Create a CI/CD pipeline with Gitlab on container deployments

In order to create a CI/CD pipeline with gitlab built-in functionality you should firstly create the appropriate .gitlab-ci.yml file. This is the file on which the steps will be described for the pipeline.

This file should be placed on the root structure of the branch and every time a commit is pushed on the remote repository the steps will run. Instructions have been provided from gitlab and can be found here

For this example I chose gitlab runner as the building tool and the deployment method of a docker container.

In order to install gitlab runner as a container perform the below steps:

Download the image.

 docker run -d --name gitlab-runner --restart always \
     -v /srv/gitlab-runner/config:/etc/gitlab-runner \
     -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \

Create a persistent volume

docker volume create gitlab-runner-config

Stop the container if already started from previous step and run it again with the mapped volume

docker run -d --name gitlab-runner --restart always \     -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \     -v gitlab-runner-config:/etc/gitlab-runner \     gitlab/gitlab-runner:latest

You will see the container running

Register gitlab with your runner. You should get the registration token and runner url from your repository settings.

Inspect container and press gitlab-runner register

Start the runner

gitlab-runner start

The runner should have been registered on your gitlab environment

Perform a commit and push changes to your repository

The run task should have started

Check the pipeline and see its status

The job was not succesful and by checking the logs I could verify that DNS resolution could not be enstablished.

In order to fix that you should add an entry for your named gitlab container to your gitlab runner. Unfortunately there are no tools like vim, nano installed on gitlab-runner. However you can bypass this by echoing a value in your /etc/hosts file.

It is also important that your local computer can resolve by fqdn your gitlab deployment. This is necessary because docker should be able to read this entry and perform actions on it.

After those changes you will be able to run your pipeline successfully.

Configure HAproxy to load balance Centos httpd containers

In this article I will explain a HAproxy installation on docker centos images. First things first, 3 centos images should be deployed. Two of them will be simple web servers with httpd installed and the third one will have haproxy installed to load balance between the two web servers.

In order to deploy 3 new centos docker images you should first download the latest centos image.

Just pull the Centos docker image from dockerHub by using the below command

docker pull centos

And then deploy 3 instances of it:

docker container run -it --name centos-lab1 -d centos:latest
docker container run -it --name centos-lab2 -d centos:latest
docker container run -it --name centos-lab3 -d centos:latest

Verify that containers have been deployed succesfully and execute some interactive commands on them.

docker exec -it centos-lab1 uname -r

You will get a result like the below, depending on the image you have installed.


Install httpd package on the two web servers. I am using portainer so that I can interact easier with containers. You could also execute an interactive command as shown below.

yum install httpd
docker exec -it centos-lab2 yum install httpd

Lastly you should install haproxy package for the third server that will be used as a load balancer.

yum install haproxy
[root@ad1d23c22355 /]# haproxy -v
HA-Proxy version 1.8.15 2018/12/13
Copyright 2000-2018 Willy Tarreau

Verify connectivity between your containers. Based on the default network that have been deployed on my computer I get the following 3 IP’s. , ,

Install a test html page on web servers that will be used to identify the node.

echo "this is centos-lab1" > /var/www/html/index.html
echo "this is centos-lab2" > /var/www/html/index.html

Enable and start httpd server on web servers and test that their page is up and running by running a curl from load balancer (server 3). You will get a respond like the below:

apache is running and responding on web servers 1,2

In order to use systemctl and systemd commands, check my previous article about deploying a Centos Image with systemd enabled.

Edit haproxy configuration setting under /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg and add your two webservers as backend servers of app section.

haproxy configuration

Restart haproxy so that configuration changes are loaded:

systemctl restart haproxy

Curl loadbalancer and verify from the results that load is balanced between centos-1 and centos-2 webservers: