com/

The deploy as review app job will be marked as deployment to dynamically create the review/$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME environment, where $CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME is an environment variable set by the Runner. The $CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG variable is based on the environment name, but suitable for inclusion in URLs. In this case, if the deploy as review app job was run in a branch named pow, this environment would be accessible with an URL like https://review-pow.example.com/.

This of course implies that the underlying server which hosts the application is properly configured.

The common use case is to create dynamic environments for branches and use them as Review Apps. You can see a simple example using Review Apps at https://gitlab.com/gitlab-examples/review-apps-nginx/.

cache

  • Introduced in GitLab Runner v0.7.0.
  • cache can be set globally and per-job.
  • From GitLab 9.0, caching is enabled and shared between pipelines and jobs by default.
  • From GitLab 9.2, caches are restored before artifacts.

TIP: Learn more: Read how caching works and find out some good practices in the caching dependencies documentation.

cache is used to specify a list of files and directories which should be cached between jobs. You can only use paths that are within the local working copy.

If cache is defined outside the scope of jobs, it means it is set globally and all jobs will use that definition.

cache:paths

Use the paths directive to choose which files or directories will be cached. You can only specify paths within your $CI_PROJECT_DIR. Wildcards can be used that follow the glob patterns and filepath.Match.

Cache all files in binaries that end in .apk and the .config file:

rspec:
  script: test
  cache:
    paths:
      - binaries/*.apk
      - .config

Locally defined cache overrides globally defined options. The following rspec job will cache only binaries/:

cache:
  paths:
    - my/files

rspec:
  script: test
  cache:
    key: rspec
    paths:
      - binaries/

Note that since cache is shared between jobs, if you're using different paths for different jobs, you should also set a different cache:key otherwise cache content can be overwritten.

cache:key

Introduced in GitLab Runner v1.0.0.

Since the cache is shared between jobs, if you're using different paths for different jobs, you should also set a different cache:key otherwise cache content can be overwritten.

The key directive allows you to define the affinity of caching between jobs, allowing to have a single cache for all jobs, cache per-job, cache per-branch or any other way that fits your workflow. This way, you can fine tune caching, allowing you to cache data between different jobs or even different branches.

The cache:key variable can use any of the predefined variables, and the default key, if not set, is just literal default which means everything is shared between each pipelines and jobs by default, starting from GitLab 9.0.

NOTE: Note: The cache:key variable cannot contain the / character, or the equivalent URI-encoded %2F; a value made only of dots (., %2E) is also forbidden.

For example, to enable per-branch caching:

cache:
  key: "$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG"
  paths:
    - binaries/

If you use Windows Batch to run your shell scripts you need to replace $ with %:

cache:
  key: "%CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG%"
  paths:
    - binaries/
cache:key:files

Introduced in GitLab v12.5.

The cache:key:files keyword extends the cache:key functionality by making it easier to reuse some caches, and rebuild them less often, which will speed up subsequent pipeline runs.

When you include cache:key:files, you must also list the project files that will be used to generate the key, up to a maximum of two files. The cache key will be a SHA checksum computed from the most recent commits (up to two, if two files are listed) that changed the given files. If neither file was changed in any commits, the fallback key will be default.

cache:
  key:
    files:
      - Gemfile.lock
      - package.json
  paths:
    - vendor/ruby
    - node_modules

In this example we are creating a cache for Ruby and Nodejs dependencies that is tied to current versions of the Gemfile.lock and package.json files. Whenever one of these files changes, a new cache key is computed and a new cache is created. Any future job runs using the same Gemfile.lock and package.json with cache:key:files will use the new cache, instead of rebuilding the dependencies.

cache:key:prefix

Introduced in GitLab v12.5. The prefix parameter adds extra functionality to key:files by allowing the key to be composed of the given prefix combined with the SHA computed for cache:key:files. For example, adding a prefix of test, will cause keys to look like: test-feef9576d21ee9b6a32e30c5c79d0a0ceb68d1e5. If neither file was changed in any commits, the prefix is added to default, so the key in the example would be test-default.

Like cache:key, prefix can use any of the predefined variables, but the following are not allowed:

  • the / character (or the equivalent URI-encoded %2F)
  • a value made only of . (or the equivalent URI-encoded %2E)
cache:
  key:
    files:
      - Gemfile.lock
    prefix: ${CI_JOB_NAME}
  paths:
    - vendor/ruby

rspec:
  script:
    - bundle exec rspec

For example, adding a prefix of $CI_JOB_NAME will cause the key to look like: rspec-feef9576d21ee9b6a32e30c5c79d0a0ceb68d1e5 and the job cache is shared across different branches. If a branch changes Gemfile.lock, that branch will have a new SHA checksum for cache:key:files. A new cache key will be generated, and a new cache will be created for that key. If Gemfile.lock is not found, the prefix is added to default, so the key in the example would be rspec-default.

cache:untracked

Set untracked: true to cache all files that are untracked in your Git repository:

rspec:
  script: test
  cache:
    untracked: true

Cache all Git untracked files and files in binaries:

rspec:
  script: test
  cache:
    untracked: true
    paths:
      - binaries/

cache:policy

Introduced in GitLab 9.4.

The default behaviour of a caching job is to download the files at the start of execution, and to re-upload them at the end. This allows any changes made by the job to be persisted for future runs, and is known as the pull-push cache policy.

If you know the job doesn't alter the cached files, you can skip the upload step by setting policy: pull in the job specification. Typically, this would be twinned with an ordinary cache job at an earlier stage to ensure the cache is updated from time to time:

stages:
  - setup
  - test

prepare:
  stage: setup
  cache:
    key: gems
    paths:
      - vendor/bundle
  script:
    - bundle install --deployment

rspec:
  stage: test
  cache:
    key: gems
    paths:
      - vendor/bundle
    policy: pull
  script:
    - bundle exec rspec ...

This helps to speed up job execution and reduce load on the cache server, especially when you have a large number of cache-using jobs executing in parallel.

