Configuring a Database for GitLab HA

You can choose to install and manage a database server (PostgreSQL/MySQL) yourself, or you can use GitLab Omnibus packages to help. GitLab recommends PostgreSQL. This is the database that will be installed if you use the Omnibus package to manage your database.

Configure your own database server

If you're hosting GitLab on a cloud provider, you can optionally use a managed service for PostgreSQL. For example, AWS offers a managed Relational Database Service (RDS) that runs PostgreSQL.

If you use a cloud-managed service, or provide your own PostgreSQL:

  1. Set up a gitlab username with a password of your choice. The gitlab user needs privileges to create the gitlabhq_production database.
  2. Configure the GitLab application servers with the appropriate details. This step is covered in Configuring GitLab for HA

Configure using Omnibus

  1. Download/install GitLab Omnibus using steps 1 and 2 from GitLab downloads. Do not complete other steps on the download page.
  2. Create/edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and use the following configuration. Be sure to change the external_url to match your eventual GitLab front-end URL.

    external_url ''
    # Disable all components except PostgreSQL
    postgresql['enable'] = true
    bootstrap['enable'] = false
    nginx['enable'] = false
    unicorn['enable'] = false
    sidekiq['enable'] = false
    redis['enable'] = false
    gitlab_workhorse['enable'] = false
    mailroom['enable'] = false
    # PostgreSQL configuration
    postgresql['sql_password'] = 'DB password'
    postgresql['md5_auth_cidr_addresses'] = ['']
    postgresql['listen_address'] = ''
  3. Run sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure to install and configure PostgreSQL.

    Note: This reconfigure step will result in some errors. That's OK - don't be alarmed.

  4. Open a database prompt:

    su - gitlab-psql
    psql -h /var/opt/gitlab/postgresql -d template1
    # Output:
    psql (9.2.15)
    Type "help" for help.
  5. Run the following command at the database prompt and you will be asked to enter the new password for the PostgreSQL superuser.

    # Output:
    Enter new password:
    Enter it again:
  6. Similarly, set the password for the gitlab database user. Use the same password that you specified in the /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb file for postgresql['sql_password'].

    \password gitlab
    # Output:
    Enter new password:
    Enter it again:
  7. Enable the pg_trgm extension:

    # Output:
  8. Exit the database prompt by typing \q and Enter.

  9. Exit the gitlab-psql user by running exit twice.

  10. Run sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure a final time.

  11. Run touch /etc/gitlab/skip-auto-migrations to prevent database migrations from running on upgrade. Only the primary GitLab application server should handle migrations.

Read more on high-availability configuration:

  1. Configure Redis
  2. Configure NFS
  3. Configure the GitLab application servers
  4. Configure the load balancers