GitLab deploy to server

David Carr

4 min read - 21st Oct, 2017

This tutorial will show you how to deploy from GitLab to your server using GIT. Deploying with GIT makes it possible to automatically have your server updated every time you commit to GitLab.

Connect to your server

First SSH into your server:

ssh -p 7822 (the 7822 is the port number and may be different on your server)

Go to the directory when you want to have the GitLab repo deployed to. Next get the GitLab ssh url from the GibLab project it will be like

To clone the repo type

git clone

On the first time you may get this warning:

The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is b6:03:0e:39:97:9e:d0:e7:24:ce:a3:77:3e:01:42:09.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

Enter yes, next you will get:

Warning: Permanently added ',' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
Connection closed by
fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly

Now trying to do a git clone again results in the error:

Initialized empty Git repository in /home/username/public_html/project/.git/
Permission denied (publickey).
fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly

The reason for this is the server has not been authenticated again.

Create a public/private key

To get setup follow these steps:



The output:

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/mvc/.ssh/id_rsa):

Press enter to accept the default path

Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):

Press enter to accept no password or enter a password first.

The response will look something like:

The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|        .. .  .oB|
|       . .. + .++|
|        . o. o...|
|         o   .   |
|        S   .. . |
|           o. o  |
|          o..+   |
|          ....o  |
|           oE.   |

Get the public key:

Go to .ssh folder

cd ~/.ssh

Open in vim


Copy the full key. To exit vim press : then type wq

On Gitlab go to Settings -> Repository -> Deploy Keys

Add a title this is a reference so it can be anything then copy the key into the key box.

Now you should be all set up so once again go to where you want the repo to be pulled into and again type 

git clone

the output will be:

initialized empty Git repository in /home/username/public_html/project/.git/
remote: Counting objects: 3048, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (2125/2125), done.
remote: Total 3048 (delta 688), reused 2994 (delta 648)
Receiving objects: 100% (3048/3048), 9.83 MiB | 5.81 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (688/688), done.

This will create a directory and pull in the repo contents.

Now anytime you want to update go into the directory and type 

git pull

Automatically Deploy 

To get git pull to run on the server every time there is a commit, can be achieved by using Webhooks.

On GitLab go to Settings -> Integrations

Enter a url to your server and a file to handle the webhook for this tutorial I will create a file called gitlab.php to the url will be

Enter your url ensure push events is tickets and click Add Webook.

Now head over to your server and create a php file on the server.

touch gitlab.php (you can name it anything but it much match the webhook on GitLab)

As the file created won’t have the right permissions change it with chmod

chmod 644 gitlab.php

Now edit the file with vim:

vi gitlab.php

Press i to go into edit mode


<?php `git pull`

Then press escape to go into read mode then save and exit by pressing : then type wq and enter.

By using backticks in the file the server will treat the file as a bash script. 

Alternatively, you can use system_exec(‘git pull’)

Now make a change on GitLab and the change will be pushed to your server automatically.

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