GitLab Backups for Bitcoin Core repository

Posted on: February 29, 2024 16:29 UTC

The exploration of utilizing a self-hosted GitLab instance for creating backups of the Bitcoin Core GitHub repository has unfolded into a comprehensive project, aiming not only at data preservation but also at ensuring that development can continue seamlessly under any circumstances.

The process involved setting up a GitLab server and conducting initial trials, which initially suggested a quick resolution. However, achieving a complete backup encompassing all data presented significant challenges. These obstacles necessitated extensive research, numerous discussions with GitLab support, and a considerable amount of trial and error. It was not until recently that a successful full backup run was executed, marking a significant milestone in this endeavor. The outcome of this project, featuring the most recent data as of February 26, 2024, is accessible at GitLab.

To aid others interested in establishing their own GitLab backup server, all pertinent discoveries and instructions have been meticulously documented in a gist. This document is intended to serve as a comprehensive guide, addressing potential uncertainties and inviting feedback for further refinement. The intention is to maintain the backup in its current state temporarily, allowing for community input before implementing a script designed to automate the backup process regularly. However, it's important to note that during the import operation to GitLab, which can extend up to 36 hours due to GitHub API limitations, the data will be inaccessible.

While the focus of this project is on the Bitcoin Core repository, the methodology and tools developed can be applied to backup other repositories as well. Nonetheless, repositories with a smaller scale, fewer contributors, or less activity than Bitcoin Core might not require all the specialized configurations that were necessary for this project. This initiative underscores the feasibility and benefits of using GitLab for repository backup purposes, highlighting the importance of adaptability and preemptive planning in software development projects.