Koding & GitLab

Introduced in GitLab 8.11.

This document will guide you through installing and configuring Koding with GitLab.

First of all, to be able to use Koding and GitLab together you will need public access to your server. This allows you to use single sign-on from GitLab to Koding and using vms from cloud providers like AWS. Koding has a registry for VMs, called Kontrol and it runs on the same server as Koding itself, VMs from cloud providers register themselves to Kontrol via the agent that we put into provisioned VMs. This agent is called Klient and it provides Koding to access and manage the target machine.

Kontrol and Klient are based on another technology called Kite, that we have written at Koding. Which is a microservice framework that allows you to develop microservices easily.



Minimum requirements are;

  • 2 cores CPU
  • 3G RAM
  • 10G Storage

If you plan to use AWS to install Koding it is recommended that you use at least a c3.xlarge instance.


Koding can run on most of the UNIX based operating systems, since it's shipped as containerized with Docker support, it can work on any operating system that supports Docker.

Required services are:

  • PostgreSQL - Kontrol and Service DB provider
  • MongoDB - Main DB provider the application
  • Redis - In memory DB used by both application and services
  • RabbitMQ - Message Queue for both application and services

which are also provided as a Docker container by Koding.

Getting Started with Development Versions


You can run docker-compose environment for developing koding by executing commands in the following snippet.

git clone https://github.com/koding/koding.git
cd koding
docker-compose up

This should start koding on localhost:8090.

By default there is no team exists in Koding DB. You'll need to create a team called gitlab which is the default team name for GitLab integration in the configuration. To make things in order it's recommended to create the gitlab team first thing after setting up Koding.


To install GitLab to your environment for development purposes it's recommended to use GitLab Development Kit which you can get it from here.

After all those steps, gitlab should be running on localhost:3000


Integration includes following components;

  • Single Sign On with OAuth from GitLab to Koding
  • System Hook integration for handling GitLab events on Koding (project_created, user_joined etc.)
  • Service endpoints for importing/executing stacks from GitLab to Koding (Run/Try on IDE (Koding) buttons on GitLab Projects, Issues, MRs)

As it's pointed out before, you will need public access to this machine that you've installed Koding and GitLab on. Better to use a domain but a static IP is also fine.

For IP based installation you can use xip.io service which is free and provides DNS resolution to IP based requests like following;

  • -> resolves to
  • foo.bar.baz. -> resolves to
  • and so on...

As Koding needs subdomains for team names; foo. requests for a running koding instance on server will be handled as foo team requests.

GitLab Side

You need to enable Koding integration from Settings under Admin Area. To do that login with an Admin account and do followings;

  • open
  • scroll to bottom of the page until Koding section
  • check Enable Koding checkbox
  • provide GitLab team page for running Koding instance as Koding URL*

    • For Koding URL you need to provide the gitlab integration enabled team on your Koding installation. Team called gitlab has integration on Koding out of the box, so if you didn't change anything your team on Koding should be gitlab.

So, if your Koding is running on your URL needs to be http://gitlab. You need to provide the same host with your Koding installation here.

Registering Koding for OAuth integration

We need Application ID and Secret to enable login to Koding via GitLab feature and to do that you need to register running Koding as a new application to your running GitLab application. Follow these steps to enable this integration.

Redirect URI should be http://gitlab. which again you need to replace with your instance public IP.

Take a copy of Application ID and Secret that is generated by the GitLab application, we will need those on Koding Part of this guide.

Registering system hooks to Koding (optional)

Koding can take actions based on the events generated by GitLab application. This feature is still in progress and only following events are processed by Koding at the moment;

  • user_create
  • user_destroy

All system events are handled but not implemented on Koding side.

To enable this feature you need to provide a URL and a Secret Token to your GitLab application. Open your admin area on your GitLab app from and provide URL as http://gitlab. which is the endpoint to handle GitLab events on Koding side. Provide a Secret Token and keep a copy of it, we will need it on Koding Part of this guide.

(replace with your instance public IP)

Koding Part

If you followed the steps in GitLab part we should have followings to enable Koding part integrations;

  • Application ID and Secret for OAuth integration
  • Secret Token for system hook integration
  • Public address of running GitLab instance

Start Koding with GitLab URL

Now we need to configure Koding with all this information to get things ready. If it's already running please stop koding first.

From command-line

Replace followings with the ones you got from GitLab part of this guide;

cd koding
docker-compose run                              \
  --service-ports backend                       \
  /opt/koding/scripts/bootstrap-container build \
  --host=**YOUR_IP**.xip.io                     \
  --gitlabHost=**GITLAB_IP**                    \
  --gitlabPort=**GITLAB_PORT**                  \
  --gitlabToken=**SECRET_TOKEN**                \
  --gitlabAppId=**APPLICATION_ID**              \
By updating configuration

Alternatively you can update gitlab section on config/credentials.default.coffee like following;

gitlab =
  host: '**GITLAB_IP**'
  port: '**GITLAB_PORT**'
  applicationId: '**APPLICATION_ID**'
  applicationSecret: '**SECRET**'
  team: 'gitlab'
  redirectUri: ''
  systemHookToken: '**SECRET_TOKEN**'
  hooksEnabled: yes

and start by only providing the host;

cd koding
docker-compose run                              \
  --service-ports backend                       \
  /opt/koding/scripts/bootstrap-container build \
  --host=**YOUR_IP**.xip.io                     \

Enable Single Sign On

Once you restarted your Koding and logged in with your username and password you need to activate oauth authentication for your user. To do that

  • Navigate to Dashboard on Koding from; http://gitlab.**YOUR_IP**.xip.io:8090/Home/my-account
  • Scroll down to Integrations section
  • Click on toggle to turn On integration in GitLab integration section

This will redirect you to your GitLab instance and will ask your permission ( if you are not logged in to GitLab at this point you will be redirected after login) once you accept you will be redirected to your Koding instance.

From now on you can login by using SIGN IN WITH GITLAB button on your Login screen in your Koding instance.