Additionally, if you have a job that unconditionally recreates the cache without reference to its previous contents, you can use policy: push in that job to skip the download step.

artifacts

  • Introduced in GitLab Runner v0.7.0 for non-Windows platforms.
  • Windows support was added in GitLab Runner v.1.0.0.
  • From GitLab 9.2, caches are restored before artifacts.
  • Not all executors are supported.
  • Job artifacts are only collected for successful jobs by default.

artifacts is used to specify a list of files and directories which should be attached to the job when it succeeds, fails, or always.

The artifacts will be sent to GitLab after the job finishes and will be available for download in the GitLab UI.

Read more about artifacts.

artifacts:paths

You can only use paths that are within the local working copy. Wildcards can be used that follow the glob patterns and filepath.Match.

To restrict which jobs a specific job will fetch artifacts from, see dependencies.

Send all files in binaries and .config:

artifacts:
  paths:
    - binaries/
    - .config

To disable artifact passing, define the job with empty dependencies:

job:
  stage: build
  script: make build
  dependencies: []

You may want to create artifacts only for tagged releases to avoid filling the build server storage with temporary build artifacts.

Create artifacts only for tags (default-job will not create artifacts):

default-job:
  script:
    - mvn test -U
  except:
    - tags

release-job:
  script:
    - mvn package -U
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - target/*.war
  only:
    - tags

artifacts:expose_as

Introduced in GitLab 12.5.

The expose_as keyword can be used to expose job artifacts in the merge request UI.

For example, to match a single file:

test:
  script: [ 'echo 1' ]
  artifacts:
    expose_as: 'artifact 1'
    paths: ['path/to/file.txt']

With this configuration, GitLab will add a link artifact 1 to the relevant merge request that points to file1.txt.

An example that will match an entire directory:

test:
  script: [ 'echo 1' ]
  artifacts:
    expose_as: 'artifact 1'
    paths: ['path/to/directory/']

Note the following:

  • A maximum of 10 job artifacts per merge request can be exposed.
  • Glob patterns are unsupported.
  • If a directory is specified, the link will be to the job artifacts browser if there is more than one file in the directory.
  • For exposed single file artifacts with .html, .htm, .txt, .json, .xml, and .log extensions, if GitLab Pages is:
    • Enabled, GitLab will automatically render the artifact.
    • Not enabled, you will see the file in the artifacts browser.

artifacts:name

Introduced in GitLab 8.6 and GitLab Runner v1.1.0.

The name directive allows you to define the name of the created artifacts archive. That way, you can have a unique name for every archive which could be useful when you'd like to download the archive from GitLab. The artifacts:name variable can make use of any of the predefined variables. The default name is artifacts, which becomes artifacts.zip when downloaded.

NOTE: Note: If your branch-name contains forward slashes (e.g. feature/my-feature) it is advised to use $CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG instead of $CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME for proper naming of the artifact.

To create an archive with a name of the current job:

job:
  artifacts:
    name: "$CI_JOB_NAME"
    paths:
      - binaries/

To create an archive with a name of the current branch or tag including only the binaries directory:

job:
  artifacts:
    name: "$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME"
    paths:
      - binaries/

To create an archive with a name of the current job and the current branch or tag including only the binaries directory:

job:
  artifacts:
    name: "$CI_JOB_NAME-$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME"
    paths:
      - binaries/

To create an archive with a name of the current stage and branch name:

job:
  artifacts:
    name: "$CI_JOB_STAGE-$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME"
    paths:
      - binaries/

If you use Windows Batch to run your shell scripts you need to replace $ with %:

job:
  artifacts:
    name: "%CI_JOB_STAGE%-%CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME%"
    paths:
      - binaries/

If you use Windows PowerShell to run your shell scripts you need to replace $ with $env::

job:
  artifacts:
    name: "$env:CI_JOB_STAGE-$env:CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME"
    paths:
      - binaries/

artifacts:untracked

artifacts:untracked is used to add all Git untracked files as artifacts (along to the paths defined in artifacts:paths).

NOTE: Note: artifacts:untracked ignores configuration in the repository's .gitignore file.

Send all Git untracked files:

artifacts:
  untracked: true

Send all Git untracked files and files in binaries:

artifacts:
  untracked: true
  paths:
    - binaries/

artifacts:when

Introduced in GitLab 8.9 and GitLab Runner v1.3.0.

artifacts:when is used to upload artifacts on job failure or despite the failure.

artifacts:when can be set to one of the following values:

  1. on_success - upload artifacts only when the job succeeds. This is the default.
  2. on_failure - upload artifacts only when the job fails.
  3. always - upload artifacts regardless of the job status.

To upload artifacts only when job fails:

job:
  artifacts:
    when: on_failure

artifacts:expire_in

Introduced in GitLab 8.9 and GitLab Runner v1.3.0.

expire_in allows you to specify how long artifacts should live before they expire and therefore deleted, counting from the time they are uploaded and stored on GitLab. If the expiry time is not defined, it defaults to the instance wide setting (30 days by default, forever on GitLab.com).

You can use the Keep button on the job page to override expiration and keep artifacts forever.

After their expiry, artifacts are deleted hourly by default (via a cron job), and are not accessible anymore.

The value of expire_in is an elapsed time in seconds, unless a unit is provided. Examples of parsable values:

  • '42'
  • '3 mins 4 sec'
  • '2 hrs 20 min'
  • '2h20min'
  • '6 mos 1 day'
  • '47 yrs 6 mos and 4d'
  • '3 weeks and 2 days'

To expire artifacts 1 week after being uploaded:

job:
  artifacts:
    expire_in: 1 week

artifacts:reports

Introduced in GitLab 11.2. Requires GitLab Runner 11.2 and above.

The reports keyword is used for collecting test reports from jobs and exposing them in GitLab's UI (merge requests, pipeline views). Read how to use this with JUnit reports.

NOTE: Note: The test reports are collected regardless of the job results (success or failure). You can use artifacts:expire_in to set up an expiration date for their artifacts.

