We already saw a way to deploy our pelican website. To do it we add a SSH private SSH key to the environment variables. That not so nice since everybody that have access to the project can get the SSH private key. We will see here an other possibility to deploy our pelican website by mounting the final repository directly inside the build environment.

You will need to have functional installation of GitLab and GitLab Runner with Docker. In addition we suppose that the required python are in the requirements.txt file. The build and deployment will be managed with python and classical tools like mv, so a minimal docker image with python should be enough to do the job. The GitLab Runner should be on the machine that serve the website.

Create a runner

We will first create a runner that use docker that have python 2 installation and the web destination folder mounted (in our case it will be /var/www).

General runner registration

If not already done, you will need to setup a runner for the project:

# gitlab-runner register

Put the address of the coordinator. If GitLab is accessible trough http://gitlab.com, it should be something like http://gitlab.com/ci

Enter then the token that will link GitLab and the runner:

  • If you would like to have a shared runner go to the Admin Area, then Overview and finally Runners, to get the token.
  • If you prefer to have a runner for the project, go in the configuration menu of the projects and select Runners and use the token of the project.

Give a name to your runner and eventually some tags. I suggest to had as tags all the functionality of the runner. Indeed we can specify in the build system to use only the runners that carry specified tags. In our example the tags will be python2, www-mount

Specify the executor as docker and the docker image as python:2-alpine.

Configuration of the mounted volume

At the creation of the runner, automatically a volume is created as cache (/cache). We will add an other one that will be linked to a real path on the machine running the gitlab-ci-multi-runner.

To do it we need to edit the /etc/gitlab-runner/config.toml. Search the runner you are interested and change the volumes line as follow:

volumes = ["/cache", "/var/www:/var/www:rw"]

Each time the runner will be executed the /var/www folder of the host at the same place in the container as read write.


Here are the different steps for the deployment.

  • Clone the repository.
  • First install dependencies with the help of pip and the requirements.txt file.
  • Generate pelican website.
  • Backup the old version of the website (just in case)
  • Move the output directory in the destination

Configuration of the continuous integration

We will create a Gitlab continuous integration configuration file (.gitlab-ci.yml) at the root of the repository. It is automatically recognised by GitLab. The file is inspired from the one proposed by GitLab.

image: python:2.7-alpine

  - www-mount
  - python2
  - pip install -r requirements.txt
  - pelican -s publishconf.py
  - mv -f /var/www/website.domain /var/www/archives/website.domain.$(date "+%Y%m%d_%H%M%S") || true
  - mv output /var/www/website.domain

For the build we specify two tags here: www-mount and python2. This will allow the build system to select the runner that have the same tags.