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.

Basic structure

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 .gitlab-ci.yml

We’ll go line by line in the config file, but you can see the final result at the end of the article.

 

image: php:7.0

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/

 

services:
- postgres:latest

From GitLab’s official documentation src:

The services keyword defines just another docker image that is run during your job and is linked to the docker image that the image keyword 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 .env.gitlab-ci file.

 

variables:
POSTGRES_DB: mydb-test
POSTGRES_USER: runner
POSTGRES_PASSWORD: ""

Here you may use all the values you want as long as they match with those of .env.gitlab-ci and your phpunit.xml.

 

before_script:

Again from the official documentation src

before_script is 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.

 

- >
set -xe
&& apt-get update -yqq
&& apt-get install -yqq
git
libicu-dev
libpq-dev
libzip-dev
zlib1g-dev

Simply installing some dependencies

  • git is needed to later install composer
  • libicu-dev will be necessary for the internationalization php extension (intl)
  • libpq-dev are the header files for postgres
  • libzip-dev and zlib1g-dev are necessary for zip manipulation and needed to activate the corresponding php extension. Without them our composer install command 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
pdo_pgsql
pgsql
sockets
intl
zip

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.

 

- curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
- php composer.phar self-update
- php composer.phar install --no-progress --no-interaction

Install composer and use it to install all of our project dependencies.

 

- cp .env.gitlab-ci .env

Set up the correct ENV variables. We’ll look into this file in a moment.

 

- php artisan key:generate
- php artisan help config:clear
- php artisan route:clear
- php artisan migrate:refresh

Set application key, clear a couple of caches just in case and run the migrations.

 

test:app:
script:
- vendor/bin/phpunit --configuration phpunit-gitlabci.xml

And finally run our PHPUnit test suite using our phpunit-gitlabci.xml config file.

Small break

That was the most complicated file, the rest is a piece of cake, but you deserve a rest :P

 

A brief look into .env.gitlab-ci

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.

DB_CONNECTION=pgsql
DB_PORT=5432
DB_HOST=postgres
DB_DATABASE=mydb-test
DB_USERNAME=runner
DB_PASSWORD=

Notice how the values for DB_HOST, DB_DATABASE and DB_USERNAME are the same as those of inside of the variables key on the .gitlab-ci.yml configuration file.

 

A brief note on phpunit-gitlabci.xml

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:

<env name="DB_DATABASE" value="mydb-test"/>

 

Summary

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  

.gitlab-ci.yml
image: php:7.0
services:
- postgres:latest
variables:
POSTGRES_DB: mydb-test
POSTGRES_USER: runner
POSTGRES_PASSWORD: ""

before_script:
- >
set -xe
&& apt-get update -yqq
&& apt-get install -yqq
git
libicu-dev
libpq-dev
libzip-dev
zlib1g-dev
- >
docker-php-ext-install
pdo_pgsql
pgsql
sockets
intl
zip
- curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
- php composer.phar self-update
- php composer.phar install --no-progress --no-interaction
- cp .env.gitlab-ci .env
- php artisan key:generate
- php artisan help config:clear
- php artisan route:clear
- php artisan migrate:refresh

test:app:
script:
- vendor/bin/phpunit --configuration phpunit-gitlabci.xml

 

.env.gitlab-ci
APP_ENV=testing
APP_KEY=key
APP_DEBUG=true
APP_LOG_LEVEL=debug
APP_URL=http://localhost:8000

DB_CONNECTION=pgsql
DB_HOST=postgres
DB_PORT=5432
DB_DATABASE=mydb-test
DB_USERNAME=runner
DB_PASSWORD=

BROADCAST_DRIVER=log
CACHE_DRIVER=array
SESSION_DRIVER=array
QUEUE_DRIVER=sync
MAIL_DRIVER=log