Gitaly is the service that provides high-level RPC access to Git repositories. Without it, no other components can read or write Git data. GitLab components that access Git repositories (GitLab Rails, GitLab Shell, GitLab Workhorse, etc.) act as clients to Gitaly. End users do not have direct access to Gitaly.

On this page, Gitaly server refers to a standalone node that only runs Gitaly and Gitaly client is a GitLab Rails app node that runs all other processes except Gitaly.


Here's a high-level architecture overview of how Gitaly is used.

Gitaly architecture diagram

Configuring Gitaly

The Gitaly service itself is configured via a TOML configuration file.

If you want to change any of its settings:

For Omnibus GitLab

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add or change the Gitaly settings.
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab.

For installations from source

  1. Edit /home/git/gitaly/config.toml and add or change the Gitaly settings.
  2. Save the file and restart GitLab.

Running Gitaly on its own server

This is an optional way to deploy Gitaly which can benefit GitLab installations that are larger than a single machine. Most installations will be better served with the default configuration used by Omnibus and the GitLab source installation guide. Follow transition to Gitaly on its own server, Gitaly servers will need to be upgraded before other servers in your cluster.

Starting with GitLab 11.4, Gitaly is able to serve all Git requests without requiring a shared NFS mount for Git repository data. Between 11.4 and 11.8 the exception was the Elasticsearch indexer. But since 11.8 the indexer uses Gitaly for data access as well. NFS can still be leveraged for redundancy on block level of the Git data. But only has to be mounted on the Gitaly server.

From GitLab v11.8 to v12.2, it is possible to use Elasticsearch in conjunction with a Gitaly setup that isn't utilising NFS. In order to use Elasticsearch in this scenario, the new repository indexer needs to be enabled in your GitLab configuration. Since GitLab v12.3, the new indexer becomes the default and no configuration is required.

Network architecture

The following list depicts what the network architecture of Gitaly is:

  • GitLab Rails shards repositories into repository storages.
  • /config/gitlab.yml contains a map from storage names to (Gitaly address, Gitaly token) pairs.
  • the storage name -> (Gitaly address, Gitaly token) map in /config/gitlab.yml is the single source of truth for the Gitaly network topology.
  • A (Gitaly address, Gitaly token) corresponds to a Gitaly server.
  • A Gitaly server hosts one or more storages.
  • A GitLab server can use one or more Gitaly servers.
  • Gitaly addresses must be specified in such a way that they resolve correctly for ALL Gitaly clients.
  • Gitaly clients are: Unicorn, Sidekiq, GitLab Workhorse, GitLab Shell, Elasticsearch Indexer, and Gitaly itself.
  • A Gitaly server must be able to make RPC calls to itself via its own (Gitaly address, Gitaly token) pair as specified in /config/gitlab.yml.
  • Gitaly servers must not be exposed to the public internet as Gitaly's network traffic is unencrypted by default. The use of firewall is highly recommended to restrict access to the Gitaly server. Another option is to use TLS.
  • Authentication is done through a static token which is shared among the Gitaly and GitLab Rails nodes.

Below we describe how to configure two Gitaly servers one at gitaly1.internal and the other at gitaly2.internal with secret token abc123secret. We assume your GitLab installation has three repository storages: default, storage1 and storage2. You can use as little as just one server with one repository storage if desired.

Note: Note: The token referred to throughout the Gitaly documentation is just an arbitrary password selected by the administrator. It is unrelated to tokens created for the GitLab API or other similar web API tokens.

1. Installation

First install Gitaly on each Gitaly server using either Omnibus GitLab or install it from source:

  • For Omnibus GitLab: Download/install the Omnibus GitLab package you want using steps 1 and 2 from the GitLab downloads page but do not provide the EXTERNAL_URL= value.
  • From source: Install Gitaly.

2. Client side token configuration

Configure a token on the instance that runs the GitLab Rails application.

For Omnibus GitLab

  1. On the client node(s), edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

    gitlab_rails['gitaly_token'] = 'abc123secret'
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab.

For installations from source

  1. On the client node(s), edit /home/git/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml:

        token: 'abc123secret'
  2. Save the file and restart GitLab.

