Upgrade Gitlab-CE from 11.10.8 to 13.x

Hi, I currently have a server running Ubuntu 14.04 with Gitlab-CE 11.10.8.

I am currently looking for the best method to update from 14.04 to 20.04 on the latest Gitlab version (Probably 13.x). I have done some research and it appears this may be fairly straightforward however confusing… people are saying go version-to-version and upgrade to 16.04 then upgrade to latest and go from there but I am not sure that is going to work properly.

Any pointers on where I should start with this since its such a drastic change in versions and OS?

These are the articles I’ve found so far to kind of point maybe in the correct direction.

Hey Joey,

If you have a separate partition or disc for GitLab’s database and repositories, you may find it easiest to not upgrade Ubuntu, and simply install your preferred latest or LTS version.
GitLab’s recommendations for upgrading are to upgrade to the latest minor version in your current maojor version (11.11), then upgrade major version by one, then repeat.

If your GitLab data and Ubuntu OS live on the same partition, you should backup your GitLab data (including repositories) first.

Let me know if that helped!

HI Kevin,

I have now completed the upgrade to 13.x from 11.10.8, one thing I am curious of is if the repos are cross compatible?

If I use rake to backup on the old system can I restore those into the new one so I can redundantly swap the servers for a seamless transition?

Hi Joey,

The repositories are completely compatible. GitLab isn’t dependent on specific versions of git.

I hope that helps!

GitLab’s backup+restore requires you to restore on the same version that you made the backup on, so if by “use rake” you mean using the rake task supplied with GitLab, it won’t work.

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Hey @grove, in which case how do I backup in order to restore across an upgraded version?

P.S.: I need to upgrade from 11.10.8 as well, running on ubuntu 14.04

It’s hard, and in many cases impossible to restore a backup across versions. The recommandation is to have the same version on both servers, whether that entails upgrading GitLab on the old server (I don’t think new versions of GitLab is packages for ubuntu 14.04 these days though) or installing an old version of GitLab on the new server (11.10.8 is probably not packaged for 20.04) or both.

As both GitLab 11.10.8 and ubuntu 14.04 are quite old, in your case you might need to work with an intermediate server. I do not have any experience with that, but as 16.04 is still supported and 18.04 had an overlapping support period with 14.04, I’m guessing either ubuntu version would work and provide a sequence of GitLab versions that will make your task possible. But I repeat: I do not have any experience with that!