Unable to access my server?[SOLVED]

Forgive me if this is in the wrong place, I am very new to GitLab. I will cut to the chase. I am working on setting up a server for my team. I used this tutorial(https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/how-to-install-gitlab-on-debian-8/) as well as several others. The installation has gone very smoothly, and I believe everything works. I have also entered my SSH key correctly, according to the official video(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54mxyLo3Mqk). So, the server seems ready, but how can others on my team, outside my network, access it? When I log into it as root, it’s hosted on a local IP. How can I let others access, push, and pull for it, because it’s not very usefull just bound in my local network. Can someone please point me in the right direction?


Just like making a service available to people who are not on your local network, there are three main options.

Allow the others access to the local network with a VPN.
Use NAT to make it available on a public IP address on your firewall.
Run it on a VPS/Managed/Colo server with a public IP address.

Thanks for replying. I will do some research. Which of those options would be most efficient for a small team(5-10 people)? If I could get a pointer to somewhere that teaches the basics of one of those options, that would be nice too.

Fellow devs and gitlab users:
As the topic suggests, I am trying to set up a private(as in homemade) server from a local network that anyone can access(although it will be password protected) Thanks, @Grumpy, for your answer, but I admit I am to new to networking subjects to understand exactly how to accomplish them. I have tried to follow several documentations without positive success. If anyone has done this before(and I’m sure someone has), could you please kindly explain to me how to do it?


If you are new to networking, I would suggest that you did not attempt to self host a gitlab server.

Have you considered using hosted gitlab https://about.gitlab.com/products/ ?

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Please don’t refer me to anything like that. I have been pretty much everywhere looking for suitable source control for our project, and I am ABSOLUTELY sure this is what I will be doing whether you help me or not. I didn’t mean that I am a complete noob at networking, so also please don’t treat me like I haven’t researched this topic far and wide before asking. I am merely asking for how others furthered gitlab to the net.

Hello, th3lkin.

About a year ago I set up a local gitlab server, in our office, on our private network. It was perfect for us at the time, because we hoped to restrict access to just ourselves. We already had a virtual private network allowing people working from home to get to it.

And then, about a month ago, we started working with some third party developers who needed access. We considered whether we should grant those developers access to our virtual private network. We decided that was not a good plan.

Instead, I migrated our source repositories from our local gitlab server to private repositories at https://gitlab.com/ The migration was flawless. The security is good. We granted access to our third party developers on the gitlab.com server.

Using the public server is so easy I’m sort of kicking myself for wasting time with the private server. But, we had good reasons for it at the time.

In your case, to grant access to your private server from outside your private office network you have some choices:

  1. put that private server on a publicly accessible IP address. Without knowing anything about your office router, it’s hard to offer a precise procedure for doing that.

  2. get a virtual private network running, so people with permission can access your private network from afar. That’s not a small project, especially if you’ve never done it before. It’s quite a bit larger than building out a private gitlab server. Again, it’s hard to offer precise procedures without knowing a lot about your office network.

  3. move your private server to a data center with public IP access. You could probably use a service like AWS or Digital Ocean to run a virtual machine for you for around US$10 per month.

In my experience, the path of least future hassle on this is to use https://gitlab.com/ and get out of the private gitlab server business. Personally, I’m lazy, so I like “least future hassle.”

Security wise, operating your private server on a publicly accessible network has some downsides. You’ll have to worry about cybercriminals from around the globe rattling your server’s virtual door handles to see if there’s any way in. If, heaven forbid, they do get in you’ll have to figure out how to lock them out again without losing too much intellectual property.

Thanks for your suggestions, however, since storage and budget are both key points in this project, I have already decided on hosting us a private server, and ruled out payed hosting, and gitlab.com. The server is going to be run on Debian. I don,t know what to tell you about our router, or network. Our network is simple since we have never done anything like this before, and router is a pretty generic Netgear router. I have looked a little into VPNs, but I don’t fully understand them yet. But thanks, I am getting closer!

Gitlab.com has a free service tier.

Sorry to say I don’t know enough about rigging VPNs to be anything but dangerous to you. Somebody else in my company does that work. It takes about 10% of his time ongoing to maintain it.

Thanks anyway. I believe Gitlab.com free hosting allows only 10GB per project, which would not be sufficient.

Well, I was able to get it working, with a simple port forward. Thank you all for your suggestions!

I am having the exact same issue. @th3lkin can you elaborate how did you manage to solve this problem?