This page documents what Tails syadmins need to know about our GitLab instance. The user documentation is kept in a separate page.

Tails previously used Redmine, and the migration was coordinated using Salsa.

Administration of GitLab

Our friends at https://www.immerda.ch/ host our GitLab instance. We usually contact them through e-mail or their Jabber channel (see their contact info).

The Tails system administrators administrate this GitLab instance. They don't have shell access to the VM hosting the service so, among many other things, using Server Hooks is not easy and would depend on coordination with the service provider.

Configuration of GitLab

The configuration of our GitLab instance lives in the private tails/gitlab-config GitLab project.

If you have access to this project, you can propose configuration changes: push a topic branch and submit a merge request.

This can be useful, for example:

  • to modify group membership when someone joins or leaves a team
  • to propose new group labels shared by all our GitLab projects
  • to propose a new project under the tails/ namespace, ensuring our common project settings & permission model are applied

Note that GitLab's root user is an owner of all projects because that makes sense for the way Tails currently manages user permissions for the different groups and projects. Notifications are turned off for that user and it shouldn't be used for communicating with other users.

Access control

Objects

  • Canonical Git repo: the authoritative tails/tails repository, hosted on GitLab

  • Major branches: master, stable, testing, devel, and possibly feature/bullseye

  • Release tags: a signed Git tag that identifies the source code used to build a specific Tails release; currently all tags in the authoritative tails.git repository are release tags; the tag name is a version number, with '~' replaced by '-'.

  • Particularly sensitive data: confidential data that specific teams like Fundraising and Accounting need to handle, but that other contributors generally don't need direct access to. This definitely include issues; this might include Git repositories at some point.

    Note that as of 2020-03-29, it is undefined:

    • What subset of this data can go to a web-based issue tracker or not.
      This was already a problem with Redmine.
      Fixing this will require discussions between various stakeholders.

    • What subset of this data could live in a cleartext Git repository hosted here or there, as opposed to requiring end-to-end encryption between members of these teams. This is a hypothetical problem for now.

Subjects

  • An admin:

    • can configure GitLab
      • As a consequence, an admin can grant themselves any permission they want if an emergency requires it; in other situations, better follow due process to request such status or permissions :)
    • MUST comply with our "Level 3" security policy
  • A committer:

    • can push and force-push to any ref in the canonical Git repo, including major branches and release tags;
      incidentally, this ensures the following requirement is met:
    • their branches are picked up by Jenkins; it follows that they MUST comply with our "Infrastructure" security policy
    • can merge MRs into major branches
    • can modify issues metadata
    • is allowed to view confidential issues in the tails/tails GitLab project; that's OK, because particularly sensitive data lives somewhere else, with stricter access control
    • can edit other users' comments
    • MUST comply with our "Level 3" security policy
  • A regular, particularly trusted contributor:

    • can push and force-push to a subset of refs in the canonical Git repo; this subset MUST NOT include any major branch nor release tag;
      this is required to ensure the following requirement is met:
    • their branches are picked up by Jenkins; it follows that they MUST comply with our "Infrastructure" security policy
    • can modify issues metadata
    • is allowed to view confidential issues in the tails/tails GitLab project; that's OK, because particularly sensitive data lives somewhere else, with stricter access control
  • A regular contributor:

    • can fork the Git repositories and push changes to their own fork
    • can modify issues metadata
    • is allowed to view confidential issues in the tails/tails GitLab project; that's OK, because particularly sensitive data lives somewhere else, with stricter access control
  • Anybody with a GitLab account on the instance we use:

    • can view and submit issues in public projects
    • can submit MRs in public projects

Implementation

See GitLab.

Interactions with other parts of our infrastructure

The following pieces of the Tails infrastructure interact with GitLab either directly or indirectly: