- The article explains how to fix unexpected GitLab Pages URL by updating the DNS TXT record with the new verification code that GitLab provides.
- The article also explains why this happens and how domain verification works to prevent domain hijacking.
GitLab Pages is a feature that allows you to host static websites for your projects, groups, or user accounts. You can use GitLab Pages to create a portfolio, a blog, a documentation site, or anything else you can think of.
However, sometimes you may encounter an unexpected GitLab Pages URL when you create or recreate a project. For example, instead of having your site hosted at https://username.gitlab.io/project/, you may see something like https://project-username-longrandomhash.gitlab.io. This can be confusing and inconvenient, especially if you want to have a consistent and memorable URL for your site.
In this article, I will explain why this happens and how to fix it. I will also answer some frequently asked questions related to GitLab Pages and custom domains.
Why Does GitLab Pages Generate an Unexpected URL?
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The reason why GitLab Pages generates an unexpected URL is because of a security feature called Domain Verification. This feature is designed to prevent malicious users from hijacking your domain or subdomain and serving their own content.
Domain verification works by requiring you to prove that you own the domain or subdomain that you want to use with GitLab Pages. You do this by adding a DNS TXT record with a verification code that GitLab provides. This way, GitLab can verify that you have control over the DNS settings of your domain or subdomain.
However, if you delete and recreate a project with the same name, GitLab will generate a new verification code for your project. This means that you will need to update your DNS TXT record with the new code. Otherwise, GitLab will not be able to verify your domain or subdomain and will redirect your site to a random URL.
How to Fix Unexpected GitLab Pages URL?
To fix the unexpected GitLab Pages URL, you need to update your DNS TXT record with the new verification code that GitLab provides. Here are the steps to do this:
- Go to your project’s Settings > Pages and click on New Domain.
- Enter your domain or subdomain name in the Domain field and click on Create New Domain.
- Copy the verification code that GitLab shows under the Verification section.
- Go to your domain’s control panel and edit the DNS settings of your domain or subdomain.
- Add or update a DNS TXT record with the name _gitlab-pages-verification-code.yourdomain.com and the value gitlab-pages-verification-code=yourverificationcode.
- Save your changes and wait for the DNS propagation to take effect. This may take up to 24 hours depending on your DNS provider.
- Go back to your project’s Settings > Pages and click on Verify ownership next to your domain or subdomain name.
- If the verification is successful, you should see a green check mark next to your domain or subdomain name and your site should be accessible at https://yourdomain.com/project/.
In this article, we learned how to fix unexpected GitLab Pages URL by updating our DNS TXT record with the new verification code that GitLab provides. We also learned why this happens and how domain verification works.
We hope this article was helpful and informative. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions and answers related to GitLab Pages and custom domains.
Question: How can I use a custom root domain with GitLab Pages?
Answer: To use a custom root domain (such as example.com) with GitLab Pages, you need to do the following:
- Add an A record pointing your root domain to the IP address of the GitLab Pages server. For projects on GitLab.com, this IP is 220.127.116.11.
- Add a CNAME record pointing www.yourdomain.com to yourusername.gitlab.io.
- Add a TXT record with the name _gitlab-pages-verification-code.yourdomain.com and the value gitlab-pages-verification-code=yourverificationcode.
- Verify your ownership of your root domain in your project’s Settings > Pages.
Question: How can I use HTTPS with my custom domain?
Answer: To use HTTPS with your custom domain, you need to do the following:
- Obtain an SSL/TLS certificate for your custom domain from a trusted certificate authority (CA) or use Let’s Encrypt integration.
- Upload your certificate and private key in PEM format in your project’s Settings > Pages.
- Enable Force HTTPS option in your project’s Settings > Pages.
Question: How can I use multiple custom domains with GitLab Pages?
Answer: To use multiple custom domains (such as blog.example.com and docs.example.com) with GitLab Pages, you need to do the following:
- Create a separate project for each custom domain and host your content there.
- Add a CNAME record pointing each custom domain to the corresponding project’s default Pages domain (such as blog-username.gitlab.io and docs-username.gitlab.io).
- Add a TXT record with the name _gitlab-pages-verification-code.yourdomain.com and the value gitlab-pages-verification-code=yourverificationcode for each custom domain.
- Verify your ownership of each custom domain in the corresponding project’s Settings > Pages.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. The author is not responsible for any damages or losses caused by following or applying any of the information in this article. Always consult a qualified GitLab expert before implementing any GitLab Pages techniques or solutions.