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Gitlab CE / EE – SSL Certificate Solution

Gitlab CE / EE – SSL Certificate Solution


Edit Below:

nano /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb

Add this line :

nginx['custom_gitlab_server_config'] = "location /.well-known/acme-challenge/ {\n root /var/opt/gitlab/nginx/www/; \n}\n"

letsencrypt['enable'] = true
letsencrypt['contact_emails'] = ['[email protected]'] # This should be an array of email addresses to add as contacts
letsencrypt['auto_renew'] = true
letsencrypt['auto_renew_hour'] = 0
letsencrypt['auto_renew_day_of_month'] = "*/7"


gitlab-ctl reconfigure


  1. Introduction to GitLab Configuration
    • Understanding GitLab.rb file
    • Purpose of the configuration settings
  2. Importance of Adding Custom Server Configuration
    • Security considerations
    • Handling ACME challenges
  3. Step-by-Step Guide to Edit GitLab.rb File
    • Locating the GitLab.rb file
    • Adding the necessary lines
    • Saving the changes
  4. Explanation of Added Configuration Lines
    • Breakdown of “nginx[‘custom_gitlab_server_config’]” line
    • Understanding “gitlab-ctl reconfigure”
  5. Why Nginx Configuration Matters
    • Role of Nginx in GitLab
    • Implications of custom configurations
  6. Ensuring Smooth Reconfiguration Process
    • Precautions before executing gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    • Handling potential errors
  7. Verifying Changes and Implementation
    • Checking the modified GitLab.rb file
    • Ensuring successful reconfiguration
  8. Benefits of Incorporating ACME Challenge Handling
    • Enabling SSL certificates
    • Simplifying certificate renewals
  9. Conclusion
  10. FAQs on GitLab Configuration

Edit Below:

The GitLab configuration file, gitlab.rb, holds substantial significance in managing and customizing the GitLab server’s settings. Within this file, users can manipulate various parameters to suit their requirements, from security configurations to server directives.

Importance of Adding Custom Server Configuration

Adding custom server configurations within the gitlab.rb file isn’t just a preference; it’s a necessity. This step becomes crucial in addressing security concerns and effectively managing challenges like ACME, particularly when dealing with SSL certificate management and validation.

Step-by-Step Guide to Edit GitLab.rb File

  1. Locating the GitLab.rb file: The file can be typically found at /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb. Use a text editor, such as Nano or Vim, to access and edit it.
  2. Adding the necessary lines: Insert the line nginx['custom_gitlab_server_config'] = "location /.well-known/acme-challenge/ {\n root /var/opt/gitlab/nginx/www/; \n}\n" into the file.
  3. Saving the changes: Ensure to save the modifications before proceeding.

Explanation of Added Configuration Lines

The line nginx['custom_gitlab_server_config'] signifies the addition of a custom Nginx configuration within GitLab. This particular line directs Nginx to handle ACME challenges by specifying the root directory for challenge verifications.

Understanding the command gitlab-ctl reconfigure is crucial as it reconfigures GitLab based on the updated gitlab.rb file.

Why Nginx Configuration Matters

Nginx serves as the web server for GitLab, managing incoming requests and handling various operations. Custom configurations ensure smoother and more secure server operations, especially in managing specific challenges like ACME verifications.

Ensuring Smooth Reconfiguration Process

Before executing gitlab-ctl reconfigure, it’s essential to back up the existing configuration and take necessary precautions. This step minimizes the risk of encountering errors during the reconfiguration process.

Verifying Changes and Implementation

After saving the modifications, verify the GitLab.rb file to ensure the changes were accurately added. Then, execute gitlab-ctl reconfigure to implement the changes made.

Benefits of Incorporating ACME Challenge Handling

Enabling the server to handle ACME challenges simplifies SSL certificate management. It ensures seamless certificate renewals and strengthens the server’s security by validating challenges effectively.


Incorporating custom server configurations within the GitLab.rb file, specifically handling ACME challenges through Nginx configurations, enhances security and streamlines SSL certificate management. By understanding and implementing these steps, users can fortify their GitLab servers and ensure smooth operations.

FAQs on GitLab Configuration

1. How can I locate the GitLab.rb file?

The GitLab.rb file is typically found at /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb in your GitLab server’s directory structure.

2. What precautions should I take before executing gitlab-ctl reconfigure?

Before running gitlab-ctl reconfigure, it’s advisable to create a backup of your current GitLab configuration. This step ensures that in case of any unexpected issues during reconfiguration, you can revert to the previous settings without hassle.

3. Does editing the GitLab.rb file require server downtime?

No, editing the GitLab.rb file does not necessitate server downtime. However, after making changes to this file, it’s essential to execute gitlab-ctl reconfigure to implement the modifications. During this reconfiguration process, there might be a brief interruption in service.

4. Can these configurations impact GitLab’s performance?

Custom configurations, when incorrectly applied, could potentially affect GitLab’s performance. It’s crucial to ensure that the changes made are compatible and suitable for your server setup. Proper testing and verification of the configurations before applying them can mitigate performance issues.

5. How often should I verify and reconfigure GitLab after making changes?

Verification and reconfiguration should be done whenever significant changes are made to the GitLab.rb file. Additionally, it’s good practice to verify after each modification to ensure that the changes are correctly applied and the server operates as intended.

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