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Gitlab Pipelines

The Gitlab-pipelines plugin integrates GitlabCi with its backstage component. It offers two approaches:

  • Execute / Cancel a new pipeline, listing the status of the latest pipelines in your project.
  • It offers a list of pipeline executions related to variables, which helps you run individual jobs or groups of jobs.

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🚀 Getting started:


💻 Installing

If you are using yarn 3.x:

yarn workspace app add @veecode-platform/backstage-plugin-gitlab-pipelines

If you are using other versions:

yarn add --cwd packages/app @veecode-platform/backstage-plugin-gitlab-pipelines

⚙️ Settings

The following steps must be followed to ensure that the plugin works correctly.

1- Proxy setup

1.1 - Using gitlab auth provider:

ℹ️ Make sure you have an github auth provider in your devportal. See how Add Gitlab Auth Provider 📃

As we saw in the link above, the backstage allows you to add authentication by creating an app and adding some information. However, we need to add a few more details:

In the packages > app > src > identiyProviders.ts file.

import {
+   gitlabAuthApiRef
  } from '@backstage/core-plugin-api';

  export const providers = [
+    {
+      id: 'gitlab-auth-provider',
+      title: 'Gitlab',
+      message: 'Sign in using Gitlab',
+      apiRef: gitlabAuthApiRef,
+      enableExperimentalRedirectFlow: true
+    }

In the packages > backend > src > plugins > auth.ts file.


export default async function createPlugin(
  env: PluginEnvironment,
): Promise<Router> {
  return await createRouter({
    logger: env.logger,
    config: env.config,
    database: env.database,
    discovery: env.discovery,
    tokenManager: env.tokenManager,
    providerFactories: {
+      gitlab: providers.gitlab.create({
+        signIn: {
+          async resolver({ result: { fullProfile } },
+          ctx) {
+            const userId =;
+            const userName = fullProfile.displayName
+            if (!userId) {
+              throw new Error(
+                `Gitlab user profile does not contain
+                  a userId`,
+              );
+            }
+            const userEntityRef = stringifyEntityRef({
+              kind: 'User',
+              name: userName,
+            });
+            return ctx.issueToken({
+              claims: {
+                sub: userEntityRef,
+                ent: [userEntityRef],
+              },
+            });
+          },
+        },
+      }),

In the app-config.yaml file:

# add gitlab integration
    - host: #or (depending on your gitlab instance)
      token: ${GITLAB_TOKEN}
      apiBaseUrl: #Only if the gitlab instance is self-hosted
# add gitlab auth
  environment: development
        clientId: ${AUTH_GITLAB_CLIENT_ID}
        clientSecret: ${AUTH_GITLAB_CLIENT_SECRET}
        audience: ${AUTH_GITLAB_AUDIENCE} #or (depending on your gitlab instance)
        #callbackUrl: http://localhost:7007/api/auth/gitlab/handler/frame #optional

ℹ️ Remember to set the ${AUTH_GITLAB_CLIENT_ID} variable with your Gitlab App Client Id and ${AUTH_GITLAB_CLIENT_SECRET} with the Gitlab App Client Secret value. The ${AUTH_GITLAB_AUDIENCE} would normally be the url of the deployed gitlab, defaulting to

      target:  #or (According to the version of your instance)
      allowedHeaders: ['Authorization', 'Content-Type']
        Accept: application/json 
        Content-Type: application/json

ℹ️ If your gitlab is self-hosted, the information must be according to your instance, also respecting the version of the Api used and in the integration key the apiBaseUrl property is mandatory, as well as the target of the proxy call must contain it.

