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Installing GitLab on FreeBSD 10


Mileage with this guide may vary; different configurations of FreeBSD on different hardware and with different packages may introduce other unexpected issues. To make full use of this guide, read the official GitLab installation guide before attempting anything in here.

Note: These steps were tested on a FreeBSD droplet at DigitalOcean.

  1. Update system and Enable UTF-8

Follow this guide to enable UTF-8 on your system. This will allow you to create the GitLab database later on.

Update your system:

pkg update
pkg upgrade
  1. Install dependencies

Install system packages:

pkg install sudo bash icu cmake pkgconf git nginx node ruby ruby22-gems logrotate redis postgresql95-server postgresql95-contrib postfix krb5 gmake go

Install bundler gem system-wide:

gem install bundler --no-ri --no-rdoc

Add this to /etc/rc.conf:

# Core services

# GitLab services

# Web server

# Postfix/Sendmail
  1. Create git user for GitLab

Set up user and groups:

# Create user
pw add user -n git -m -s /usr/local/bin/bash -c "GitLab"

# Add 'git' user to 'redis' group (this will come in useful later!)
pw groupmod redis -m git
  1. Set up Postgres database

Set up the database:

# Initialize First start of PG DB
service postgresql initdb

# Initialise Postgres db
service postgresql start

# Log in to Postgres user account
su - pgsql

# Connect to Postgres database
psql -d template1

When logged into the database:

# Do not type the 'template1=#', this is part of the prompt

# Set up pg_trgm extension (required for GitLab 8.6+)

# Create a user for GitLab
template1=# CREATE USER git CREATEDB;

# Create the GitLab production database & grant all privileges on database
template1=# CREATE DATABASE gitlabhq_production OWNER git encoding='UTF8';

# Quit the database session
template1=# \q

Then type exit to drop back to the root user. Try connecting to the new database with the git user:

su - git
psql -d gitlabhq_production

If this succeeds, quit the database session by typing \q or hitting CTRL-D.

  1. Install and set up Redis

Back up the original Redis config file:

cp /usr/local/etc/redis.conf /usr/local/etc/redis.conf.orig

Run the following commands to get Redis working:

# Disable Redis listening on TCP by setting 'port' to 0
sed 's/^port .*/port 0/' /usr/local/etc/redis.conf.orig | sudo tee /usr/local/etc/redis.conf

# Enable Redis socket
echo 'unixsocket /usr/local/var/run/redis/redis.sock' | sudo tee -a /usr/local/etc/redis.conf

# Grant permission to the socket to all members of the redis group
echo 'unixsocketperm 770' | sudo tee -a /usr/local/etc/redis.conf

# Create the directory which contains the socket
mkdir -p /usr/local/var/run/redis
chown redis:redis /usr/local/var/run/redis
chmod 755 /usr/local/var/run/redis

# Restart redis
sudo service redis restart
  1. Install and set up GitLab

# Change to git home directory
cd /home/git

# Clone GitLab source
sudo -u git -H git clone -b 8-10-stable gitlab

# Go to GitLab source folder
cd /home/git/gitlab

# Copy the example GitLab config
sudo -u git -H cp config/gitlab.yml.example config/gitlab.yml

Edit the GitLab configuration file (sudo -u git -H vim config/gitlab.yml)

  • The option host: should be set to your domain, e.g. "".
  • The line bin_path: should be set to FreeBSD's git location: /usr/local/bin/git.
  • Change /home/* to be /usr/home/* (home is a symbolic link that doesn't work)

As root:

cd /home/git/gitlab

# Copy the example secrets file
sudo -u git -H cp config/secrets.yml.example config/secrets.yml
sudo -u git -H chmod 0600 config/secrets.yml

# Make sure GitLab can write to the log/ and tmp/ directories
sudo chown -R git log/
sudo chown -R git tmp/
sudo chmod -R u+rwX,go-w log/
sudo chmod -R u+rwX tmp/

# Make sure GitLab can write to the tmp/pids/ and tmp/sockets/ directories
sudo chmod -R u+rwX tmp/pids/
sudo chmod -R u+rwX tmp/sockets/

