I recently set up a continuous integration process based on GitLab for a project based on Laravel and PostgreSQL. It took a while to get it right, so I am sharing here my final config.
The main GitLab CI configuration is held by a file at the root of your project that should be called
.gitlab-ci.yml. From this file it is possible to call other shell scripts, but I have tried to hold up everything in just one place.
We will however manage a second file called
.env.gitlab-ci that will hold all ENV variable configuration optios specific to GitLab CI.
Last but not least you will need a PHPUnit xml configuration file.
Step by step look into
We’ll go line by line in the config file, but you can see the final result at the end of the article.
Here we select one of the available docker images with php already configured. You can find a complete list here: from https://hub.docker.com/r/_/php/
From GitLab’s official documentation src:
serviceskeyword defines just another docker image that is run during your job and is linked to the docker image that the
imagekeyword defines. This allows you to access the service image during build time.
It is very important to remark that if you add
postgres as service to your application, the service container for PostgresSQL will be accessible under the hostname
postgres. So, in order to access your database service you have to connect to the host named
postgres instead of a socket or
localhost. This will be important later when we configure our
Here you may use all the values you want as long as they match with those of
.env.gitlab-ci and your
Again from the official documentation src
before_scriptis used to define the command that should be run before all jobs, including deploy jobs, but after the restoration of artifacts. This can be an array or a multi-line string.
Lets explore all these commands one by one.
Simply installing some dependencies
gitis needed to later install
libicu-devwill be necessary for the internationalization php extension (
libpq-devare the header files for postgres
zlib1g-devare necessary for zip manipulation and needed to activate the corresponding php extension. Without them our
composer installcommand will throw a lot of warnings and try to download each package twice slowing the whol process down for 2 or more minutes
docker-php-ext-install is a handy script for installing php extensions provided by the official php docker image. I restricted myself to the bare minimun of extension necessary for my project to run. You may need more.
composer and use it to install all of our project dependencies.
Set up the correct ENV variables. We’ll look into this file in a moment.
Set application key, clear a couple of caches just in case and run the migrations.
And finally run our PHPUnit test suite using our
phpunit-gitlabci.xml config file.
That was the most complicated file, the rest is a piece of cake, but you deserve a rest :P
A brief look into
The file itself is quite self explainatory, and you can see the final version at the end of the article. But I wanted to highlight the database configuration.
Notice how the values for
DB_USERNAME are the same as those of inside of the
variables key on the
.gitlab-ci.yml configuration file.
A brief note on
This file may be optional depending on your local configuration. If your normal
phpunit.xml file doesn’t define any
DB_DATABASE env variable you would not need this. But if it happens to define one, and has a different value from that that you chose for GitLab’s CI you have to remember to set it correctly:
GitLab’s continuous integration system can be a blessing once is properly configured, but it can get a bit confusing if you trail off of the usual path and all you hear is docker image configuration linking and you’ve never worked with it before. Hopefully you’ll find this small guide useful