What Web Server Does GitLab Use?


Angela Bailey

GitLab, a popular web-based Git repository manager, relies on the powerful Nginx web server to handle its HTTP requests. Nginx, pronounced as “engine-x,” is an open-source and high-performance web server that excels in handling concurrent connections efficiently. It is known for its stability, speed, and low memory usage.

Why Nginx?
Nginx has gained immense popularity as a web server due to its ability to handle heavy traffic loads while consuming minimal system resources. Its event-driven architecture allows it to scale exceptionally well under high loads, making it an ideal choice for GitLab.

Benefits of Nginx for GitLab

  • Performance: Nginx’s lightweight design and non-blocking I/O model make it capable of serving multiple requests simultaneously. This translates into faster response times and improved performance for GitLab users.
  • Scalability: GitLab is a widely-used platform that can experience high volumes of concurrent connections.

    Nginx’s ability to handle thousands of connections at once ensures that GitLab remains responsive even during peak usage periods.

  • Load Balancing: Nginx can distribute incoming requests across multiple backend servers, allowing GitLab to achieve load balancing and fault tolerance. This ensures that no single server becomes overwhelmed with requests and helps maintain system stability.
  • SSL/TLS Termination: With the increasing importance of security on the web, Nginx can handle SSL/TLS encryption for incoming connections. This offloads the encryption/decryption process from the backend servers, reducing their workload and improving overall performance.

The Role of Reverse Proxy

Nginx also serves as a reverse proxy for GitLab. A reverse proxy acts as an intermediary between client requests and backend servers. When a user accesses GitLab through their web browser, the request first goes to Nginx, which then forwards it to the appropriate backend server.

The reverse proxy configuration enables GitLab to handle various tasks, such as:

  • Request routing
  • Caching static assets to improve performance
  • Enabling SSL/TLS termination
  • Load balancing across multiple GitLab application servers


In summary, GitLab relies on the robust and high-performance Nginx web server as its backbone. Nginx’s speed, scalability, and ability to handle concurrent connections make it an ideal choice for GitLab’s web-based repository management platform. By acting as a reverse proxy, Nginx enhances GitLab’s performance, security, and overall user experience.

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