Hosting a static website on gitlab pages is very convenient. However, if you have not used continuous integration (CI or gitlab runners) before like myself you might run into a couple of issues I’m documenting some of the problems here and give some fixes.

### Requirements.txt

Make sure that you have included all the required packages in a requirements.txt file, so that the runner image can install all dependencies.

### Docker image

My website depends on the pelican assets plugin which depends on the webassets module and the libsass python bindings. The gitlab pelican example repository has an example ci configuration which uses an alpine linux based image. Because the libsass bindings are a C-extension and there is no binary wheel for alpine, pip needs to compile the bindings, which requires gcc. I was running into some other dependency issues (Alpine is pretty minimal) so it was easier to just move to a different docker image. Simply change the image: python:3.7-alpine to image: python:3.7 which uses debian. Note that you need to change install commands from using apk to apt as well now.

### Submodules

I’m including my theme and some plugins as submodules. When building the runner needs to know to also install these. You need to add the following section to you .gitlab-ci.yml file:

variables:
GIT_SUBMODULE_STRATEGY: recursive


This instructs the runner to checkout all submodules recursively. Important: make sure to include submodules using https, if you include with ssh the runner will fail to checkout the modules (you could probably get around this with some permissions adjustments).