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Deploying to GitLab Pages

GitLab Pages are very similar to GitHub Pages. GitLab Pages also supports custom domain names and SSL certificates and includes a continuous integration platform.

Prerequisites

  • A Gatsby project set up. (Need help creating one? Follow the Quick Start)
  • A GitLab account

Instructions

Create a new GitLab repository and add the GitLab remote.

You can deploy sites on GitLab Pages with or without a custom domain. If you choose to use the default setup (without a custom domain), or if you create a project site, you will need to set up your site with path prefixing. If adding a custom domain, you can skip the Path Prefix step, and remove --prefix-paths from the .gitlab-ci.yml file.

Add Path Prefix to Gatsby

As the site will be hosted under yourname.gitlab.io/examplerepository/, you will need to configure Gatsby to use the pathPrefix option.

In gatsby-config.js, set the pathPrefix option. The pathPrefix should be the project name in your repository, e.g. with https://gitlab.com/yourname/examplerepository/ your pathPrefix should be /examplerepository. See the docs page on pathPrefix for more information.

Build and deploy with GitLab CI

To use GitLab’s continuous integration (CI), you need to add a .gitlab-ci.yml configuration file. This is the file that GitLab uses to manage the CI job.

The online editor on the GitLab website contains a pre-built template for Gatsby deployment.

To use the template open your repository on their website, select the “Setup CI/CD” option on the center menu, and it will create a new blank .gitlab-ci.yml for you. Now select the “Apply a GitLab CI YAML Template” drop-down, and type Gatsby into the filter. Select the Gatsby option, click “Commit Changes”, and you are done!

If adding this manually to your project, the file needs to contain a few required fields:

Some notes about the different options:

  • The CI platform uses Docker images/containers, so image: node:latest tells the CI to use the latest node image.
  • cache: caches the node_modules folder in between builds, so subsequent builds should be a lot faster as it doesn’t have to reinstall all the dependencies required.
  • pages: is the name of the CI stage. You can have multiple stages, e.g. ‘Test’, ‘Build’, ‘Deploy’ etc.
  • script: starts the next part of the CI stage, telling it to start running the below scripts inside the image selected. npm install and ./node_modules/.bin/gatsby build --prefix-paths will install all dependencies, and start the static site build, respectively. ./node_modules/.bin/gatsby build --prefix-paths was used so you don’t have to install gatsby-cli to build the image, as it has already been included and installed with npm install. --prefix-paths was used because without that flag, Gatsby ignores your pathPrefix.
  • artifacts: Its paths: are used to tell GitLab Pages where the static files are kept.
  • only: Its main tells the CI to only run the above instructions when the main branch is deployed.

Add that configuration, and with the next main branch push, your site should have been built correctly. This can be checked by going to your repository on GitLab, and selecting CI/CD in the sidebar. This will then show you a log of all jobs that have either succeeded or failed. You can click on the failed status, and then select the job to get more information about why your build may have failed.

If all went well, you should now be able to access your site. It will be hosted under gitlab.io - for example if you have a repository under your namespace, the url will be yourname.gitlab.io/examplerepository.

Limitations

GitLab Pages doesn’t support advanced features like SSR, DSG, or Image CDN. You can get all features and faster builds by signing up to Gatsby Cloud.

Additional resources

  • Visit the GitLab Pages to learn how to set up custom domains and find out about advanced configurations.
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