External storage for static objects (FREE)

Introduced in GitLab 12.3.

Configure GitLab to serve repository static objects (such as archives or raw blobs) from external storage such as a content delivery network (CDN).

Configure external storage

To configure external storage for static objects:

  1. On the top bar, select Main menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Settings > Repository.
  3. Expand the External storage for repository static objects section.
  4. Enter the base URL and an arbitrary token. When you set up external storage, use a script that sets these values as ORIGIN_HOSTNAME and STORAGE_TOKEN.
  5. Select Save changes.

The token is required to distinguish requests coming from the external storage, so users don't circumvent the external storage and access the application directly. GitLab expects this token to be set in the X-Gitlab-External-Storage-Token header in requests originating from the external storage.

Serving private static objects

GitLab appends a user-specific token for static object URLs belonging to private projects so external storage can be authenticated on the user's behalf.

When processing requests originating from the external storage, GitLab checks the following to confirm the user may access the requested object:

  • The token query parameter.
  • The X-Gitlab-Static-Object-Token header.

Requests flow example

The following example shows a sequence of requests and responses between:

  • The user.
  • GitLab.
  • The content delivery network.
    User->>GitLab: GET /project/-/archive/master.zip
    GitLab->>User: 302 Found
    Note over User,GitLab: Location: https://cdn.com/project/-/archive/master.zip?token=secure-user-token
    User->>CDN: GET /project/-/archive/master.zip?token=secure-user-token
    alt object not in cache
      CDN->>GitLab: GET /project/-/archive/master.zip
      Note over CDN,GitLab: X-Gitlab-External-Storage-Token: secure-cdn-token<br/>X-Gitlab-Static-Object-Token: secure-user-token
      GitLab->>CDN: 200 OK
      CDN->>User: master.zip
    else object in cache
      CDN->>GitLab: GET /project/-/archive/master.zip
      Note over CDN,GitLab: X-Gitlab-External-Storage-Token: secure-cdn-token<br/>X-Gitlab-Static-Object-Token: secure-user-token<br/>If-None-Match: etag-value
      GitLab->>CDN: 304 Not Modified
      CDN->>User: master.zip

Set up external storage

While this procedure uses Cloudflare Workers for external storage, other CDNs or Function as a Service (FaaS) systems should work using the same principles.

  1. Choose a Cloudflare Worker domain if you haven't done so already.

  2. In the following script, set the following values for the first two constants:

    • ORIGIN_HOSTNAME: the hostname of your GitLab installation.

    • STORAGE_TOKEN: any arbitrary secure token. You can get a token by running pwgen -cn1 64 on a UNIX machine. Save this token for the Admin Area, as described in the configuring section.

      const ORIGIN_HOSTNAME = 'gitlab.installation.com' // FIXME: SET CORRECT VALUE
      const STORAGE_TOKEN = 'very-secure-token' // FIXME: SET CORRECT VALUE
      const CACHE_PRIVATE_OBJECTS = false
      const CORS_HEADERS = {
        'Access-Control-Allow-Origin': '*',
        'Access-Control-Allow-Methods': 'GET, HEAD, OPTIONS',
        'Access-Control-Allow-Headers': 'X-Csrf-Token, X-Requested-With',
      self.addEventListener('fetch', event => event.respondWith(handle(event)))
      async function handle(event) {
        try {
          let response = await verifyAndHandle(event);
          // responses returned from cache are immutable, so we recreate them
          // to set CORS headers
          response = new Response(response.body, response)
          response.headers.set('Access-Control-Allow-Origin', '*')
          return response
        } catch (e) {
          return new Response('An error occurred!', {status: e.statusCode || 500})
      async function verifyAndHandle(event) {
        if (!validRequest(event.request)) {
          return new Response(null, {status: 400})
        if (event.request.method === 'OPTIONS') {
          return handleOptions(event.request)
        return handleRequest(event)
      function handleOptions(request) {
        // Make sure the necessary headers are present
        // for this to be a valid pre-flight request
        if (
          request.headers.get('Origin') !== null &&
          request.headers.get('Access-Control-Request-Method') !== null &&
          request.headers.get('Access-Control-Request-Headers') !== null
        ) {
          // Handle CORS pre-flight request
          return new Response(null, {
            headers: CORS_HEADERS,
        } else {
          // Handle standard OPTIONS request
          return new Response(null, {
            headers: {
              Allow: 'GET, HEAD, OPTIONS',
      async function handleRequest(event) {
        let cache = caches.default
        let url = new URL(event.request.url)
        let static_object_token = url.searchParams.get('token')
        let headers = new Headers(event.request.headers)
        url.host = ORIGIN_HOSTNAME
        url = normalizeQuery(url)
        headers.set('X-Gitlab-External-Storage-Token', STORAGE_TOKEN)
        if (static_object_token !== null) {
          headers.set('X-Gitlab-Static-Object-Token', static_object_token)
        let request = new Request(url, { headers: headers })
        let cached_response = await cache.match(request)
        let is_conditional_header_set = headers.has('If-None-Match')
        if (cached_response) {
          return cached_response
        // We don't want to override If-None-Match that is set on the original request
        if (cached_response && !is_conditional_header_set) {
          headers.set('If-None-Match', cached_response.headers.get('ETag'))
        let response = await fetch(request, {
          headers: headers,
          redirect: 'manual'
        if (response.status == 304) {
          if (is_conditional_header_set) {
            return response
          } else {
            return cached_response
        } else if (response.ok) {
          response = new Response(response.body, response)
          // cache.put will never cache any response with a Set-Cookie header
          if (CACHE_PRIVATE_OBJECTS) {
          event.waitUntil(cache.put(request, response.clone()))
        return response
      function normalizeQuery(url) {
        let searchParams = url.searchParams
        url = new URL(url.toString().split('?')[0])
        if (url.pathname.includes('/raw/')) {
          let inline = searchParams.get('inline')
          if (inline == 'false' || inline == 'true') {
            url.searchParams.set('inline', inline)
        } else if (url.pathname.includes('/-/archive/')) {
          let append_sha = searchParams.get('append_sha')
          let path = searchParams.get('path')
          if (append_sha == 'false' || append_sha == 'true') {
            url.searchParams.set('append_sha', append_sha)
          if (path) {
            url.searchParams.set('path', path)
        return url
      function validRequest(request) {
        let url = new URL(request.url)
        let path = url.pathname
        if (/^(.+)(\/raw\/|\/-\/archive\/)/.test(path)) {
          return true
        return false
  3. Create a new worker with this script.

  4. Copy your values for ORIGIN_HOSTNAME and STORAGE_TOKEN. Use those values to configure external storage for static objects.