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Troubleshooting Gitaly

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Refer to the information below when troubleshooting Gitaly. For information on troubleshooting Gitaly Cluster (Praefect), see Troubleshooting Gitaly Cluster.

The following sections provide possible solutions to Gitaly errors.

See also Gitaly timeout settings, and our advice on parsing the gitaly/current file.

Check versions when using standalone Gitaly servers

When using standalone Gitaly servers, you must make sure they are the same version as GitLab to ensure full compatibility:

  1. On the left sidebar, at the bottom, select Admin Area.
  2. Select Overview > Gitaly Servers.
  3. Confirm all Gitaly servers indicate that they are up to date.

Find storage resource details

You can run the following commands in a Rails console to determine the available and used space on a Gitaly storage:"default").storage_disk_statistics
# For Gitaly Cluster"<storage name>").disk_statistics

Use gitaly-debug

The gitaly-debug command provides "production debugging" tools for Gitaly and Git performance. It is intended to help production engineers and support engineers investigate Gitaly performance problems.

To see the help page of gitaly-debug for a list of supported sub-commands, run:

gitaly-debug -h

Commits, pushes, and clones return a 401

remote: GitLab: 401 Unauthorized

You need to sync your gitlab-secrets.json file with your GitLab application nodes.

500 and fetching folder content errors on repository pages

Fetching folder content, and in some cases 500, errors indicate connectivity problems between GitLab and Gitaly. Consult the client-side gRPC logs for details.

Client side gRPC logs

Gitaly uses the gRPC RPC framework. The Ruby gRPC client has its own log file which may contain helpful information when you are seeing Gitaly errors. You can control the log level of the gRPC client with the GRPC_LOG_LEVEL environment variable. The default level is WARN.

You can run a gRPC trace with:

sudo GRPC_TRACE=all GRPC_VERBOSITY=DEBUG gitlab-rake gitlab:gitaly:check

If this command fails with a failed to connect to all addresses error, check for an SSL or TLS problem:

/opt/gitlab/embedded/bin/openssl s_client -connect <gitaly-ipaddress>:<port> -verify_return_error

Check whether Verify return code field indicates a known Linux package installation configuration problem.

If openssl succeeds but gitlab-rake gitlab:gitaly:check fails, check certificate requirements for Gitaly.

Server side gRPC logs

gRPC tracing can also be enabled in Gitaly itself with the GODEBUG=http2debug environment variable. To set this in a Linux package installation:

  1. Add the following to your gitlab.rb file:

    gitaly['env'] = {
      "GODEBUG=http2debug" => "2"
  2. Reconfigure GitLab.

Correlating Git processes with RPCs

Sometimes you need to find out which Gitaly RPC created a particular Git process.

One method for doing this is by using DEBUG logging. However, this needs to be enabled ahead of time and the logs produced are quite verbose.

A lightweight method for doing this correlation is by inspecting the environment of the Git process (using its PID) and looking at the CORRELATION_ID variable:

PID=<Git process ID>
sudo cat /proc/$PID/environ | tr '\0' '\n' | grep ^CORRELATION_ID=

This method isn't reliable for git cat-file processes, because Gitaly internally pools and re-uses those across RPCs.

Repository changes fail with a 401 Unauthorized error

If you run Gitaly on its own server and notice these conditions:

  • Users can successfully clone and fetch repositories by using both SSH and HTTPS.
  • Users can't push to repositories, or receive a 401 Unauthorized message when attempting to make changes to them in the web UI.

Gitaly may be failing to authenticate with the Gitaly client because it has the wrong secrets file.

Confirm the following are all true:

  • When any user performs a git push to any repository on this Gitaly server, it fails with a 401 Unauthorized error:

    remote: GitLab: 401 Unauthorized
    ! [remote rejected] branch-name -> branch-name (pre-receive hook declined)
    error: failed to push some refs to '<REMOTE_URL>'
  • When any user adds or modifies a file from the repository using the GitLab UI, it immediately fails with a red 401 Unauthorized banner.

  • Creating a new project and initializing it with a README successfully creates the project but doesn't create the README.