NOTE: Note: If you also want the ability to browse the report output files, include the artifacts:paths keyword.

artifacts:reports:junit

Introduced in GitLab 11.2. Requires GitLab Runner 11.2 and above.

The junit report collects JUnit XML files as artifacts. Although JUnit was originally developed in Java, there are many third party ports for other languages like JavaScript, Python, Ruby, etc.

See JUnit test reports for more details and examples. Below is an example of collecting a JUnit XML file from Ruby's RSpec test tool:

rspec:
  stage: test
  script:
  - bundle install
  - rspec --format RspecJunitFormatter --out rspec.xml
  artifacts:
    reports:
      junit: rspec.xml

The collected JUnit reports will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests.

NOTE: Note: In case the JUnit tool you use exports to multiple XML files, you can specify multiple test report paths within a single job and they will be automatically concatenated into a single file. Use a filename pattern (junit: rspec-*.xml), an array of filenames (junit: [rspec-1.xml, rspec-2.xml, rspec-3.xml]), or a combination thereof (junit: [rspec.xml, test-results/TEST-*.xml]).

artifacts:reports:codequality (STARTER)

Introduced in GitLab 11.5. Requires GitLab Runner 11.5 and above.

The codequality report collects CodeQuality issues as artifacts.

The collected Code Quality report will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests.

artifacts:reports:sast (ULTIMATE)

Introduced in GitLab 11.5. Requires GitLab Runner 11.5 and above.

The sast report collects SAST vulnerabilities as artifacts.

The collected SAST report will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests, pipeline view and provide data for security dashboards.

artifacts:reports:dependency_scanning (ULTIMATE)

Introduced in GitLab 11.5. Requires GitLab Runner 11.5 and above.

The dependency_scanning report collects Dependency Scanning vulnerabilities as artifacts.

The collected Dependency Scanning report will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests, pipeline view and provide data for security dashboards.

artifacts:reports:container_scanning (ULTIMATE)

Introduced in GitLab 11.5. Requires GitLab Runner 11.5 and above.

The container_scanning report collects Container Scanning vulnerabilities as artifacts.

The collected Container Scanning report will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests, pipeline view and provide data for security dashboards.

artifacts:reports:dast (ULTIMATE)

Introduced in GitLab 11.5. Requires GitLab Runner 11.5 and above.

The dast report collects DAST vulnerabilities as artifacts.

The collected DAST report will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests, pipeline view and provide data for security dashboards.

artifacts:reports:license_management (ULTIMATE)

Introduced in GitLab 11.5. Requires GitLab Runner 11.5 and above.

The license_management report collects Licenses as artifacts.

The collected License Compliance report will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests, pipeline view and provide data for security dashboards.

artifacts:reports:performance (PREMIUM)

Introduced in GitLab 11.5. Requires GitLab Runner 11.5 and above.

The performance report collects Performance metrics as artifacts.

The collected Performance report will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests.

artifacts:reports:metrics (PREMIUM)

Introduced in GitLab 11.10.

The metrics report collects Metrics as artifacts.

The collected Metrics report will be uploaded to GitLab as an artifact and will be automatically shown in merge requests.

dependencies

Introduced in GitLab 8.6 and GitLab Runner v1.1.1.

By default, all artifacts from all previous stages are passed, but you can use the dependencies parameter to define a limited list of jobs (or no jobs) to fetch artifacts from.

To use this feature, define dependencies in context of the job and pass a list of all previous jobs from which the artifacts should be downloaded. You can only define jobs from stages that are executed before the current one. An error will be shown if you define jobs from the current stage or next ones. Defining an empty array will skip downloading any artifacts for that job. The status of the previous job is not considered when using dependencies, so if it failed or it is a manual job that was not run, no error occurs.

In the following example, we define two jobs with artifacts, build:osx and build:linux. When the test:osx is executed, the artifacts from build:osx will be downloaded and extracted in the context of the build. The same happens for test:linux and artifacts from build:linux.

The job deploy will download artifacts from all previous jobs because of the stage precedence:

build:osx:
  stage: build
  script: make build:osx
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - binaries/

build:linux:
  stage: build
  script: make build:linux
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - binaries/

test:osx:
  stage: test
  script: make test:osx
  dependencies:
    - build:osx

test:linux:
  stage: test
  script: make test:linux
  dependencies:
    - build:linux

deploy:
  stage: deploy
  script: make deploy

When a dependent job will fail

Introduced in GitLab 10.3.

If the artifacts of the job that is set as a dependency have been expired or erased, then the dependent job will fail.

NOTE: Note: You can ask your administrator to flip this switch and bring back the old behavior.

needs

  • Introduced in GitLab 12.2.
  • In GitLab 12.3, maximum number of jobs in needs array raised from five to 50.

The needs: keyword enables executing jobs out-of-order, allowing you to implement a directed acyclic graph in your .gitlab-ci.yml.

This lets you run some jobs without waiting for other ones, disregarding stage ordering so you can have multiple stages running concurrently.

Let's consider the following example:

linux:build:
  stage: build

mac:build:
  stage: build

linux:rspec:
  stage: test
  needs: ["linux:build"]

linux:rubocop:
  stage: test
  needs: ["linux:build"]

mac:rspec:
  stage: test
  needs: ["mac:build"]

mac:rubocop:
  stage: test
  needs: ["mac:build"]

production:
  stage: deploy

This example creates three paths of execution:

  • Linux path: the linux:rspec and linux:rubocop jobs will be run as soon as the linux:build job finishes without waiting for mac:build to finish.

  • macOS path: the mac:rspec and mac:rubocop jobs will be run as soon as the mac:build job finishes, without waiting for linux:build to finish.

  • The production job will be executed as soon as all previous jobs finish; in this case: linux:build, linux:rspec, linux:rubocop, mac:build, mac:rspec, mac:rubocop.

