Michael Okoh I code, that's all.

How to auto deploy a Vue application using GitLab CI/CD on Ubuntu 18.04

4 min read 1356

Prerequisites

  • Basic knowledge of the command line
  • Basic knowledge of Docker
  • Basic knowledge of version control
  • Latest release of node installed on your local machine

Install Vue on your local machine

First, you will be installing vue-cli. It is a command-line tool that enables you to quickly scaffold a new Vue application. Run the following command to install vue-cli on your local machine:

npm install -g @vue/cli

This will pull all the dependencies required to run vue-cli, you can verify its installation by running:

vue

Create a Vue application

In this step, you will be creating a new app using the vue-cli create command which will help us scaffold our application along with necessary plugins. Run the following to create a new Vue application:

vue create vue-demo

You will be prompted to select a preset, leave it at the default preset, and press enter to continue.

preset

When this is done, change directory into the vue-demo folder created by the vue-cli and run:

npm run serve

serve

This will make your Vue application accessible on localhost via port 8080. Visit http://localhost:8080 to view your application.

demo

Set up GitLab

Now, you will be pushing your Vue application to a GitLab repository. Head over to GitLab’s Website and log into your account or create an account if you do not have one already.

gitlab website

Next, create a new project. At the top right corner of your GitLab dashboard, you will see a green button with the text New project. Click on it.

new project

A new screen will come up asking you to give a name to the project. Name the project vue-demo, you can leave the project description empty, it can be either a public or private repository. Leave the last checkbox unticked.

new project

You need to associate your vue-demo application locally with the remote repository. To do that, head over to the terminal and make sure you are in the application’s directory and run the following:

git init
git remote add origin git@gitlab.com:<your-gitlab-username>/vue-demo.git
git add .
git commit -m "Initial commit"
git push -u origin master

NOTE: Replace <your-gitlab-username> with your actual GitLab username.

You will be prompted to input your GitLab password or authenticate via SSH if you have previously configured that in the past. When done, visit vue-demo project dashboard on Gitlab, all your source files should be present.

Configure the pipeline

In this step, we will be configuring our pipeline using Docker and GitLab CI. Using your preferred text editor or IDE, create a new file named Dockerfile without any extension and paste the following:

FROM node:lts-alpine as build-stage
WORKDIR /app
COPY package*.json ./
RUN npm install
COPY . .
RUN npm run build

# production stage
FROM nginx:stable-alpine as production-stage
COPY --from=build-stage /app/dist /usr/share/nginx/html
EXPOSE 80
CMD ["nginx", "-g", "daemon off;"]

This Docker configuration pulls the Node alpine image which will be used to build our application for production and the second stage pulls the Nginx alpine image which will be used to serve our build codebase copied from the first stage.

Next, create a .gitlab-ci.yml. This will allow GitLab to deploy our changes to the server. This config file creates a communication to the server. It contains operations and commands that should be executed on the server on every code push. Copy and save the following into your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

image: docker
services:
  - docker:dind
stages:
  - deploy
step-deploy-prod:
  stage: deploy
  script:
    - docker build -t app/vue-demo .
    - docker run -d -p 80:80 --rm --name todoapp app/vue-demo

Commit and push these files to the remote repository:

git add .
git commit -m "Pipeline Configurations"
git push

In the next step, we will be configuring our server to work with GitLab’s CI/CD.

Configure the server

In this step, you will be needing a server running Ubuntu. You can sign up on DigitalOcean and quickly provision Ubuntu server.

SSH into your server

SSH into your server by running:

ssh username@<server-ip>

NOTE: SSH procedure may be different on windows

Install GitLab Runner

GitLab Runner acts as the interface between GitLab and your remote server. Run the following to install GitLab Runner:

curl -L https://packages.gitlab.com/install/repositories/runner/gitlab-runner/script.deb.sh | sudo bash
sudo apt-get install gitlab-runner
sudo gitlab-runner start

This will install and start GitLab Runner on your server.

Register a pipeline

To register a pipeline, run the following command:

sudo gitlab-runner register

You will be returned a prompt like this:

Please enter the gitlab-ci coordinator URL (e.g. https://gitlab.com/):

Type https://gitlab.com/ and press Enter. The next prompt will be:

Please enter the gitlab-ci token for this runner:

You can get your token from your vue-demo project dashboard by hovering on Settings on the navigator section on the left, another sub-menu will show up with a bunch of options, click on CI / CD.

CI/CD

Next, click on the Expand button on the runner’s option.

expand

You will see your token after the option is expanded, copy it, go back to your server SSH terminal, paste it and press the Enter key.

token

To skip all these procedures, you can directly visit https://gitlab.com/<username>/vue-demo/-/settings/ci_cd.

NOTE:<username>should be your gitlab username

Next, you will be asked to enter a description and tags for the runner like this:

Please enter the gitlab-ci description for this runner:

and

Please enter the gitlab-ci tags for this runner (comma separated):

Press the Enter key to skip these. Next, you will be prompted with the following:

Please enter the executor: ssh, virtualbox, kubernetes, docker, docker-ssh, shell, docker+machine, docker-ssh+machine, custom, parallels:

Type in shell and press enter. At this point, you have successfully registered a GitLab Runner on your server.

Install Docker

You can quickly install docker by running:

sudo snap install docker

This will quickly install Docker on your machine. Next, we need to set permissions for Docker by running:

sudo groupadd docker
sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Reboot your server like this:

reboot

Log back in and run:

sudo usermod -aG docker gitlab-runner

This will add GitLab Runner to the Docker group.

Add GitLab Runner to sudoers

To add GitLab Runner to the list of sudoers, run:

sudo nano /etc/sudoers

Paste the following at the end of the file:

gitlab-runner ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

Save and exit nano.

Verify information

To verify your information run:

sudo nano /etc/gitlab-runner/config.toml

It should contain contents like this:

...
[[runners]]
  url = "https://gitlab.com/"
  token = "XXXXXXXXX"
  executor = "shell"
  [runners.custom_build_dir]
  [runners.ssh]
    user = "<SERVER ACCOUNT USERNAME>"
    host = "<SERVER IP ADDRESS>"
  [runners.cache]
    [runners.cache.s3]
    [runners.cache.gcs]
...

If the user and host attribute details do not match that of your server, you can correct it in this section:

...
[runners.ssh]
  user = "<SERVER ACCOUNT USERNAME>"
  host = "<SERVER IP ADDRESS>"
...

If it’s not present in the file, add it along with the right credentials, save and exit the file. Restart GitLab Runner:

sudo gitlab-runner restart

Test deployment

In this step, you will be running your pipeline to see if your application will deploy on the server.

Head over to the pipeline menu from your project GitLab’s dashboard.

pipe

Click on Run Pipeline.

Select a branch to deploy from, by default it will be master. Click on Run Pipeline.

branch

Your application deployment will begin.

deployment

Click on the step-deploy-.... button to see the process.

process

Once deployment succeeds, you will see a Job succeeded message. If it fails, review all the steps to make sure you did not miss anything. Visit your server IP address on your browser, you will see the Vue landing page, which means your application was deployed successfully.

done

Your application will build and deploy itself on every push made to the master branch automatically.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you successfully created a Vue project, wrote Docker and GitLab CI configurations, configured a server with Docker, GitLab Runner (along with necessary permissions), and configured a pipeline on GitLab. With this, you are set to configure other projects in the future.

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Michael Okoh I code, that's all.

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