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Managing PostgreSQL extensions (FREE SELF)

This guide documents how to manage PostgreSQL extensions for installations with an external PostgreSQL database.

You must load the following extensions into the main GitLab database (defaults to gitlabhq_production):

Extension Minimum GitLab version
pg_trgm 8.6
btree_gist 13.1
plpgsql 11.7

If you are using GitLab Geo, you must load the following extensions into all secondary tracking databases (defaults to gitlabhq_geo_production):

Extension Minimum GitLab version
plpgsql 9.0

To install extensions, PostgreSQL requires the user to have superuser privileges. Typically, the GitLab database user is not a superuser. Therefore, regular database migrations cannot be used in installing extensions and instead, extensions have to be installed manually prior to upgrading GitLab to a newer version.

Installing PostgreSQL extensions manually

To install a PostgreSQL extension, this procedure should be followed:

  1. Connect to the GitLab PostgreSQL database using a superuser, for example:

    sudo gitlab-psql -d gitlabhq_production
  2. Install the extension (btree_gist in this example) using CREATE EXTENSION:

  3. Verify installed extensions:

     gitlabhq_production=# \dx
                                         List of installed extensions
         Name    | Version |   Schema   |                            Description
     btree_gist | 1.5     | public     | support for indexing common datatypes in GiST
     pg_trgm    | 1.4     | public     | text similarity measurement and index searching based on trigrams
     plpgsql    | 1.0     | pg_catalog | PL/pgSQL procedural language
     (3 rows)

On some systems you may need to install an additional package (for example, postgresql-contrib) for certain extensions to become available.

Typical failure scenarios

The following is an example of a new GitLab installation failing because the extension hasn't been installed first.

---- Begin output of "bash"  "/tmp/chef-script20210513-52940-d9b1gs" ----
STDOUT: psql:/opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/db/structure.sql:9: ERROR:  permission denied to create extension "btree_gist"
HINT:  Must be superuser to create this extension.
rake aborted!
failed to execute:
psql -v ON_ERROR_STOP=1 -q -X -f /opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/db/structure.sql --single-transaction gitlabhq_production

The following is an example of a situation when the extension hasn't been installed before running migrations. In this scenario, the database migration fails to create the extension btree_gist because of insufficient privileges.

== 20200515152649 EnableBtreeGistExtension: migrating =========================
-- execute("CREATE EXTENSION IF NOT EXISTS btree_gist")

GitLab requires the PostgreSQL extension 'btree_gist' installed in database 'gitlabhq_production', but
the database user is not allowed to install the extension.

You can either install the extension manually using a database superuser:


Or, you can solve this by logging in to the GitLab database (gitlabhq_production) using a superuser and running:


This query will grant the user superuser permissions, ensuring any database extensions
can be installed through migrations.

To recover from failed migrations, the extension must be installed manually by a superuser, and the GitLab upgrade completed by re-running the database migrations:

sudo gitlab-rake db:migrate