3. Gitaly server configuration

Next, on the Gitaly servers, you need to configure storage paths, enable the network listener and configure the token.

NOTE: Note: If you want to reduce the risk of downtime when you enable authentication you can temporarily disable enforcement, see the documentation on configuring Gitaly authentication .

Gitaly must trigger some callbacks to GitLab via GitLab Shell. As a result, the GitLab Shell secret must be the same between the other GitLab servers and the Gitaly server. The easiest way to accomplish this is to copy /etc/gitlab/gitlab-secrets.json from an existing GitLab server to the Gitaly server. Without this shared secret, Git operations in GitLab will result in an API error.

For Omnibus GitLab

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

    # /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb
    # Avoid running unnecessary services on the Gitaly server
    postgresql['enable'] = false
    redis['enable'] = false
    nginx['enable'] = false
    unicorn['enable'] = false
    sidekiq['enable'] = false
    gitlab_workhorse['enable'] = false
    grafana['enable'] = false
    # If you run a seperate monitoring node you can disable these services
    alertmanager['enable'] = false
    prometheus['enable'] = false
    # If you don't run a seperate monitoring node you can
    # Enable Prometheus access & disable these extra services
    # This makes Prometheus listen on all interfaces. You must use firewalls to restrict access to this address/port.
    # prometheus['listen_address'] = ''
    # prometheus['monitor_kubernetes'] = false
    # If you don't want to run monitoring services uncomment the following (not recommended)
    # gitlab_exporter['enable'] = false
    # node_exporter['enable'] = false
    # Prevent database connections during 'gitlab-ctl reconfigure'
    gitlab_rails['rake_cache_clear'] = false
    gitlab_rails['auto_migrate'] = false
    # Configure the gitlab-shell API callback URL. Without this, `git push` will
    # fail. This can be your 'front door' GitLab URL or an internal load
    # balancer.
    # Don't forget to copy `/etc/gitlab/gitlab-secrets.json` from web server to Gitaly server.
    gitlab_rails['internal_api_url'] = ''
    # Authentication token to ensure only authorized servers can communicate with
    # Gitaly server
    gitaly['auth_token'] = 'abc123secret'
    # Make Gitaly accept connections on all network interfaces. You must use
    # firewalls to restrict access to this address/port.
    # Comment out following line if you only want to support TLS connections
    gitaly['listen_addr'] = ""
  2. Append the following to /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb for each respective server:

    On gitaly1.internal:

      'default' => {
        'path' => '/var/opt/gitlab/git-data'
      'storage1' => {
        'path' => '/mnt/gitlab/git-data'

    On gitaly2.internal:

      'storage2' => {
        'path' => '/srv/gitlab/git-data'
  3. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab.

For installations from source

  1. On the client node(s), edit /home/git/gitaly/config.toml:

    listen_addr = ''
    internal_socket_dir = '/var/opt/gitlab/gitaly'
    token = 'abc123secret'
    format = 'json'
    level = 'info'
    dir = '/var/log/gitaly'
  2. Append the following to /home/git/gitaly/config.toml for each respective server:

    On gitaly1.internal:

    name = 'default'
    path = '/var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repositories'
    name = 'storage1'
    path = '/mnt/gitlab/git-data/repositories'

    On gitaly2.internal:

    name = 'storage2'
    path = '/srv/gitlab/git-data/repositories'
  3. Save the file and restart GitLab.

4. Converting clients to use the Gitaly server

As the final step, you need to update the client machines to switch from using their local Gitaly service to the new Gitaly server you just configured. This is a risky step because if there is any sort of network, firewall, or name resolution problem preventing your GitLab server from reaching the Gitaly server, then all Gitaly requests will fail.

Additionally, you need to disable Rugged if previously manually enabled.

We assume that your gitaly1.internal Gitaly server can be reached at gitaly1.internal:8075 from your GitLab server, and that Gitaly server can read and write to /mnt/gitlab/default and /mnt/gitlab/storage1.

We assume also that your gitaly2.internal Gitaly server can be reached at gitaly2.internal:8075 from your GitLab server, and that Gitaly server can read and write to /mnt/gitlab/storage2.

