Proxying assets

A possible security concern when managing a public facing GitLab instance is the ability to steal a users IP address by referencing images in issues, comments, etc.

For example, adding ![Example image]( to an issue description will cause the image to be loaded from the external server in order to be displayed. However, this also allows the external server to log the IP address of the user.

One way to mitigate this is by proxying any external images to a server you control.

GitLab can be configured to use an asset proxy server when requesting external images/videos/audio in issues, comments, etc. This helps ensure that malicious images do not expose the user’s IP address when they are fetched.

We currently recommend using cactus/go-camo as it supports proxying video, audio, and is more configurable.

Installing Camo server

A Camo server is used to act as the proxy.

To install a Camo server as an asset proxy:

  1. Deploy a go-camo server. Helpful instructions can be found in building catus/go-camo.

  2. Make sure your instance of GitLab is running, and that you have created a private API token. Using the API, configure the asset proxy settings on your GitLab instance. For example:

    curl --request "PUT" "\
    asset_proxy_secret_key=<somekey>" \
    --header 'PRIVATE-TOKEN: <my_private_token>'

    The following settings are supported:

    Attribute Description
    asset_proxy_enabled Enable proxying of assets. If enabled, requires: asset_proxy_url).
    asset_proxy_secret_key Shared secret with the asset proxy server.
    asset_proxy_url URL of the asset proxy server.
    asset_proxy_whitelist Assets that match these domain(s) will NOT be proxied. Wildcards allowed. Your GitLab installation URL is automatically whitelisted.
  3. Restart the server for the changes to take effect. Each time you change any values for the asset proxy, you need to restart the server.

Using the Camo server

Once the Camo server is running and you’ve enabled the GitLab settings, any image, video, or audio that references an external source will get proxied to the Camo server.

For example, the following is a link to an image in Markdown:


The following is an example of a source link that could result: