Deploying to Netlify using GitLab CI

Featured image for sharing metadata for article

Update The code snippet below has been updated to point to netlifyctl rather than the netlify Node CLI, as netlifyctl is now the recommended CLI interface.

Update 2 as of 2018-09-10, the netlify Node CLI is back to being the preferred commandline interface for Netlify.

Update 3 as of 2020-06-03 it is now possible to use the netlify Node CLI to perform branch-based deployments, which is a great fit for using with GitLab review apps - if you're able to predict the full URL Netlify uses, that is.

Since I migrated my meetups + conference talks repo to Reveal.JS, I've found that I've been wanting to have a branch spun up with the talk's content at a publically accessible URL, exactly how I have configured Review Apps for my personal site.

However, as I was using GitLab pages, I wasn't able to get this functionality working (and it likely will not be configured upstream). Recently I've been hearing a lot about Netlify, which made this a perfect opportunity to see what everyone was raving about.

The first step I needed to take was to move from GitLab Pages to Netlify, which I detail below, followed by configuring Netlify for Review Apps / Deploy Preview. I'll be covering that in a later article, once I've worked out how to do it, as at first glance, the URL structure for branch deploys doesn't work quite as nicely out-of-the-box with GitLab Review Apps.

As building the talks require a few tools to exist on the box, I would prefer to continue using GitLab CI as my platform to build the content. Note that I'm trying to make the process better but I'd still like to retain GitLab as the owner of the build process.

While looking at how to transition, I couldn't find anything explicitly sharing how to get this up and running. That may have been because it's incredibly simple to bake in using the netlify-cli tool.

I simply had to change my .gitlab-ci.yml to add the following:

   - deploy

   stage: deploy
     - "./.ci/ chef-infrastructure-as-cake"
     - "./.ci/ came-for-the-campus-stayed-for-the-community"
     - "mkdir public"
     - "touch public/index.html"
     - "./.ci/ chef-infrastructure-as-cake 'Chef: Infrastructure as Cake'"
     - "./.ci/ came-for-the-campus-stayed-for-the-community 'Came for the Campus, Stayed for the Community'"
+    - apk add --update curl
+    - curl -LO
+    - tar xvf netlifyctl-linux-amd64-0.4.0.tar.gz
+    - ./netlifyctl deploy -s b758cf8f-9eeb-4770-ba63-ce7defafe8f6 -P public -A $NETLIFY_ACCESS_TOKEN
       - public
     - master

Next, I needed to create a personal access token to authorize myself to the Netlify API. I did this by browsing to Account Settings, then the OAuth Applications tab and clicking New access token.

I set this as the secret variable NETLIFY_ACCESS_TOKEN in the GitLab repo's CI/CD subsection under the Settings, and that was it, ready to go!

Then, we can see a deploy succeeds, and you can now access the site at, with certificates managed by Netlify, and provisioned by Let's Encrypt.

Written by Jamie Tanna's profile image Jamie Tanna on , and last updated on .

Content for this article is shared under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International, and code is shared under the Apache License 2.0.

#netlify #gitlab-ci #automation #continuous-deployment #ci #deploy #howto.

This post was filed under articles.

Interactions with this post

Interactions with this post

Below you can find the interactions that this page has had using WebMention.

Have you written a response to this post? Let me know the URL:

Do you not have a website set up with WebMention capabilities? You can use Comment Parade.