For Omnibus GitLab

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

      'default' => { 'gitaly_address' => 'tcp://gitaly1.internal:8075' },
      'storage1' => { 'gitaly_address' => 'tcp://gitaly1.internal:8075' },
      'storage2' => { 'gitaly_address' => 'tcp://gitaly2.internal:8075' },
    gitlab_rails['gitaly_token'] = 'abc123secret'
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab.

  3. Tail the logs to see the requests:

    sudo gitlab-ctl tail gitaly

For installations from source

  1. Edit /home/git/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml:

            gitaly_address: tcp://gitaly1.internal:8075
            path: /some/dummy/path
            gitaly_address: tcp://gitaly1.internal:8075
            path: /some/dummy/path
            gitaly_address: tcp://gitaly2.internal:8075
            path: /some/dummy/path
        token: 'abc123secret'

    NOTE: Note: /some/dummy/path should be set to a local folder that exists, however no data will be stored in this folder. This will no longer be necessary after this issue is resolved.

  2. Save the file and restart GitLab.

  3. Tail the logs to see the requests:

    tail -f /home/git/gitlab/log/gitaly.log

When you tail the Gitaly logs on your Gitaly server you should see requests coming in. One sure way to trigger a Gitaly request is to clone a repository from your GitLab server over HTTP.

DANGER: Danger: If you have Server hooks configured, either per repository or globally, you must move these to the Gitaly node. If you have multiple Gitaly nodes, copy your server hook(s) to all nodes.

Disabling the Gitaly service in a cluster environment

If you are running Gitaly as a remote service you may want to disable the local Gitaly service that runs on your GitLab server by default. Disabling Gitaly only makes sense when you run GitLab in a custom cluster configuration, where different services run on different machines. Disabling Gitaly on all machines in the cluster is not a valid configuration.

To disable Gitaly on a client node:

For Omnibus GitLab

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

    gitaly['enable'] = false
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab.

For installations from source

  1. Edit /etc/default/gitlab:

  2. Save the file and restart GitLab.

TLS support

Introduced in GitLab 11.8.

Gitaly supports TLS encryption. To be able to communicate with a Gitaly instance that listens for secure connections you will need to use tls:// URL scheme in the gitaly_address of the corresponding storage entry in the GitLab configuration.

You will need to bring your own certificates as this isn't provided automatically. The certificate to be used needs to be installed on all Gitaly nodes, and the certificate (or CA of certificate) on all client nodes that communicate with it following the procedure described in GitLab custom certificate configuration.

NOTE: Note The self-signed certificate must specify the address you use to access the Gitaly server. If you are addressing the Gitaly server by a hostname, you can either use the Common Name field for this, or add it as a Subject Alternative Name. If you are addressing the Gitaly server by its IP address, you must add it as a Subject Alternative Name to the certificate. gRPC does not support using an IP address as Common Name in a certificate.

NOTE: Note: It is possible to configure Gitaly servers with both an unencrypted listening address listen_addr and an encrypted listening address tls_listen_addr at the same time. This allows you to do a gradual transition from unencrypted to encrypted traffic, if necessary.

To configure Gitaly with TLS:

For Omnibus GitLab

  1. On the client node(s), edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb as follows:

      'default' => { 'gitaly_address' => 'tls://gitaly1.internal:9999' },
      'storage1' => { 'gitaly_address' => 'tls://gitaly1.internal:9999' },
      'storage2' => { 'gitaly_address' => 'tls://gitaly2.internal:9999' },
    gitlab_rails['gitaly_token'] = 'abc123secret'
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab on client node(s).

  3. On the Gitaly server, create the /etc/gitlab/ssl directory and copy your key and certificate there:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/gitlab/ssl
    sudo chmod 755 /etc/gitlab/ssl
    sudo cp key.pem cert.pem /etc/gitlab/ssl/
  4. On the Gitaly server node(s), edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add:

    gitaly['tls_listen_addr'] = ""
    gitaly['certificate_path'] = "/etc/gitlab/ssl/cert.pem"
    gitaly['key_path'] = "/etc/gitlab/ssl/key.pem"
  5. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab on Gitaly server node(s).