  • When tailing the logs on a Gitaly client and reproducing the error, you get 401 errors when reaching the /api/v4/internal/allowed endpoint:

    # api_json.log
      "time": "2019-07-18T00:30:14.967Z",
      "severity": "INFO",
      "duration": 0.57,
      "db": 0,
      "view": 0.57,
      "status": 401,
      "method": "POST",
      "path": "\/api\/v4\/internal\/allowed",
      "params": [
          "key": "action",
          "value": "git-receive-pack"
          "key": "changes",
          "value": "REDACTED"
          "key": "gl_repository",
          "value": "REDACTED"
          "key": "project",
          "value": "\/path\/to\/project.git"
          "key": "protocol",
          "value": "web"
          "key": "env",
          "key": "user_id",
          "value": "2"
          "key": "secret_token",
          "value": "[FILTERED]"
      "host": "",
      "ip": "REDACTED",
      "ua": "Ruby",
      "route": "\/api\/:version\/internal\/allowed",
      "queue_duration": 4.24,
      "gitaly_calls": 0,
      "gitaly_duration": 0,
      "correlation_id": "XPUZqTukaP3"
    # nginx_access.log
    [IP] - - [18/Jul/2019:00:30:14 +0000] "POST /api/v4/internal/allowed HTTP/1.1" 401 30 "" "Ruby"

To fix this problem, confirm that your gitlab-secrets.json file on the Gitaly server matches the one on Gitaly client. If it doesn't match, update the secrets file on the Gitaly server to match the Gitaly client, then reconfigure.

If you've confirmed that your gitlab-secrets.json file is the same on all Gitaly servers and clients, the application might be fetching this secret from a different file. Your Gitaly server's config.toml file indicates the secrets file in use. If that setting is missing, GitLab defaults to using .gitlab_shell_secret under /opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/.gitlab_shell_secret.

Repository pushes fail with 401 Unauthorized and JWT::VerificationError

When attempting git push, you can see:

  • 401 Unauthorized errors.

  • The following in server logs:

      "exception.message":"Signature verification raised",

This combination of errors occurs when the GitLab server has been upgraded to GitLab 15.5 or later but Gitaly has not yet been upgraded.

From GitLab 15.5, GitLab authenticates with GitLab Shell using a JWT token instead of a shared secret. You should follow the recommendations on upgrading external Gitaly and upgrade Gitaly before the GitLab server.

Repository pushes fail with a deny updating a hidden ref error

Due to a change introduced in GitLab 13.12, Gitaly has read-only, internal GitLab references that users are not permitted to update. If you attempt to update internal references with git push --mirror, Git returns the rejection error, deny updating a hidden ref.

The following references are read-only:

  • refs/environments/
  • refs/keep-around/
  • refs/merge-requests/
  • refs/pipelines/

To mirror-push branches and tags only, and avoid attempting to mirror-push protected refs, run:

git push origin +refs/heads/*:refs/heads/* +refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*

Any other namespaces that the administrator wants to push can be included there as well via additional patterns.

Command-line tools cannot connect to Gitaly

gRPC cannot reach your Gitaly server if:

  • You can't connect to a Gitaly server with command-line tools.
  • Certain actions result in a 14: Connect Failed error message.

Verify you can reach Gitaly by using TCP:

sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:tcp_check[GITALY_SERVER_IP,GITALY_LISTEN_PORT]

If the TCP connection:

  • Fails, check your network settings and your firewall rules.
  • Succeeds, your networking and firewall rules are correct.

If you use proxy servers in your command line environment such as Bash, these can interfere with your gRPC traffic.

If you use Bash or a compatible command line environment, run the following commands to determine whether you have proxy servers configured:

echo $http_proxy
echo $https_proxy

If either of these variables have a value, your Gitaly CLI connections may be getting routed through a proxy which cannot connect to Gitaly.

To remove the proxy setting, run the following commands (depending on which variables had values):

unset http_proxy
unset https_proxy

Permission denied errors appearing in Gitaly or Praefect logs when accessing repositories

You might see the following in Gitaly and Praefect logs:

  "error":"rpc error: code = PermissionDenied desc = permission denied",
  "msg":"finished unary call with code PermissionDenied",

This information in the logs is a gRPC call error response code.

If this error occurs, even though the Gitaly auth tokens are set up correctly, it's likely that the Gitaly servers are experiencing clock drift.

Ensure the Gitaly clients and servers are synchronized, and use an NTP time server to keep them synchronized.

Gitaly not listening on new address after reconfiguring

When updating the gitaly['configuration'][:listen_addr] or gitaly['configuration'][:prometheus_listen_addr] values, Gitaly may continue to listen on the old address after a sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure.

