Create a Multi-branch Pipeline with GitLab

GitLab is an open source code repository platform that provides public and private repositories. It is a complete DevOps platform that enables professionals to perform their tasks in a project.

In KubeSphere v3.1, you can create a multi-branch pipeline with GitLab in your DevOps project. This tutorial demonstrates how to create a multi-branch pipeline with GitLab.


Hands-on Lab

Step 1: Create credentials

  1. Log in to the KubeSphere console as project-regular. Go to your DevOps project and create the following credentials in Credentials under Project Management. For more information about how to create credentials, see Credential Management.


    If there are any special characters such as @ and $ in your account or password, they can cause errors as a pipeline runs because they may not be recognized. In this case, you need to encode your account or password on some third-party websites first, such as urlencoder. After that, copy and paste the output for your credential information.
    Credential ID Type Where to use
    dockerhub-id Account Credentials Docker Hub
    gitlab-id Account Credentials GitLab
    demo-kubeconfig kubeconfig Kubernetes
  2. After creation, you can see the credentials in the list.


Step 2: Modify the Jenkinsfile in your GitLab repository

  1. Log in to GitLab and create a public project. Click Import project/repository, select Repo by URL to enter the URL of devops-java-sample, select Public for Visibility Level, and then click Create project.



  2. In the project just created, create a new branch from the master branch and name it gitlab-demo.


  3. In the gitlab-demo branch, click the file Jenkinsfile-online in the root directory.


  4. Click Edit, change GITHUB_CREDENTIAL_ID, GITHUB_ACCOUNT, and to GITLAB_CREDENTIAL_ID, GITLAB_ACCOUNT, and respectively, and then edit the following items. You also need to change the value of branch in the push latest and deploy to dev stages to gitlab-demo.

    Item Value Description
    GITLAB_CREDENTIAL_ID gitlab-id The Credential ID you set in KubeSphere for your GitLab account. It is used to push tags to your GitLab repository.
    DOCKERHUB_NAMESPACE felixnoo Replace it with your Docker Hub’s account name. It can be the Organization name under the account.
    GITLAB_ACCOUNT felixnoo Replace it with your GitLab account name. It can also be the account’s Group name.


    For more information about the environment variables in the Jenkinsfile, refer to Create a Pipeline Using a Jenkinsfile.
  5. Click Commit changes to update this file.


Step 3: Create projects

You need to create two projects, such as kubesphere-sample-dev and kubesphere-sample-prod, which represent the development environment and the production environment respectively. For more information, refer to Create a Pipeline Using a Jenkinsfile.

Step 4: Create a pipeline

  1. Log in to the KubeSphere web console as project-regular. Go to your DevOps project and click Create to create a new pipeline.

  2. Provide the basic information in the dialog that appears. Name it gitlab-multi-branch and select a code repository.


  3. In the GitLab tab, select the default option for GitLab Server, enter the username of the GitLab project owner for Owner, and then select the devops-java-sample repository from the drop-down list for Repository Name. Click the tick icon in the bottom-right corner and then click Next.



    If you want to use a private repository from GitLab, you need to create an access token with API and read_repository permissions on GitLab, create a credential for accessing GitLab on the Jenkins dashboard, and then add the credential in GitLab Server under Configure System. For more information about how to log in to Jenkins, refer to Jenkins System Settings.
  4. In the Advanced Settings tab, scroll down to Script Path. Change it to Jenkinsfile-online and then click Create.



    The field specifies the Jenkinsfile path in the code repository. It indicates the repository’s root directory. If the file location changes, the script path also needs to be changed.

Step 5: Run a pipeline

  1. After a pipeline is created, it displays in the list. Click it to go to its detail page.

  2. Click Run on the right. In the dialog that appears, select gitlab-demo from the drop-down list and add a tag number such as v0.0.2. Click OK to trigger a new activity.




    The pipeline pauses at the stage deploy to dev. You need to click Proceed manually. Note that the pipeline will be reviewed three times as deploy to dev, push with tag, and deploy to production are defined in the Jenkinsfile respectively.

Step 6: Check the pipeline status

  1. In the Task Status tab, you can see how a pipeline is running. Check the pipeline running logs by clicking Show Logs in the top-right corner.


  2. You can see the dynamic log output of the pipeline, including any errors that may stop the pipeline from running. For each stage, you can click it to inspect logs, which can also be downloaded to your local machine for further analysis.


Step 7: Verify results

  1. The Docker image built through the pipeline has been successfully pushed to Docker Hub, as it is defined in the Jenkinsfile. In Docker Hub, you will find the image with the tag v0.0.2 that is specified before the pipeline runs.


  2. At the same time, a new tag has been generated in GitLab.


  3. The sample application will be deployed to kubesphere-sample-dev and kubesphere-sample-prod with corresponding Deployments and Services created.

    Environment URL Namespace Deployment Service
    Development http://{$NodeIP}:{$30861} kubesphere-sample-dev ks-sample-dev ks-sample-dev
    Production http://{$NodeIP}:{$30961} kubesphere-sample-prod ks-sample ks-sample




    You may need to open the port in your security groups so that you can access the app with the URL. For more information, refer to Access the example Service.

Thanks for the feedback. If you have a specific question about how to use KubeSphere, ask it on Slack. Open an issue in the GitHub repo if you want to report a problem or suggest an improvement.