Requirements and limitations

  • If needs: is set to point to a job that is not instantiated because of only/except rules or otherwise does not exist, the pipeline will be created with YAML error.
  • We are temporarily limiting the maximum number of jobs that a single job can need in the needs: array:
    • For GitLab.com, the limit is five. For more information, see our infrastructure issue.
    • For self-managed instances, the limit is:
      • Five by default (ci_dag_limit_needs feature flag is enabled).
      • 50 if the ci_dag_limit_needs feature flag is disabled.
  • It is impossible for now to have needs: [] (empty needs), the job always needs to depend on something, unless this is the job in the first stage. However, support for an empty needs array is planned.
  • If needs: refers to a job that is marked as parallel:. the current job will depend on all parallel jobs created.
  • needs: is similar to dependencies: in that it needs to use jobs from prior stages, meaning it is impossible to create circular dependencies. Depending on jobs in the current stage is not possible either, but support is planned.
  • Related to the above, stages must be explicitly defined for all jobs that have the keyword needs: or are referred to by one.

coverage

Introduced in GitLab 8.17.

coverage allows you to configure how code coverage will be extracted from the job output.

Regular expressions are the only valid kind of value expected here. So, using surrounding / is mandatory in order to consistently and explicitly represent a regular expression string. You must escape special characters if you want to match them literally.

A simple example:

job1:
  script: rspec
  coverage: '/Code coverage: \d+\.\d+/'

retry

retry allows you to configure how many times a job is going to be retried in case of a failure.

When a job fails and has retry configured, it is going to be processed again up to the amount of times specified by the retry keyword.

If retry is set to 2, and a job succeeds in a second run (first retry), it won't be retried again. retry value has to be a positive integer, equal or larger than 0, but lower or equal to 2 (two retries maximum, three runs in total).

A simple example to retry in all failure cases:

test:
  script: rspec
  retry: 2

By default, a job will be retried on all failure cases. To have a better control on which failures to retry, retry can be a hash with the following keys:

  • max: The maximum number of retries.
  • when: The failure cases to retry.

To retry only runner system failures at maximum two times:

test:
  script: rspec
  retry:
    max: 2
    when: runner_system_failure

If there is another failure, other than a runner system failure, the job will not be retried.

To retry on multiple failure cases, when can also be an array of failures:

test:
  script: rspec
  retry:
    max: 2
    when:
      - runner_system_failure
      - stuck_or_timeout_failure

Possible values for when are:

  • always: Retry on any failure (default).
  • unknown_failure: Retry when the failure reason is unknown.
  • script_failure: Retry when the script failed.
  • api_failure: Retry on API failure.
  • stuck_or_timeout_failure: Retry when the job got stuck or timed out.
  • runner_system_failure: Retry if there was a runner system failure (e.g. setting up the job failed).
  • missing_dependency_failure: Retry if a dependency was missing.
  • runner_unsupported: Retry if the runner was unsupported.

timeout

Introduced in GitLab 12.3.

timeout allows you to configure a timeout for a specific job. For example:

build:
  script: build.sh
  timeout: 3 hours 30 minutes

test:
  script: rspec
  timeout: 3h 30m

The job-level timeout can exceed the project-level timeout but can not exceed the Runner-specific timeout.

parallel

Introduced in GitLab 11.5.

parallel allows you to configure how many instances of a job to run in parallel. This value has to be greater than or equal to two (2) and less than or equal to 50.

This creates N instances of the same job that run in parallel. They're named sequentially from job_name 1/N to job_name N/N.

For every job, CI_NODE_INDEX and CI_NODE_TOTAL environment variables are set.

Marking a job to be run in parallel requires only a simple addition to your configuration file:

 test:
   script: rspec
+  parallel: 5

TIP: Tip: Parallelize tests suites across parallel jobs. Different languages have different tools to facilitate this.

A simple example using Semaphore Test Boosters and RSpec to run some Ruby tests:

# Gemfile
source 'https://rubygems.org'

gem 'rspec'
gem 'semaphore_test_boosters'
test:
  parallel: 3
  script:
    - bundle
    - bundle exec rspec_booster --job $CI_NODE_INDEX/$CI_NODE_TOTAL

CAUTION: Caution: Please be aware that semaphore_test_boosters reports usages statistics to the author.

You can then navigate to the Jobs tab of a new pipeline build and see your RSpec job split into three separate jobs.

trigger (PREMIUM)

Introduced in GitLab Premium 11.8.

trigger allows you to define downstream pipeline trigger. When a job created from trigger definition is started by GitLab, a downstream pipeline gets created.

Learn more about multi-project pipelines.

NOTE: Note: Using a trigger with when:manual together results in the error jobs:#{job-name} when should be on_success, on_failure or always, because when:manual prevents triggers being used.

Simple trigger syntax

The most simple way to configure a downstream trigger to use trigger keyword with a full path to a downstream project:

rspec:
  stage: test
  script: bundle exec rspec

staging:
  stage: deploy
  trigger: my/deployment

Complex trigger syntax

It is possible to configure a branch name that GitLab will use to create a downstream pipeline with:

rspec:
  stage: test
  script: bundle exec rspec

staging:
  stage: deploy
  trigger:
    project: my/deployment
    branch: stable

It is possible to mirror the status from a triggered pipeline:

trigger_job:
  trigger:
    project: my/project
    strategy: depend

It is possible to mirror the status from an upstream pipeline:

upstream_bridge:
  stage: test
  needs:
    pipeline: other/project

interruptible

Introduced in GitLab 12.3.

interruptible is used to indicate that a job should be canceled if made redundant by a newer pipeline run. Defaults to false. This value will only be used if the automatic cancellation of redundant pipelines feature is enabled.

When enabled, a pipeline on the same branch will be canceled when:

  • It is made redundant by a newer pipeline run.
  • Either all jobs are set as interruptible, or any uninterruptible jobs have not started.

Pending jobs are always considered interruptible.

TIP: Tip: Set jobs as interruptible that can be safely canceled once started (for instance, a build job).

