Updating the Geo nodes

Depending on which version of Geo you are updating to/from, there may be different steps.

General update steps

In order to update the GitLab Geo nodes when a new GitLab version is released, all you need to do is update GitLab itself:

  1. Log into each node (primary and secondaries)
  2. Update GitLab
  3. Update tracking database on secondary node when the tracking database is enabled.
  4. Test primary and secondary nodes, and check version in each.

Upgrading to GitLab 10.2

Support for replicating repositories and wikis over HTTP/HTTPS has been added. Replicating over SSH has been deprecated, and support for this option will be removed in a future release.

To switch to HTTP/HTTPS replication, log into the primary node as an admin and visit Admin Area ➔ Geo Nodes (/admin/geo_nodes). For each secondary listed, press the "Edit" button, change the "Repository cloning" setting from "SSH (deprecated)" to "HTTP/HTTPS", and press "Save changes". This should take effect immediately.

Any new secondaries should be created using HTTP/HTTPS replication - this is the default setting.

After you've verified that HTTP/HTTPS replication is working, you should remove the now-unused SSH keys from your secondaries, as they may cause problems if the secondary if ever promoted to a primary:

  1. [secondary] Login to all your secondary nodes and run:

    sudo -u git -H rm ~git/.ssh/id_rsa ~git/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

Upgrading to GitLab 10.1

Hashed storage was introduced in GitLab 10.0, and a migration path for existing repositories was added in GitLab 10.1.

After upgrading to GitLab 10.1, we recommend that you enable hashed storage for all new projects, then migrate existing projects to hashed storage. This will significantly reduce the amount of synchronization required between nodes in the event of project or group renames.

Upgrading to GitLab 10.0

Since GitLab 10.0, we require all Geo systems to use SSH key lookups via the database to avoid having to maintain consistency of the authorized_keys file for SSH access. Failing to do this will prevent users from being able to clone via SSH.

Note that in older versions of Geo, attachments downloaded on the secondary nodes would be saved to the wrong directory. We recommend that you do the following to clean this up.

On the SECONDARY Geo nodes, run as root:

mv /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/working /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/working.old
mkdir /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/working
chmod 700 /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/working
chown git:git /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/working

You may delete /var/opt/gitlab/gitlab-rails/working.old any time.

Once this is done, we advise restarting GitLab on the secondary nodes for the new working directory to be used:

sudo gitlab-ctl restart

Upgrading from GitLab 9.3 or older

If you started running Geo on GitLab 9.3 or older, we recommend that you resync your secondary PostgreSQL databases to use replication slots. If you started using Geo with GitLab 9.4 or 10.x, no further action should be required because replication slots are used by default. However, if you started with GitLab 9.3 and upgraded later, you should still follow the instructions below.

When in doubt, it does not hurt to do a resync. The easiest way to do this in Omnibus is the following:

  1. Install GitLab on the primary server
  2. Run gitlab-ctl reconfigure and gitlab-ctl restart postgresql. This will enable replication slots on the primary database.
  3. Install GitLab on the secondary server.
  4. Re-run the database replication process.

Special update notes for 9.0.x

IMPORTANT: With GitLab 9.0, the PostgreSQL version is upgraded to 9.6 and manual steps are required in order to update the secondary nodes and keep the Streaming Replication working. Downtime is required, so plan ahead.

The following steps apply only if you upgrade from a 8.17 GitLab version to 9.0+. For previous versions, update to GitLab 8.17 first before attempting to upgrade to 9.0+.


Make sure to follow the steps in the exact order as they appear below and pay extra attention in what node (primary/secondary) you execute them! Each step is prepended with the relevant node for better clarity:

  1. [secondary] Login to all your secondary nodes and stop all services:

    sudo gitlab-ctl stop
  2. [secondary] Make a backup of the recovery.conf file on all secondary nodes to preserve PostgreSQL's credentials:

    sudo cp /var/opt/gitlab/postgresql/data/recovery.conf /var/opt/gitlab/
  3. [primary] Update the primary node to GitLab 9.0 following the regular update docs. At the end of the update, the primary node will be running with PostgreSQL 9.6.

  4. [primary] To prevent a de-synchronization of the repository replication, stop all services except postgresql as we will use it to re-initialize the secondary node's database:

    sudo gitlab-ctl stop
    sudo gitlab-ctl start postgresql
  5. [secondary] Run the following steps on each of the secondaries:

    1. [secondary] Stop all services:

      sudo gitlab-ctl stop
    2. [secondary] Prevent running database migrations:

      sudo touch /etc/gitlab/skip-auto-migrations
    3. [secondary] Move the old database to another directory:

      sudo mv /var/opt/gitlab/postgresql{,.bak}
    4. [secondary] Update to GitLab 9.0 following the regular update docs. At the end of the update, the node will be running with PostgreSQL 9.6.

    5. [secondary] Make sure all services are up:

      sudo gitlab-ctl start
    6. [secondary] Reconfigure GitLab:

      sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    7. [secondary] Run the PostgreSQL upgrade command:

        sudo gitlab-ctl pg-upgrade
    8. [secondary] See the stored credentials for the database that you will need to re-initialize the replication:

      sudo grep -s primary_conninfo /var/opt/gitlab/recovery.conf
    9. [secondary] Create the replica.sh script as described in the database configuration document.

    10. [secondary] Run the recovery script using the credentials from the previous step:

      sudo bash /tmp/replica.sh
    11. [secondary] Reconfigure GitLab:

      sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    12. [secondary] Start all services:

      sudo gitlab-ctl start
    13. [secondary] Repeat the steps for the rest of the secondaries.

  6. [primary] After all secondaries are updated, start all services in primary:

    sudo gitlab-ctl start

Check status after updating

Now that the update process is complete, you may want to check whether everything is working correctly:

  1. Run the Geo raketask on all nodes, everything should be green:

    sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:geo:check
  2. Check the primary's Geo dashboard for any errors

  3. Test the data replication by pushing code to the primary and see if it is received by the secondaries

Update tracking database on secondary node

After updating a secondary node, you might need to run migrations on the tracking database. The tracking database was added in GitLab 9.1, and it is required since 10.0.

  1. Run database migrations on tracking database

    sudo gitlab-rake geo:db:migrate
  2. Repeat this step for every secondary node