When this occurs, run sudo gitlab-ctl restart to resolve the issue. This should no longer be necessary because this issue is resolved.

Permission denied errors appearing in Gitaly logs when accessing repositories from a standalone Gitaly node

If this error occurs even though file permissions are correct, it's likely that the Gitaly node is experiencing clock drift.

Ensure that the GitLab and Gitaly nodes are synchronized and use an NTP time server to keep them synchronized if possible.

Health check warnings

The following warning in /var/log/gitlab/praefect/current can be ignored.

"error":"full method name not found: /",
"msg":"error when looking up method info"

File not found errors

The following errors in /var/log/gitlab/gitaly/current can be ignored. They are caused by the GitLab Rails application checking for specific files that do not exist in a repository.

"error":"not found: .gitlab/route-map.yml"
"error":"not found: Dockerfile"
"error":"not found: .gitlab-ci.yml"

Git pushes are slow when Dynatrace is enabled

Dynatrace can cause the /opt/gitlab/embedded/bin/gitaly-hooks reference transaction hook, to take several seconds to start up and shut down. gitaly-hooks is executed twice when users push, which causes a significant delay.

If Git pushes are too slow when Dynatrace is enabled, disable Dynatrace.

gitaly check fails with 401 status code

gitaly check can fail with 401 status code if Gitaly can't access the internal GitLab API.

One way to resolve this is to make sure the entry is correct for the GitLab internal API URL configured in gitlab.rb with gitlab_rails['internal_api_url'].

Changes (diffs) don't load for new merge requests when using Gitaly TLS

After enabling Gitaly with TLS, changes (diffs) for new merge requests are not generated and you see the following message in GitLab:

Building your merge request... This page will update when the build is complete

Gitaly must be able to connect to itself to complete some operations. If the Gitaly certificate is not trusted by the Gitaly server, merge request diffs can't be generated.

If Gitaly can't connect to itself, you see messages in the Gitaly logs like the following messages:

   "msg":"[core] [Channel #16 SubChannel #17] grpc: addrConn.createTransport failed to connect to {Addr: \"\", ServerName: \"\", }. Err: connection error: desc = \"transport: authentication handshake failed: tls: failed to verify certificate: x509: certificate signed by unknown authority\"",
   "msg":"[core] [Server #3] grpc: Server.Serve failed to create ServerTransport: connection error: desc = \"ServerHandshake(\\\"x.x.x.x:x\\\") failed: wrapped server handshake: remote error: tls: bad certificate\"",

To resolve the problem, ensure that you have added your Gitaly certificate to the /etc/gitlab/trusted-certs folder on the Gitaly server and:

  1. Reconfigure GitLab so the certificates are symlinked
  2. Restart Gitaly manually sudo gitlab-ctl restart gitaly for the certificates to be loaded by the Gitaly process.

Gitaly fails to fork processes stored on noexec file systems

Because of changes introduced in GitLab 14.10, applying the noexec option to a mount point (for example, /var) causes Gitaly to throw permission denied errors related to forking processes. For example:

fork/exec /var/opt/gitlab/gitaly/run/gitaly-2057/gitaly-git2go: permission denied

To resolve this, remove the noexec option from the file system mount. An alternative is to change the Gitaly runtime directory:

  1. Add gitaly['runtime_dir'] = '<PATH_WITH_EXEC_PERM>' to /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and specify a location without noexec set.
  2. Run sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure.

Commit signing fails with invalid argument: signing key is encrypted or invalid data: tag byte does not have MSB set.

Because Gitaly commit signing is headless and not associated with a specific user, the GPG signing key must be created without a passphrase, or the passphrase must be removed before export.

Gitaly logs show errors in info messages

Because of a bug introduced in GitLab 16.3, additional entries were written to the Gitaly logs. These log entries contained "level":"info" but the msg string appeared to contain an error.

For example:

{"level":"info","msg":"[core] [Server #3] grpc: Server.Serve failed to create ServerTransport: connection error: desc = \"ServerHandshake(\\\"x.x.x.x:x\\\") failed: wrapped server handshake: EOF\"","pid":6145,"system":"system","time":"2023-12-14T21:20:39.999Z"}

The reason for this log entry is that the underlying gRPC library sometimes output verbose transportation logs. These log entries appear to be errors but are, in general, safe to ignore.