Here is a simple example:

stages:
  - stage1
  - stage2
  - stage3

step-1:
  stage: stage1
  script:
    - echo "Can be canceled."
  interruptible: true

step-2:
  stage: stage2
  script:
    - echo "Can not be canceled."

step-3:
  stage: stage3
  script:
    - echo "Because step-2 can not be canceled, this step will never be canceled, even though set as interruptible."
  interruptible: true

In the example above, a new pipeline run will cause an existing running pipeline to be:

  • Canceled, if only step-1 is running or pending.
  • Not canceled, once step-2 starts running.

NOTE: Note: Once an uninterruptible job is running, the pipeline will never be canceled, regardless of the final job's state.

include

  • Introduced in GitLab Premium 10.5.
  • Available for Starter, Premium and Ultimate since 10.6.
  • Moved to GitLab Core in 11.4.

Using the include keyword, you can allow the inclusion of external YAML files. include requires the external YAML file to have the extensions .yml or .yaml, otherwise the external file will not be included.

The files defined in include are:

  • Deep merged with those in .gitlab-ci.yml.
  • Always evaluated first and merged with the content of .gitlab-ci.yml, regardless of the position of the include keyword.

TIP: Tip: Use merging to customize and override included CI/CD configurations with local definitions.

NOTE: Note: Using YAML aliases across different YAML files sourced by include is not supported. You must only refer to aliases in the same file. Instead of using YAML anchors, you can use the extends keyword.

include supports four include methods:

See usage examples.

NOTE: Note: .gitlab-ci.yml configuration included by all methods is evaluated at pipeline creation. The configuration is a snapshot in time and persisted in the database. Any changes to referenced .gitlab-ci.yml configuration will not be reflected in GitLab until the next pipeline is created.

include:local

include:local includes a file from the same repository as .gitlab-ci.yml. It's referenced using full paths relative to the root directory (/).

You can only use files that are currently tracked by Git on the same branch your configuration file is on. In other words, when using a include:local, make sure that both .gitlab-ci.yml and the local file are on the same branch.

All nested includes will be executed in the scope of the same project, so it is possible to use local, project, remote or template includes.

NOTE: Note: Including local files through Git submodules paths is not supported.

Example:

include:
  - local: '/templates/.gitlab-ci-template.yml'

include:file

Introduced in GitLab 11.7.

To include files from another private project under the same GitLab instance, use include:file. This file is referenced using full paths relative to the root directory (/). For example:

include:
  - project: 'my-group/my-project'
    file: '/templates/.gitlab-ci-template.yml'

You can also specify ref, with the default being the HEAD of the project:

include:
  - project: 'my-group/my-project'
    ref: master
    file: '/templates/.gitlab-ci-template.yml'

  - project: 'my-group/my-project'
    ref: v1.0.0
    file: '/templates/.gitlab-ci-template.yml'

  - project: 'my-group/my-project'
    ref: 787123b47f14b552955ca2786bc9542ae66fee5b # Git SHA
    file: '/templates/.gitlab-ci-template.yml'

All nested includes will be executed in the scope of the target project, so it is possible to use local (relative to target project), project, remote or template includes.

include:template

Introduced in GitLab 11.7.

include:template can be used to include .gitlab-ci.yml templates that are shipped with GitLab.

For example:

# File sourced from GitLab's template collection
include:
  - template: Auto-DevOps.gitlab-ci.yml

Multiple include:template files:

include:
  - template: Android-Fastlane.gitlab-ci.yml
  - template: Auto-DevOps.gitlab-ci.yml

All nested includes will be executed only with the permission of the user, so it is possible to use project, remote or template includes.

include:remote

include:remote can be used to include a file from a different location, using HTTP/HTTPS, referenced by using the full URL. The remote file must be publicly accessible through a simple GET request as authentication schemas in the remote URL is not supported. For example:

include:
  - remote: 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/master/.gitlab-ci-template.yml'

All nested includes will be executed without context as public user, so only another remote, or public project, or template is allowed.

Nested includes

Introduced in GitLab 11.9.

Nested includes allow you to compose a set of includes. A total of 100 includes is allowed. Duplicate includes are considered a configuration error.

Introduced in GitLab 12.4.

A hard limit of 30 seconds was set for resolving all files.

include examples

Here are a few more include examples.

Single string or array of multiple values

You can include your extra YAML file(s) either as a single string or an array of multiple values. The following examples are all valid.

Single string with the include:local method implied:

include: '/templates/.after-script-template.yml'

Array with include method implied:

include:
  - 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/master/.before-script-template.yml'
  - '/templates/.after-script-template.yml'

Single string with include method specified explicitly:

include:
  remote: 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/master/.before-script-template.yml'

Array with include:remote being the single item:

include:
  - remote: 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/master/.before-script-template.yml'

Array with multiple include methods specified explicitly:

include:
  - remote: 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/master/.before-script-template.yml'
  - local: '/templates/.after-script-template.yml'
  - template: Auto-DevOps.gitlab-ci.yml

Array mixed syntax:

include:
  - 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/master/.before-script-template.yml'
  - '/templates/.after-script-template.yml'
  - template: Auto-DevOps.gitlab-ci.yml
  - project: 'my-group/my-project'
    ref: master
    file: '/templates/.gitlab-ci-template.yml'
Re-using a before_script template

In the following example, the content of .before-script-template.yml will be automatically fetched and evaluated along with the content of .gitlab-ci.yml.

Content of https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/master/.before-script-template.yml:

before_script:
  - apt-get update -qq && apt-get install -y -qq sqlite3 libsqlite3-dev nodejs
  - gem install bundler --no-document
  - bundle install --jobs $(nproc)  "${FLAGS[@]}"

Content of .gitlab-ci.yml:

include: 'https://gitlab.com/awesome-project/raw/master/.before-script-template.yml'

rspec:
  script:
    - bundle exec rspec
Overriding external template values

The following example shows specific YAML-defined variables and details of the production job from an include file being customized in .gitlab-ci.yml.