  6. (Optional) After verifying that all Gitaly traffic is being served over TLS, you can improve security by disabling non-TLS connections by commenting out or deleting gitaly['listen_addr'] in /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb, saving the file, and reconfiguring GitLab on Gitaly server node(s).

For installations from source

  1. On the client node(s), edit /home/git/gitlab/config/gitlab.yml as follows:

            gitaly_address: tls://gitaly1.internal:9999
            path: /some/dummy/path
            gitaly_address: tls://gitaly1.internal:9999
            path: /some/dummy/path
            gitaly_address: tls://gitaly2.internal:9999
            path: /some/dummy/path
        token: 'abc123secret'

    NOTE: Note: /some/dummy/path should be set to a local folder that exists, however no data will be stored in this folder. This will no longer be necessary after this issue is resolved.

  2. Save the file and restart GitLab on client node(s).

  3. Create the /etc/gitlab/ssl directory and copy your key and certificate there:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/gitlab/ssl
    sudo chmod 700 /etc/gitlab/ssl
    sudo cp key.pem cert.pem /etc/gitlab/ssl/
  4. On the Gitaly server node(s), edit /home/git/gitaly/config.toml and add:

    tls_listen_addr = ''
    certificate_path = '/etc/gitlab/ssl/cert.pem'
    key_path = '/etc/gitlab/ssl/key.pem'
  5. Save the file and restart GitLab on Gitaly server node(s).

  6. (Optional) After verifying that all Gitaly traffic is being served over TLS, you can improve security by disabling non-TLS connections by commenting out or deleting listen_addr in /home/git/gitaly/config.toml, saving the file, and restarting GitLab on Gitaly server node(s).

Observe type of Gitaly connections

To observe what type of connections are actually being used in a production environment you can use the following Prometheus query:

sum(rate(gitaly_connections_total[5m])) by (type)


Gitaly was developed to replace the Ruby application code in GitLab. In order to save time and/or avoid the risk of rewriting existing application logic, in some cases we chose to copy some application code from GitLab into Gitaly almost as-is. To be able to run that code, gitaly-ruby was created, which is a "sidecar" process for the main Gitaly Go process. Some examples of things that are implemented in gitaly-ruby are RPCs that deal with wikis, and RPCs that create commits on behalf of a user, such as merge commits.

Number of gitaly-ruby workers

gitaly-ruby has much less capacity than Gitaly itself. If your Gitaly server has to handle a lot of requests, the default setting of having just one active gitaly-ruby sidecar might not be enough. If you see ResourceExhausted errors from Gitaly, it's very likely that you have not enough gitaly-ruby capacity.

You can increase the number of gitaly-ruby processes on your Gitaly server with the following settings.

For Omnibus GitLab

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

    # Default is 2 workers. The minimum is 2; 1 worker is always reserved as
    # a passive stand-by.
    gitaly['ruby_num_workers'] = 4
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab.

For installations from source

  1. Edit /home/git/gitaly/config.toml:

    num_workers = 4
  2. Save the file and restart GitLab.

Limiting RPC concurrency

It can happen that CI clone traffic puts a large strain on your Gitaly service. The bulk of the work gets done in the SSHUploadPack (for Git SSH) and PostUploadPack (for Git HTTP) RPC's. To prevent such workloads from overcrowding your Gitaly server you can set concurrency limits in Gitaly's configuration file.

# in /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb

gitaly['concurrency'] = [
    'rpc' => "/gitaly.SmartHTTPService/PostUploadPack",
    'max_per_repo' => 20
    'rpc' => "/gitaly.SSHService/SSHUploadPack",
    'max_per_repo' => 20

This will limit the number of in-flight RPC calls for the given RPC's. The limit is applied per repository. In the example above, each on the Gitaly server can have at most 20 simultaneous PostUploadPack calls in flight, and the same for SSHUploadPack. If another request comes in for a repository that has used up its 20 slots, that request will get queued.

You can observe the behavior of this queue via the Gitaly logs and via Prometheus. In the Gitaly logs, you can look for the string (or structured log field) acquire_ms. Messages that have this field are reporting about the concurrency limiter. In Prometheus, look for the gitaly_rate_limiting_in_progress, gitaly_rate_limiting_queued and gitaly_rate_limiting_seconds metrics.

