Using MySQL

As many applications depend on MySQL as their database, you will eventually need it in order for your tests to run. Below you are guided how to do this with the Docker and Shell executors of GitLab Runner.

Use MySQL with the Docker executor

If you are using GitLab Runner with the Docker executor you basically have everything set up already.

First, in your .gitlab-ci.yml add:

  - mysql:latest

  # Configure mysql environment variables (
  MYSQL_DATABASE: "<your_mysql_database>"
  MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: "<your_mysql_password>"

NOTE: Note: The MYSQL_DATABASE and MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD variables can't be set in the GitLab UI. To set them, assign them to a variable in the UI, and then assign that variable to the MYSQL_DATABASE and MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD variables in your .gitlab-ci.yml.

And then configure your application to use the database, for example:

Host: mysql
User: root
Password: <your_mysql_password>
Database: <your_mysql_database>

If you are wondering why we used mysql for the Host, read more at How services are linked to the job.

You can also use any other docker image available on Docker Hub. For example, to use MySQL 5.5 the service becomes mysql:5.5.

The mysql image can accept some environment variables. For more details check the documentation on Docker Hub.

Use MySQL with the Shell executor

You can also use MySQL on manually configured servers that are using GitLab Runner with the Shell executor.

First install the MySQL server:

sudo apt-get install -y mysql-server mysql-client libmysqlclient-dev

Pick a MySQL root password (can be anything), and type it twice when asked.

Note: As a security measure you can run mysql_secure_installation to remove anonymous users, drop the test database and disable remote logins with the root user.

The next step is to create a user, so login to MySQL as root:

mysql -u root -p

Then create a user (in our case runner) which will be used by your application. Change $password in the command below to a real strong password.

Note: Do not type mysql>, this is part of the MySQL prompt.

mysql> CREATE USER 'runner'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY '$password';

Create the database:

mysql> CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS `<your_mysql_database>` DEFAULT CHARACTER SET `utf8` COLLATE `utf8_unicode_ci`;

Grant the necessary permissions on the database:


If all went well you can now quit the database session:

mysql> \q

Now, try to connect to the newly created database to check that everything is in place:

mysql -u runner -p -D <your_mysql_database>

As a final step, configure your application to use the database, for example:

Host: localhost
User: runner
Password: $password
Database: <your_mysql_database>

Example project

We have set up an Example MySQL Project for your convenience that runs on using our publicly available shared runners.

Want to hack on it? Simply fork it, commit and push your changes. Within a few moments the changes will be picked by a public runner and the job will begin.