Content of https://company.com/autodevops-template.yml:

variables:
  POSTGRES_USER: user
  POSTGRES_PASSWORD: testing_password
  POSTGRES_DB: $CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG

production:
  stage: production
  script:
    - install_dependencies
    - deploy
  environment:
    name: production
    url: https://$CI_PROJECT_PATH_SLUG.$KUBE_INGRESS_BASE_DOMAIN
  only:
    - master

Content of .gitlab-ci.yml:

include: 'https://company.com/autodevops-template.yml'

image: alpine:latest

variables:
  POSTGRES_USER: root
  POSTGRES_PASSWORD: secure_password

stages:
  - build
  - test
  - production

production:
  environment:
    url: https://domain.com

In this case, the variables POSTGRES_USER and POSTGRES_PASSWORD along with the environment url of the production job defined in autodevops-template.yml have been overridden by new values defined in .gitlab-ci.yml.

The merging lets you extend and override dictionary mappings, but you cannot add or modify items to an included array. For example, to add an additional item to the production job script, you must repeat the existing script items:

Content of https://company.com/autodevops-template.yml:

production:
  stage: production
  script:
    - install_dependencies
    - deploy

Content of .gitlab-ci.yml:

include: 'https://company.com/autodevops-template.yml'

stages:
  - production

production:
  script:
    - install_dependencies
    - deploy
    - notify_owner

In this case, if install_dependencies and deploy were not repeated in .gitlab-ci.yml, they would not be part of the script for the production job in the combined CI configuration.

Using nested includes

The examples below show how includes can be nested from different sources using a combination of different methods.

In this example, .gitlab-ci.yml includes local the file /.gitlab-ci/another-config.yml:

include:
  - local: /.gitlab-ci/another-config.yml

The /.gitlab-ci/another-config.yml includes a template and the /templates/docker-workflow.yml file from another project:

include:
  - template: Bash.gitlab-ci.yml
  - project: group/my-project
    file: /templates/docker-workflow.yml

The /templates/docker-workflow.yml present in group/my-project includes two local files of the group/my-project:

include:
  - local: /templates/docker-build.yml
  - local: /templates/docker-testing.yml

Our /templates/docker-build.yml present in group/my-project adds a docker-build job:

docker-build:
  script: docker build -t my-image .

Our second /templates/docker-test.yml present in group/my-project adds a docker-test job:

docker-test:
  script: docker run my-image /run/tests.sh

extends

Introduced in GitLab 11.3.

extends defines entry names that a job that uses extends is going to inherit from.

It is an alternative to using YAML anchors and is a little more flexible and readable:

.tests:
  script: rake test
  stage: test
  only:
    refs:
      - branches

rspec:
  extends: .tests
  script: rake rspec
  only:
    variables:
      - $RSPEC

In the example above, the rspec job inherits from the .tests template job. GitLab will perform a reverse deep merge based on the keys. GitLab will:

  • Merge the rspec contents into .tests recursively.
  • Not merge the values of the keys.

This results in the following rspec job:

rspec:
  script: rake rspec
  stage: test
  only:
    refs:
      - branches
    variables:
      - $RSPEC

NOTE: Note: Note that script: rake test has been overwritten by script: rake rspec.

If you do want to include the rake test, see before_script and after_script.

.tests in this example is a hidden key, but it's possible to inherit from regular jobs as well.

extends supports multi-level inheritance, however it is not recommended to use more than three levels. The maximum nesting level that is supported is 10. The following example has two levels of inheritance:

.tests:
  only:
    - pushes

.rspec:
  extends: .tests
  script: rake rspec

rspec 1:
  variables:
    RSPEC_SUITE: '1'
  extends: .rspec

rspec 2:
  variables:
    RSPEC_SUITE: '2'
  extends: .rspec

spinach:
  extends: .tests
  script: rake spinach

In GitLab 12.0 and later, it's also possible to use multiple parents for extends. The algorithm used for merge is "closest scope wins", so keys from the last member will always shadow anything defined on other levels. For example:

.only-important:
  only:
    - master
    - stable
  tags:
    - production

.in-docker:
  tags:
    - docker
  image: alpine

rspec:
  extends:
    - .only-important
    - .in-docker
  script:
    - rake rspec

This results in the following rspec job:

rspec:
  only:
    - master
    - stable
  tags:
    - docker
  image: alpine
  script:
    - rake rspec

Using extends and include together

extends works across configuration files combined with include.

For example, if you have a local included.yml file:

.template:
  script:
    - echo Hello!

Then, in .gitlab-ci.yml you can use it like this:

include: included.yml

useTemplate:
  image: alpine
  extends: .template

This will run a job called useTemplate that runs echo Hello! as defined in the .template job, and uses the alpine Docker image as defined in the local job.

pages

pages is a special job that is used to upload static content to GitLab that can be used to serve your website. It has a special syntax, so the two requirements below must be met:

  • Any static content must be placed under a public/ directory.
  • artifacts with a path to the public/ directory must be defined.

The example below simply moves all files from the root of the project to the public/ directory. The .public workaround is so cp doesn't also copy public/ to itself in an infinite loop:

pages:
  stage: deploy
  script:
    - mkdir .public
    - cp -r * .public
    - mv .public public
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - public
  only:
    - master

Read more on GitLab Pages user documentation.

variables

Introduced in GitLab Runner v0.5.0.

NOTE: Note: Integers (as well as strings) are legal both for variable's name and value. Floats are not legal and cannot be used.

GitLab CI/CD allows you to define variables inside .gitlab-ci.yml that are then passed in the job environment. They can be set globally and per-job. When the variables keyword is used on a job level, it overrides the global YAML variables and predefined ones.

They are stored in the Git repository and are meant to store non-sensitive project configuration, for example:

variables:
  DATABASE_URL: "postgres://postgres@postgres/my_database"

These variables can be later used in all executed commands and scripts. The YAML-defined variables are also set to all created service containers, thus allowing to fine tune them.

Except for the user defined variables, there are also the ones set up by the Runner itself. One example would be CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME which has the value of the branch or tag name for which project is built. Apart from the variables you can set in .gitlab-ci.yml, there are also the so called Variables which can be set in GitLab's UI.