2- Setting up your GitlabCi

To trigger the pipeline, either completely or by individual jobs, we have chosen to instantiate a new pipeline so that everything is always in the latest build version, rather than adding manual jobs that would invoke states from pipelines that have already been run. We therefore need to pay attention to how we configure our .gitlab_ci.yml;

See this example:

# List of stages for jobs, and their order of execution
  - build
  - deploy
  - start
  - stop

  DEFAULT_JOB: 'false'
  START_JOB: 'false'
  STOP_JOB: 'false'

build-job:       # Example of standard job for my application
  stage: build
    - echo "Compiling the code..."
    - echo "Compile complete."
    - if: $DEFAULT_JOB == "true"

deploy-job:      # This job runs in the deploy stage.
  stage: deploy  # It only runs when *both* jobs in the test stage complete successfully.
  environment: production
    - echo "Deploying application..."
    - echo "Application successfully deployed."
    - if: $DEFAULT_JOB == "true"

start-job:           # Job example for a specific behavior*
  stage: start
    - echo "start job..."
    - if: $START_JOB == "true"
stop-job:       # Job example for a specific behavior*
  stage: stop
    - echo "stop job..."
    - if: $STOP_JOB == "true"

In the example above, we can highlight two types of jobs: those that are default and are part of the CI-CD cycle, and those that are jobs that have specific behaviors for a task.

For default jobs, we'll create a standard variable and in all jobs of this type, we'll add the condition that this variable is "true" so that they all run.

For specific jobs, we will define variables for each one, according to their needs, not forgetting to add the condition that this variable is true so that the job is executed.

3- To ensure that the plugin components are rendered, we need to check that the catalog-info.yaml of the backstage component has the following annotation:

kind: Component
  name: "Test"
  description: "gitlab test"
+ repo/test dir:.

  type: service
  lifecycle: experimental
  owner: admin

Pipelines List


The component lists the last pipelines that were executed in the project. In its header we can define the branch, run a new pipeline and also update the table with the refresh button.

The table is divided by "Pipeline ID", which contains the ids of the respective pipelines, followed by their status, the url of the Gitlab interface and the elapsed time of their execution.

When we click on the "run pipeline" button, we'll trigger a modal where we'll insert the jobs variable we set previously. For example, we'll set all the "DEFAULT_JOBS" to run:


Then the jobs in which the variable has been set will be executed in chronological order.


As you can see:


To add it to our component, let's edit the EntityPage in the path: packages/app/src/components/catalog/EntityPage.tsx:

+ import { GitlabPipelineList, isGitlabAvailable } from '@veecode-platform/backstage-plugin-gitlab-pipelines';


const cicdContent = (
+    <EntitySwitch.Case if={isGitlabAvailable}>
+      <GitlabPipelineList/>
+    </EntitySwitch.Case>


With these changes we are now able to use the Pipelines List component.

Gitlab Jobs

Gitlab Jobs, on the other hand, is a component in which we filter out the jobs we've separated, as in the previous example, which have specific behaviors and aren't part of the standard pipeline flow.

In order for them to be added to our backstage component, we need a special annotation, We follow a different syntax to set the value of this annotation, see:


That way:

kind: Component
  name: "Test"
  description: "gitlab test"
  annotations: repo/test dir:.

  type: service
  lifecycle: experimental
  owner: admin

To add it to our backstage component, we need to go back to packages/app/src/components/catalog/EntityPage.tsx and add the following code:

 import {
+ isGitlabJobsAvailable,
+ GitlabJobs
  } from '@veecode-platform/backstage-plugin-gitlab-pipelines';


const overviewContent = (
  <Grid container spacing={3} alignItems="stretch">
    <Grid item md={6}>
      <EntityAboutCard variant="gridItem" />
    <Grid item md={6} xs={12}>
      <EntityCatalogGraphCard variant="gridItem" height={400} />

+    <EntitySwitch>
+      <EntitySwitch.Case if={isGitlabJobsAvailable}>
+        <Grid item lg={8} xs={12}>
+           <GitlabJobs />
+       </Grid>
+      </EntitySwitch.Case>
+    </EntitySwitch>
    <Grid item md={4} xs={12}>
      <EntityLinksCard />


We will then have listed all the jobs added to our component's annotation, where the button's Label will be the title of the button component, and the variable will be responsible for triggering the action of each button under the hood:


No need to enter the variable again, just click on run the desired job;


And in your gitlab only the job will run in a new pipeline execution: