GitLab CE in Docker. External OAuth2 Authorization

2 minute read

In the previous post was showed how to install GitLab CE. I want to continue the work with GitLab and want to show how to set up some configuration.

If you already has a system that stored a user profiles. And the system provides an OAuth2 interface. You can use it as single sign-on (SSO) point for other systems like GitLab. You shouldn’t create new users, not require to import any other profiles.


  1. GitLab CE 12.3.0 (Omnibus package for Docker) -
    • omniauth-oauth2-generic plugin (usually installed default)
  2. External OAuth2 provider -


Full docs are available here.

Although the official note the installed GitLab has already have the omniauth-oauth2-generic package.

  1. Adding new application to our OAuth2 provider and input Redirect URI to our GitLab:
    Redirect URI:<provider>/callback

    Where is <provider> is name of our External OAuth2 provider (i.e. .

  2. After submit a creation, you will get app-id and app-secret. Keep in mind them.

  3. Open GitLab configuration file - gitlab.rb. Find OmniAuth Settings section.

Add next settings to the file:

gitlab_rails['omniauth_enabled'] = true
gitlab_rails['omniauth_allow_single_sign_on'] = true
gitlab_rails['omniauth_block_auto_created_users'] = false
gitlab_rails['omniauth_providers'] = [
    'name' => 'oauth2_generic',
    'app_id' => 'YOUR-APP-ID',
    'app_secret' => 'YOUR-APP-SECRET',
    'args' => {
      client_options: {
        'site' => '', # including port if necessary
        'user_info_url' => '/api/v1/session',     # user profile in JSON
        'authorize_url' => '/oauth/authorize',    # The authorization endpoint for your OAuth server
        'token_url' => '/oauth/token'             # The token request endpoint for your OAuth server
      user_response_structure: {         # change this if necessary (there is my configuration)
        root_path: ['current_user'],     # i.e. if attributes are returned in JsonAPI format (in a 'user' node nested under a 'data' node)
        attributes: { nickname: 'name' } # if the nickname attribute of a user is called 'username'
      # optionally, you can add the following two lines to "white label" the display name
      # of this strategy (appears in urls and Gitlab login buttons)
      # If you do this, you must also replace oauth2_generic, everywhere it appears above, with the new name.
      name: 'Provider', # display name for this strategy
      strategy_class: "OmniAuth::Strategies::OAuth2Generic" # Devise-specific config option Gitlab uses to find renamed strategy

Change YOUR-APP-ID and YOUR-APP-SECRET to the generated app-id and app-secret earlier. And check the client_options and user_response_structure. I’ve change them to my provider. Save the modification gitlab.rb file.

  1. Restart GitLab. Run command in the console on the host
# gitlab-ctl reconfigure
  1. Optional. Disable standard sign up and sign in option in the first screen.

Login as admin and following to the section: Admin -> Settings -> General -

signup-disable signin-disable

This keeps only authorize with our configured OAuth2 Provider.

That’s all. Open another browser (or incognito mode of current one) and test the authorization process with external sign up.

After successful login return to the browser with admin session and set up the new user that authorized before as a new admin.

Some notes

If you want to enable sign-in after you disable sign-in. There is no reconfigure option in omnibus-gitlab that will enable that again. After gitlab-rails console opens up, type ApplicationSetting.last.update_attributes(signin_enabled: true) and then gitlab-ctl restart. The solution was found here. I found it after I block the internal authorization and can’t login as admin.

Additional information