The name of the Prometheus metric is not quite right because this is a concurrency limiter, not a rate limiter. If a client makes 1000 requests in a row in a very short timespan, the concurrency will not exceed 1, and this mechanism (the concurrency limiter) will do nothing.

Rotating a Gitaly authentication token

Rotating credentials in a production environment often either requires downtime, or causes outages, or both. If you are careful, though, you can rotate Gitaly credentials without a service interruption.

This procedure also works if you are running GitLab on a single server. In that case, "Gitaly servers" and "Gitaly clients" refers to the same machine.

1. Monitor current authentication behavior

Use Prometheus to see what the current authentication behavior of your GitLab installation is.

sum(rate(gitaly_authentications_total[5m])) by (enforced, status)

In a system where authentication is configured correctly, and where you have live traffic, you will see something like this:

{enforced="true",status="ok"}  4424.985419441742

There may also be other numbers with rate 0. We only care about the non-zero numbers.

The only non-zero number should have enforced="true",status="ok". If you have other non-zero numbers, something is wrong in your configuration.

The 'status="ok"' number reflects your current request rate. In the example above, Gitaly is handling about 4000 requests per second.

Now you have established that you can monitor the Gitaly authentication behavior of your GitLab installation.

2. Reconfigure all Gitaly servers to be in "auth transitioning" mode

The second step is to temporarily disable authentication on the Gitaly servers.

# in /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb
gitaly['auth_transitioning'] = true

After you have applied this, your Prometheus query should return something like this:

{enforced="false",status="would be ok"}  4424.985419441742

Because enforced="false", it will be safe to start rolling out the new token.

3. Update Gitaly token on all clients and servers

# in /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb

gitaly['auth_token'] = 'my new secret token'

Remember to apply this on both your Gitaly clients and servers. If you check your Prometheus query while this change is being rolled out, you will see non-zero values for the enforced="false",status="denied" counter.

4. Use Prometheus to ensure there are no authentication failures

After you applied the Gitaly token change everywhere, and all services involved have been restarted, you should will temporarily see a mix of status="would be ok" and status="denied".

After the new token has been picked up by all Gitaly clients and servers, the only non-zero rate should be enforced="false",status="would be ok".

5. Disable "auth transitioning" Mode

Now we turn off the 'auth transitioning' mode. These final steps are important: without them, you have no authentication.

Update the configuration on your Gitaly servers:

# in /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb
gitaly['auth_transitioning'] = false

6. Verify that authentication is enforced again

Refresh your Prometheus query. You should now see the same kind of result as you did in the beginning:

{enforced="true",status="ok"}  4424.985419441742

Note that enforced="true", meaning that authentication is being enforced.

Direct Git access in GitLab Rails

Also known as "the Rugged patches".


Before Gitaly existed, the things that are now Gitaly clients used to access Git repositories directly. Either on a local disk in the case of e.g. a single-machine Omnibus GitLab installation, or via NFS in the case of a horizontally scaled GitLab installation.

Besides running plain git commands, in GitLab Rails we also used to use a Ruby gem (library) called Rugged. Rugged is a wrapper around libgit2, a stand-alone implementation of Git in the form of a C library.

Over time it has become clear to use that Rugged, and particularly Rugged in combination with the Unicorn web server, is extremely efficient. Because libgit2 is a library and not an external process, there was very little overhead between GitLab application code that tried to look up data in Git repositories, and the Git implementation itself.

Because Rugged+Unicorn was so efficient, GitLab's application code ended up with lots of duplicate Git object lookups (like looking up the master commit a dozen times in one request). We could write inefficient code without being punished for it.

When we migrated these Git lookups to Gitaly calls, we were suddenly getting a much higher fixed cost per Git lookup. Even when Gitaly is able to re-use an already-running git process to look up e.g. a commit you still have the cost of a network roundtrip to Gitaly, and within Gitaly a write/read roundtrip on the Unix pipes that connect Gitaly to the git process.

Using performance as our yardstick, we pushed down the number of Gitaly calls per request until the loss of Rugged's efficiency was no longer felt. It also helped that we run Gitaly itself directly on the Git file severs, rather than via NFS mounts: this gave us a speed boost that counteracted the negative effect of not using Rugged anymore.

