Blog Open Source GitLab Operator certified by Red Hat OpenShift
Published on May 11, 2023
3 min read

GitLab Operator certified by Red Hat OpenShift

The GitLab Operator is now certified by Red Hat’s OpenShift standards, allowing users to install GitLab directly on an OpenShift cloud cluster.


GitLab and Red Hat have been technology partners for more than two years, collaborating on a number of projects. GitLab first started its integration with Red Hat’s OpenShift cloud-based container platform by introducing the GitLab Runner Operator in GitLab Version 13.3. The Runner Operator offered the capability to run pipeline tasks from an external GitLab instance to OpenShift clusters.

Our next step was to more closely integrate with the OpenShift platform and alleviate the need to require the GitLab instance to run external to OpenShift-based infrastructure. The GitLab Operator is now certified by Red Hat, which enables the capability to install an instance of GitLab inside of an OpenShift cloud cluster.

Benefits of GitLab with Red Hat OpenShift

The Operator framework offers many benefits, but the main reason we identified is that it would allow us to run a self-managed instance of GitLab inside an OpenShift cluster. The GitLab DevSecOps platform can be operated on the same trusted infrastructure as other applications and services within a customer's organization.

The Operator framework also delivers a streamlined installation and seamless version upgrades. As the GitLab Operator continues to be developed, we hope to add other elements of the Operator framework such as backup and recovery, comprehensive metrics, and auto-tuning and auto-scaling. GitLab plans to align our future cloud-native deployment model behind our Operator.

Capability model

Details of the Red Hat certification

The Red Hat Certification included aligning our application components with Red Hat’s Universal Base Image (UBI) when deploying through the Red Hat Marketplace. The Red Hat Certification also included meeting all of Red Hat’s policy requirements. The certification signifies GitLab being supported on OpenShift in collaboration with Red Hat. The Operator as a deployment method will be available as a recommended choice in Q3, but is available for testing now.

A technical milestone

The GitLab application is complex, so building an Operator to deploy it was a technical achievement for the GitLab and Red Hat engineering teams. Completing this operator certification is a significant milestone and gives customers the confidence and assurance that GitLab runs effectively, jointly supported by Red Hat, on OpenShift.

GitLab Operator install screen

Try the GitLab Operator

The GitLab Operator is available now for testing in the OpenShift console via the embedded OperatorHub, and will be production ready for GitLab instances in Q3 2023. Check out the catalog listing for links to documentation and installation instructions. For a self-managed free trial to host GitLab on your OpenShift cluster, submit this form.

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