This bug was fixed in GitLab 16.4.5, 16.5.5, and 16.6.0, which prevents these types of messages from being written to the Gitaly logs.

Profiling Gitaly

Gitaly exposes several of the Go built-in performance profiling tools on the Prometheus listen port. For example, if Prometheus is listening on port 9236 of the GitLab server:

  • Get a list of running goroutines and their backtraces:

    curl --output goroutines.txt "http://<gitaly_server>:9236/debug/pprof/goroutine?debug=2"
  • Run a CPU profile for 30 seconds:

    curl --output cpu.bin "http://<gitaly_server>:9236/debug/pprof/profile"
  • Profile heap memory usage:

    curl --output heap.bin "http://<gitaly_server>:9236/debug/pprof/heap"
  • Record a 5 second execution trace. This impacts the Gitaly performance while running:

    curl --output trace.bin "http://<gitaly_server>:9236/debug/pprof/trace?seconds=5"

On a host with go installed, the CPU profile and heap profile can be viewed in a browser:

go tool pprof -http=:8001 cpu.bin
go tool pprof -http=:8001 heap.bin

Execution traces can be viewed by running:

go tool trace heap.bin

Profile Git operations

FLAG: On self-managed GitLab, by default this feature is not available. To make it available, an administrator can enable the feature flag named log_git_traces. On, this feature is available but can be configured by administrators only. On GitLab Dedicated, this feature is not available.

You can profile Git operations that Gitaly performs by sending additional information about Git operations to Gitaly logs. With this information, users have more insight for performance optimization, debugging, and general telemetry collection. For more information, see the Git Trace2 API reference.

To prevent system overload, the additional information logging is rate limited. If the rate limit is exceeded, traces are skipped. However, after the rate returns to a healthy state, the traces are processed again automatically. Rate limiting ensures that the system remains stable and avoids any adverse impact because of excessive trace processing.

Repositories are shown as empty after a GitLab restore

When using fapolicyd for increased security, GitLab can report that a restore from a GitLab backup file was successful but:

  • Repositories show as empty.

  • Creating new files causes an error similar to:

    13:commit: commit: starting process [/var/opt/gitlab/gitaly/run/gitaly-5428/gitaly-git2go -log-format json -log-level -correlation-id
    01GP1383JV6JD6MQJBH2E1RT03 -enabled-feature-flags -disabled-feature-flags commit]: fork/exec /var/opt/gitlab/gitaly/run/gitaly-5428/gitaly-git2go: operation not permitted.
  • Gitaly logs might contain errors similar to:

     "error": "exit status 128, stderr: \"fatal: cannot exec '/var/opt/gitlab/gitaly/run/gitaly-5428/hooks-1277154941.d/reference-transaction':
      Operation not permitted\\nfatal: cannot exec '/var/opt/gitlab/gitaly/run/gitaly-5428/hooks-1277154941.d/reference-transaction': Operation
      not permitted\\nfatal: ref updates aborted by hook\\n\"",
     "grpc.code": "Internal",
     "grpc.meta.deadline_type": "none",
     "grpc.meta.method_type": "client_stream",
     "grpc.method": "FetchBundle",
     "grpc.request.fullMethod": "/gitaly.RepositoryService/FetchBundle",

You can use debug mode to help determine if fapolicyd is denying execution based on current rules.

If you find that fapolicyd is denying execution, consider the following:

  1. Allow all executables in /var/opt/gitlab/gitaly in your fapolicyd configuration:

    allow perm=any all : ftype=application/x-executable dir=/var/opt/gitlab/gitaly/
  2. Restart the service.

Pre-receive hook declined error when pushing to RHEL instance with fapolicyd enabled

When pushing to an RHEL-based instance with fapolicyd enabled, you might get a Pre-receive hook declined error. This error can occur because fapolicyd can block the execution of the Gitaly binary. To resolve this problem, either:

  • Disable fapolicyd.
  • Create an fapolicyd rule to permit execution of Gitaly binaries with fapolicyd enabled.

To create a rule to allow Gitaly binary execution:

  1. Create a file at /etc/fapolicyd/rules.d/89-gitlab.rules.

  2. Enter the following into the file:

    allow perm=any all : ftype=application/x-executable dir=/var/opt/gitlab/gitaly/
  3. Restart the service:

    systemctl restart fapolicyd

The new rule takes effect after the daemon restarts.