Unfortunately, some other deployments of GitLab could not ditch NFS like we did on and they got the worst of both worlds: the slowness of NFS and the increased inherent overhead of Gitaly.

As a performance band-aid for these stuck-on-NFS deployments, we re-introduced some of the old Rugged code that got deleted from GitLab Rails during the Gitaly migration project. These pieces of re-introduced code are informally referred to as "the Rugged patches".

Activation of direct Git access in GitLab Rails

The Ruby methods that perform direct Git access are hidden behind feature flags. These feature flags are off by default. It is not good if you need to know about feature flags to get the best performance so in a second iteration, we added an automatic mechanism that will enable direct Git access.

When GitLab Rails calls a function that has a Rugged patch it performs two checks. The result of both of these checks is cached.

  1. Is the feature flag for this patch set in the database? If so, do what the feature flag says.
  2. If the feature flag is not set (i.e. neither true nor false), try to see if we can access filesystem underneath the Gitaly server directly. If so, use the Rugged patch.

To see if GitLab Rails can access the repo filesystem directly, we use the following heuristic:

  • Gitaly ensures that the filesystem has a metadata file in its root with a UUID in it.
  • Gitaly reports this UUID to GitLab Rails via the ServerInfo RPC.
  • GitLab Rails tries to read the metadata file directly. If it exists, and if the UUID's match, assume we have direct access.

Because of the way the UUID check works, and because Omnibus GitLab will fill in the correct repository paths in the GitLab Rails config file config/gitlab.yml, direct Git access in GitLab Rails is on by default in Omnibus.

Plans to remove direct Git access in GitLab Rails

For the sake of removing complexity it is desirable that we get rid of direct Git access in GitLab Rails. For as long as some GitLab installations are stuck with Git repositories on slow NFS, however, we cannot just remove them.

There are two prongs to our efforts to remove direct Git access in GitLab Rails:

  1. Reduce the number of (inefficient) Gitaly queries made by GitLab Rails.
  2. Persuade everybody who runs a Highly Available / horizontally scaled GitLab installation to move off of NFS.

The second prong is the only real solution. For this we need Gitaly HA, which is still under development as of December 2019.

Troubleshooting Gitaly

Checking versions when using standalone Gitaly nodes

When using standalone Gitaly nodes, you must make sure they are the same version as GitLab to ensure full compatibility. Check Admin Area > Gitaly Servers on your GitLab instance and confirm all Gitaly Servers are Up to date.

Gitaly standalone software versions diagram


The gitaly-debug command provides "production debugging" tools for Gitaly and Git performance. It is intended to help production engineers and support engineers investigate Gitaly performance problems.

If you're using GitLab 11.6 or newer, this tool should be installed on your GitLab / Gitaly server already at /opt/gitlab/embedded/bin/gitaly-debug. If you're investigating an older GitLab version you can compile this tool offline and copy the executable to your server:

git clone
cd cmd/gitaly-debug
GOOS=linux GOARCH=amd64 go build -o gitaly-debug

To see the help page of gitaly-debug for a list of supported sub-commands, run:

gitaly-debug -h

Commits, pushes, and clones return a 401

remote: GitLab: 401 Unauthorized

You will need to sync your gitlab-secrets.json file with your GitLab app nodes.

Client side gRPC logs

Gitaly uses the gRPC RPC framework. The Ruby gRPC client has its own log file which may contain useful information when you are seeing Gitaly errors. You can control the log level of the gRPC client with the GRPC_LOG_LEVEL environment variable. The default level is WARN.

You can run a gRPC trace with:

sudo GRPC_TRACE=all GRPC_VERBOSITY=DEBUG gitlab-rake gitlab:gitaly:check

Observing gitaly-ruby traffic

gitaly-ruby is an internal implementation detail of Gitaly, so, there's not that much visibility into what goes on inside gitaly-ruby processes.

If you have Prometheus set up to scrape your Gitaly process, you can see request rates and error codes for individual RPCs in gitaly-ruby by querying grpc_client_handled_total. Strictly speaking, this metric does not differentiate between gitaly-ruby and other RPCs, but in practice (as of GitLab 11.9), all gRPC calls made by Gitaly itself are internal calls from the main Gitaly process to one of its gitaly-ruby sidecars.

