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Test and Deploy a python application with GitLab CI/CD

This example will guide you how to run tests in your Python application and deploy it automatically as Heroku application.

You can checkout the example source.

Configure project

This is what the .gitlab-ci.yml file looks like for this project:

  # this configures Django application to use attached postgres database that is run on `postgres` host
  - export DATABASE_URL=postgres://postgres:@postgres:5432/python-test-app
  - apt-get update -qy
  - apt-get install -y python-dev python-pip
  - pip install -r requirements.txt
  - python test

  type: deploy
  - apt-get update -qy
  - apt-get install -y ruby-dev
  - gem install dpl
  - dpl --provider=heroku --app=gitlab-ci-python-test-staging --api-key=$HEROKU_STAGING_API_KEY
  - master

  type: deploy
  - apt-get update -qy
  - apt-get install -y ruby-dev
  - gem install dpl
  - dpl --provider=heroku --app=gitlab-ci-python-test-prod --api-key=$HEROKU_PRODUCTION_API_KEY
  - tags

This project has three jobs:

  1. test - used to test Django application,
  2. staging - used to automatically deploy staging environment every push to master branch
  3. production - used to automatically deploy production environmnet for every created tag

Store API keys

You'll need to create two variables in Project > Variables:

  1. HEROKU_STAGING_API_KEY - Heroku API key used to deploy staging app,
  2. HEROKU_PRODUCTION_API_KEY - Heroku API key used to deploy production app.

Find your Heroku API key in Manage Account.

Create Heroku application

For each of your environments, you'll need to create a new Heroku application. You can do this through the Dashboard.

Create Runner

First install Docker Engine. To build this project you also need to have GitLab Runner. You can use public runners available on, but you can register your own:

gitlab-runner register \
  --non-interactive \
  --url "" \
  --registration-token "PROJECT_REGISTRATION_TOKEN" \
  --description "python-3.5" \
  --executor "docker" \
  --docker-image python:3.5 \
  --docker-postgres latest

With the command above, you create a runner that uses python:3.5 image and uses postgres database.

To access PostgreSQL database you need to connect to host: postgres as user postgres without password.