Learn more about variables and their priority.

Git strategy

Introduced in GitLab 8.9 as an experimental feature. May change or be removed completely in future releases. GIT_STRATEGY=none requires GitLab Runner v1.7+.

You can set the GIT_STRATEGY used for getting recent application code, either globally or per-job in the variables section. If left unspecified, the default from project settings will be used.

There are three possible values: clone, fetch, and none.

clone is the slowest option. It clones the repository from scratch for every job, ensuring that the local working copy is always pristine.

variables:
  GIT_STRATEGY: clone

fetch is faster as it re-uses the local working copy (falling back to clone if it doesn't exist). git clean is used to undo any changes made by the last job, and git fetch is used to retrieve commits made since the last job ran.

variables:
  GIT_STRATEGY: fetch

none also re-uses the local working copy, but skips all Git operations (including GitLab Runner's pre-clone script, if present). It is mostly useful for jobs that operate exclusively on artifacts (e.g., deploy). Git repository data may be present, but it is certain to be out of date, so you should only rely on files brought into the local working copy from cache or artifacts.

variables:
  GIT_STRATEGY: none

NOTE: Note: GIT_STRATEGY is not supported for Kubernetes executor, but may be in the future. See the support Git strategy with Kubernetes executor feature proposal for updates.

Git submodule strategy

Requires GitLab Runner v1.10+.

The GIT_SUBMODULE_STRATEGY variable is used to control if / how Git submodules are included when fetching the code before a build. You can set them globally or per-job in the variables section.

There are three possible values: none, normal, and recursive:

  • none means that submodules will not be included when fetching the project code. This is the default, which matches the pre-v1.10 behavior.

  • normal means that only the top-level submodules will be included. It is equivalent to:

    git submodule sync
    git submodule update --init
  • recursive means that all submodules (including submodules of submodules) will be included. This feature needs Git v1.8.1 and later. When using a GitLab Runner with an executor not based on Docker, make sure the Git version meets that requirement. It is equivalent to:

    git submodule sync --recursive
    git submodule update --init --recursive

Note that for this feature to work correctly, the submodules must be configured (in .gitmodules) with either:

  • the HTTP(S) URL of a publicly-accessible repository, or
  • a relative path to another repository on the same GitLab server. See the Git submodules documentation.

Git checkout

Introduced in GitLab Runner 9.3.

The GIT_CHECKOUT variable can be used when the GIT_STRATEGY is set to either clone or fetch to specify whether a git checkout should be run. If not specified, it defaults to true. You can set them globally or per-job in the variables section.

If set to false, the Runner will:

  • when doing fetch - update the repository and leave working copy on the current revision,
  • when doing clone - clone the repository and leave working copy on the default branch.

Having this setting set to true will mean that for both clone and fetch strategies the Runner will checkout the working copy to a revision related to the CI pipeline:

variables:
  GIT_STRATEGY: clone
  GIT_CHECKOUT: "false"
script:
  - git checkout -B master origin/master
  - git merge $CI_COMMIT_SHA

Git clean flags

Introduced in GitLab Runner 11.10

The GIT_CLEAN_FLAGS variable is used to control the default behavior of git clean after checking out the sources. You can set it globally or per-job in the variables section.

GIT_CLEAN_FLAGS accepts all possible options of the git clean command.

git clean is disabled if GIT_CHECKOUT: "false" is specified.

If GIT_CLEAN_FLAGS is:

  • Not specified, git clean flags default to -ffdx.
  • Given the value none, git clean is not executed.

For example:

variables:
  GIT_CLEAN_FLAGS: -ffdx -e cache/
script:
  - ls -al cache/

Job stages attempts

Introduced in GitLab, it requires GitLab Runner v1.9+.

You can set the number for attempts the running job will try to execute each of the following stages:

Variable Description
GET_SOURCES_ATTEMPTS Number of attempts to fetch sources running a job
ARTIFACT_DOWNLOAD_ATTEMPTS Number of attempts to download artifacts running a job
RESTORE_CACHE_ATTEMPTS Number of attempts to restore the cache running a job

The default is one single attempt.

Example:

variables:
  GET_SOURCES_ATTEMPTS: 3

You can set them globally or per-job in the variables section.

Shallow cloning

Introduced in GitLab 8.9 as an experimental feature. May change in future releases or be removed completely.

You can specify the depth of fetching and cloning using GIT_DEPTH. This allows shallow cloning of the repository which can significantly speed up cloning for repositories with a large number of commits or old, large binaries. The value is passed to git fetch and git clone.

NOTE: Note: If you use a depth of 1 and have a queue of jobs or retry jobs, jobs may fail.

Since Git fetching and cloning is based on a ref, such as a branch name, Runners can't clone a specific commit SHA. If there are multiple jobs in the queue, or you are retrying an old job, the commit to be tested needs to be within the Git history that is cloned. Setting too small a value for GIT_DEPTH can make it impossible to run these old commits. You will see unresolved reference in job logs. You should then reconsider changing GIT_DEPTH to a higher value.

Jobs that rely on git describe may not work correctly when GIT_DEPTH is set since only part of the Git history is present.

To fetch or clone only the last 3 commits:

variables:
  GIT_DEPTH: "3"

You can set it globally or per-job in the variables section.

Deprecated parameters

The following parameters are deprecated.

Globally-defined types

CAUTION: Deprecated: types is deprecated, and could be removed in a future release. Use stages instead.

Job-defined type

CAUTION: Deprecated: type is deprecated, and could be removed in one of the future releases. Use stage instead.

Globally-defined image, services, cache, before_script, after_script

Defining image, services, cache, before_script, and after_script globally is deprecated. Support could be removed from a future release.

Use default: instead. For example:

default:
  image: ruby:2.5
  services:
    - docker:dind
  cache:
    paths: [vendor/]
  before_script:
    - bundle install --path vendor/
  after_script:
    - rm -rf tmp/

Custom build directories

Introduced in GitLab Runner 11.10

NOTE: Note: This can only be used when custom_build_dir is enabled in the Runner's configuration. This is the default configuration for docker and kubernetes executor.

