Gitlab backup and restore

I am trying to restore gitlab backup for some testing purpose from my production server to the newly created VM .My production gitlab version is 15.3.1 and on new VM created gitlab version is 15.3.3 .
when i run command for gitlab restore it is showing me following error:

GitLab version mismatch:
Your current GitLab version (15.3.3) differs from the GitLab version in the backup!
Please switch to the following version and try again:
version: 15.3.1
Hint: git checkout v15.3.1

Here my question is do i need to go as per the hint is given or do i need to downgrade the gitlab version of newly created VM to 15.3.1 . Kindly suggest. (I am using gitlab CE )

As per the Gitlab documentation for backup/restore, you can only restore to the same version. So if your backup is from 15.3.1 then you must restore it to 15.3.1.

Usually, you install the same version, restore gitlab.rb and gitlab_secrets.json, reconfigure so that Gitlab has the postgres database active, and then you restore the backup as per the instructions. After this, if you wish to get to 15.3.3 you follow the upgrade procedures.

I don’t remember if you get that hint whether you have installed from source or from an omnibus package.

I guess it might make sense if you installed from source (but I’ve never done that, so I really don’t know), but if you’ve installed from a package, use the package manager and don’t pay attention to the hint. I know the Debian package manager doesn’t like to downgrade packages (because it can present problems in the general case - in this case I think things will just work), so if possible it might be easier to upgrade the production server to 15.3.3, take a new backup and restore that. It will make the last step in @iwalker’s guide a noop, but it is sane.