# Create the public/uploads/ directory
sudo -u git -H mkdir public/uploads/

# Make sure only the GitLab user has access to the public/uploads/ directory
# now that files in public/uploads are served by gitlab-workhorse
sudo chmod 0700 public/uploads

# Change the permissions of the directory where CI build traces are stored
sudo chmod -R u+rwX builds/

# Change the permissions of the directory where CI artifacts are stored
sudo chmod -R u+rwX shared/artifacts/

# Copy the example Unicorn config
sudo -u git -H cp config/unicorn.rb.example config/unicorn.rb

# Find number of cores
sysctl hw.ncpu

# Enable cluster mode if you expect to have a high load instance
# Set the number of workers to at least the number of cores
# Ex. change amount of workers to 3 for 2GB RAM server
sudo -u git -H vim config/unicorn.rb

# Copy the example Rack attack config
sudo -u git -H cp config/initializers/rack_attack.rb.example config/initializers/rack_attack.rb

# Configure Git global settings for git user
# 'autocrlf' is needed for the web editor
sudo -u git -H git config --global core.autocrlf input

# Disable 'git gc --auto' because GitLab already runs 'git gc' when needed
sudo -u git -H git config --global 0

# Configure Redis connection settings
sudo -u git -H cp config/resque.yml.example config/resque.yml

# Change the Redis socket path to /usr/local/var/run/redis/redis.sock
sudo -u git -H sed -i '' 's|/var/run/redis/redis.sock|/usr/local/var/run/redis/redis.sock|g' config/resque.yml

Configure the GitLab DB Settings:

sudo -u git cp config/database.yml.postgresql config/database.yml

# Make config/database.yml readable to git only
sudo -u git -H chmod o-rwx config/database.yml

Install Gems:

sudo -u git -H bundle install --deployment --without development test mysql aws kerberos

  1. GitLab Shell

# create repositories path 
sudo -u git -H mkdir /home/git/repositories

# Run the rake task for installing gitlab-shell
sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:shell:install REDIS_URL=unix:/usr/local/var/run/redis/redis.sock RAILS_ENV=production

# Edit the gitlab-shell config
# Change /home/* to be /usr/home/*  (home is a symbolic link that doesn't work)
# Change the 'gitlab_url' option to 'http://localhost:8080/'
# Don't bother configuring any SSL stuff in here because it's used internally
sudo -u git -H vim /home/git/gitlab-shell/config.yml
  1. Gitlab Workhorse

cd /home/git
sudo -u git -H git clone
cd gitlab-workhorse
sudo -u git -H git checkout v0.7.9
sudo -u git -H gmake
  1. Initialize Database

Initialize Database and Activate Advanced Features

cd /home/git/gitlab
sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:setup RAILS_ENV=production
# Type 'yes' to create the database tables.
# When done you see 'Administrator account created:'

Note: You can set the Administrator/root password by supplying it in the environmental variable GITLAB_ROOT_PASSWORD as seen below. If you don't set the password (and it is set to the default one) please wait with exposing GitLab to the public internet until the installation is done and you've logged into the server the first time. During the first login you'll be forced to change the default password.

sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:setup RAILS_ENV=production GITLAB_ROOT_PASSWORD=yourpassword
  1. Init script

Download the FreeBSD init script as root:

fetch -o /usr/local/etc/rc.d/gitlab
chmod 555 /usr/local/etc/rc.d/gitlab
  1. Check Configuration and Compile Assets

cd /home/git/gitlab
sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:env:info RAILS_ENV=production

If this all passes (all green and/or no errors are reported), then go ahead and compile all of the assets for GitLab. This can take ~10-15 minutes on a smaller machine, so don't panic if it takes a while!

sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake assets:precompile RAILS_ENV=production
  1. Start GitLab service

If all of the above steps complete with no errors and everything has gone smoothly, then start the GitLab service.