By default, GitLab Runner clones the repository in a unique subpath of the $CI_BUILDS_DIR directory. However, your project might require the code in a specific directory (Go projects, for example). In that case, you can specify the GIT_CLONE_PATH variable to tell the Runner in which directory to clone the repository:

variables:
  GIT_CLONE_PATH: $CI_BUILDS_DIR/project-name

test:
  script:
    - pwd

The GIT_CLONE_PATH has to always be within $CI_BUILDS_DIR. The directory set in $CI_BUILDS_DIR is dependent on executor and configuration of runners.builds_dir setting.

Handling concurrency

An executor using a concurrency greater than 1 might lead to failures because multiple jobs might be working on the same directory if the builds_dir is shared between jobs. GitLab Runner does not try to prevent this situation. It is up to the administrator and developers to comply with the requirements of Runner configuration.

To avoid this scenario, you can use a unique path within $CI_BUILDS_DIR, because Runner exposes two additional variables that provide a unique ID of concurrency:

  • $CI_CONCURRENT_ID: Unique ID for all jobs running within the given executor.
  • $CI_CONCURRENT_PROJECT_ID: Unique ID for all jobs running within the given executor and project.

The most stable configuration that should work well in any scenario and on any executor is to use $CI_CONCURRENT_ID in the GIT_CLONE_PATH. For example:

variables:
  GIT_CLONE_PATH: $CI_BUILDS_DIR/$CI_CONCURRENT_ID/project-name

test:
  script:
    - pwd

The $CI_CONCURRENT_PROJECT_ID should be used in conjunction with $CI_PROJECT_PATH as the $CI_PROJECT_PATH provides a path of a repository. That is, group/subgroup/project. For example:

variables:
  GIT_CLONE_PATH: $CI_BUILDS_DIR/$CI_CONCURRENT_ID/$CI_PROJECT_PATH

test:
  script:
    - pwd

Nested paths

The value of GIT_CLONE_PATH is expanded once and nesting variables within it is not supported.

For example, you define both the variables below in your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

variables:
  GOPATH: $CI_BUILDS_DIR/go
  GIT_CLONE_PATH: $GOPATH/src/namespace/project

The value of GIT_CLONE_PATH is expanded once into $CI_BUILDS_DIR/go/src/namespace/project, and results in failure because $CI_BUILDS_DIR is not expanded.

Special YAML features

It's possible to use special YAML features like anchors (&), aliases (*) and map merging (<<), which will allow you to greatly reduce the complexity of .gitlab-ci.yml.

Read more about the various YAML features.

Hidden keys (jobs)

Introduced in GitLab 8.6 and GitLab Runner v1.1.1.

If you want to temporarily 'disable' a job, rather than commenting out all the lines where the job is defined:

#hidden_job:
#  script:
#    - run test

you can instead start its name with a dot (.) and it will not be processed by GitLab CI. In the following example, .hidden_job will be ignored:

.hidden_job:
  script:
    - run test

Use this feature to ignore jobs, or use the special YAML features and transform the hidden keys into templates.

Anchors

Introduced in GitLab 8.6 and GitLab Runner v1.1.1.

YAML has a handy feature called 'anchors', which lets you easily duplicate content across your document. Anchors can be used to duplicate/inherit properties, and is a perfect example to be used with hidden keys to provide templates for your jobs.

The following example uses anchors and map merging. It will create two jobs, test1 and test2, that will inherit the parameters of .job_template, each having their own custom script defined:

.job_template: &job_definition  # Hidden key that defines an anchor named 'job_definition'
  image: ruby:2.1
  services:
    - postgres
    - redis

test1:
  <<: *job_definition           # Merge the contents of the 'job_definition' alias
  script:
    - test1 project

test2:
  <<: *job_definition           # Merge the contents of the 'job_definition' alias
  script:
    - test2 project

& sets up the name of the anchor (job_definition), << means "merge the given hash into the current one", and * includes the named anchor (job_definition again). The expanded version looks like this:

.job_template:
  image: ruby:2.1
  services:
    - postgres
    - redis

test1:
  image: ruby:2.1
  services:
    - postgres
    - redis
  script:
    - test1 project

test2:
  image: ruby:2.1
  services:
    - postgres
    - redis
  script:
    - test2 project

Let's see another one example. This time we will use anchors to define two sets of services. This will create two jobs, test:postgres and test:mysql, that will share the script directive defined in .job_template, and the services directive defined in .postgres_services and .mysql_services respectively:

.job_template: &job_definition
  script:
    - test project

.postgres_services:
  services: &postgres_definition
    - postgres
    - ruby

.mysql_services:
  services: &mysql_definition
    - mysql
    - ruby

test:postgres:
  <<: *job_definition
  services: *postgres_definition

test:mysql:
  <<: *job_definition
  services: *mysql_definition

The expanded version looks like this:

.job_template:
  script:
    - test project

.postgres_services:
  services:
    - postgres
    - ruby

.mysql_services:
  services:
    - mysql
    - ruby

test:postgres:
  script:
    - test project
  services:
    - postgres
    - ruby

test:mysql:
  script:
    - test project
  services:
    - mysql
    - ruby

You can see that the hidden keys are conveniently used as templates.

Triggers

Triggers can be used to force a rebuild of a specific branch, tag or commit, with an API call when a pipeline gets created using a trigger token.

Not to be confused with trigger.

Read more in the triggers documentation.

Processing Git pushes

GitLab will create at most 4 branch and tags pipelines when doing pushing multiple changes in single git push invocation.

This limitation does not affect any of the updated Merge Request pipelines, all updated Merge Requests will have a pipeline created when using pipelines for merge requests.

Skipping jobs

If your commit message contains [ci skip] or [skip ci], using any capitalization, the commit will be created but the pipeline will be skipped.

Alternatively, one can pass the ci.skip Git push option if using Git 2.10 or newer.