Assuming your grpc_client_handled_total counter only observes Gitaly, the following query shows you RPCs are (most likely) internally implemented as calls to gitaly-ruby:

sum(rate(grpc_client_handled_total[5m])) by (grpc_method) > 0

Repository changes fail with a 401 Unauthorized error

If you're running Gitaly on its own server and notice that users can successfully clone and fetch repositories (via both SSH and HTTPS), but can't push to them or make changes to the repository in the web UI without getting a 401 Unauthorized message, then it's possible Gitaly is failing to authenticate with the other nodes due to having the wrong secrets file.

Confirm the following are all true:

  • When any user performs a git push to any repository on this Gitaly node, it fails with the following error (note the 401 Unauthorized):

    remote: GitLab: 401 Unauthorized
    ! [remote rejected] branch-name -> branch-name (pre-receive hook declined)
    error: failed to push some refs to '<REMOTE_URL>'
  • When any user adds or modifies a file from the repository using the GitLab UI, it immediately fails with a red 401 Unauthorized banner.

  • Creating a new project and initializing it with a README successfully creates the project but doesn't create the README.

  • When tailing the logs on an app node and reproducing the error, you get 401 errors when reaching the /api/v4/internal/allowed endpoint:

    # api_json.log
      "time": "2019-07-18T00:30:14.967Z",
      "severity": "INFO",
      "duration": 0.57,
      "db": 0,
      "view": 0.57,
      "status": 401,
      "method": "POST",
      "path": "\/api\/v4\/internal\/allowed",
      "params": [
          "key": "action",
          "value": "git-receive-pack"
          "key": "changes",
          "value": "REDACTED"
          "key": "gl_repository",
          "value": "REDACTED"
          "key": "project",
          "value": "\/path\/to\/project.git"
          "key": "protocol",
          "value": "web"
          "key": "env",
          "key": "user_id",
          "value": "2"
          "key": "secret_token",
          "value": "[FILTERED]"
      "host": "",
      "ip": "REDACTED",
      "ua": "Ruby",
      "route": "\/api\/:version\/internal\/allowed",
      "queue_duration": 4.24,
      "gitaly_calls": 0,
      "gitaly_duration": 0,
      "correlation_id": "XPUZqTukaP3"
    # nginx_access.log
    [IP] - - [18/Jul/2019:00:30:14 +0000] "POST /api/v4/internal/allowed HTTP/1.1" 401 30 "" "Ruby"

To fix this problem, confirm that your gitlab-secrets.json file on the Gitaly node matches the one on all other nodes. If it doesn't match, update the secrets file on the Gitaly node to match the others, then reconfigure the node.

Command line tools cannot connect to Gitaly

If you are having trouble connecting to a Gitaly node with command line (CLI) tools, and certain actions result in a 14: Connect Failed error message, it means that gRPC cannot reach your Gitaly node.

Verify that you can reach Gitaly via TCP:

sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:tcp_check[GITALY_SERVER_IP,GITALY_LISTEN_PORT]

If the TCP connection fails, check your network settings and your firewall rules. If the TCP connection succeeds, your networking and firewall rules are correct.

If you use proxy servers in your command line environment, such as Bash, these can interfere with your gRPC traffic.

If you use Bash or a compatible command line environment, run the following commands to determine whether you have proxy servers configured:

echo $http_proxy
echo $https_proxy

If either of these variables have a value, your Gitaly CLI connections may be getting routed through a proxy which cannot connect to Gitaly.

To remove the proxy setting, run the following commands (depending on which variables had values):

unset http_proxy
unset https_proxy

Gitaly not listening on new address after reconfiguring

When updating the gitaly['listen_addr'] or gitaly['prometheus_listen_addr'] values, Gitaly may continue to listen on the old address after a sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure.

When this occurs, performing a sudo gitlab-ctl restart will resolve the issue. This will no longer be necessary after this issue is resolved.


Praefect is an experimental daemon that allows for replication of the Git data. It can be setup with omnibus, as explained here.