As root:

service gitlab start
  1. Nginx

Note: The default version of nginx on FreeBSD is compiled without the gzip_static module, which means you need to remove the appropriate directives from the nginx configuration.

mkdir -p /usr/local/etc/nginx/conf.d
mkdir -p /usr/local/etc/nginx/ssl
mkdir -p /var/log/nginx

fetch -o /usr/local/etc/nginx/conf.d/gitlab.conf

fetch -o /usr/local/etc/nginx/conf.d/gitlab.conf

Edit /usr/local/etc/nginx/nginx.conf:

load_module /usr/local/libexec/nginx/;
load_module /usr/local/libexec/nginx/;

#user  nobody;
worker_processes  1;

#error_log  logs/error.log;
#error_log  logs/error.log  notice;
#error_log  logs/error.log  info;

#pid        logs/;

events {
    worker_connections  1024;

http {
    include       mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;

    #log_format  main  '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] "$request" '
    #                  '$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
    #                  '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for"';

    #access_log  logs/access.log  main;

    sendfile        on;
    #tcp_nopush     on;

    #keepalive_timeout  0;
    keepalive_timeout  65;

    #gzip  on;

    include /usr/local/etc/nginx/conf.d/*;

Edit /usr/local/etc/nginx/conf.d/gitlab.conf

  • Change any reference to /etc/* to /usr/local/etc/*
  • Replace with your FQDN.

Make sure to read the comments in order to properly set up SSL.

Example to set up self-signed SSL:

cd /usr/local/etc/nginx/ssl
openssl genrsa -out gitlab.key
openssl req -new -batch -subj "/C=US/ST=gitlab/L=gitlab/O=gitlab/CN=gitlab" -key gitlab.key -out gitlab.csr
openssl x509 -req -days 3650 -in gitlab.csr -signkey gitlab.key -out gitlab.crt

Add www user to git group:

pw groupmod git -m www
chmod g+rx /home/git/

Set up the log directory

 mkdir /var/log/nginx

Finally start nginx with:

service nginx start

Test Configuration

Validate your gitlab or gitlab-ssl Nginx config file with the following command:

nginx -t

You should receive syntax is okay and test is successful messages. If you receive errors check your gitlab or gitlab-ssl Nginx config file for typos, etc. as indiciated in the error message given.

Restart nginx with sudo service nginx restart, and you should be up and running.

Good to Go

Check everything with this command just to be sure:

cd /home/git/gitlab
sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:check RAILS_ENV=production

If everything comes up green, then GitLab should work.

If some things show up as red, blue, pink or any colour that's not green - read any error messages thoroughly before trying any suggested fixes. Google comes in extremely handy when trying to diagnose unhelpful Ruby error messages.


504 - Gateway Timed Out errors

This can be caused by several different things with GitLab. The best bet is to go back up through the install guide and check each step has been properly executed.

  • Check the logs! Look in /home/git/gitlab/log for clues.
  • Check what's running! The command sockstat -4l usually gives an idea of which services are running on which ports. (Redis uses port 6379, Unicorn uses port 8080, and Postgres uses port 5432).

What it usually boils down to: 1. GitLab's assets haven't been precompiled (there is a command above) 2. Postgres isn't running or the database isn't set up properly 3. Redis isn't running 4. Nginx isn't set up properly

Gem timfel-krb5-auth fails to build

Install the Kerberos package: pkg install krb5. As far as I know, there's no way to disable the Kerberos authentication in GitLab (even if it's unused) so unfortunately the only solution is to install the missing packages.

EDIT: The new version of timfel-krb5-auth fails to build even with krb5 installed. The only solution is to change the package version to 0.8.2. (More info here)

Postfix/sendmail: "postdrop: warning: unable to look up public/pickup: No such file or directory"

Sometimes Postfix and/or sendmail might complain if they're not set up correctly or have only just been installed.

mkfifo /var/spool/postfix/public/pickup
killall $(pgrep sendmail) # Kill all sendmail processes
sudo service postfix restart # Restart Postfix


Unicorn / nginx: "Failed to set accept_filter=httpready"

This is to do with an HTTP buffering kernel module in FreeBSD that some HTTP servers expect to be loaded. Run this:

kldload accf_http
echo 'accf_http_load="YES"' >> /boot/loader.conf

sudo service gitlab restart
sudo service redis restart
sudo service nginx restart


PostgreSQL: "FATAL: could not create shared memory segment: Function not implemented"

You're trying to run PostgreSQL in a FreeBSD jail, which needs some sysctl tweaks. Set the following options in your jail's config (assuming you're using ezjail):

export jail_**MY_JAIL_NAME**_parameters="allow.raw_sockets=1 allow.sysvipc=1"